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  1. #1


    As you know, Edison Marshall loved to hunt ducks.
    Me too. Nothing else is like it.

    I thought you might enjoy a true story from my duck hunting days.


    After I moved to the Quad Cities, I made several friends who liked to duck hunt. I got invited along and fell in love with duck hunting.

    Although I really enjoyed duck hunting, I didnít enjoy the many other hunters who crowded the popular Mississippi River backwaters.
    I really needed to find an uncrowded place to duck hunt.

    One of the popular local duck hunting areas is the Green Island Bottoms, an expansive backwater with flooded timber, shallow ponds, and flooded swamps.
    The ducks loved the area. But so did lots of duck hunters.

    Every morning during duck season, wise ducks would leave the Bottoms just before shooting time.
    They would follow familiar terrain features to safer locations until late in the evening.
    One day, I noticed that some of the ducks followed a creek that flowed down into the Bottoms from the hills above it.

    Several miles from the Bottoms, the creek meandered through a 30 acre pasture.
    I introduced myself to the friendly Iowa farmer who owned the land and obtained permission to hunt the pasture.
    It wasnít a large creek. I could wade it in hip boots nearly everywhere. But, it was big enough to attract ducks.

    I successfully hunted the creek several times.
    Iíd park in the farm lot an hour before daylight, carry my Remington 870 and a bag of decoys to the creek, throw the decoys into the creek, and wait for the unsuspecting teal and mallards to pass by.

    One dark, moonless morning, I walked into the pasture to find that the farmer had imported nearly a hundred black angus steers into the pasture.
    The cattle noticed me and came thundering toward me to investigate.

    Cattle are dumb. Cattle are stupid. Cattle are prone to conflicting irrational emotions.

    These cattle ran up to me. Then they decided to be frightened, so they thundered away fifty yards. Then curiosity overcame them so they thundered toward me again.

    I tried to ignore their repeated comings and goings.

    Over many years, the creek had cut deeply into the pasture. In some places, the bank was ten to fifteen feet above creek level.
    Narrow cattle paths wound down from the cliffs to cross the creek.
    I walked down one of these paths to the creek and threw out my decoys. Then I waited for dawn.

    The cattle chose not to follow me down the path to the creek. Rather they crowded together on the cliff above to stare at me.

    I continued to ignore them, hoping that they would wander off before the ducks arrived. They didnít.

    Shortly after legal shooting time, a beautiful lone mallard drake came winging up the creek.
    I swung the Remington smoothly through him and squeezed the trigger. In the early half-light, the 870 belched a foot of flame and 1 1/4 ounces of copper plated 6s.
    The mallard folded and splashed into the creek.

    Apparently the cattle on the cliff werenít accustomed to gunfire. They stampeded!!!

    In their confusion, they tipped one of their number off the cliff. He fell flat on his back into the creek.
    Unless you were there, itís difficult to imagine how much water a thousand pounds of hamburger on the hoof can displace when it arrives from a fifteen foot fall.

    My first thought was ďI wonder how much that dead cow is going to cost.Ē
    Fortunately, the steer had impacted in one of the deeper pools of the creek. He laid there for a few moments, then wallowed to his feet and stumbled off.

    Many people believe that cow tipping is merely an urban legend.
    I can attest that such is not the case!!

  2. #2
    Now THAAAAAT'S funny!!!

    Excellent story! Don't know who would have been more suprised, you or the steer!

    Thanks for telling that, you have a gift for writing.

    Take care,


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