When planning an ambush, a decoy is often used.  The United States Military utilizes decoys and has for many years.  Modern day hunters depend on them each and every year. As a result, manufacturers of decoys have thrived.  However, this money guzzling enterprise on which hunters wholly depend has humble roots that begin with the Native Americans.

Survival of the Fittest

This decoy from the early 1900s models its predecessors perfectly. Using wood and feathers from prior kills, these rudimentary works of art were an effective lure for waterfowl.
This decoy from the early 1900s models its predecessors perfectly. Using wood and feathers from prior kills, these rudimentary works of art were an effective lure for waterfowl.

Hunters of the ancient world did not have an easy task ahead of them.  Rudimentary tools and primitive methods of hunting often left them unprepared and unfed. Hunting with a bow and arrow was not easy.  However, as early as 400 B.C.E., the modern day act of hunting waterfowl began.  Ancient tribes of American Indians utilized incredibly complex and artistic decoys to deceive waterfowl in an effort to feed their people.  Lifelike, handcrafted decoys created out of wood, hemp, and feathers from past kills, allowed hunters to bring waterfowl within meters of their bow and arrow. This allowed the hunt to become slightly easier on the hunter.

The Evolution of Deception

Do I look like a duck, or a big fat check? Check the signature on my underbelly and find out!
Do I look like a duck or a big fat check? Check the signature on my underbelly and find out!

Creating a duck decoy was a time consuming for centuries to come.  However, they proved to be effective.  It was not until the 1960’s that the production of waterfowl decoys became mainstream.  Modern day technology combined with a passion for the sport created a boom in the creation of these beautiful masters of deception. Handcrafted duck decoys, while depended on for literally centuries, became a fine-tuned art.  Mass production of these decoys flooded the hunting industry with effective and inexpensive hunting assets. However, don’t let a handcrafted duck pass you by in a thrift store.  While it is outdated and unused, the hand carved duck decoy created by the right artist is known to fetch anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few hundred thousand!

Yes, this everyday necessity for hunters could bring you not just food on your plate, but a fat bank account too.

 

 

 

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