MEMPHIS, Tenn. – July 29, 2020 –This week’s episode of DU TV is a special “best of” edition featuring Louisiana decoy-carving legend Cal Kingsmill.
This is the first installment of back-to-back episodes showcasing decoy carvers with a rich DU legacy. Next week’s episode travels to New York state with carver Tom Humberstone.
Kingsmill is one of the last creole-style carvers, specializing in upswept tail decoys used in rivers in the New Orleans area. Handmade decoy tails used in the marshes there are flat.
Kingsmill is a mechanic by trade but loves to turn wood into working decoys.
“When you get a block of wood, you look at it and you think about what you can get out of it,” said Kingsmill. “A plastic decoy is just a plastic decoy, but a wooden decoy has got soul.”
Former DU TV co-host Field Hudnall hosted this episode south of New Orleans.
“Carving for Cal is like therapy,” Hudnall said. “You can tell as soon as he slings that mallet and the first chip flies off, he’s in another world.”
A special segment of the show features a letter sent home by Kingsmill’s uncle during World War II. His uncle, Calvin Kingsmill, is an Army private writing home about the coming duck season.
Hudnall and Kingsmill are joined by DU volunteer and donor Mike Benge. He’s a longtime duck hunter and DU supporter who believes in giving back.
“You’ve got an investment in the resource. You’ve got an investment in the sport,” Benge said. “Personally, I couldn’t be in the marsh enjoying what we do if I didn’t feel like I was putting something back in.”
DU TV airs Mondays at 1 a.m., Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m., Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. (all times Eastern) on the Pursuit Channel. All episodes, plus bonus content and classic episodes, can be found at www.ducks.org/dutv.
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Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 14.5 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.