The Villages - May 2017 - 7
The East Coast had many carvers, Risenhuber said. The
practice goes back the 1800s, when commercial hunters
made massive numbers of them, although the earlier
versions were clunky and clad with artless features. Some
were made from white pine or white cedar, durable wood
that was buoyant enough to float and attract live birds.
Over the years, the ducks became more elaborate, and
decoy carving evolved as an art form. Risenhuber noted
that many decoys carry a hefty price tag, with a recent bird
by another artist selling for more than 1 million dollars.
"A lot of time goes into making the ducks," he said.
"Sometimes I complete just a feather a day, and my goal
is always to make the next duck better than the last."
Residents of the Village of Hillsborough, the
Risenhubers moved to the area more than two
years ago, believing they secured the perfect spot.
"We chose our home site overlooking a pond
and preserve so we could enjoy the wildlife,"
Lila said. "Rich has carved many of the
ducks that frequent our pond."
In the company of ringnecks,
pelicans, blue-winged teals and an
array of beautiful birds, Risenhuber
contentedly whittles away the days - in
between rounds of golf.