The value of a decoy

Rare decoys can fetch high prices.

As the old saying goes, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

And for some collectors there is nothing more beautiful and valuable than a classic duck decoy or duck call.

Henry Geise is one of those collectors.

I'm a third generation, says Geise. "My granddad started hunting back in the 1880s."

Henry Geise has had a life long love affair with hunting.

His grandfather, also named Henry started making wooden decoys once live decoys were outlawed around the turn of the century. But over time wooden decoys have become more than just bait for birds.

They have become rare and valuable collectors items.

On Sunday afternoon, avid lifetime collector Jack Freiburg explained to a group gathered at the John Wood Museum that the bird calls and decoys are considered folk art and that's what makes them so collectable.

"Folk art pieces are usually form and function," Freiburg said. "By that I mean ... for instance if you've got a trade sign that is a trade sign outside of a tavern in the 1830s, a lot of times they'll have some kind of rooster or some other item on them. It had the function of action as a sign but it also had the form of the carving of the rooster that's incredibly attractive."

The auction price for some of these items may amaze you.

"The world record duck decoy sold at auction for $867,000 and the world record duck call sold for $103,500," Freiburg said.

Henry Geise family has been hunting in this area for many, many years.

Both Freiburg and Geise say that collecting is a great way for younger hunters to lean more about the sport.

"I started years ago collecting duck decoys and then duck calls," Geise said. "And it's, it's very interesting. If you get into the heritage of the sport."

"For me it's a very appealing kind of art," Freiburg said. "Multiple generations of my family have been doing this and I just think it's a great hobby in addition to my hunting and fishing activities."