This print is from the original oil by Daniel F. Heuer. It is available in a limited edition and open edition.
The pair of “Cans” flying quickly over a rig of decoys, coupled with the rough water and dark gray stormy November sky, symbolizes all that duck hunting represents, yesterday, today and tomorrow. The canvasback’s (Latin name Althea Valisineria) common name derives from the very fine gray and white vermiculation on its back, which give the impression of the weave of threads in a piece of canvas. The canvasback is a hardy duck that follows the receding ice northward in the early spring, so early in the spring that its journey is often delayed because the ponds and sloughs are still covered with ice. During migration canvasbacks often fly in large flocks of several hundred birds and at considerable heights and are credited with being the fastest-flying duck in North American. When migrating, they usually assume the typical “V” formation, but on short flights they often bunch up or fly in irregular lines. One of the traits most talked about by the older duck hunters is the ease these big birds came into a rig of decoys, usually a very large rig numbering a hundred or more decoys were used at one time, and the old lake gunners always talked about how “once their wings were set they were coming straight in no matter what!” I have had the opportunity to have seen these large flocks once high upon a November sky, during a late fall day. It is a thrill all duck hunters cherish, to have seen this sight, on that migration day. It is the fuel that fires the stories of the great days of the past, passed down from one generation to the next, from old to young, father to son. I enjoyed creating this picture and in closing can only say: “May they always fly”.