Some 30 years ago Beaver Dam Hunting Services was founded. Born from a friend's prompting, hunts were booked for a few morning hunts to mostly local clients. Now, years later Beaver Dam Hunting Services offers opportunities to serious waterfowl hunters from across North America.
Located in the northern Mississippi Delta region of the Mid South, between the Mississippi River and Coldwater River, we are in the bullseye for migrating waterfowl. From historic waters filled with towering cypress to buckbrush sloughs and flooded grain fields, Beaver Dam Hunting Services hunts only prime locations and habitat to ensure clients the best experience possible. Each year large numbers of migrating waterfowl make this region a stopping point on their southward descent.
THE HISTORY OF BEAVER DAM LAKE
Long ago, God created the heavens and earth in six days. In the process, when He created the Mid-South, He created the greatest hunters Eden this country has ever known. Virgin woods and prairies were full of bear, catamount, turkey, squirrel, possum, cook, deer, quail, elk and buffalo. And the great lonely river bottomlands of Mississippi were a vast and sparsely settled area of swamps, forest and sloughs, with many shallow lakes and Old Rivers of brown water winding through virgin timberlands and almost impenetrable willow flats and canebrakes.
These baffling mazes gave safe harbor to an incredible plethora of wildlife resources. Streams were half fish and half water, and during the frost months, the region was the haunt of millions upon millions of waterfowl. They filled the skies and crowded the waters of lakes and rivers to form a riotous clamoring carpet. In all probability, the early Indians found here the greatest supply of wild game, both big and small, that the world has ever seen, while later-arriving hunters and trappers believed the Ark landed here.
And nowhere were waterfowl more prevalent than at Beaver Dam, filled with just such food as ducks were fond of, which caused them always to stop in their flight from the cold region of the North to the genial climate of the Mid-South.
It was here, after the summer of 1878, when the Yellow Fever epidemic had ravaged the Mid-South, that four sports looked forward to the first white frost with pleasant anticipation. That fall, they departed Memphis by steamboat and headed for the sportsman’s paradise. For four-gunning seasons, they traveled by steamboat and hunted; then the railroad came in 1882. It was then that the famous Beaver Dam Ducking Club, immortalized by Nash Buckingham in so many of his writings, was established by the four sports.
And from his writings, who cannot wish but that they were sitting down to dine at the most famous of culinary domains at Queen Victoria Bounds kitchen. Dinner started with empty shotgun shells, upon which was written the different courses. For instance, when the sports sat down at the table, a shell would be handed to them, upon which was written, Coffee or tea. Of course they all coffeed or tead. These shells were at once removed, and another lot of empties passed around. This time bread and butter was called for. The third series read barbecued goose, stuffed; the fourth was teal duck, broiled; the fifth, mallard pot pie, and so on until every different kind of duck had been served in every conceivable style.
The table was then cleared and a large goblet of sparkling water (be it remembered that nothing stronger was ever imbibed at the clubhouse) was placed before each sport, followed by an empty No. 8 shell, in which was inserted a fine Havana cigar. This was the clue for speech making from those who so desired, and there were always those who so desired.
And who cannot wish but that Horace was paddling to the Handwerker Blind, or Round Pond, or Andrews Stand, or Nash Stand. Decoys are tossed as you climb into the blind. Night fades, and at the first blush of dawn come myriads of waterfowl streaming across, and your gun roars. Home again with a laden bateau and fond memories of a day spent afield.
I can hear Nash now as he honors old Horace: Well done, thou good and Faithful servant! He who has given more of good than of evil to the life has lived has, we can truly say, rounded out his career! Vade in pace!
Nash in many of his writings thought highly about one of the clubs’ old-timers. His name was Arther Wheatley, better known as Guido. Nash was twenty-one when Guido passed from this life. In an introduction to Colonel Sheldon’s book entitled “Tranquility”, Nash inscribed these eloquent words: In my youth a very dear old gentlemen (Guido) presented me a shooting diary hand -penned through many decades. Child that I was, I sensed he put it in my hands that somehow its giving was linked mysteriously to tears that shone in his eyes. I asked, wonderingly, “For me?” And he whispered, “Yes, Boy, I give you back my years.” Nash wrote years later in Guido’s Beaver Dam journal: I would love to sit at that table again and toast, glass aloft: “My Kindest regards, gentlemen, and may God bless us all. He did. Minutes and years! A page is turned.”
Nash died in 1971, and Beaver Dam had a very warm and tender spot in his heart. Here where so many of his stories were rooted, it is only fitting that the rebirth of Beaver Dam Ducking Club occurred and continues to the present time through Beaver Dam Hunting Services. Come and share the old-times and the