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Canada Goose Decoy

02/18/2014

One in 8.5 Million

The Virginia Historical Society has been collecting since 1831.  Included in our unique collection are 8-million processed manuscripts, 200,000 books, 290,000 prints and photographs, and 32,000 museum objects documenting the daily lives and times of all Virginians.  The object featured here offers one opportunity to look into the past.  Millions more treasures await you at our headquarters in Richmond, by appointment at Virginia House, and online at vahistorical.org.

Canada Goose Decoy

Goose Decoy made by Miles Henry Hancock with wood, paint, lead, and steel tacks. (Virginia Historical Society, 1996.61.7)

Goose decoy made by Miles Henry Hancock with wood, paint, lead, and steel tacks. (Virginia Historical Society, 1996.61.7)

Decoys—like this one made by Miles Henry Hancock (1887-1974) of Chincoteague, Virginia—are used to entice wild birds to land within range of a hunter’s gun. After the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 ended the mass shooting of water fowl for commercial sale, Hancock made decoys and served as a guide for sport hunters who traveled to the Eastern Shore. Today, the goose population is not only thriving, but factors such as climate change and urban development have resulted in a resident goose population that no longer migrates seasonally.

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