Minnesota duck decoy and call collector turns passion into impression

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Lodermeier, of Edina, recently released “Minnesota Duck Calls – Folk Artists Yesterday and Today Volume 2” and “Minnesota Duck Decoys – Folk Artists Yesterday and Today Volume 2” .

“Minnesota Duck Decoys – Folk Artists Then and Now Volume 2.” Contribution / Doug Lodermeier

At 566 and 643 pages respectively, the limited edition hardcover books are true encyclopedias of Minnesota duck call and decoy history, featuring stories about hundreds of duck call and decoy artists. past and present, as well as the estimated values ​​of many game calls.

The Decoy Book includes craftsmen from Northwestern Minnesota such as lure sculptor Joel Huener de Roseau and animal artist Ross Hier from Crookston, both retired wildlife managers for the Minnesota Department of Resources. Cory Loeffler, waterfowl enthusiast and calling champion of Red Lake Falls, owner of DRC Call Co., is one of the artists featured in the Duck Calling Book.

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“Minnesota Duck Calls – Folk Artists Then and Now Volume 2.” Contribution / Doug Lodermeier

Using a line made famous by the late renowned radio host Paul Harvey, Lodermeier says the new books tell “the rest of the story.”

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“I didn’t want these books to be just picture books,” he said. “I wanted them to be fleshed out with the story and the biographies and stuff.”

Lodermeier wrote, researched, and designed two new self-published books, as well as “Minnesota Duck Calls – Yesterday and Today Folk Artists Volume 1,” released in 2003, and “Minnesota Duck Decoys – Yesterday and Today folk artists Volume 1 “, published in 2009.

The goal, he says, is to help preserve a rich history of waterfowl in Minnesota that might otherwise have been lost.

“Much of this history was not preserved, and within the collecting community, Minnesota was grossly under-represented,” said Lodermeier, 67. “It blew me away that no one was writing about this story or preserving this story, so it inspired me.

“I learned a lot about the history of waterfowl from the point of view of people doing decoys and calls.

To start

Lodermeier served for several years on the board of directors of the Minnesota Decoy Collectors Association and the Minnesota Decoy Foundation, which are dedicated to preserving the history and tradition of waterfowl in the state.

A collector who was also a board member of the Lures Association had started looking for a book featuring duck and lure call artists, Lodermeier recalls, but did not have the strength to complete the project.

“Like a lot of people who have thought about making a book, (he) found it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t cheap,” Lodermeier said. “And then when they do the research, they give up on the project, and that’s kind of what happened with that.”

Lodermeier offered to help but said he felt there was enough material for two separate books and started work on the first volume of the Call Book, which he eventually published in 2003. Between- time, the collector working on the decoy book never got beyond the research stage.


Joel Huener of Roseau, Minnesota, who sculpted this blue-billed lure, is one of the artists featured in “Minnesota Duck Decoys - Folk Artists Yesterday and Today Volume 2,” by Doug Lodermeier.  Contribution / Doug Lodermeier

Joel Huener of Roseau, Minnesota, who sculpted this blue-billed lure, is one of the artists featured in “Minnesota Duck Decoys – Folk Artists Yesterday and Today Volume 2,” by Doug Lodermeier. Contribution / Doug Lodermeier

“After I finished the call book, I just sat down with him and said, ‘Why don’t you move what you have for me, and we’ll find a way to pay you back for your efforts and your time and let’s get this book out, ”Lodermeier said. “I thought it was very important.

“I made it a priority to take over this project, and basically what I did was take a box of broken parts and go from there. “

Experience point of view

Lodermeier was able to approach the books from an experience point of view, both as a collector of Minnesota calls and decoys – his collection of about 1,000 calls is “arguably the largest collection of Minnesota gambling calls into the country, ”he said. – and as a graphic designer with more than 45 years in the field of graphic arts.

This experience, which includes working for companies such as Honeywell and Korn Ferry who prepare books and other promotional materials, gave him the skills to write and design the books for both volumes, he says.


Doug Lodermeier is a long-time waterfowl hunter, with years of experience in the editing business and as a collector of Minnesota-made decoys and calls.  Contribution / Doug Lodermeier

Doug Lodermeier is a long-time waterfowl hunter, with years of experience in the editing business and as a collector of Minnesota-made decoys and calls. Contribution / Doug Lodermeier

“When I started I thought I would praise the writing, but I realized that no one understands my audience or knows what I want better than I do, and I am able to do it,” Lodermeier said. , who is now a partner in the design agency L&M Design in Minneapolis. “As far as photography goes, it’s something that I was quite capable of doing. Layout and design is something I have done professionally all my life, and have laid out countless books for Fortune 500 companies.

“What I needed was an editor, so that’s kind of where I left off.”

As expected, Lodermeier says, the first two books drew comments from readers suggesting other duck-call and decoy artists that should have been featured. Work on the two second volumes began almost immediately after completing the first decoy book in 2009, he says.

“I ended up having two more binders full of stuff,” Lodermeier said. “I was like, ‘Well, I don’t need to keep it in a filing cabinet, I might as well finish this project. And that’s kind of where I am, although I would say it’s a bottomless pit.

“It will never be done, but I have to say I have a pretty good grasp of it.”

Traveling in the state

Researching the books, Lodermeier traveled the State of Warroad to Winona interviewing callmakers and decoy artists or their family members, in the case of artists who no longer live. He spent countless hours browsing birth certificates, death certificates, and websites such as ancestry.com, in addition to research material he obtained from the collector who abandoned the original project.

“When I started the books, I assumed that nothing that I have ever heard is right,” Lodermeier said. “You must be a detective, really. I have learned so many ways to check people and find people.

“I have made trips to each of these regions,” he added. “I was statewide visiting with people, relatives and people who knew these (artists). … It was a matter of how much you were willing to dig, and I was willing to dig.


This painted turtle-shaped turkey call, by John Pususta of Montrose, Minnesota, is in mint condition and valued at $ 500, according to

This painted turtle-shaped turkey call, by John Pususta of Montrose, Minnesota, is in mint condition and valued at $ 500, according to “Minnesota Duck Calls – Past and Present Folk Artists Volume 2,” recently published by collector and author Doug Lodermeier of Edina, Minnesota. Contribution / John Lodermeier

At a retail price of $ 85 each, the limited edition books are collectibles in themselves. Lodermeier said he had only printed 1,000 copies of each book, choosing to pay more to publish the books in the United States rather than in China, which undoubtedly would have been cheaper.

“You get what you pay for,” Lodermeier said. “And like I said, I wanted it to be a high end collector’s book, so it was important to me that it was made in the USA and that it was done on quality paper and a good binding and all this to showcase the work I put into it as best I could from this point of view.

The books, he says, are the culmination of nearly 20 years of research, “and lots and lots of gasoline and lots and lots of windshield time.”

When asked if he keeps track of the hours spent working on the books, Lodermeier was quick to respond.

“Oh my God, no,” he said. “If I knew, I would never do it again.

“They’re made over a long period of time. I was more concerned with getting it right than how long it took me to do it.

So far, Lodermeier says, he’s sold about half the books, even though they’ve only been off the press for about a month. And no, he said, there will be no third books.

“No, I’m done,” he said. “Someone else has to pick it up from here.” I’ve exhausted it, I think, for the most part.

“Minnesota Duck Decoys Volume 2” and “Minnesota Duck Calls Volume 2” are priced at $ 85 each or $ 150 for the set. To order or for more information call (612) 922-9674 or visit the website at www.dougandpaul.com.


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