Novice Decoy Project - Reference Materials


This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a few books that I have found to be informative and motivational. The material is beneficial in learning about carving decoys in general and reference materials for shorebirds specifically.

Antique Style Duck Decoys
by Tom Matus

This is an invaluable resource for general principles of researching, carving, and antiquing decoys, including the hardware associated with working decoys. Mr. Matus steps the reader through the process, from initial concept to finished decoy. The project is to carve the lovely wood duck seen on the cover of his book.

Carving Antique Shorebirds: 16 Traditional Favorites
by Anthony Hillman

Mr. Hillman presents a book of shorebird patterns by some of the most recognized carvers of the past 100 years. He includes the work of Obadiah Verity, H. Shourds, Lothrop Holmes, Charles Clark, Ira Hudson, John Dilly, William Bowman, and Elmer Crowell.

Carving Shorebirds
by Harry V. Shours Anthony Hillman

This is a collection of contemporary shorebird patterns.

Shorebirds: The Birds, The Hunters, The Decoys
by John Levinson & Somers Headley

This book contains a concise history of shorebird hunting and gives a breakdown of shorebirds by geographic region with examples by noted carvers.

American Wildfowl Decoys - A History and Collector's Guide
by Jeff Waingrow

This book contains pictures of both shorebird and traditional decoys along with a an explanation for each decoy.

Shorebird Carving
by Rosalyn Leach Daisey

When you are ready to go to the next level of shorebird accuracy and likeness, this is an excellent book. Ms Daisey takes you through a very detailed step-by-step process from research, wood selection, tools, color schemes, and habitat for presentation - all with plenty of photographs. Subject birds ( plus patterns ) include the Semi-palmated Plover, Sanderling, Greater Yellowlegs, and Dunlin.

Web Sites:

Decoy Carving Forum
With out a doubt, the premier eclectic collection of eccentricity ever gathered under one roof. In other words, extremely talented artists willing to help and encourage budding carvers.

Guyette & Schmidt, Inc.
This is an auction site that deals in antique decoys. See Auction Preview and Auction Archives links for great photographs of decoys made by the masters of yore.

RJG Antiques, Inc.
This also is an auction site that deals in antique decoys and contemporary work.

Museums & Events:

See what's in your area. I live in Maryland, so the three best sources of shorebird & decoy information are shown below.

The Ward Museum - Salisbury, MD.

Havre de Grace Decoy Museum - Havre de Grace, MD.

The Waterfowl Festival - Easton, MD


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