About the Guild

The Core Sound Decoy Carvers Guild is dedicated to the preservation of the waterfowl carving heritage that runs deep through the history of the Core Sound area in North Carolina. Our celebrated past is defined by many aspects beyond the art of carving decoys. People, decoys, duck calls, artists, photographers, folklore, and collectors are but a few of the many aspects of the Core Sound Decoy Carving heritage that make up the guild.

It is our mission to safeguard and preserve the memory of those pioneers who helped define the Core Sound decoy carving heritage by offering an honest view of the past, while increasing awareness and appreciation of waterfowl, and providing demonstrations and workshops so that the decoy carving heritage will continue on to the next generation.

The mission of the Core Sound Decoy Carvers Guild includes the following:

  • To document the history of decoy making and its development as a folk art form.
  • To increase awareness and appreciation of waterfowl and the need for protection of its natural habitat.
  • To provide demonstrations of traditional decoy making through workshops, classes and daily demonstrations.
  • To bring to this area decoy carvers, collectors, artists, photographers and waterfowl writers from other waterfowl regions of the United States.
  • To develop educational youth outreach programs.
  • To provide an annual decoy festival thereby presenting a showcase of decoy carving and wildfowl related art.

Raymond Earp, President
Jerry Talton, Vice President
June Bryan, Treasurer
Gail Gerringer, Secretary

Rusty Bryan
Wayne Davis
Joe Fulcher, Jr.
Joey Eubanks
Casey Arthur
Steve Hamilton
James Lewis
Davis Springle
Rodney Baker
Ken Brennan

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News and Events

Decoy Festival

FESTIVAL INFORMATION FOR:

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

The festival schedule is your one-stop location for the complete list of what’s happening on Decoy Festival weekend.

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YOUTH DAY ON SUNDAY

Youth 17 and under get free admission to the festival on Youth Day, but that’s only where the fun begins. There are special Door Prizes, Kids Decoy Painting, Youth Decoy Competition, Archery Experience and more for them to enjoy.

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FIND US – GOOGLE MAP

There’s only one way on and one way off of Harkers Island, but you gotta know where you’re going to get to that bridge that gets you there. This Google Map will do the trick.

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DECOY AND CARVING COMPETITIONS

You’ll find everything you need to join in on the decoy and carving competitions right here.

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COMPETITION RESULTS

Competition results are posted here as soon as become available following the festival activities.

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BEST OF SHOW PHOTOS

The festival takes over the art class room each year and sets up a professional photo studio so photos of each Best of Show winning decoy or carving can be taken right on the spot. More than just online images, the photos are used for various publications as well.

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EXHIBITOR/VENDOR FORM

Interested in becoming an exhibitor/vendor at the Core Sound Decoy Festival? Well fill out the application and we’ll be in touch.

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Featured Carver

William “Bill” Veasey

The 2018 Featured Carver is William “Bill” Veasey, Newark, Delaware, and the featured bird is a Belted Kingfisher.  

Although Bill Veasey is easily recognized as a renowned carver and carving educator, it’s not quite the career he planned on. As a young man Bill served in the U.S. Air Force, and attended Lebanon Valley College as an aspiring music teacher. However, an opportunity to try his talent at auctioneering arose, and he was hooked, thriving in the auction business until 1970. Around that time Bill began hunting with his brother-in-law, Bob Biddle, who carved waterfowl and encouraged Bill to give it a try.  Little did he know the impact that simple suggestion would have on his career plans and his life.

From humble beginnings, such as displaying his decoys in local Howard Johnson restaurants, Bill has spent the last 50 years perfecting his craft, teaching others, and, well, winning awards. Bill’s dedication to wildfowl art and conservation has earned him nearly 100 competition ribbons, as well as accolades such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Canvasback Award, the New Castle, Delaware Ducks Unlimited’s Carver of the Year award (2008), and Ducks Unlimited’s prestigious Golden Teal Award. He was inducted into the Easton Waterfowl Festival’s Hall of Fame in 1994, and Ducks Unlimited presented a pair of Bill Veasey green-winged teal to former president George H. W. Bush. It should come as no surprise, then, that Bill has also been honored as the 2014 Ward Foundation’s Living Legend Award. Just recently he was selected to paint the poster for the 2018 Clayton (NY) Decoy Show in addition to serving as the Featured Carver for the 31st Annual Core Sound Decoy Festival (Harkers Island, NC).

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Photo of Belted Kingfisher by Judy Gallagher [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Kids Programs

Throughout the year on the third Saturday of most months you will find Guild members working with budding decoy carvers and painters at the Guild workshop. From 10 am to 12 pm, youngsters from ages 7 to 15 gather to learn how to carve and paint ducks and shorebirds. Currently scheduled 2018 Kids Carving dates are: October 20th, and November 17th.  There is no Kids Carving in December.

To pre-register, call Dr. Stan Rule at his office at 252-240-5437. You may also e-mail Amie Talton. Please pre-register so we know how many kids to plan on!

Guild members who wish to volunteer to help with these sessions, please contact Stan Rule at 252-240-5437, or e-mail Amie.  Volunteers are always needed, so please make plans to join us for just a few hours on A Kids Carving Saturday!

The Core Sound Decoy Carvers Guild partners with the Down East Public Library each summer to participate in the Children’s Summer Reading Program, which offers a variety of fun activities for kids throughout June and July.  During the program, Guild volunteers share information about the selected bird and the kids are able to paint a wooden shorebird to take home.  It’s a great opportunity to share some of the history and heritage of Core Sound!

The Guild most recently visited the library on July 11th and presented a program on dowitcher shorebirds.  The children did a fantastic job painting their birds!

For more information on the Down East Public Library and the Children’s Summer Reading program, please call the library directly at 252-728-1333.

Each year the Core Sound Decoy Carvers Guild offers partial scholarships for up to 10 children to attend Camp Canvasback, which is held during July at the Eastern 4-H Center in Columbia, NC.  This amazing program encourages and educates young hunters on safety and waterfowl conservation.  Available for any youth aged 12 to 17, boys and girls participate in activities that lead them to a greater understanding of waterfowl biology, wetland ecology, hunting techniques and other conservation practices. Among these activities is the opportunity to carve and paint traditional Core Sound decoys, which is led by members of the Guild. First year campers will complete their hunter safety course and receive their hunter safety card which is required for a North Carolina Hunting License! Additional camp tracts allow campers to progressively build on many skills including, but not limited, to shotgun safety, shooting & firearm care, waterfowl identification, duck blind conservation, GPS navigation, first aid, and boat and water safety. 

Applications for scholarships can be found on the Guild’s website beginning March 1st, and applications are due by May 1st. For more information visit the Camp Canvasback website.

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