The Decoy Artist

Karl Yankey follows a Pennsylvania tradition.

By: Peter Durantine
Photography by Peter Durantine

Early March snow crunches underfoot. Pennsylvania’s duck-hunting season is many months away, but Karl Yankey, a stocky 64-year-old in sweatshirt and jeans, is thinking about it nonetheless as he follows a narrow path across his snow-and-ice-covered yard in Hummelstown to his small workshop, essentially a 10' x 10' shed.

Inside, an electric heater keeps things warm around the work bench where Yankey carves duck decoys for hunting and decorative display. “I actually started carving before I started really duck hunting,” he says. “I had done just a little bit of duck hunting, but not much.”

Born in Harrisburg but raised in Hummelstown, Yankey grew up near Swatara Creek, where he fished and canoed. He always had a general interest in art. He took courses in high school, but wasn’t sure exactly what field of art he wanted to pursue. “I always looked for something to do with my hands, some kind of woodworking, but I wasn’t sure what that potentially could be,” he says.

Read the rest of this article in Wildfowl Carving Magazine's Winter 2016 issue.


Free tutorials, expert tips, exclusive partner offers, and more straight to your inbox!


I have not made this yet so I cannot rate it.

Include a Photo Include a Photo

Click the button above or drag and drop images onto the button. You can upload two images.

Cancel Reply to Comment

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!


Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.

Sign In to Your Account

Close Window
Sign In with one of your Social Accounts
Facebook Twitter
Sign In using Email and Password