Marc Alcide Carmadelle (1885-1958) Des Allemonds, LA
Alcide Carmadelle served as a guide for a club established at Simoneaux Ponds by New Orleans doctors and businessmen. Five dollars a day included the trip to the blind and use of the pirogues and decoys. In that area, it was a practice of many guides to fit an old square-stern canoe with a 16hp Johnson motor. Racing back and forth on Bayou Gauche, guides flushed birds out of the marsh and into hunters' range. Records state that the bag limit of twenty-five birds could be taken in an hour to an hour and a half in this manner (Frank, Wetland 129).
When Carmadelle was not guiding, he was hunting, fishing or carving decoys. Content with the canvasback, mallard and ringneck decoys he used for hunting, Carmadelle did not produce other species. The lures he did carve portray careful shaping and sanding. Some of his birds lack sides that have been rounded on the bottom, but these are exceptions to Carmadelle's style. Angled neck seats support swan-like necks and heads that have tack eyes or no eyes at all. Using oil-based paints, Carmadelle painted simple, yet bold patterns including large speculums. Whether hurricanes snatched his decoys or careless hunters lost them, few decoys by Alcide Carmadelle have survived.