Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cabela's Discontinues Herter's Decoys

Cabela's finally did it.  They killed off the Herter's decoy line. 

When in operation, Herter's was making the finest working decoys available.  Cheap?  No, but these were decoys that were made so that your son could hunt over them one day.  Heavy?  Yeah, especially the burlap decoys, but anything that was built to survive the rigor of decades of use needed to be sturdy. 

So why did Cabela's kill the line?  Good question.  I used to be responsible for the marketing of that catalog back in it's waterfowling heyday, in the late '90's. The picture here is a scan from one of our catalogs that we developed.  I know the margins that were made on the decoy line, and they were astronomic.  But some bean counter in some back cube in Nebraska must have run the numbers and found there was more to be made with annual sales of consumable Chinese-made plastic ducks than a one-time purchase of a lifetime decoy. 

I'm fortunate in that I have my supply that has served me over a decade, and will last the rest of my life.  I pity those other duck hunters, especially the new ones, that are subjugated to an annual trip to the store to continually augment their spread, all due to a greedy decision. 

Here's a fond goodbye to the best working decoys ever made.


  1. I am sorry to hear the news. While I don't hunt I do appreciate US made items. I think its very important that we keep manufacturing here and not substitute quality just for a lower price. Keep up the fine Yellow Dog Patrol blog posts.

  2. Have been out of duckin' for a few years as my luck drawing sheep, moose and elk tags finally had a run. I wanted to get about another two dozen Herter's to supplement my 4 dozen to be set for life. This info tells a sad tale of the commercialism of the greatest of all hunting activities. I grew up killing mallards with a J.C. Higgins tan hunting coat on my back and a big sweater underneath--that was in the 70's. Killed a world of them. I miss the simplicity.

  3. Anon,
    Agree completely. Feel the same way about fishing gear. When I think back to what I used when I was a kid and how that compares to the technology employed today, it is such a huge difference. Yet, I was still able to catch fish, and a lot of them. Like you, I too miss the simplicity.

    Thanks for posting up.


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