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  Hunter-Craftsmen: Decoy and Duck Call Carvers

The hand-carved wooden birds that we view as fine examples of American folk art today were usually made to be working decoys of the carver when he went duck hunting. When some carvers' styles became well sought after by other hunters, the sale of decoys became another source of income for the carvers. As manufactured decoys of plastic and other materials dominated the sport of duck hunting, the old hand-carved birds became valued for their beauty and originality. Today decoys are collected, and new carvers are producing carved birds using old and modern tools and techniques.

The Illinois State Museum in Springfield, the Meredosia River Museum in Meredosia, and the Lakeview Museum in Peoria have collections of hand-made carved decoys and their accessories made by carvers of the central Illinois River Valley. These include:

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