The Funny Looking Punt Gun Nearly Wiped Out Duck Populations

Samuel Reason - June 25th, 2020

Use of what is known as the punt gun, a comically large looking gun, nearly wiped out the duck and waterfowl populations of America in a short amount of time. This massive looking gun was destructive on another level, especially if you were a duck hunter. If we look back through the pages of history we can quickly see people were always trying to make bigger and better weapons, intent on blowing more people up. Of course, the end goal has always been the same: let the creator yield more power. Some attempts have been successful, but most cases just ended up looking strange, funny, and ineffective weapons.

When it comes to the punt gun the results entered a whole new level. Sure the gun looked ridiculous but the punt gun held so much power that it had to be outlawed. In the end, the punt gun was deemed to be too good for its job, and that it had to be outlawed to save the duck populations. Developed in the early 1800s when duck hunting was a common practice, demand for duck meat was rising and so were the feathers being used in hats. As humans are ever greedy by nature, hunters looked for a way to kill many ducks at the same time and with ease.

Enter the punt gun, custom-built at over eight feet long and two inches in diameter, it fired a whole pound of ammunition in one go. This meant the gun could kill up to 50 waterfowl in one shot, then hunters just had to go collect the bodies floating in the water. When you saw it in action, it looked like it should only exist in a looney tunes cartoon, the problem was the gun was too big and powerful to be used by a hunter alone. This is why they developed special boats to carry the gun, known as punts, hence the rifle was referred to as the punt gun.

The boats were slender and thin, just enough for one hunter and the rifle the boat would fly backward several yards when the punt gun was fired. Soon hunters were using strategies together with groups of eight to 10 boats, they could decimate a whole population of 500 ducks in a matter of minutes. This led to the U.S Government stepping in and passing legislation that outlawed market hunting and transporting game across state lines, along with other laws that effectively made using the punt gun a crime.

Next Article
  • Byzantine Emperor Justinian II Was Called The Slit Nosed

    Justinian II or as many called him The Slit Nosed, was the last Byzantine Emperor of the Heraclian dynasty. This was a dynasty that took place from 685 to 695, and then again from 705 to 711. Justinian II had extremely ambitious plans and was passionate about growing the empire. His aim was to restore...

    Read More
  • Great Depression Started Dance Marathons For Food

    Events that offered the promise of food and money during the Great Depression attracted people like flies. As a result, huge dance marathons would happen where the winners would get food. The problem was everyone was starving with no solution in sight, they were all determined to win. This caused many dancers to suffer from...

    Read More
  • France’s Deadly WWI Red Zone

    The Zone Rouge, or Red Zone as it is known in English, is a quarantine area throughout Northeastern France that the government decided was inhabitable after World War I. Though the area is non-contiguous, it was deemed unfit for life. Originally, the land covered over 1,200 square kilometers. All of it was considered too damaged...

    Read More
  • Sally Ride First American Women In Space

    On June 18, 1983, NASA Astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman to enter space. She launched with her four crewmates on the Shuttle Challenger, on mission STS-7. The ride had been selected with five other women to be part of NASA’s space program back in 1978. With the advances of the space shuttles...

    Read More
  • Reindeer In A WW2 Submarine

    One of the more unusual moments of World War II was when a British submarine transported around a reindeer it had been given by the Russians as a gift. In 1941, the crew of the HMS Trident was given a reindeer by the USSR navy. The reindeer then spent the next 6 weeks living with...

    Read More
  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand Killed Over 300,000 Animals While Hunting

    Over one hundred years ago, the heir to the Astro Hungarian throne was a crazy guy called Franz. Well Archduke Franz Ferdinand to be exact, his assassination led to the turn of events that caused the start of World War I. Pulling in the Russian Empire, Germany, France, Italy, China, and the U.S. into one...

    Read More
  • The Legend Of Snake Rock In Naka Cave

    Naka Cave is found in Phu Langka National Park in Thailand, and in Thai it means snake. There is a real reason for this, the cave looks like a giant snake. The texture of the stones appears to resemble the scaled skin of a snake. Over the years there have been hundreds of articles publishing...

    Read More