A pile of dadâ€™s old decoys still sit in the corner of my den. Among them are some classic all-cork Herterâ€™s mallards and a few Carry-Lite black ducks. Their role is primarily decorative, but once a season I dig them out, rig them with Tanglefree line (admittedly an odd pairing with vintage decoys), and shoot ducks over dadâ€™s blocks. Itâ€™s great fun, but itâ€™s also a reminder of how far production waterfowl decoys have come.
When the old man bought his first decoys, they were essentially the best a working man could afford. And yet, compared to the decoys of today, they appear rather cartoonish. These days thereâ€™s no excuse for hunting over unrealistic decoys. The trends are two-fold: Flocked and extremely detailed at the upper price points, and smaller, affordable blocks that achieve a great deal of realism in their own right. I canâ€™t help but wonder what my father wouldâ€™ve thought if he encountered any of the fine fakes featured here.
Price: $75 (pre-rigged)