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TOM REED AND DAVE HALL CHINCOTEAGUE, VA MARCH 24, 1989 Also present Cigar Daisey and others including a small boy [Tape begins with the group of men eating fresh, raw oysters. Mr. Daisey is opening them. As a group, the men encourage the young boy to eat his first fresh oyster. Mr. Daisey and Mr. Hall’s voice are recognizable, but others are not familiar or identified. This conversation is being video as well as audio recorded.] BOY: Mr. Cigar, where did you get these oysters? MR. DAISEY: We catch them right out here. They grow right out here. You like them don’t you? BOY: No! [All laugh] I never tried one actually. MR. DAISEY: You sure you don’t want to try this one? You know you could try one! BOY: Okay? MR. DAISEY: I believe you could eat him. Just put him in your mouth and chew him. He’s good! He’s the best thing you ever eat in your life! The more you eat him…oh he tastes good don’t he? [Boy has trouble with oyster in his mouth. All laugh.] MR. DAISEY: Dave, I believe you’ve got some good footage there! BOY: Ooh! MAN: You got a live one! It slipped right back out of your mouth! MR. HALL: You don’t think that tastes good? BOY: No! [Tape stops and begins with Mr. Hall and Mr. Reed. They are in an automobile, driving. Audio only] MR. HALL: How’s there business doing there, with the seafood? MR. REED: My son’s got that, young Tom. MR. HALL. Is he doing pretty good with it? MR. REED: He has done right good, but the oysters all died around here, just about. I think the daggone skeeter spray and forest spray has done that. It’s killed Chincoteague Bay and Tom’s Cove too. The oysters used to be gold mines. Now, buy the time a oyster hits the bottom it dies. They say it’s a disease it them. I don’t know. I think most the diseases are man-made. MR. HALL: Most of the disease is man-made, that’s right. MR. REED: I think so. You don’t want to eat it. Apples and grapes and oysters too; all the stuff you’re supposed to wash it before you eat it. These pesticides; you can’t raise nothing without the sprays. We had a man work with us on that team I worked with; he said that insects was going to concur man. And I believe he’s about right. MR. HALL: Yeah. How long did you work for John Hopkins/Walter Reed? MR. REED: Twenty-four year. MR. HALL: So you actually retired from them then? MR. REED: No, that project run out. That research come to an end. MR. HALL: You couldn’t get a retirement with twenty-four years? MR. REED: No! I worked with a contractor. I wasn’t Civil Service or nothing. They had a big awards dinner for me down here. There were a hundred and fifty people! One came clean from California to be there at that super! They give me a big old plaque to hand on the wall. I got six of them things to hang on the wall now. I got one from the Refuge, one from the YCC or something like that. It’s a group of young people like the conservation corps or something. They give me one. Then they give me one down in Virginia Beach at one of them shows. The Kiwanis Club give me one of them. I made a talk for them one night. MR. HALL: What about the deer on the Refuge? MR. REED: They have a hunt ever year over there on Assateague. They have a bow and arrow first and then a shotgun and rifle last. I think they killed over two hundred with bow and arrow over there this year. MR. HALL: Oh yeah!? MR. REED: They didn’t let them shoot no Whitetail, just them Sika. MR. HALL: Are there many Whitetail over there? MR. REED: Well, they’re getting more all the time! They been putting them over there from across the Bay. Years ago they put the Sikas over there. MR. HALL: Boy, there’s a lot of people who come here in the summer isn’t it? MR. REED: Boy ain’t this place built up since you were here? MR. HALL: Oh good gracious! MR. REED: I didn’t think you’d be able to find my house! MR. HALL: I remember Deep Hole Road. As soon as I found Deep Hole Road, I knew where I was going. MR. REED: This place had built up since you were last here with motels. And land on this island is just as high as it is in Manhattan, New York! MR. HALL: Oh yeah? It’s expensive isn’t it? MR. REED: It’s about two hundred thousand dollars an acre! MR. HALL: Good gracious! MR. REED: I sold all that marsh back of my house for a thousand dollars an acre. I thought I got a lot but since then it’s skyrocketed. Everything has. A fourth of an acre costs about twelve thousand dollars or more. I got twelve thousand, five hundred dollars for an eighth of an acre along Oyster Bay Shores. MR. HALL: Well, how can the poor folks here live? MR. REED: They all sold their houses. They live off the tourists now. The one’s in the tourist business now are the ones that make the money. MR. HALL: But those poor folks who have lived here all their life and never really had nothing, they can’t afford to pay the taxes or anything. MR. REED: The more taxes has gone up on its own. [Period of silence as they are driving] They have me go on that tour bus over there and talk to people on it. MR. HALL: Oh yeah? MR. REED: There ain’t a lot left to tell them about, except these old stores. MR. HALL: Are any of your people buried on the island over there in them graves? MR. REED: My father had a graveyard and the older people are buried in that graveyard. But my wife is buried down at the Mechanics Cemetery. She’s buried down there. They left space for me close to where she’s at. [Mr. Hall is driving and stops at a drive through.] MR. HALL: Tom, do you want some orange juice or some coffee or anything? MR. REED: No, I don’t want anything. MR.HALL: I’m going to get a cup of coffee. I’ll be glad to get you something if you want it. MR. REED: No, I don’t want anything. I don’t drink coffee in the morning after I eat my breakfast. MR. HALL: I didn’t get to get any today. I’ve been so busy. [Places order for coffee with sugar only.] MR. REED: This place has been built up here not too long ago. It’s done good. Dave you can stop and drink it if you want to. MR. HALL: No, I’m alright. I’m going to keep on going and get out of their way. MR. REED: All these motels and stuff have built up since you were here. MR. HALL: Oh good gracious, I don’t recognize anything. MR. REED: You won’t find where Cigar lived! MR. HALL: Cigar’s moved. I guess Cigar’s done all right making them decoys? MR. REED: My father used to make them too, and he sold them for near about nothing years ago. I don’t even know where we are now. MR. HALL: You get lost up here too, huh? MR. REED: Yeah, I don’t get around enough. I drive in my truck that’s all. I don’t go on the mainland anywhere driving. When I had that stroke I went on for about two years, and didn’t know nothing. Then, I had heart attack. I had five of them. MR. HALL: How many? MR. REED: Five. With the last one, I was unconscious, and that’s the one when they decided that I had to have that extra valve put in my heart, you know. MR. HALL: I guess they figured you were pretty damn bad sick then? MR. REED: You’d think so. Last time, I had my grandson drive me around looking for snapping turtles. I seen an old big one in one of them ditches and I had a long handled net. He had the net and was going to catch the turtle. I got out of the truck to help him get it in and that’s when I passed out. He called one of the Park Rangers over there; he gave me some oxygen and the got me to the hospital. That’s when they decided I had to have something done. MR. HALL: But you’ve been feeling pretty good since then? MR. REED: Well, I’ve been doing good. Everybody says I’m doing good. I come over here every morning and walk about a mile. I had just come off the beach when Cigar called today. There’s a tame goose over there. He hangs around there all the time. I don’t know if it’s a he or a she, that tame goose. MR. HALL: It’s hard to tell the goose from the gander. I imagine if there was two of them you could tell. But when there’s just one of them you can’t tell. MR. REED: No. MR. HALL: Boy, that fog moved in here didn’t it? MR. REED: Boy, all of these circle things that you can ride around. There must be fog over there, the light’s on. MR. HALL: Man, that pitiful. There’s so many people coming over here. MR. REED: It’s just about the most popular refuge on the east coast. More people visit here. I guess it’s the ponies and the ocean bring them over here. MR. HALL: Well, they could take every one of them ponies and do something with them. I wouldn’t give you fifteen cents for all of them! MR. REED: But people, I don’t know why, but they block traffic when there’s a bunch of ponies. Everything stops. MR. HALL: They still have pony penning then? MR. REED: Yeah. Sure, enough. It’s across town; the same as they ever did. MR. HALL: Those damn old Sika deer; they’ve got some of them around here, and they feed them? Have you got them tamed? MR. HALL: A lot of people feed them out of their cars. They’ll come out on the highway; right on the road. Two or three of them got killed last year. MR. HALL: You mean on the road? MR. REED: Yeah, right there where people feed them. They’ll come out and meet your car. Some of them does. MR. HALL: Where do you usually walk? MR. REED: I walk, you’ll see, it right at the gates near the drive, you know. MR. HALL: Do you ever see any of those squirrels? MR. REED: Yeah, I see some once in a while. You see most of them down that pony trail. MR. HALL: So they are doing all right then? MR. REED: I can’t say whether they’re doing all right or not. I don’t think they are increasing much. They eat these seeds out of the pinecones. There ain’t no nut trees over here. I think that’s what they eat mostly anyway; these park squirrels. I think snakes get most of the babies. They’ve put a lot of boxes on here. I think snakes get in there and swallow them. We had snake swallow a couple of bobwhite that were in a pen. He crawled through the turkey wire and got in there and swallowed these bobwhites. They couldn’t get out through the hole. MR. HALL: There’s a scaup. MR. REED: There’s five or six of them little scaup in here. They are Lesser Scaup. I thought that maybe there were some Ringed Necked ducks. MR. HALL: There’s a male, and two females there. MR. REED: I seen one Coot through here the other day. He was coming through. Sometimes, a lot of them get up here. We call them chicken ducks. MR. HALL: You ever eat those? MR. REED: Yeah; you skin them just like a marsh hen. They’re just as good as a marsh hen. MR. HALL: I used to love their big old gizzards. MR. REED: There’s a bunch of fox squirrels around them pine trees. People don’t drive much around here. They have to walk. At the other place they drive around and scare most of that stuff away. We better go slow, it’s awful foggy. There’s an old tame goose over there. There’s people there looking at him. They’ve called him everything. They’ve called him a Maine Goose and Gray legged Goose. And I told them…. MR. HALL: It’s just a plain old common domestic goose! MR. REED: He come here with a bunch of snow geese. I seen him when they flew in here. He stayed with them, but the snow geese all left. He’s took up with them Canada geese now. What’s happened? What’s with all these people? It must be them ponies again. MR. HALL: Yeah, ponies. MR. REED: That’s what it is, two or three ponies are here. They won’t let swans nest over here. MR. HALL: Them old mute swans. MR. REED: Yeah, they must of raided it or something so they won’t hatch. It looks like they opened a season on them. I’ve seen people shoot them. People can’t tell one from the other. More raccoons got pitiful on us. We trapped raccoons over here to check their blood for antibodies the last year I worked with that team. We put tags in a hundred and twenty-five and turned them loose after we catched them. The last month of trapping, they wanted us to destroy them. But the first ones, they wanted us to see if they picked up any antibodies after we let them go the first time. There’s more baby raccoons around nowadays, I think. They were supposed to fly over and drop some kind of plastic bags with a vaccine for the raccoons over here. MR. HALL: There’s a brandt over there. MR. REED: There ain’t many of them left. MR. HALL: No. MR. REED: There’s plenty of ewe grass over there on that Chincoteague Shoal now. But the brandts, you get the brandts out there, they’re going to eat the ewe grass. MR. HALL: Yeah. MR. REED: Is that a snow goose over there? MR. HALL: Yep. MR. REED: I thought the snow geese was all gone. MR. HALL: They just got to walk out there and scare them up where nobody else can see them. I got some good shots of the Bufflehead, and scaup and Mergansers and all kinds of stuff. MR. REED: There was three Buffleheads in my cove this morning; three males and one female. MR. HALL: Boy, I couldn’t stand this beach! Look at all of the people! MR. REED: There ain’t nobody here now! Wait til summer! MR. HALL: I cannot believe it! MR. REED: They have to close the thing off! MR. HALL: I hope that man does not get out of the car. MR. REED: I think he’s getting ready to leave. At the summertime they’re backed up for two miles on this road. You can’t get to the beach. They have to let some off before they can let others on. [Mr. Hall stops and gets out of car with video camera to film area. End of side A.] MR HALL: Tell me what it was like when you’d get up in the morning to go market gunning. Even if it was late in the evening; what all would you do? About how long? Would you go out and stay on the boat sometimes for several days? MR. REED: When I lived at home I’d go every day. I’d leave home before daylight and go to the blind before the crack of dawn and put my decoys out. I’d stay there all day long. I’d be able to eat some clams or oysters that I could pick up along the shore. After I had gunned til just about night, I’d go to a pond and shoot Black ducks til pitch dark. But I’d start from before daylight until pitch dark before I got back home. MR. HALL: How did you market your ducks? How did you sell them? MR. REED: At first the natives would buy them; the people who didn’t hunt. But after a while, there was so many people killing so many ducks; the local buyers would buy all you could shoot. You could lay them out in the yard and they would buy them and pack them up in bags and boxes and ship them off to places like Washington and Baltimore and New York. If you killed two or three hundred a day; they’d buy them, every one. For the Redheads, they had to be five pounds for the pair before they’d take them. Black ducks was five pounds to the pair. There wasn’t much market for scaubs and that kind of ducks. They liked brandts and Black ducks. MR. HALL: You’d go out with your regular shotgun? You were shooting with a regular .12 gauge? MR. REED: Yeah. I first started out with a #10 and then I got a five shot automatic. My father-in-law, he had a double barrel. She was pretty good. She belonged to one of them hunters but he left it there at his house and said it was okay for him to use. After this man died, his wife come down there and got that gun. My father-in-law thought that the man had give it to him but he didn’t I guess. She took it. That was a nice gun. I remember she was a big German lady. I guess it was the Krupts blue steel barrel. But you could kill stuff with that gun. I got seven geese one night, after they jumped with that gun. They were flying. It was with one barrel. MR. HALL: When you were lighting them at night; tell me how you did that. MR. REED: Well, most of the time we’d leave home before sundown and get to a spot where there was a big bunch of ducks, before dark, you know. That’s when there wasn’t no moon out over there at night. You’d call that a daylight shot. You’d light your light so they’d get used to looking at the light. You’d walk off from the boat and looked, and if you couldn’t see the boat behind the light, you knew it was dark enough to go down on these ducks. MR. HALL: Tell me, what kind of boat, and how you did that. MR. REED: We had these little snake boats. You’ve seen that boat I have up there. We used keep it up there with the decoys in it and the light box on it, if you remember. MR. HALL: Yeah. MR. REED: I started out with one that was ten feet long. The next one was twelve foot. The last one I had was thirteen foot. I had three of them. This man used to build them for a dollar a foot. He’d build them and paint them and everything. That was cheap in them days. MR. HALL: You had a scull? MR. REED: You had a scull hole in them and you put a [unintelligible] in that scull hole so the ducks couldn’t here the oar hit the wood you know. It would muffle the sound of that oar. You could scull down on them at nighttime. Sometimes you had to stop. You’d be so close and try to get a whole lot of them in range, so you could kill a lot with one shot. The big rafts would sometimes be split apart. They’d suspect something, you know? There was a big old flock on one side and a big old flock on the other side. You couldn’t do much with a big flock like that. Sometimes there was a thousand in a flock; either Redheads or Brandt. They’d sit tight and you could kill a lot with one shot. The scaubs; they wouldn’t sit tight, they’d scatter out too much. And the Black ducks, you could never do nothing with them and a light. They’d fly off before you got any where near them. Except for in a freeze up. If you got them in a freeze up along the edge of the ice. MR. HALL: When you were market gunning in the daytime did you shoot to try to get the ducks on the water? MR. REED: Yeah, all the time. MR. HALL: You never did try to shoot them on the fly too much? MR. REED: You’d never get but one at the time shooting them on the fly. Sometimes when there was a big old flock circling around your blind, you’d wait til they heap up and come buy close. Then you’d shoot if they were real close. But most of the time when they’re circling the blind, they won’t come in real close. You wait until they land and then swim in. Then you get all you can with one shot. You shoot them in the head. MR. HALL: Tom, after they outlawed market hunting, from say the 1920’s forward, would you say that the sport hunters were killing more than the market hunters? MR. REED: I don’t believe there was enough sport hunters in them days to do that. But later on they got more sport hunters than market hunters, you know. It seems like way back, when I first started there were a few people who carried hunters for sport but most of them were market hunters. They could make more money killing the ducks themselves, you know. A lot of these sports, they’d kill so many ducks they’d leave them and the guides would sell them, you know. But don’t believe there was enough market hunters to have done the damage that they claim was done by them. It’s just like that woman and what she wrote; I don’t believe the market hunters helped to eliminate the ducks like when they started them big clubs and baited. I think they did most of the damage to the ducks. MR. HALL: The bait definitely hurt the Redhead didn’t it? MR. REED: It broke them up! It near about eliminated them. There were billions of Redhead in our Bay. And after they got to baiting and shooting them heavy like they did; there weren’t no Redheads. MR. HALL: Was that done by the sport hunters or the …..? MR. REED: The sport hunters would do it too. The guides would do it so they could get plenty of ducks for their sports. Then, when there weren’t any sports, the guides would hunt for the market. But they had it some they’d come in to the blind. They’d come down for that feed you know. That’s what caused most of the problem. MR. HALL: Did you ever bait? MR. REED: No, I never did bait. I had it in my mind, I figured that if there was enough natural feed, the ducks would come in looking for that natural feed. I never did have very big blinds. Most of the time I would hide in the grass and didn’t have no blind at all. I just set on a little grass bump, you know. MR. HALL: But you pretty much hunted every day though, when the ducks were in? MR. REED: I hunted every day. I’d be working in the ocean on a fishing boat in the summer. The first flock of ducks I saw heading south, that was it. I’d go ashore and get my boat ready and blinds ready and everything and market hunt the rest of the season. MR. HALL: In them days, when it was legal, when you first started market hunting in this Chincoteague area; how many market hunters would you say there were? MR. REED: Let’s see, in my neighborhood, my half-brother Will, he was a market hunter. Lloyd Hill and myself; my brother Walt and fellow named [unintelligible], he was a cousin. There was five in the Deep Hole section that I know of. Downtown there was Rob Thompson, Old Man Tom Taylor, George Taylor and Will Taylor. I’d say there weren’t no more than about thirty on the whole of Chincoteague, market hunters. And they wasn’t all good. What you call experts. A lot of them would go and not kill much. I studied the ducks, Dave. I’d go one day and see where the ducks was using and most of the time I’d get close enough to call some in, you know. In the summer time, I’d ride the roads and see where the duck grass was growing. I knew the ducks would be coming there in the winter. MR. HALL: In the early days, were Brandt good to eat? MR. REED: Brandt was about the best duck we had. You could get about a dollar and a quarter a pair for Brandt. You could only get a dollar a pair for Black ducks. You’d get a dollar for Redheads, and seventy-five cents for scaup; thirty cents for red breasted Mergansers, and only a quarter a pair for Buffleheads. MR. HALL: But there was always plenty of people to buy them? MR. REED: Yeah, we used to go down to the Bay on these gunning trips and people would know. By the time we got home, people would be lined up on the dock waiting to buy them, especially for Christmas and Thanksgiving. You could sell ducks now if it was legal. Of course, people don’t know how to clean them. People want everything cooked nowadays. They can’t clean a chicken. They don’t want to cook it themselves. They want to just go to the store and buy it all cooked. You couldn’t sell no duck with feathers on him nowadays. He’s got to be all dressing and in the pot. And most of the time they want everything cooked. MR. HALL: Where did you say your people came from, supposedly? MR. REED: From the state of Maine. My father was telling me about his father coming down on a sailing ship. He got shipwrecked off of Assateague and he come ashore on part of the boat. He settled down down here. I went up to the state of Maine. My son-in- law was stationed up there in the Coast Guard. I went up there and visited him one time and he carried me to a place called…oh, it was where they had them whaling ships. And they had short little bunk beds. See? We were short little people; short legged and all. Them bunk beds were just about my length, and the chairs fit my legs. My feet hit the floor. Most of these chairs is too tall for me. My feet don’t hit the floor right. There’s a lot of mail boxes up there with R-E-E-D on them. So I figured he was right; that was where we come from. I don’t know how many people in my lifetime thought I was a Scotsman or something. I have different ancestors than most of these people. But on Chincoteague there’s about five different little villages. Everybody talks different. Deep Holers talk different than the Downtown people. And the “down in the marsh” people, they cuss all of the time. There’s “up the Neck people” and other people; that’s the way it’s divided up in little sections on Chincoteague. They’d run you out of the neighborhood if you tried to court a girl from one of these different neighborhoods. They’d chunk you with rotten eggs and brickbats and everything! They’d chase you away! MR. HALL: It’s a strange world! MR. REED: Yep, and it’s getting worse! MR. HALL: Oh, yeah! I agree! MR. REED: We have got a pretty little place to live on Chincoteague, but now it’s hard to get by with all of the tourists and everything. Strangers are buying up all of the old homes. Way, years ago, my father he lent people money to build homes. And for a lot of the houses he only had to lend them three hundred dollars for to build a house. And them old houses get as much as forty-five or fifty thousand dollars for them now. People go in there and renovate them. I don’t know why so many people want to come to Chincoteague to save my life. My house only cost a couple thousand dollars when I had it built a long time ago. I sold it to my grandson, the one who lives with me, for sixty thousand. But I didn’t get none of the money. He borrowed it for thirty years to pay for the thing. He had to borrow thirty thousand dollars first the first fifteen years. Then he’s got to borrow another thirty thousand dollars for the next fifteen years. It will be paid for but I give that to the children instead of me. I had my Will made and it’s supposed to be left to them anyway. I’ve got a lifetime right to it. MR. HALL: So, you like to go gunning then? MR. REED: Right now I don’t, but I did years ago. I looked forward to it all of the time. I’d plan. From one year to another, I’d plan. MR. HALL: Tom, do you think one of the reasons that waterfowl laws hadn’t been obeyed very well was because there hadn’t been any pressure from society to tell people that they should obey them and make them feel like they were doing something wrong? MR. REED: They knew they were doing something wrong but they don’t realize it. It’s just like if you’re driving on the road and go over the speed limit. You don’t think nothing about it. Sometimes if you’re in a hurry to get somewhere. People who goes out gunning, they don’t think about the law. I don’t think they even think about it, till they see a Game Warden. MR. HALL: What do you think we can do to get people to obey the laws better? MR. REED: I don’t think there’s nothing that you can do. It’s just like those dope people. They’re going to do it; I don’t care what you tell them. Deer hunters will spotlight deer; I don’t care what you do to them. You’d be surprised at the number of deer that’s killed in the summer time. They’re feeding in people’s farm fields and they get throwed in the bushed just to rot. I went in that swamp one time with that research team and looked over the edge of a hill and down in that swamp there’s five deer. A man had killed five and dumped them over there in that swamp in the summer time. He had his soybean field and that’s all. After a while, I think people will pretty well forget about the ducks and forget about hunting. It will wear off and maybe they’ll come back some. I know a lot of people who’ve give up hunting, just like me. I know people who used to hunt and don’t have a desire to go no more. MR. HALL: Well, that’s kind of part of the thing; you get it out of your system I guess. I still like to be around it. [Tape skips] …you know. It squeezed them. We had these little things, we called them marsh mice. He’d been eating them, swallowing them. I had to take them out. I was raising them for the market. People find him in there and they won’t eat them! MR. HALL: But you had a market for Bitterns, eh? MR. REED: Yeah, I had market for Bitterns and Cranes. They’d come up in these trees to roost at night. You’d find an old dead tree with a lot of white s--- under it and know the crane had roosted up there. You’d go there before sundown and get in the bushes just away from the tree. Here comes one and crack it on him. They used to set on duck blinds a lot, these Great Blue Herons. They’d roost on the duck blinds at night. I used to go around with a light on my boat to these duck blinds and shoot them off of that. MR. HALL: So people would eat Bitterns, they’d eat Herons? MR. REED: Yeah, they’d even eat tree swallows. I’ve shot them on telephone wires many times. Seventeen cents a dozen. Way back yonder when I growed up, any kind of bird…you could sell any kind. MR. HALL: They’re all good to eat aren’t they? MR. REED: These Sandpipers, you can fry them up and eat the bones and all. That’s good eating. Robins, and stuff like that. In the fall of the year, all of these holly trees, people get under them holly trees and collect robins and all that kind of stuff. They’d kill and eat it. On the last legal day of the season to shoot shorebirds my father-in-law and his son went up to this place called Green Marsh. They killed a hundred and twenty-five Yellowlegs that day. They used to carry the sports in the marsh to shoot curlews. They had duck blinds all over the marshes and in the summer time they’d shoot curlews. There were more Yellowlegs that day and gosh, that’s been seventy-five years ago, I guess. There were more then than there is now. MR. HALL: But there’s now than there was when they were still market hunting aren’t there? MR. REED: There ain’t none now. There were plenty of them then. There’s not none now. You don’t see a bunch of yellowlegs no more. You’ll see one or two scattered around. MR. HALL: What do you think the effect of the outboard motor was? MR. REED: I think that these outboard motors….you’d be surprised to see how much oil is spewed out from them outboard motors every day; especially during the summer time. I think that’s killed all the clam farms and oyster farms, or helped do it. They use this stuff to kill the skeeter larvae and the oysters or clams, by the time they get old enough to sink down…I think all of this oil from these sightseers outboards is all spilled out in the summer time. MR. HALL: Well, it’s getting people to places where they couldn’t get to when they had to pole. MR. REED: Yeah, I know it. And you go so fast. Go right around that circle and turn in right where that car’s going in. MR. HALL: Out on the road out there today I didn’t see one duck. MR. REED: I didn’t know if you’d been down there or not. MR. HALL: Yeah I went out there. MR. REED: There’s just one or two Shovel bills and few black ducks around there but I think most of them have paired up and gone away now. Two or three Mallards, one or two sprigtails. You can just about count them on your two hands. MR. HALL: It’s sad; the number of ducks we’ve got today. MR. REED: I think we’re going to get less instead of coming back. MR. HALL: Yeah. MR. REED: I’ll tell you; most of these refuges ain’t no refuge at all. They let this vermin grow up. The foxes and raccoons. The ducks can’t raise on them. MR. HALL: That’s right. MR. REED: It’s the same way where Ducks Unlimited built all these impoundments and things for ducks. They don’t control the duck’s natural enemies on them. Around about the middle of May you can go out on Assateague and find maybe thirty or forty duck nests where a raccoon done eat every egg. Then in the summer it’s so dry that the foxes can chase all of the young ducks down and eat them.
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|Title||Tom Reed oral history transcript|
|Alternative Title||Tom Reed and Dave Hall, Chincoteague, VA, March 24, 1989|
|Description||Oral history interview with Tom Reed as interviewed by Dave Hall. Also present are "Cigar" Daisey and a few unidentified others. This conversation is being video as well as audio recorded.|
NATIONAL CONSERVATION TRAINING CENTER
|Publisher||U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service|
|Date of Original||1989-03-24|
NCTC Archives Museum
|File Size||159 KB|
|Images Source File Name||6819.pdf|