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Original Issue


Much of the U.S. is suffering from a shortage of wild ducks this year as a result of last spring's long drought, and even those hunters along the Pacific flyway, where the ducks are relatively plentiful, are about to cry in their blinds over extra-stringent limit laws. In a statement bordering on outright rebellion, the Washington State Conservation Department last week said that it would not require its wardens to enforce the federal six-duck limit, and California expressed a controlled defiance of its own by adopting a five-duck limit per day, 10 in possession, permitting the hunter to retain two days' bag at any time.

But despite the grousing and complaining on the ground, the flyways of the nation were astir with the beat of wings—a beat made almost audible in this picture of snow geese on the rise. Most abundant of all North American geese, the snows have just flown down from the arctic breeding grounds, where Eskimos and Indians (who call the birds "wavies") take their eggs, corral them in vast numbers during molting season for their soft white down and rich meat. As is plainly evident here, enough of the birds escaped the Eskimos and Indians, however, to fill the air with the graceful V's and diagonals that stop a hunter's heart in his mouth.