Outdoors Notebook

Waterfowl decoys up for bid at festival

CorrespondentDecember 4, 2013 

Four years ago, Paul Harrington thought he was picking up a duck decoy that his wife won in a silent auction. He ended up with a hobby, too.

Fascinated by the craftsmanship of the Core Sound Decoy Carvers Guild, the New Bern resident found himself back on Harkers Island, where he will be the guild member running the live auction Saturday at the 26th Core Sound Decoy Festival in Carteret County.

“I fully intended to give the man my money and take the bird and drive home but ended up spending two hours,” Harrington said by phone Monday. “I was just fascinated.”

Slicing into three fingers during his initial lessons didn’t deter him, and now he says he “can make something that you would identify as a duck.”

The real skill, he says, belongs to other guild members. “The talent is amazing,” said Harrington, who retired to New Bern from Northern Virginia.

That talent will be on display at Harkers Island Elementary School. Bidders at the 1 p.m. Saturday auction will find new and vintage decoys from carvers, collectors and estates. Harrington said 120 lots of one or more birds will be up for bid, with selling prices typically ranging from $20 to $1,500.

Festival hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10-4 Sunday. Proceeds benefit the school and carving demonstrations at shows around the state. Find a schedule of the festival’s International Wildfowl Carvers Association competitions plus several waterfowl calling contests at www.decoyguild.com.

Also on the island Friday-Sunday is the Core Sound Waterfowl Weekend celebration at the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum. An auction of decoys, guns and other gear starts at 5 p.m. Saturday. Learn more at www.coresound.com.

Donate deer: The N.C. Hunters for the Hungry mobile cooler will return to the Pitt Family Farm next week.

Hunters may donate deer Dec. 12-14 west of Pinetops at N.C. 42 and Pitt Farm Lane. The project with the St. Lewis Ruritan Club and the N.C. Wildlife Federation’s Farmers Manage Deer program will help people in Edgecombe County.

Call program managers Guy and Judy Gardner at (919) 250-8441. Donate processing fees at www.nchuntersforthehungry.org.

Deadline soon: If you’re planning to give a 2014 calendar from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s N.C. Wild Store, order by Friday to guarantee mail delivery by Dec. 24. Order other gifts by Tuesday. Go to www.ncwildlife.org.

Gift Idea: A gift-giver looking for something different can give a gift certificate to the wildlife commission’s April 11-13 Becoming an Outdoors-Woman weekend workshop at the Eastern 4-H Center in Tyrrell County.

The $225 fee includes lodging, meals, materials and equipment use. Order at www.ncwildstore.com/bowgice or call (866) 945-3746.

Recreational meeting: The Coastal Recreational Fishing License Committee of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet at 1 p.m. Dec. 10 at the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Central District Office, 5285 U.S. 70 W., Morehead City.

The agenda includes public comment on CRFL issues, plus the review and approval of grant proposals. For details, call (252) 808-8004 or email beth.govoni@ncdenr.gov.

Send news and announcements to outdoors@newsobserver.com.

Boggess: boggess.teri@gmail.com; Twitter: @BoggessT

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