In the 1960’s when I was a kid we hunted in the Saline River bottoms of Arkansas. We would drive 10 miles down a gravel road from Ferndale and then another 10 miles down a natural gas pipe line and down through the bottoms to Bob and Neely’s.
Bob and Neely lived in the middle of this bottom land in a house that sat on 3 or 4 foot stumps. It was a 2 room cabin with screen porches that ran the length of the house. The back porch had studs that were chewed by the goats that were put there when the river flooded. During deer season the place filled with hunters. During the night when I couldn’t sleep I would lie awake and listen to ’em snore -talk about sleep apnea!
We went there most weekends to squirrel hunt and what not. They had a pump house where we would pump buckets of water. We would carry those buckets up on the porch just by the door. We would put a tin dipper in the bucket. The dipper was used to dip a drink of water or fill a bottle.
The 1960’s was the early days of plastic. The plastic water bottle and canteen was yet to be designed. If you wanted to carry water with you while hunting you had to have an old metal Army surplus canteen and the webbed belt that could carry it. Most of us used a bottle. That bottle would have been a half pint or pint whiskey bottle, depending on how thirsty you thought you would be. We would fill those bottles at the bucket by the door using the dipper. Then we stick them in the game sack of our hunting coats.
This was before plastic or the popularization of the metal flask. The whiskey bottle was perfect for the job. It was slim and fit nicely against the back side and for the time it was not too heavy. Of course now, we would throw them in the recycle bin and use a plastic version of the same thing.
Picture this: A ten or twelve year old standing in the bottom lands next to a slough with cypress trees, holding a shot gun – a 410 or 20 gauge, slung over his arm. The kid with the gun reaches behind into his game sack and removes a whiskey bottle. The whiskey bottle is filled with a clear liquid. He opens the bottle and takes a swig, closes it returns it to the game sack and then continues to search for a squirrel he might shoot at it. Ah yes! life before plastic! My life and I loved it.