I started duck hunting in 1965, on the Susquehanna River. Times were very different then, there were fewer ducks and almost no geese in our area. We made our own decoys back then, but we made them with a mold from Decoys Unlimited. We baked some and boiled others, boiling seemed to work the best. We painted them with oil paint and used a basic pattern of mallard and black ducks.
About 1971 I gave up duck hunting for awhile to spend more time working in a business my wife and I purchased. In 1981 I decided to try making some decoys. I got a white cedar pole about 8” around and went at it. Needless to say it wasn’t a show stopper. I still have that decoy today and it’s really good to look back at it.
So I struggled along for a couple of years until I met Rich Smoker and things between us just seemed to click. We became good friends. We hunted and fished together and of course he got me on the right track to making a good decoy.
I have been competing now for twenty years or so and have had a lot of fun and success in doing so. I learned a lot at shows and keep up with all the changes. It is not as important to win “Best of Shows” as it once was, but to make a better decoy, that’s what it’s all about. Looking back to that first decoy it’s really working.
I only make hunting decoys, but a lot of my birds are bought for the mantle. I use high density cork and Golden paint with White pine heads. My favorite decoys are Mallards, Black ducks, Pintails, Canvasbacks, and I really like to make hens.
Places where I have competed and done well or not so well. Harrisburg Sports Show, Middle Creek Wildfowl area, Tuckerton NJ, Westminster MD, Ocean City MD, Westlake OH, Havre-de-Grace MD, & Chincoteague VA.
I guess you can tell by now that I love ducks and decoys.
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