A few years back I bought a Sterlingworth Fox double barrel, side by side, 28 inch barrel, double trigger shotgun with the intention of shooting a duck the way they did in the old days. The bores looked good (no pits). It had been restocked but that was the only unoriginal thing about the gun. Finally this season, accompanied by a couple of good friends at the marsh (Pintail Marsh) on our farm, I shot that Mallard drake in classic style. I felt more satisfaction shooting that duck with the Sterlingworth Fox than any other duck I have ever shot.
The old duck hunters who live on today know exactly how I feel. Most did not hunt ducks out of necessity to make a living or feed their family. They hunted for the satisfaction of shooting a fine gun; making a great shot resulting in a quick clean kill, watching a well- trained dog work, and spending time with good friends and family. It’s the satisfaction of carrying on a tradition. A large part of the duck hunting tradition involves the old wooden decoys which the old duck hunters used and we collect today.
Most of us know why we collect decoys. It’s about tradition and history…we hunt; our elders hunted. There is a connection of some sort or another. However, for a small number of decoy collectors who have collected for years, there is no connection. These collectors collect just because they like them. I’ve been told, by people who should know, that the number of people who have no connection to the old decoys but just like them is growing in leaps and bounds and that these people are the future of decoy collecting. I think that is great! The future of decoy collecting is safe and not dead or dying as many may think. Happy Days!!
— Vaughn B. Walters