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Kountry Life Memories

Mixed Breed Ducks
Burrhead- Some things never change and your telling brings up memories of my grandfather, back in the 1930's. Strict game laws were being implimented then here in Iowa, after it became obvious that slob hunters were going to exterminate many species.

Grandparents always had a lot of chickens, ducks, geese, ginnies, and ??? else at their small place on the edge of this small town. Granddad had a butcher shop and grocery uptown.

The family tale is that a flock of migrating wild ducks heading North decided the old man's place and his 'tame' ducks looked pretty good and did a summer layover. Plenty of good food, granny agressively took care of predators with her .410 shotgun, and life was good for all them ducks.

With the wild duck genetics suddenly involved and the favorable living condtions, the duck population on the ranch simply exploded that summer...

Come fall granddad 'got busted' by the game warden, when he was trying to ship a bunch of crated ducks via Railway Express to a buyer someplace. By then, nearly all his ducks were 'half-breeds' and deemed to be wild migratory water foul by the 'possum cops'.

It was terribly embarassing in a small rural town, plus the old boy was perceived as possibly going to be sent away under the new state and federal game laws. The game cops took away all his ducks and let him off with a warning.

He died in his sleep in 1940, shortly before I was born. Granny in the years after that only had chickens and blew many predators away with that .410 shotgun, that I still have.

Good news is that Central Iowa is having a return of wild life that has been absent for a long time.

IHank, from IA, entered 2000-03-12



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