Norm Lawler’s Swamp Tales
The Decoy Man.
Whilst working at Fred Burns’ gun shop in the mid-1950s, every Saturday morning a young chap would come in and talk of the huge numbers of duck he and his party were shooting at Cressy on the Creeping Lakes.
I remarked to Fred: “This bloke is either a bragger or one hell of a duck hunter.”
One day he invited me to come down to Colac to see for myself. This I did, and upon arriving at Martins Lake, I was most impressed with their set-up.
The lake was large, open water with little or no cover, but each one of the group had dug a pit and covered it with fat hen and native grasses.
In front of each blind was a huge number of decoys and silhouettes; it sure was a sight.
Most hunters arriving laughed at all these funny ducks set out, as decoys were unknown to most hunters in those days.
But, when the shooting started they soon changed their minds, and this was my introduction to the Decoy Man and his hunting ability.
Over the next 40 years I hunted with Kevin Bond and always admired his ability with a gun and decoys, and even into his 70th year, he was still the keenest duck hunter I knew.
Every day during the season he would be out doing what he knew and did best: duck hunting at Lake Colac.
He would not only hunt daily in season but would spend closed season looking around and studying what lived on the lake and along the banks, the grasses and other vegetation. He was always a great student of the outdoors.
His decoys were used by many duck hunters and he even made them to be sent overseas to hunters who had visited him and enjoyed watching his decoys at work.
The quality of their size and colour had to be seen to be appreciated. One only had to ask him the colours of any of our waterfowl and he would rattle them off down to the last detail.
Kevin was not only a quality decoy maker, but also a talented artist. Many of his paintings are owned and displayed on the walls of gun clubs, sports stores and in many duck hunters’ homes, where there is an appreciation of our waterfowl and wetlands.
Of all the duck hunters I have met and shot with, Kevin would rank with the best.