Duck Decoys

Bruce Urben


Bruce and his wife Diane live north of Pulaski in the middle of nowhere! Bruce has been an avid waterfowler since the 1960’s, hunting in many states but grew up hunting in the northwoods of Wisconsin. He worked in a career with the Department of Natural Resources for 38 years, retiring and currently(2019), President of the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association.

His love of waterfowling has turned into a passion for decoys, both carving and collecting. He has been hand carving wooden decoys since the early 2000’s but more actively since his retirement from his career with the DNR. Many of his first decoys were carved and used in his own hunting rigs. Bruce carves contemporary antique decoys and gunning blocks but more and more of his decoys are found on collectors shelves around the Midwest.

Bruce’s carving inspiration and style in contemporary antiques comes from several influential carvers including Elliston, Crowell, Dudley and East Coast Schools but is most comfortable with working decoys in realistic positions. Diver ducks seem to be his decoy of choice for carving. Bruce has been mentored by National and Master Competitor carver, Mike Pierce, originally from Illinois but now is Wausau Wisconsin.

Bruce has won numerous awards in recent Midwest competition including Best of show, First and Second in Division and first in species for many entries.

His decoys are primarily carved from white cedar and basswood, much of which he personally harvests, cuts and drys. His decoys are traditionally hollowed for hunting to minimize weight and insure a high swimming decoy. He paints in artist oils.