David W. "Davey" Nichol (1890-1977) Smith Falls, Ontario
Davey Nichol's uncles, Davey K. and Addy, started taking their nephew hunting at the age of twelve, so by the time he was grown, he was an avid hunter and fisherman (Fleming 88). Combining what his uncles had taught him with local methods, Nichol produced lightweight decoys with small flat bodies and flat bottoms without keels or heavy weights. Nichol relief ¬carved wings with a sort of horseshoe stamp between them and set the heads facing forward. He stamped, painted or carved feathers down the back and sometimes combined the methods for effect. The painting patterns Nichol created were simple, but he did experiment on occasion with blended colors or metallic powder to represent the feathers' iridescence. Nichol was an observant carver and painted his goldeneyes in immature plumage figuring the younger ones would be easier to deceive.
In his workshop with the "Duck Decor" sign hanging outside, Nichol told stories and gave advice as he carved (Fleming 90). Rigs of hooded and American mergansers, black ducks, scaup, redheads, whistlers, wood ducks and a few oversized canvasbacks came out of his workshop. He set out to carve all the species of waterfowl in the world. By the time he quit carving in 1975, Davey W. Nichol had carved at least three thousand decoys (Kangas, Survey 141, Engers 289). These decoys represent all the North American species of ducks, geese and brant and more than two dozen foreign species.