Letter to the Editor: Attention “Duck-Draggers” & Market Hunters

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By way of introduction, my name is Terry Grosz. I was a fish and game warden in Colusa from 1967-1970 and a federal agent until 1974. Promoted and transferred in 1974, I went on to live a career in wildlife law enforcement that lasted until retirement in 1998.

Upon retirement, I began writing true life adventure books based on my experiences enforcing those laws pertaining to the smuggling of wildlife, illegal commercial market hunting, the gross illegal take of wildlife and the illegal commercialization of wildlife parts and products.

To date, I have had 12 wildlife law enforcement adventure books published and hold a movie credit for a two hour movie produced for The Animal Planet series titled, “Wildlife Wars,” which was based on stories from my wildlife law enforcement adventures.

Interested in American history and the world of wildlife, I saw the many faces of its destruction and its principals with their personal histories fading into the dust bins of time. Whalers, sea otter hunters, buffalo hunters, and commercial market hunters were all walking into the pages of history! Those histories represented a valuable piece of Americana that NEEDED SAVING! It is this sub-culture in particular, that of the storied commercial market gunners and fabled “duck-draggers” of yesteryear in the Sacramento Valley, that I would like to address.

You or those of your kin who were gunners of yesteryear, I NEED YOUR HELP!

Having worked in the Sacramento Valley, I came to know much of the Valley’s history and the character of her peoples. Colusa County and her ‘gunning’ peoples are truly unique in American history because they were directly responsible for developing this part of the American West.

Without nature’s food supplies flowing from the Sacramento Valley into early California cities, the west wouldn’t have developed as rapidly as it did. I would like to request the help of the Sacramento Valley folks in general and the Colusa County folks in particular, in assisting me in capturing your historical contributions by bringing to print in book form this truly unique waterfowl market gunning piece of Americana that helped shape the west.

I will be coming to Davison’s Drug Store on July 18, 2015, for a book signing. If enough folks steeped in this market gunning era participate in helping me capture this unique piece of history, its methods, peoples and its magnitude of the commercial gunning era, I would like to put your families’ history into print. I would need names, dates, places, serious events, funny things that happened, tricks of the trade, unique stories on how the sale of ducks saved the farm, and any other kind of historical data that would lend itself to this part of almost forgotten Americana.

If anyone cares to share their knowledge in this arena, they will have FINAL say on any and all words written in presenting you or your family’s history BEFORE the story goes to print. A secure place for all interviews in Colusa has been arranged.

If anyone works with me on this project and then subsequently changes their mind and does not wish to see their story in print, that piece of history will not see the light of day.

My contact person in Colusa is So Han “Sonny” Park. Sonny resides at 738 Webster and his phone number is (530) 458-4609. Call him if interested. I would need a name, address and phone number of anyone interested in this project so that interview times could be arranged.

And, I would need notification of such interest before my arrival on July 18, so final preparations can be made and time set aside for interviews.

If enough people do not come forward so that a book can be formulated from their collective family histories relating to this topic, then I guess the winds of time will have won…

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