This is a burned brand for an individual gunner; it is ½” X 5”, with all block letters. There are periods after the two initials.
Jesse Dobson (Jess) Poplar was one of the most colorful characters on the Susquehanna Flats, and he was known as the best, most accurate gunner of his time. He had gunning and boating licenses from 1881 until 1928. Numerous times, Jess Poplar won the “high boat” award for the most number of ducks killed by one gunner on opening day; for example, 1893, 235 ducks killed; 1895, 302 ducks; and other years, as well.
Poplar was also arrested and fined numerous times for crossing the line before the legal time for being on the Flats , including 1910, when—in spite of being fined–he was still awarded the “high boat” prize for killing 300 ducks on opening day.
During his career, he was the captain of both GRACE (1898) and NELLIE (1905).
This brand has been identified on the following decoys:
Maker Species Hen or Drake
1. James Holly Canvasback. Drake
References/Sources: Peden and Shagena, Duck Hunters on the Susquehanna Flats 1850-1930
Initial Contributor: Darrell Hagar