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Old duck decoys put to good use at Reelfoot Lake

Old duck decoys put to good use at Reelfoot Lake

Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013 12:00 pm

Old duck decoys at Reelfoot Lake are being re-purposed through a program started by the staff at Reelfoot Lake State Park.
“While most see an old duck decoy as useless, the staff at Reelfoot Lake State Park saw an opportunity,” park interpretive specialist David Haggard said. “These faded or sunken duck look-alikes are ideal for environmental education with children and school groups.”
Park staff drain the water from the old duck decoys and then cut the keels off the decoys.
From there, youngsters are provided with paint brushes and plenty of paint to go to work on the decoys.
The project is being described as entertaining as well as educational for the youngsters, and the program is also keeping the old decoys from littering the lake.
Waterfowl field guides are provided for those wanting to paint an accurate representation of any species, while others opt to set aside the field guide and be creative, according to Haggard.
Some creative youngsters have made fantastic ‘rainbow ducks’ or have painted decoys the colors of their favorite sports team.
“Throughout the painting process, park staff is actively involved, teaching the children about ducks, migrations, and answering questions,” Haggard said.
Obviously, this program would not be possible without old decoys. Duck hunters willing to donate their old or sunken decoys can bring them to the Reelfoot Lake State Park Visitor Center at 2595 State Route 21 East.
For more information about the program, call the Reelfoot Lake Visitors Center at (731) 253-9652 or email

Published in The Messenger 2.1.13


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