Decades ago, hunters would buy decoys made of cork or wood to help them catch a duck. But as plastic decoys came onto the scene, the industry was forced to change. Now, the hand-made ones have become collectible pieces of art. As our Brian Dwyer reports, one of the most popular carvers called the North Country home, and recently the nation got to see what he was able to do.
WOODVILLE, N.Y. -- Once designed specifically for hunting, duck decoys have become a very collectible form of art, and a local carver's work is right near the top. Recently, the popular television show, Pawn Stars, featured three duck decoys from well-known North Country carver, Ken Harris.
The ducks weren't even in the best condition, but still sold for more than $100 per piece. Harris' works from the 1920s through the 1980s are in high demand from collectors, with some big pieces going for thousands of dollars.
Before he died in 1981, Harris sold his business in Woodville to his apprentices, Tom and Linda Ferguson. Tom led the way carving ducks until he died five years ago, now Linda does it on her own.
Their pieces are starting to gain momentum in the industry, and Linda said Ken Harris was a huge influence on why.
"He taught us reputation goes a long way. You're fair to someone and you don't try to take them. Tell them just what it is, and how it was made, give them a fair price. I'd say reputation over everything is what I got from Ken," said Linda, Ferguson Decoys.
Linda said one day she hopes her ducks will be on a show like Pawn Stars or Antiques Roadshow.