Decoy Pattern Thread

Chuck J

Well-known member
Hey all,

I talked about this a while back, but Carl and John recently cornered me on the subject, so let's get the ball rolling. Please post up decoy patterns as a reply in this thread. From an intellectual property rights standpoint, please only post patterns you created, patterns others gave you permission to post here, or patterns others have posted elsewhere on and you thought they should be here for ease of access (but please give credit to the original artist). Scans or good quality photos with scale shown such that members can print and enlarge to proper size. I'll start another thread on methods of enlargening patterns to help people to get these pictures on a screen to a usable pattern in hand. If you need help getting a pattern to a photo to post, let me know, I can (try to) help with that too.

Here is a Bob McGaw style blue bill that I drew up using pictures of his decoys as reference. I botched the upper side of the head as it sits on the paper but the lower side is what I had intended. Very easy and fast decoy to make with a hatchet, spokeshave and knife.
Using 11x17 paper select "print to fit" and it should print to the right scale.

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Another from Paully Rutgers:

Here's my monster can pattern. I make them as big as the wood I have but an be scaled down. The outermost line on the overhead view near the breast is for the sleeper. The inner for the rest. At full size I have been adding about 1/2" to the bottom of these. Because they are so wide they will look odd without side pockets cut in.


Finished product


From Pat Gregory:

I was encouraged to see Chuck's post on the patterns in Carvers Corner. I'll post some of mine up for others to use. Let me know if you have something in mind.

Sharing decoy patterns was common amoungst the vintage carvers. My great grandpa used patterns by Robert Elliston, Charles Perdew and, G. Bert Graves. Here are some samples of his patterns. Even a couple his old hunting licenses in this shot...

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Pat Gregory
Illinois Waterfowler and Decoy Maker

"Not hunting your decoys is like training your retriever and never letting him hunt..."
More from Pat:

When I first started carving decoys, I used my great grandpa's patterns. Today, from time to time, I'll use them when I get the urge to do some traditional Illinois River Decoys. However, I have a plethera of my own patterns today. And, any duck hunter who carves his own decoys has the best source of patterns going, the birds themselves. After harvesting a duck or goose I especially like, I take it home before I clean it, and make a pattern. One of the great satisfactions I have as a decoy carver today is to see a decoy go from concept (from a pattern from the real bird) to completed decoy. This past season I took a couple of specklebelly geese down at our duck club. Both were mature birds but one was especially nice. I made a pattern from him and, today, he got carved... I even made a sleeper pattern from him. These pair are going in my 2013 rig...

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i'm not sure if this is the right place for this post , if not i'll move it.
i recently cut down some cedar trees and would like to try my hand at carving some time in the future as i retire . i have been holding on to a ducks unlimited edition from march/ april 2007 with the front cover showing a picture of some old gear including mallard decoys . i really like the looks of them and i'm wondering if any of you recognizes the carver and knows where i might be able to obtain the patterns for them .

I'm also looking for information on what dimension to cut the lumber for the blocks .

I could submit a picture of the cover but would need some help doing so. thanks , tony