Gordon MacQuarrie - 1900-1956
While best known for his magazine stories of The Old Duck Hunters Association, Inc. (the Inc. standing for incorrigible), MacQuarrie was first a newsman. He rose to managing editor at his hometown Superior, Wisconsin Superior Evening Telegram before being hired by The Milwaukee Journal in 1936 as the nation's first outdoor writer. There he wrote 3000 stories in his outdoor column, “Right Off The Reel” before his death in 1956. At the same time he wrote well over 100 stories for national outdoor magazines, many of them about the exploits of The Old Duck Hunters.
MacQuarrie wrote with passion and wit and an ability to put the reader in the boat or blind right next to him. Zack Taylor, editor of many of the ODHA books, called it the MacQuarrie Magic, and we agree. Mac's era was a time of awakening conservation and eagerness to enjoy nature for its own sake, not just for providing a heavy bag. In this “Golden Age of Outdoor Writing” MacQuarrie's name was listed on the cover of all the major outdoor magazines.
The Old Duck Hunters Association was a literary devise MacQuarrie invented, with his Father-in-law Al Peck as Mr. President and MacQuarrie serving as the lesser membership. While fictional, the exploits of these two, along with some other cronies was based on their actual hunting and fishing trips.
As a reporter, MacQuarrie covered the conservation scene in Wisconsin and beyond, but in ODHA stories he often returned to his beloved northwest Wisconsin, and especially to a vertical log cabin a few miles from the Barnes Area Historical Association (BAHA) Museum. Come and visit this area he loved, learn from the displays, enjoy the land and waters, and you, too, will experience the MacQuarrie Magic.