Growing up on the refuge

Discussion in 'Decoy Forum' started by Woodduck31, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. Woodduck31

    Woodduck31 Elite Refuge Member Sponsor

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    Many of you probably don't remember that Caleb is the original woodduck31. He joined the refuge in 2003, the first year he duck hunted. I wasn't a part of the computer age much at that point and knew nothing about forums and such. I think he started out with the name "skybuster" on here and took so much heat over the name he got David to change it to "woodduck31". The 31 was his number in baseball at the time. I started watching the forums a bit when he would bring something to my attention and then occasionally would even post on his account, but always signing "the dad" at the end of a post. The forum actually was a great source for him to learn about duck hunting. We would talk about a lot of what people were writing, what was right, what was wrong. It basically gave us a platform for discussing important life lessons like decoying ducks.

    Here is a photo from that first year. We were actually coming home from a sage grouse hunt and found a stock pond out in the middle of the sage brush that held some ducks. We returned for opening day and Caleb was able to get his first duck. He shot it with my old 870 I got when I was 16, kind of a nice way to continue a tradition.


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    His photo reminds me of my first mallard back in 1969

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    Caleb has always been about duck hunting, but 4 years of college reduced his hunting days way more than he would have liked. Baseball was paying for school, so it was necessary to be away in southern California for a few years, but now he is back and firmly settled into his daily love of waterfowling. We have the blessing of being able to be involved in duck hunting every day of the year, either hunting or making decoys. When it's break time at work he can take the short walk over to the river to watch ducks. Every time we walk over to watch ducks we make observations about what things we might need to change, we will note that the back on the mallards need to be lighter or the chest darker, just little adjustments that make the decoys he paints better. He's going to be better with an airbrush than I am, that is beyond any doubt at this point. He's learning a lot about production painting with his job working for Blue Collar Decoys. The repaints he has started doing lately with Blue Collar have blown my mind, flambeaus never looked so good.

    Caleb
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    Josh started duck hunting at about the same time, although he is older. He works with me every day. While I do all the carving on the foam decoys, I don't see them again till they are ready for bills, eyes and paint. He does all the flocking and all the burlapping. Those are some of the more thankless jobs, but crucial to the quality of the decoys. Josh spent a lot of time in baseball too, but ended up working at a few warehouse jobs over the years. His last season of baseball was playing in a summer college league for Bill Buckner (an avid duck hunter by the way). It was always a lot of fun to watch him, he was a left handed fastballer. He is severely dyslexic, so never did get to play college ball other than summer leagues. I can remember that last season watching him ride his harley into the ball park in the seventh inning after hauling furniture for 12 hours. We could all hear him arrive of course, I'm sure the other teams started to listen for it too. He would go change in the hitting barn and head for the bull pen till Bill would give the call for the closer and then it was lights out. It was like a man amongst boys. He once had 5 strikeouts in one inning, figure that one out, (two dropped third strikes, the catcher had a lot of trouble with that left handed slider).

    Those days are gone now and it's all about ducks, decoys and duck hunting. I can look out across a pile of foamers every day and see both of my boys doing what they love, it's a good life, a blessing from God that I don't take for granted.

    Here is Josh doing a little "field testing".

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    Josh
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  2. goosehunter64

    goosehunter64 Elite Refuge Member

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    God Bless you and your boys Don.....the apples didn't fall far from the tree. They are model sons, kids & citizens...congrats :tu:tu:clap
     
  3. dog duck gun

    dog duck gun Elite Refuge Member

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    Nothing like hunting with family members.
     
  4. BIG BANG

    BIG BANG Elite Refuge Member

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    We are extremly lucky(blessed really) we have sons that love to do what we love to do! i thank God everyday for that!
     
  5. Atown

    Atown Senior Refuge Member

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    I was lucky enough to talk with Josh at the Oregon Waterfowl Festival, and could tell right away he was a class act. I think their decoys and customer service are above and beyond. Keep up the good work:tu

    Austin
     
  6. JTS

    JTS Elite Refuge Member

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    Awesome post. All the best to you and your sons Don. May you always enjoy doing what you all love so dearly.

    You have helped many people in the decoy game. If your signature is correct you'll live to be over 100.

    Cheers,
    JTS
     
  7. rubberduckie

    rubberduckie Senior Refuge Member Sponsor

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    Nice post. Thanks for all your help.
     
  8. duckwhackercmon

    duckwhackercmon Senior Refuge Member

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    Don,

    Great post! I bet it is great to be working side by side with your family. I wish you and BCD good luck in your business endeavors.

    David
     
  9. Dabbler_E

    Dabbler_E Senior Refuge Member

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    What a great post. Thanks Don and Caleb and Josh!
     
  10. skagit

    skagit Senior Refuge Member

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    Wonderful write up Don! You are a blessed man to have such a great family and talent's.:clap
     

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