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MAZINAIGANPAGE6OKEYAWAGEnaabijichigaazowaadOHowdecoysareusediLacduFlambeauWis.Walkinginthefrontdoorthehousehasthedemeanorofarusticworkshop.Woodshavingsscatterthefloorinthekitchenandtheroomsmellsoffreshbasswoodsageandpaint.JerryLabargeaLacduFlambeautribalelderhasbeenmakingfishdecoysforover50years.HelearnedthistradefromhisgrandfatherJoeSharlowbackwhenJerrywasayoungman.Everycreationisdonewithextremeexpertiseandcare.Althoughmaterialshaveobviouslychangedoverthelasthundredyearstheideaandtechniquehavestayedprettymuchthesame.Jerrydoesntutilizeabandsaworothermodern-dayequipmenttocutoutthedecoysbody.Insteadhetakesablockofbasswoodusuallyfromalogandthenbeginstoenvisionthefish.Hisprocessstartswithasemaaforthetreesandthemitigwoodthatheharvests.Hethentakesthehatchetandstudiesthenaturalcurveofthewoodandthenutilizesthisforthefishscurvedtail.Heroughcutsevery-thinganditsstillprettyunclearwhatheismak-ing.Jerrycarvesdownthefishtotherightsizeandthenbeginsaperiodofsanding.Acoupleofyouthwatchandparticipateasheinstructsthemontheirdecoys.Hetellstheyoungboystoshavemorewoodoffofthetailsoitswimsclockwise.Allofmyfishswimclockwise.IdontmakethemanyotherwayIveneverseenaleft-handedfishhejokes.Hetheninstructstheboystocutarectangularholeontheundersideofthefishdecoy.Finsandaneyehookareplacedthroughthetopandoncethecreationisreadymeltedleadispouredintotherectangularpocket.Thisleadwillkeepeverythingtogetherandallowforittosinkandswimproperly.HeremindsusToomuchleadwillmakethefishsinkandnotenoughwillmakethefishflutteraround.Youwantthefishtoswimincircles.Thebellyofthedecoyisthenroundedoutandaplastic-woodcoatingispaintedovertheleadhole.Ajigstickisfashionedsometimesintricatelymodeledafteraclananimalandbotharepainteddependingonthefishshape.OncethefishdecoyisfinishedandattachedbyicelinetothejigstickJerrybringshiscreationsontotheicefortesting.Hetestseveryoneofhisdecoystomakesuretheyswimandcanbeused.JerryLabargeaLacduFlambeautribalelderholdsapieceofbasswoodandbeginstoenvisiontheshhewillcreate.StanleeLabargecloselyfollowsinstructionsashecarvesandsandshisdecoy.InsetAnotchmustbecutontheundersideofthedecoytoholdleadsothatthewoodenshcanswim.Decoyshfromstarttonish.Eachshishand-carvedandcantakeapproximatelyoneormoredaystocomplete.Oncethebodyisformedmarksaremadetosignifyshbodyparts.ByDylanJenningsStaffWriterPhotosbyDylanJenningsTheartofsubsistence