from my personal hunting rig
This decoy is probably my favorite style in the entire rig. It’s my own design, both body style and paint, but it is loosely based on the famous preening Wigeon by the great Elmer Crowell of East Harwich, Massachusetts, out on Cape Cod. Crowell was, like “Shang” Wheeler, one of the truly great carvers, but most collectors and experts agree that Crowell was THE greatest painter of all the old time decoy makers. I was at the auction in 1986 when a Crowell preening Wigeon brought nearly $90,000. That was considered an incredible amount of money at the time, but recently a Crowell Canada Goose and a preening Pintail brought over $1,300,000 each, and one of his marvelous shorebirds went at auction for nearly $900,000.
All that aside, I just like the look. It gives the decoy spread the variety and character that sets a rig apart from 3 dozen plastic decoys that all look nearly exactly alike. I have probably sold more of these “preeners” than any other style and right now this is the last one that I have, although I will make more. (Call me in case this one is gone.)