The golden era of waterfowling in the early twentieth century. A time long and far ago is remembered in my homage to the great legendary outdoorsman and outdoor writer, Nash Buckingham! Nash’s famous Beaver Dam Duck Club, passed down to him by his father, was the subject matter of many of his wonderful stories and fabulous outdoor books. I ponder on the images of untold numbers of wildfowl filling the sky. I am in awe of the finely crafted duck guns, skillfully trained retrievers, large bag limits and the intriguing duck camps; crude by today’s standard, glorious in the times long ago.
Traveling south of the great city of Memphis Tennessee, slipping into Mississippi, and slightly south of Tunica is where Beaver Dam Lake lies. Situated in the enormous Mississippi flyway, this region has been a mecca for waterfowlers since it was first discovered. At first it was a market hunting area, soon to become a shooting club for gentlemen sportsmen from the great cities. My carved call for “The North American Collection” depicts a common scene at Beaver Dam from long ago. A simple box duck blind is anchored into the lake’s sticky mud bed. It has been covered with burlap bags hiding the enclosed hunters from the wildfowl as they approach their decoys. A dog ramp provided easy access that a retriever would require for pursuing or fetching ducks that were shot. A sign nailed to an eerie moss draped Cyprus tree indicates the club where such hunts are allowed. This club is Nash Buckingham’s famed Beaver Dam Duck Club. Three beautiful wigeon precariously approach the blind intending on settling down. Fallen underwater logs coupled with potentially dangerous wildlife takes a watchful eye for safety here. An alligator snapping turtle shows his dominance all the while a water snake cautiously peers out of a fallen hollow log. Observing wildlife in the swamp is an exhilarating experience for sure.
The insert itself is also a great tribute to Nash Buckingham. One of his greatest books is showcased. Worn from much use, its gilded edges, worn dust jacket and even dog eared page markings indicates a great fondness of his writings by readers. Nash’s writings also included a story titled “The Neglected Duck Call”. Its focus was on the great call maker, Perry Hooker, and who’s carefully reproduced calls are shown here, each supporting a cord lanyard. This is one of the few if not only duck call to have carved and checkered calls on a carved duck call! Everything is perch atop canvas bags or “gunny sacks”, the blind material and decoy bags of years long past. Beautiful colored feathers from the wigeon’s wings, tail and sides fully decorate this historic and stunning call!
I so hope you enjoy this call!