Pat Gregory and Rick Pierce, leading creators of duck decoys, will share tips and techniques
BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA — If you want to make a duck decoy, find a block of wood and cut out anything that doesn’t look like a duck. Ok, so it’s not that simple.
But making a lure doesn’t have to be incredibly difficult either. The easy solution to get started is to attend the 2023 Delta Waterfowl Duck Hunters Expo taking place July 28-30 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Delta Waterfowl has organized a special booth at the Expo staffed by expert lure carvers Pat Gregory and Rick Pierce, who will conduct interactive demonstrations, share tips and techniques, and answer questions throughout the weekend.
“I’ll have some white cedar bodies and white pine heads in there with me, and I’ll be carving some canvases out of Delta Marsh and a few other species,” Gregory said. “I will also be painting decoys, so people can see the technique that goes into shooting real decoys. We’ll have chairs so people can come up and look and ask questions as we go along, both about the techniques and the story. What I do isn’t really that difficult or technical, so I hope at least a couple of people will go away thinking ‘I could do it myself’ and give it a try.”
Gregory, of Bloomington, Illinois, has been making decoys since 1984 and produces more than 100 birds a year. He has carved nearly every species of duck and geese found in North America, and he crafts his birds out of white pine, white cedar, and cork. He has twice been selected as a Master Carver by the Ward Foundation Museum of Collectible Lures and was the Featured Carver at the 2018 North American Vintage Decoy & Sporting Collectibles Show.
Pierce, a northern Illinois native living in Alexander, Arkansas, began carving lures in the 1990s. His carving style leans toward classic shot lures with clean body lines and varied head positions to convey movement and animation. . His lures are usually made of hollowed out white cedar, with cedar or basswood heads and painted in oil.
Pierce demoed at Expo 2022, and plans to bring his decoy carving bench to the event for hands-on learning.
“Delta’s Expo is a great mix of all things duck and duck hunting, from traditional to modern,” Pierce said. “It is an honor to be asked to demonstrate a unique American art form alongside another talented carver like Pat Gregory. And being able to do it in my home state of Arkansas is the icing on the cake.”
The decoy carving booth is just one of hundreds of exhibits attendees will discover filling the 80,000-square-foot showroom floor of The Duck Hunters Expo presented by Federal Premium Ammunition. The Expo’s many attractions include the Duck Dog Stage presented by Eukanuba and Lucky Duck, the Duck Hunters Stage presented by Benelli and the Delta Waterfowl Stage presented by BOSS Shotshells and First Lite. In addition, the Expo features a Dog and Duck Parade, the Call Makers Championship, the World Championship Reduction Duck Calling Contest, and the Great Duck Hunters Banquet.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit deltawaterfowlexpo.com.
delta waterfowl is The Duck Hunters Organization, a leading conservation group working to raise ducks and secure the future of North American waterfowl hunting. Visit deltawaterfowl.org.
For more information, contact Brad Heidel at (651) 403-1772 or [email protected].