When the Broadbill was King on Great South Bay

The March 7 Show – Hauppauge, Long Island

1 WhenBBKing cover image

I am putting this notice on my site just so anyone can view a bunch of the images that will be part of the exhibit on March 7 – the Annual Show of the Long Island Decoy Collectors Association – and also on the DVD.     The DVD – with both the 87-minute documentary and over 300 vintage images in a slide show – will be available at the show ($10) or later by mail ($20) from me (in my role as LIDCA member).


Here is the Press Release:

Long Island Decoy Collectors Association Annual Show



Craig Kessler     ckesslerducks@gmail.com     516-639-8480

Steve Sanford     sjaysanford@gmail.com     518-677-5064

THEME:                             WHEN the BROADBILL was KING on GREAT SOUTH BAY

DATE:                                 Saturday, March 7, 2015

LOCATION:                    IBEW Hall #25, 370 Motor Parkway,  Hauppauge, LI, NY

INFORMATION:           www.lidecoycollectors.org


The history of market hunting for waterfowl has been told many times. What has yet to be told, however, is the era that followed the demise of market hunting and its deadliest “tools” – the batteries and sinkboxes that were finally banned in the mid-1930s. For the next half-century, though, Long Island’s Great South Bay still held hundreds of thousands of Broadbill (aka Greater Scaup) each fall and winter. And the many guides – who had first hunted for the market and then later “took out parties” of sportsmen and women – still hunted this grand bird. Their big broadbill rigs had a large cabin boat to serve as the tender, often an open stool boat to carry and handle just the decoys, and a “scooter” to replace the battery as the open water blind. Gunners stayed warm on the tender – often around a stove with a hot mug of coffee or stew – and watched the rig while awaiting their turn in the scooter. This year’s Show will celebrate this exceptional era in American waterfowling – which many Long Islanders can still recall from firsthand experience.

Since last spring, retired Ducks Unlimited Director Craig Kessler and former NYSDEC Waterfowl Biologist Steve Sanford have been leading a team of veteran duck hunters from Great South Bay. Together, they have been collecting stories, photographs, decoys, gear and even boats. The special exhibit will showcase many of the rigs from the wide open parts of Great South Bay – from Patchogue in the east to Babylon in the west.

In addition to decoys from each rig, the Decoy Collectors display will include a couple of boats – one an original Dodge & Krowl “whaleback”, a big screen with hundreds of vintage photographs and an 87-minute documentary film. You can see a teaser for When the Broadbill was King on Great South Bay at: https://vimeo.com/116558936     A DVD with the documentary and over 300 slides will be available – $10 at the show and $20 later on by mail.

The goal of this exhibit is to attract and inform waterfowlers from all over – and Long Islanders from all walks of life. Anyone interested in local families, maritime history, folk art and bay ecology will find something to learn and enjoy. And, when not admiring the thousands of antique decoys and other collectibles throughout the Show, everyone can enjoy hot foods available from the landscape of Long Island and Great South Bay.


And here are some stills from the Exhibit and Slide Show:


Hope to see you there!

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