There’s no romancing the story of market hunting. By modern standards it was slaughter, but at the turn of the 20th century it was a standard practice, making some men wealthy and all men poor. But to ignore it altogether is to miss a piece of history that ultimately led to not only the dwindling of duck populations, but also to the establishment of organizations like Delta Waterfowl and Ducks Unlimited and the eventual resurgence of whistling wings. Today’s waterfowl populations are on the rise from already record numbers, and the future looks bright all the way to the horizon—a sunny outcome despite a dark past.