The Manitoba teal rig 2012

So I have been carving decoys on and off for quite a few years now and recently it has went from a causal past time to another of my many obsessions. I am not entirely sure of this but I think Laura prefers this obsession to my others since at least when I am consuming all my free time carving I am at home instead of for example when I am obsessed with a wintertime trap line and gone dark to dark three days a week. This most recent rig of teal was created for our Manitoba hunts. We have several small water spots up there were the teal are thick and since we had to eat 60 ducks during our 6 day trip this year to stay below our possession limit and stay legal shooting teal is extremely important. After all its easier to eat two teal in a sitting then it is to eat two mallards. In addition to use in Manitoba the rig will be used the first few weeks of season here in the UP as well. I am really quite happy with this rig of nine it seems to be a perfect number for a teal rig. Next year two will be removed from the rig and replaced. Those two being removed were started the day my twin niece and nephew were born and after those two little green wings are hunting for a year I will set them aside and the next time they hunt will be by the twins. I imagine during the Ohio teal season.

All my decoys are carved from local white cedar when called for I also use locally milled basswood for heads and white ash inlays for strength on wingtips for example. Decoys are hollowed hand carved and hand painted with oil pant.

The light was never really good for pictures in Manitoba but here you go… working decoys doing the work.

Manitoba hunting trip 2012.

Another Manitoba hunting trip has come and gone. I was joined again this year by my good friends Doug and Robby along with my dog Bella and Rob’s dogs Cali and Drake. All Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and all are related to each other though various parents. Although labs have been on previos trips, Chessies are becoming the breed of choice among my closes hunting friends.

Opening morning, September 8th, found us in a cut wheat field waiting on Mallards and Canada Geese. God was kind to us this morning with a beautiful sunrise leaving me this view from my blind.

Bella at sunrise or perhaps a" bella sunrise".

The morning was picture perfect and it rained both mallards and geese at times. The dogs worked well and the hunt was over quickly leaving us the rest of the day for scouting, exploring new areas and generally enjoying ourselves.



Hello world!

Apparently its appropriate to title your first blog post hello world. So I will follow in that tradition. This site was created to give myself and my wife a way to share our adventures in the UP of Michigan with our friends and family. Since most of our recreation is outdoors related, with hunting, fishing, trapping and exploring the wilds. The majority of our posts to the blog will be about those area’s but if something else interesting comes along we will be sure to share that as well. What you wont see on this blog are tons of links to commercial products. Yes I use all sorts of gear in the field and some of it is really well built but I tire quickly of those that use the outdoors to promote themselves and the products they are pushing. You won’t find any black hoodies in the pictures nor will you find any prostaff memberships. For me hunting is about the traditions of the past and nature. The less complicated the process the better.


As a bit of a test to learn more about this process I am going to insert Madi’s decoys. I do quite a bit of decoy carving and these two were started on Madolin’s eighth birthday this year. I finished them this week and they are rigged and ready to hunt. Carved of our local white cedar and painted with oil paints I suspect they will last long enough that hopefully I will find myself sitting with Madi and my grandkids someday hunting over them.