Waterfowl hunting is a way of life
Since I was a boy waterfowl hunting has been a fast addiction. Justin Sieverding of DOA Decoys sent me an article on decoys and I added it here. Give it a read and let us know what you think
The Rich History of Waterfowl Decoys
The history of waterfowl decoys and hunting is long and rich. While
today’s hunters consider it a sport, early peoples hunted for
sustenance. Going back nearly 2,000 years during a time when hunters
used bows and arrows, snare and nets, decoys were developed to draw in
the prey. Before decoys, early hunters struggled to hit flying, fast-
moving targets. They also realized that waterfowl usually flocked together. Early decoys were created as a way to draw the prey closer to make the use of their weapons easier and more effective.
Early decoys were created using rushes, native grasses and cattails. Additionally, these decoys often were painted and adorned with feathers to create a realistic look. Sometimes the head and neck areas were painted to look even more like the waterfowl being hunted.
Early decoys were created with such craftsmanship to create the illusion that it was just part of the flock, which then attracted the waterfowl to an easily hunted area.
Decoys were used through out North American. In 1924, a cache of about a dozen early decoys was unearthed in a Nevada Cave next to a now dry lake. These decoys were created from tule reeds and were remarkably realistic.
When we go forward it time, we find that early American settlers started copying the Native Americans in the use of decoys. However, these early colonists improved on the decoys by creating hand-carved wood decoys, replacing grasses and reeds.
The population began to explode in America in the 1800s and created an increased need for food. To meet this demand a group of hunters known as “market gunners” began shooting waterfowl at a commercial level. Obviously, they needed many decoys to accomplish their tasks. These hunters created decoys that were of higher quality, which floated better and looked much more realistic.
As the demand for decoys increased, factories such as Peterson-Dodge opened and began producing decoys using assembly lines. This sped up the production and distribution processes, making decoys readily available. Today, we still use decoys to aid in hunting adventures; however, some decoys are also considered pieces of artwork, and are hugely popular to collectors of folk art. In fact, one decoy sold for an astounding $1.13 million. Not too shabby for something that makes hunting easier!
Justin Sieverding has spent most of his life hunting waterfowl in South Dakota and throughout North America. Justin has a true passion and vast experience in everything related to waterfowl hunting including decoy spreads, bird patterns, scouting, and calling. Justin is an owner at DOA Decoys Company.
The high points
Waterfowl Hunting is a sport steeped in history with a rich tradition of
camaraderie and conservation. Throughout the years man’s passion for
hunting wildfowl has not wavered but the equipment used in his quest to
lure these majestic creatures into gunning range has changed
dramatically. Sink boxes and punt guns from the days of the market
hunter to layout blinds and auto-loaders of the modern era; the tools of
the trade have changed vastly and each generation has left their mark on
this great sport.
DOA Decoy Company has taken aim to leave its mark on only one aspect of this great sport; The Gunning Decoy. We spent months reviewing the art portfolios of some the most renowned waterfowl carvers in North America and stumbled upon not one but two world class, world champion carvers who would combine their unrivaled mastery of wildfowl carving to create the perfect line of gunning decoys. Victor Paroyan and Glenn Ladenberger have taken on our challenge to create our line of decoys starting with our full body Canada Geese and we’re thrilled to be working with the best in the business!