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We employed the term “Waterfowl” in a broad sense, to include not only duck, goose and coot decoys, but also decoys of various shorebirds, which were commonly hunted commercially and recreationally along ocean coastlines and salt flats in the 1800’s and first part of the 20th century, as well as so called “confidence decoys” in the form of birds such as herons, swans, gulls and loons.  Also included are some decorative waterfowl carvings.

“Fish decoys“ are carvings of various smaller species of fish and some other small creatures used to attract larger fish, mostly northern pike, by ice spearing fishermen on northern lakes. The ice spearing fisherman tied the decoy to a short line connected to a jigging stick and sat moving the decoy around below a hole cut in the ice, while watching carefully, until the quarry came close enough.  Then he (or she) thrust a multiple tined spear down to impale it and pulled it back up through the hole.  The decoys were sometimes quite realistically carved and painted, closely mimicking the subject involved, but often were stylized or whimsical and/or painted flamboyant colors.  They all worked.

(click on any photo for an enlargement and details)

Miniature Drake Mallard Carving

Hen Mallard Decoy

Frog Decoy

Three Shorebird Decoys

Lou Schifferl Red Breasted Merganser Drake Decoy

Early Shorebird Decoy

Pair of Ice Spear Fishing Decoys

Beaver Fish Decoy

Bass Ice Spear Fishing Decoy

Large Fish Spearing Decoy

Ice Fish-Spearing Decoy

Crappie Fish Decoy

Three Fish Spearing Decoys
Lower decoy is

Harris Black Duck Wall Plaque

Miniature Red Breasted Merganser

Small Shorebird


Mason Black-Bellied Plover Decoy

Flying Drake Mallard Carving

Flying Yellowlegs Shorebird Decoy

White Wing Scoter Decoy

Tin Shorebird Decoy

Yellow Perch Decoy


(click on any photo for an enlargement and details)

Jigging Stick


Two Trout Creels
One on right is


(click on any photo for an enlargement and details)

Pistol Powder Flask

Collection of Reloading Tools

(click on any photo for an enlargement and details)

Miniature Canada Goose Carving

Drake Wood Duck

Carved Wood Trout on Plaque

Russ Burr Miniature Drake Mallard

Carved Geese in Flight

Pair of Flying Drake Mallards

Raven Carving

Carved Flying Canada Goose

Canada Goose Flyer

Carved Brook Trout on a Twig Stringer

Ruffed Grouse

Bobwhite Quail

(click on any photo for an enlargement and details)

Image of Julio T. Buel

End of Hunting and Fishing

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