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Working decoy
Black Duck, Working decoy, 1974; Bob Brophy (b. 1932); Essex, Massachusetts; Wood, paint; 6 3/4 x 15 1/2 x 7 1/2 in.; Collection of the artist; Photography by Jason Dowdle
Black Duck, Working decoy, 1974
Bob Brophy (b. 1932)
Essex, Massachusetts
Wood, paint
6 3/4 x 15 1/2 x 7 1/2 in.
Collection of the artist
Photography by Jason Dowdle
Bob Brophy working on a decoy: 2000:
verticle bar Artist
Bob Brophy
Essex, MA
Here you see a black duck working decoy. For working decoys, it is more about use than looks. Jonathan Detwiler, an avid duck hunter from Norwell, explains, "If the decoy wasn't of the proper proportions, if it didn't have the proper coloring or didn't ride in the water right, the ducks wouldn't come to it."

Bob Brophy would know. He grew up on a small farm in Easton. Both his decoy carving and hunting began in his early teens. The family hunted for fowl and game, especially deer, in the Halamonk Swamp. Hunting was a natural part of the calendar year and a necessary food source during the winter months. Brophy is a superb wildfowl decoy carver who has won numerous decoy competitions. He has shelves full of decoys - and he puts them to use.
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