Fall 2023 President’s Corner

Rick Sandstrom

Our 2023 event was fun and successful. Thank you for the tremendous support!

I made my first trip to duck camp in October of 1960 and was fortunate enough to stick one of grandpa’s decoys in my bag. It was a simple solid cedar block with a flat bottom, painted black with a white wing patch on the side and a moveable head. It worked very well, and we were excited to see many bluebills visit our rigs during that opening hunt. Our hunt camp is in the Minnesota Duck Camp book, and it allowed me to reconnect with Grubby Gillespie, my hunting partner from that first hunt. Except for a brief hunt, while returning from my Army tour, I have been blessed to hunt over wooden decoys my entire life in many different locations.

My current rig, Journey’s End, has evolved and includes creations from various vintage and modern carvers. Liz and I have also built a fun rig of wood ducks from over a dozen carvers. My experience teaches me that the wooden decoy is unique, and the talented people who create them are a blessing to us all. Our collecting journey has given us the extraordinary opportunity to learn more about our culture and heritage, and meet great people, which would not have been possible without our hobby. We all collect for a wide range of reasons, and that is the beauty of our organization.

The work for our annual event happens well in advance of the calendar, and we are now touching the agenda for 2024, 2025, and 2026. The room plans, educational seminars, and member coordination get constant attention as we work through the details to integrate all the different perspectives. Every year is different, and things change right up to each day of the event.

Alan Haid and Jim Atkin were lifelong collectors who significantly contributed to our organization and hobby. Their collections will be part of the Guyette and Deeter April sale at our event in 2024, and the opportunity to see this offering in person should not be missed. Seeing and learning from some of the best creations is a tremendous opportunity. The learning that we acquire from seeing 500 to 600 items in in one place and being able to discuss our perspective with the country’s premier collectors is tremendous. Add to that 150 selling rooms and 250 tables at the show; no other event offers this learning and buying opportunity. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us.

Our next effort is to continue to develop the tools to support our operations. We want to create content to allow collectors to learn and engage with the hobby. Everyone is busy, and we are determined to enable collectors to educate themselves on their own terms. The internet has certainly made this task easier. We would appreciate any assistance you can contribute to expedite this startup.

Thank you to Steve Johnston and Kurt Woodworth for managing a seamless Treasurer transition. We are in a solid financial position and have been able to place some of our funds in CDs and an attractive money market position. We have emerged from the COVID challenges better.

All the best for a successful fall hunt for both decoys and ducks. Stay strong!

Our best regards!