Duck Decoys

Gus Moak



August "Gus" Moak learned his carving skills from his father Charles “Root” Moak who brought his family to Wisconsin from Bremen, Germany in 1858. The family made their home in the town of Bloomfield, near Tustin which is located on Lake Poygan. This lake was well known at the time for large wild celery beds that attracted huge flocks of canvasbacks, redheads, bluebills and teal and, of course, many hunters. In addition to carving decoys, Moak built boats and marsh ski's for a living. Gus Moak is believed to have started carving around 1870 and continued into the early 1900's. Gus married Minnie Kopiske in the early 1880’s and their daughter Laura was born in 1885. Their son Elmer was born in 1894. Minnie died in 1895 and Elmer was raised by 2 other families while Laura remained with Gus. Laura married and moved to Iron Mountain, Michigan. Around 1923 Gus began living with Laura and her husband during the winters and returned to Bloomfield in the warmer months. He was living in Iron Mountain in 1943 when he died from a fall in which he suffered a severely broken leg. He is buried at Quinnesec Cemetery. Gus carved mostly canvasbacks and bluebills, but a few geese have been found by lucky collectors. Moaks high quality hollow bodied decoys have held up for over a century for collectors to enjoy. The decoys are some of the finest from the Badger State! And definitely some of the oldest.