Building your collection...
Buying decoys is a relatively expensive proposition these days. Our decoys are made by hand, not duplicated twenty at a time on a pattern mill. They are hollowed out and bottom boards added. Once the heads are added and they have been sealed with two coats of undercoat, they are float tested, adjusting cast ballast weights and keels until they ride just so on the water. Once they float as they should they are painted with Japan Colors or quality acrylics for a long-lasting finish that will withstand years of handling. And if need be, these decoys can be repaired.
All of that is time-consuming, but it is what it takes to produce some of the highest quality decoys hunting decoys available anywhere for any price. All that hand work also means that they aren't inexpensive.
When decoys cost a minimum of about $100 apiece, there aren't many hunters who are going to be ordering a couple dozen decoys at a time to build an entire spread. So what are your alternatives?
As we see it, you could begin with some of those moulded rubber duckies that you can scrunch into your hip pocket and that pop open as you toss them in the water. They're cheap and you get what you pay for, but they'll work after a fashion. Then you will have something to hunt over while you add some of our wooden or cork decoys to your set each season. That spreads out the cost so it doesn't pinch your budget.
Another alternative is to make your own. Never considered that? We offer a book called Basic Decoy Carving that spells out the entire process and even includes a Bufflehead pattern. We also sell just unfinished heads. The heads are the hard part, so this way, you get out the bodies, add our heads, and paint 'em. We even draw patterns if that's the way you would like to go. Some folks buy one decoy to have something to go by and some heads to make more of their own.
So you see, there really are way that you can afford to build a really fine set of hunting decoys. If you'd like to call and discuss it, please do.
This is the way one hunter ordered his decoys. We drew this pattern for an Oldsquaw decoy, got out the cork body blocks and furnished heads and eyes, and ballast keels.We furnished everything, in fact, except the paint.
© Duck Trap Decoys.