General Public Event - Youth and family members enjoy painting free decoys

On Saturday, July 9, 2016, children and family members enjoyed a day painting decoys at the new Cabela’s store in Short Pump, VA.  The activity was hosted by members of the Virginia Watefowlers’ Association and the Rappahannock Carvers’ Guild. The activity was also a part of many national family events coordinated by the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation and Cabela’s stores held on July 9th.

Participants enjoyed the opportunity painting a variety of hand crafted duck decoys of many species. For many, the opportunity was their first time making a decoy.  The event was
  free of charge  and participants whom partake in the decoy painting activity took home free decoys.

The annual RAPPAHANNOCK DECOY CARVERS & COLLECTORS GUILD CONTEST took place on Saturday, March 19th in White Stone, VA. The contest was hosted in the Women’s Club building next door to the White Stone Firehouse at the Rappahannock River Waterfowl Show. The guild’s contest has a long and rich competition history of well known local and out of state carvers competing.

Carvers from Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, New York, Idaho, Michigan, Alabama and Mississippi participated. This year, carvers entered 259 entrees competing in 12 classes for working decoys, contemporary antiques, decorative carvings, birds of prey and shorebirds.

Contest results can be found on the RAPPAHANNOCK DECOY CARVERS & COLLECTORS GUILD’s website at:

2016 News

The 37th Rappahannock River Waterfowl Show took place on March 19-20, 2016. The unique festival show featured artists, collectors, carvers, sculptors and photographers with variety of waterfowl related art, antiques and conservation exhibits.

A special exhibit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service was the Best in Show entries from the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program. New for this year was the unveiling of the winning artwork of the 2016-17 Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Artwork Contest.

A new and very popular
free of charge activity at the show this year was youth decoy making. The VAWFA and Rappahannock Carvers & Collectors Guild provided youths the opportunities to assemble and paint Gunning Style decoys to take home and use afield.  The Guild provided Bufflehead decoys made from crabpot buoys. The VAWFA provided Canada goose & Brant decoys made from foam. This type of activity has been very successful with 4H programs in the past five years. Many of the youths enjoyed making their first decoy.

Winning 2016-17 Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Artwork selected

The artworks for the Virginia 2016-17 Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp contest have been judged. On March 2, 2016, a panel of judges who have expertise in waterfowl biology or artist tic method and expression selected the winning design. The VAWFA provided a judge for the panel.  Five pictures were presented to the judges for viewing. The winning artist this year is John Obolewicz of Powhatan, VA.

Artists’ entries were accepted through Feb. 1, 2016, for the Stamp Competition. There were several changes this year to the annual contest sponsored by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and Virginia Ducks Unlimited. The contest which has been limited to Virginia artists over the past 10 years was open to any U.S. citizen 18 years and older.

Another change in the contest was the artwork was limited to certain species this year. This year, artists could submit renderings of the American Widgeon, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Blue-winged Teal, or Northern Shoveler, and their related habitats.  Another new aspect to the competition was the way the artwork and top artists were recognized. The winning artworks, along with the second and third place winners were unveiled during the preview night gala on March 18th, 2016, at the 37th Annual Rappahannock River Waterfowl Show in White Stone, Virginia.

The VAWFA will not release an image of the winning artwork until Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and Virginia Ducks Unlimited has published the winner.

On February 27-28, 2016, the Holiday Lake 4H Center hosted the Virginia 4H Natural Resource Weekend Event. The event program offered fifteen workshops and multiple activities for adults and youth.  One of the nighttime activities was a presentation presented by Todd Cocker of the VAWFA on duck and goose nesting structures and programs. Over 60 people attended the presentation.  The presentation address the important of habitat, installation and maintenance of waterfowl nesting structures.

The board members of the Virginia Waterfowler’s Association would like to recognize VAWFA members, their family members and friends for their support at the youth fishing event at Harrison Lake National Fish Hatchery. Thank you to the volunteers, the compassionate individuals who devoted a day to make a positive difference in a child or teen’s life. Because of the volunteers’ unselfish and noble actions, the event was very successful.

We would like to also thank other sponsoring partners and staff members of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, Henrico County Police Animal Control, Henrico Police Foundation, Adams Sports Mart, Quantico Injured Military Sportsmen Association and  BassPro Shops.

Over 100 people attending the fifteenth annual fishing event.

A popular workshop at the weekend event was decoy making. The workshop was sponsored by the VAWFA and taught by Todd Cocker. In the past, a variety species of ducks decoys have been offered. This year the feature decoy specie was the snow goose. The workshop participants assemble and painted a free of charge Gunning Style decoy to take home or use afield. If you are interested in participating in decoy making workshop, contact Holiday Lake 4H at 434-248-5444 or e-mail :

Ribbon winning decoys of members of the VAWFA who worked the Rappahannock River Waterfowl Show