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NAWCA co-sponsor donates decoys to Smithsonian

Canvasback decoys were hand-carved and painted by Rep. Mike Thompson (CA)
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  • Rep. Mike Thompson (CA) with the Director of the National Museum of American History at the decoy presentation ceremony.
    photo by Rep. Thompson’s office
  • Canvasback decoys hand-carved and painted by Rep. Mike Thompson (CA), which he donated to the National Museum of American History.
    photo by Rep. Thompson’s office
  • Underside of a canvasback decoy donated to the National Museum of American History.
    photo by Rep. Thompson’s office
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North American Wetlands Conservation Act co-sponsor Rep. Mike Thompson (CA) is a lifelong waterfowler, as well as a decoy carver. In March, he donated two canvasback decoys he carved in the early 1990s to the National Museum of American History, one of the 19 Smithsonian museums. He had used the decoys to hunt in the Klamath Basin and on the North Coast of California.

“Waterfowl hunting in the marsh is a wonderful experience, but it’s even better when you’re hunting over your own hand-carved and painted decoys,” said Thompson. 

The decoys were hollowed out and carved out of redwood.

Ducks Unlimited Director of Public Policy Dan Wrinn attended the donation ceremony at the Smithsonian museum.

“As a duck hunter and DU member, it’s exciting that the art of decoy carving has been archived in the nation’s premier museum of American history,” Wrinn said. “It’s also very fitting that Congressman Thompson, a long-time DU supporter on Capitol Hill, is the one who accomplished this.”

Thompson was recently inducted into the California Waterfowl Hall of Fame, where he was recognized for his passion for the traditions of waterfowling, one sign of which is that he is renowned as one of the foremost authorities on vintage California waterfowl decoys.
“While I don’t have as much time to carve and hunt because of my job in Congress, it’s through that job that I can work to make sure my kids and grandkids, and the generations that come after them, will have good hunting land. To me, that’s as satisfying as hunting over any hand carved decoy.”   

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