I am a duck hunter and greatly admire your cover on the Nov. 15 issue. Would it be possible to buy a copy of the print suitable for framing. Usually it is the mallard or pintail that is glamourized, that is why I enjoy seeing a picture of the lowly spoonbill.
CECIL V. BRIONES
...I must agree with you that your cover duck is pretty, or let us say it's decorative, but to guys who shoot these things, that spoony is right at the bottom of the heap.
As you know, these spoonbills do look, in their coloration, very much like a mallard, and they frequently get mixed up in flocks of mallards. When you occasionally take a flock shot and knock one out, very often down comes a spoonbill. The feeling is obviously that you don't really have to hit these guys to kill them, for the breeze from the passing pellets is enough. In other words they are a poor excuse for a duck.
So far as eating qualities are concerned, they definitely rate at the bottom. They dig into a lot of mud and straining it through that unshapely bill they therefore taste very muddy. It would have been my idea for an esteemed publication such as you are publishing, if you wanted a pretty duck, to have thought of a wood duck or one of those comparatively rare and hard-sought-after wonderful ducks known as the black mallard....
E. A. CASHIN
? SI chose the spoonbill, which is neither easier nor harder to bring down than any other duck in flight, mainly for its beauty, but also because it is found in all four flyways. Like other coast birds the spoony's flavor is gamey and some care must be taken in its preparation.?ED.
Your first issue of SI made me an avid fan of your magazine and I have since become a subscriber. I think your over-all coverage of sports in all phases has been amazingly well done....
In the issue of SI, Nov. 1, The Ducks Are Flying South paintings by Athos Menaboni were exceptional. My wife and I have been searching for months for prints such as these that would be suitable for framing. Would you please advise us if these are available and if so how they may be obtained.
E. F. ROSS
? SI anticipated duck fanciers' reactions, is glad to tell Mr. and Mrs. Ross and the 1,640 other readers who have written so far that they can get a specially prepared set by mailing 25? (for handling and mailing) to Dept. D (for Ducks), SI, 9 Rockefeller Plaza, New York 20.?ED.
With a hunter's customary optimism, my shooting companions and I discounted the recent SI article about adverse duck hunting and conditions in the Stratford Marshes on the Housatonic.
Last Wednesday we drove to Stratford and rigged our decoys in one of the marsh potholes that had provided good black-duck shooting every opening day for the last few seasons. Shooting was mediocre and there were definitely fewer birds in the air this year.