Using the protection of a mid-day rain storm, a cowardly and despicable deed was carried out on Lake Bistineau this past Monday.
Some low-life individual(s) decided to steal all of my decoys. The decoys they stole weren’t just any decoy. The majority were the Model #72 Herters which are not being manufactured anymore and have almost overnight become a collector’s item.
Present day value of these decoys are between $9 and $12 each. The total value of what they took comes in just shy of $3,000. This being a felony theft, I called the Sheriff’s Department.
During their investigation I was told that it would be illegal for me to offer a reward for the death and/or dismemberment of the perpetrators so therefore I cannot offer a reward for the death and/or dismemberment of these thieves.
Putting aside the monetary loss, what these thieves actually took from me goes way beyond a price tag. This duck season has been virtually cut short. There is no way for me to get 150 decoys rigged, ready, transported, and put out to hunt. All this years past preparations, of building new docks, building new blinds, re-working and refurbishing old blinds, getting the camp ready, etc. Right now it all seems to have been for nothing.
What they actually stole from me is my desire to duck hunt. Right now I am “pissed” so I know that this feeling will pass and my passion for duck hunting will return.
But after storing up 40+ years of wonderful memories, this one will always be in the forefront and be one that I will never forget. And for the few years I still have left to hunt, there will always be the nagging fear that it could happen again.
If there is one consolation, it is the fact that even without being able to offer a reward for the death and/or dismemberment of the thieves, is that I will eventually find out who they are. These decoys are unique; they are hardly used by any other hunter in North Louisiana. They are all marked, easily recognized, and can be picked out even in the midst of other decoys. Plus you can’t take a boat load of 150 plus decoys out of the lake in mid-season without someone somewhere seeing you.
So if you are a duck hunter on Lake Bistineau, let me apologize now for disturbing your morning or afternoon hunt, but if you see an old fellow in a War Eagle boat perusing your decoy spread, it will be me looking for what was taken from me. Without being able to offer a reward for the death and dismemberment of the actual thieves, checking every decoy spread and temporary setup this season and for seasons to come is all that is left for me to do.