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Duck Decoys

“My name is Randy Clark and I’ve been painting duck decoys for a little over 40 years.

“Ducks are kind of a neat animal, I think God spent a little extra time when he created the ducks. The carving trap is located just north of Cromp, which is not far from the shores of Saginaw Bay. Saginaw Bay traditionally has been surrounded by wetlands so we have probably over 40 different species of ducks that migrate through here and I think I’ve carved most of the species that go through here at one time or another and I’ve been teaching carving now for over 40 years.

“A little fancier decoy for myself”

“The guys that come out here and carve are more my friends than students. The neat thing about carving is that you can carve something different every day. I like to carve working decoys that I’m going to go out and hunt with. Sometimes I’ll do a decorative carving, just a hunting decoy, I can do that in two to three hours. What I usually end up doing is carving a little fancier decoy for myself. The duck doesn’t care, but I have to sit and look at that decoy for eight or ten hours while I’m hunting.

The carvings I have here I’ve probably spent anywhere from eight hours to maybe as much as 15 on a decoy. I guess my definition of art is creating an emotion and if this creates an emotion in you then I’ve created art. If it’s just a tool to go hunting with then I’m a decoy carver, so it depends on who it is asking and what you’re going to do with it. But I do enjoy being more than just a wood carver. Of course the stock answer when someone asks you what is your favorite carving is has always got to be the next one; to me the next one is the one I’m waiting for.”