Waterfowling book looks at Texas’ hunting history

IMG 7270If you are a fan of waterfowl hunting in Texas, this book needs to be on your coffee table at home or in the office.

A Hundred Years of Texas Waterfowl Hunting, The Decoys, Guides, Clubs, and Places, 1870s to 1970s, by R.K. Sawyer, combines great photography of the past with a well-written history of Texas waterfowl hunting.

Interviews with numerous “old timers” who celebrated the finest duck-hunting days Texas has ever seen lend credibility to the book. From the days of trained steers getting hunters into the marsh to sink box blinds to live decoys to marsh buggies, this 400-page book covers the gamut of what waterfowling used to look like.

Like the inside cover of the book says, “gleaned from interviews with sportsmen and guides of decades past as well as meticulous research in news archives, Sawyer’s vivid documentation of Texas’ deep-rooted waterfowl hunting tradition is accompanied by a superb collection of historical and modern photographs.”

And those photographs are what really set this book apart.

Game wardens will have a laugh thinking about the tickets some of these hunters would incur today as they proudly displayed their harvests after the hunt. Several hundred ducks were not uncommon for a day’s hunt during many eras covered in the book.

Here at Lone Star Outdoor News, our favorite part of the book was looking at old photographs of the places we love to hunt each season — the Trinity River, the Port Bay Club along the midcoast and the Katy Prairie — to name a few.

What an adventure it must have been a hundred years ago to load up for the day and come in late that night with several hundred ducks!

We also enjoyed how the book covered the complete Texas waterfowl scene — from duck hunting the coast and East Texas Pineywoods to goose hunting the Texas prairies. Sawyer gives great first-hand accounts of great stories from the people who were there.

We recommend this book as an addition to any serious waterfowler or history buff that wants to see what the past really looked like.

The book is a little pricey at $100 for a hardcover and $35 for cloth, but worth the cost with all of the photos and work that went into comprising the book. Publication date was Sept. 15.