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“all Done From The Boat”

July 2024
1min read

Not the least of the lures dangled before his readers by “Adirondack” Murray was the prospect of fine summer sport with little or no physical exertion. The north woods, said he, were “the laziest of all imaginable places, if you incline to indolence. … Wherever you wish to go your guide paddles you. Your hunting, fishing, sight-seeing, are all done from the boat.” Winslow Homer, one of America’s greatest painters of the out-of-doors, depicted many Adirondack scenes; three of those involving the region’s almost innumerable lakes, ponds, and streams are shown here. A good guide, of course, knew these waters intimately, and could conduct his patrons to pools where the trout were starving, or to a lake where deer habitually came to the water’s edge to drink; he could also build a good smudge fire on an islet to drive off a swarm of belligerent mosquitoes. For a good marksman it was quite possible to sit in a boat and shoot a deer on the shore; but many hunters chose a much easier method—shown with brutal clarity in Homer’s painting below. The deer was driven into the water by a dog; then the hunter, in his boat, came alongside the tired animal, seized it by the horns, and drowned it.

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