October 23, 1886. Omaha Republican p. 5.
Return of the Hunters.
A Fine Lot of Game Bagged and Brought In - The Count for Points - Banquet To-night.
"The man who says my dog can't retrieve is-," and the speaker waited for a moment to think what word would best finish the sentence.
The sentence was never finished, for a loud succession of "ah's," cut short the ending.
The speaker was Tom Cotter, who, with Geo. Kay and Frank Parmalee, had gone together as three of the representatives of Dr. Worley's side in the annual club hunt.
"To show that Cotter's dog can't retrieve, let me tell you an actual occurrence," said Kay.
A large number of nimrods, representing the two sides that participated in the hunt of Thursday, were sitting in the store of Collins, Gordon & Kay, indulging in a quiet smoke, and talking over their various exploits while on the hunt, when Cotter made the above remark. Kay's promptness in telling the story was appreciated by those present, and Parmalee, who was sitting on a keg of shells, commenced to laugh immoderately over the recollection.
"We were on the river waiting for the ducks to come in to our decoys, and we had a lot out, when Cotter said, 'My dog can retrieve all the ducks we shoot to-day.' I didn't know anything about the dog and needing a retrieve badly we agreed to try the animal. Probably we had twenty decoys out and among the number a live duck, tied by a string. Cotter having great faith in his dog sent him out to the live duck. Would you believe it the dog couldn't tell the live ducks from the wooden ones, and wrung the necks of all the decoys before the live one was reached. Every decoy was turned bottom upward to the consternation of the party. When the dog came to the live duck, he hesitated a long time, then made a dash at it and for ten minutes worried that duck to such an extent that it died from fright. We had to pay a boy to set the decoys up and from that time on he was retriever enough for us. We sent Cotter's dog to a farm-house, where he was tied up. That is the kind of retriever Cotter's dog is."
The laugh that went round at Mr. Cotter's expense warrants the assertion that he will never say his dog is a good retriever again.
"The funniest experience I saw during the day," said C.A. Penrose, "happened to my partner, John Hardin. We were in our blinds ready for ducks, when a flock of probably 15,00 flew over us. The air was black with them and the sky could not be seen. Hardin was excited and wanted to make a combination shot as they passed over us. We got ready, and at the word pulled the triggers as they sailed within easy shooting distance. Six ducks dropped, and Hardin at once said he had shot half. Shortly after, however, in reloading his gun the empty shells failed to make their appearance. He looked on the ground and every place he could think of for the shells, but they could not be found. Then he remembered that he had forgotten to load his gun, after the last firing, and a madder man I never saw. The air, was blue for a time, but the laugh was on him and he took it good naturedly, I must confess."
Then followed stories without number about the hunt and the experiences individual members had in bagging the game they brought home. Jeff Bedford was the most unfortunate. He got stuck in a bog and was nearly all day Thursday in getting out. He didn't score a point, and this evening at the banquet a leather medal especially made for the occasion will be presented to him as the champion shot of the Hardin side.
At 3 o'clock yesterday all the members of the two sides having reported, the count of the game commenced and for nearly three hours it was carried on. Never has there been such a fine lot of game as was displayed in the store room of Collins, Gordon & Kay. And the closeness of the contest shows how skilled the gentlemen are who represented the opposing teams. Hunts have occurred heretofore, but there has never been such a successful one on account of the endless variety of the game shot. The following is a complete record of the points made by the contestants.
General George S. Smith hunted at Bartlett, Ia., and bagged the following:
This is the highest individual score made and reflects credit upon General Smith's ability as a nimrod.
F.S. Parmalee, T.H. Cotter and G.E. Kay hunted on the sandbar in the Missouri river between Noble's lake and Honey Creek. Their bag excelled by 40 points the game shot by the opposing trio, Messrs. C.B. Lane, G.F. Brucher and John Fields, of the Hardin side. The following is the score:
H.A. Worley and A.S. Patrick found game at Mendota, Iowa, as follows:
H.B. Kennedy hunted at Stillwater with the following result:
John K. Stout also shot at Stillwater and obtained the following:
Grand total Worley's side 1503 points, defeating the Hardin side by 35 points.
C.A. Penrose and John J. Hardin had a fine day's shooting at Missouri Valley Junction, with the following result:
C.B. Lane, Goodley F. Brucher, John Fields gained health and pleasure hunting at Gothenburg, Neb., and bagged the following game:
Eugene Finger was not so successful in hunting at Florence lake. His string counted as follows:
Ed. Leeder and Gus. Ichen were at Stillwater lake and returned with a fine bag of game:
Grand total, Hardin's side, 1,468.
The following gentlemen chosen to represent Worley's side did not participate: F.H. Simons, J.B. Evans, Sam Usher, P.S. Eustis, Geo. Mills, J.W. Holmes.
From Hardin's side, Messrs. J.W. Petty, Fred Nye, Z.T. Springs and W.E. Scott were absent.
To-night the banquet will be given at the Millard hotel and it promises to be one of the finest affairs ever given in Omaha.