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Decoy competitions draw bigger crowds

By By MIKE VOSS, Contributing Editor
Bob Nelson of New London, Ohio, may not have been at the East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships this past weekend in Washington, but the redhead drake decoy he carved was a notable attendee.
Nelson’s decoy was the first-place winner in the North Carolina Decoy Carving competition. Nelson received a $1,250 purchase award for winning the decoy-carving championship. The decoy, purchased by the East Carolina Wildfowl Guild, which organizes and presents the festival, will be displayed at the North Carolina Estuarium in Washington.
Asked how she would rate this year’s North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships, Sullivan said, “Just superior is all I can say.”
Carvers submitted about 350 entries in the competitions this year, Sullivan said. Entries came from the mid-Atlantic states, Ohio, Minnesota and as far away as California, she said.
Sullivan also was pleased with the number of visitors who came to the Redmen’s Lodge on East Third Street, where the carving competitions were conducted.
Mark Castilow took first place in the North Carolina Ducks Unlimited Working Decoy Carving Championship. All entries in that division were drake greater scaups.
Charles Holloman of Greenville won the International Wildfowl Carvers Association/Tri-County Telephone Membership Corporation World Canvas Gunning Decoy Division competition. His winning entry was a surf scooter.
The O’Neal’s Drug Store Carolina Gunning Decoy Division competition was won by Nelson. All entries were drake green wing teals.
The William J. Gregory Pairs Competition was won by Jack Cox of Camden. All entries were canvasbacks. Cox also won the Pamlico Gunning Shorebirds competition.
Peter Palumbo of New York won the open class in the miniatures competition.
The Pamlico River Gunning Pairs Competition was won by James Lewis of Harker’s Island. All entries were diver decoys.
Raleigh resident Mark Strucko won the decorative heads competition. All entries were green wing teal drake busts.
The Traditional Gunning Decoys contest was won by Walter Gaskill of Beaufort. He also won the Pamlico Hen Smooth Gunning Decoy contest.
Al Jordan of New York won the open class in the decorative lifesize (nonfloating) competition.
Tommy Rogers of Snow Hill won the open class in the decorative lifesize (floating) contest.
All three in swan, were from N.C.