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Like the title says, Do any of you carve your own decoys or decoys for others??? Either decorative or gunners???

I've done repaints for a few years. Then started carving last fall when I helped with a carving contest the goose was in  image.jpegimage.jpegimage.jpegimage.jpeg

She really enjoyed it. And since I was helping to teach and demonstrate I got involved a little bit too...

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Greenwing teal were the contest ducks so that's what was carved.

This year the duck for that contest is the Bufflehead. And while it is barely June, and the contest isn't until early February, I have been working on patterns and cut my first test bodies today. (Hen and Drake)

I've been carving my own fish decoys for several years, figured why not add ducks to the mix as well. If these ones go well and it turns out to be a decent decoy, then it will be a Scaup, and a Goose for another contest. (Although I need to finish the fish part of that contest before I mess with the ducks)

So back on topic....

Who here carves??? Care to share your work???

 

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Hadn't planed to do a build along thread, but why not??? Not much else going on...

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Drake on the left and hen on the right. As these are buffleheads this is kind of the preview coat as well as the primer coat. 

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Then it was time to rub in a wood pulp and glue type filler to fill the voids in the cork. Once that all dries it will be sanded and another coat of primer will go on. Getting close to the fun part. Just another in a several step process. 

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set the eyes in the hen today. Have the ones for the Drake, but don't have the right drill bits at home to open up the holes. 

You can see how it looks after the cork filler and primer. Still enough texture to let everyone know it's cork but not so much that the feather details won't show. Gesso and paint is next for her. image.jpegimage.jpeg

these are my study images. Fall plumage hens. Muddled grey mostly so I will need to play around to make sure I don't build in too much black. 

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eye's in the Drake today. 

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Marked out the primary's, tertiaries, wing pockets, head, and chest feathers with water color pencils. More as landmarks for the painting than anything. I will likely do this step again several more times before the "final" product. 

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Got to the point that I'm going to declare this attempt at a Bufflehead hen painted. It's time for clear coat and a keel. There are things I will do differently on the next ones, but that's why you commit to doing one before you do ten. The shine off the back doesn't help. The clear coat will help eliminate that. My grey is a little too blue compared to the study picture. But she will still hunt. 

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I'm considering trying to antique this pair, but I don't know yet.

i will be finishing up the Drake tonight. So look for pictures sometime this weekend. 

If I get the keels done I will take a few pictures on the water as well. 

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I couldn't stand it and had to lighten up her paint. Way too blue before. 

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And here is the Drake. Along with the study picture. image.jpeg

my translucent paints didn't show up on camera, so you will need to take my word on the green and purple.  Hope you guys like em. 

 

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FYI, if you are interested in trying to carve your own decoys, or talk with someone about how to get started. The carving club I belong to will have a tent/booth at game fair. There will be people there doing carving demonstrations and answering any questions you might have. 

Otherwise you can ask here and I will be happy to help if I can or pass you along to someone with more experience than I have and may be able to help you. 

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Looks really good, and fun! Wife says if I take up another hobby she will put a keel under me ;)

Maybe after my basement is finished...

Edited by BoxMN

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Here is a goose I've been working on lately. Roughed out the head and glued up body. Then a picture of the almost done head. Still need to put the bill details in it. image.jpegimage.jpegimage.jpeg

decided on painted eyes instead of glass on this one to make more of an antique look to it when it is finished. 

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I also wanted to take a moment to remind anyone who is interested or might be interested in carving your own birds to stop at the Minnesota Decoy and Wildfowl Carving Club tent at game fair. There will be several carvers there doing demonstrations as well as answering any questions you may have. You will see carvers of various skill levels, from just getting started, to kids, to seasoned veterans. There will be "power carvers" or guys like me who carve by hand. 

The MDWCC is the most decorated decoy club in the country. More blue ribbon winning decoys can be tied to this club than any other. There stands a good chance that the plastic and foam decoys you will find on waterfowlers hill or in the stores were originally molded from decoys made by someone in that group. 

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image.jpegimage.jpeg

Here are the two finished birds. I did put Red Oak  keels on them after the pictures were taken. I took pictures with them on the water as well, but they are upside down. There are things I would change paint wise if I were to do it again, but I'm happy with the way they turned out. 

Thanks for looking. 

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IMG_4033.JPGIMG_4046.JPG

here are a few of those birds on the water. The two geese in the top picture(thanks @wanderer fro that one) and a handful of bufflehead decoys in the bottom picture. I make gunners for the most part. So they better hunt. 

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Its that time of year again!!! 

Once again this year I was asked to assist  with a kids carving group. They are all making decoys to be entered into competition at the Minnesota Decoy Collectors Club's annual competition in February. This years duck is the Bufflehead Drake. They main group of carvers this year has 14kids aged 10-17 and 3 beginning adult carvers so 17 carvers can be a handfull. There are 3 of us teaching the class. But with that many carvers of various carving abilities and skill levels it's going to be hectic to say the least. 

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There are a few other kids that goose knows that have expressed interested in putting a decoy together as well, but they are going to do their carving at the shop after hunting seasons are closed for the year. 

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I've also been toying around with finding a prefered style that I like to create. One thing I have done recently are making decoys from scrap wood. This is the first of those to be completed. IMG_4101.JPG

its a little redhead carved from a chunk of cedar 2x4 that had a knot in it so it wasn't going to work for a fish decoy, so I was going to burn it. Instead 15min with the hatchet and I had a body onto which I could plant this little head I carved. And to stick with the salvaged theme I used some button head sheet metal screws for eyes. Not sure what to do with him. He's only 5.5" long, too small to hunt, to big to hang on the Christmas tree. 

Maybe I should weight it down and make a spearing decoy out of it... who knows???? I'm sure I will find a home for him someplace. 

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I happen to be a member of that club and will admit that the monthly carving demonstrations and the decoy of the year build alongs are worth every cent of the annual membership fee. If anyone is interested in any sort of decoy carving, fish or duck, shore bird, or song bird, there is someone in the club that will help you as you move forward. 

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This one was all scrap wood. A pine head taken from the scrap box at carving club. The body was a price of firewood taken from @Wanderer 's wood trailer. Originally thought to be basswood, but more than likely boxelder. Hollowed, with a cedar base plate, and it will get a leaded red oak keel later in the week. 

 

It hunts this coming weekend. 

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Coulda been boxelder.  I've cut boxelder before that was a bugger compared to cutting that wood.   I know we took out oak and basswood but a boxelder might've been one of the dozen or so we took out.

 

DO NOT SHOOT THE PRETTY DECOY!

 

Leave a little dried pond scum on it if you want to show it's been hunted but no bb holes, please!  It's too nice!

 

Here's the real thing:

IMG_0752.JPG

 

You nailed it.

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The next meeting of the Minnesota Decoy and Waterfowl Carving Club is at 7 p.m. next Tuesday, November 1 at Hope Lutheran Church, 5728 Cedar Ave. So. Mpls., MN.   National Champion Tom Fleming is going to do a live demonstration showing his carving of a Bufflehead Decoy. You are all welcome to come and watch.

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IMG_4148.JPGIMG_4149.JPGIMG_4150.JPG

 

the kids are moving along now. A few have gotten their decoy bodies to a point now where they are working on tail boards and heads. And I even got to sit down and do a little carving as most of the kids were doing their own thing only coming a few times with questions instead of a steady stream. 

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Its all I hunt over now...

Ill be selling a few soon just to fund the eyes and paint on the next 8dz I'm adding...
Basically been doing the same in teaching and helping anyone whos willing to give it a whirl.."
 Pay it forwards how My crew rolls..

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20161209_202245_3765708594816.mp4

Edited by Muthagoose

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