Here is the latest news and updates from the Washington Brant Foundation.


2015 WBF decoy contest winners and photos 

Washington Brant foundation hosted their annual Puget Sound Open Decoy Competition at Holiday Sports on Sat May 9. Seventy-Five entries came from as far as New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Michigan,. Another surprise entry was delivered in person by Pam Wilson from England, earning her 3rd place in the Mini-Brant class.

Winners included two former world champions, one being Tom Newell of LaConner taking the Brant Class crown. The other was Bill Pinches of Arcata, CA, winning the featured class – “Top Gun Pintail” sponsored by Ron Kilby of Bow in memory of Jay Koetje.

More top finishers;  Foam Champion – Gary Decew; Mini Brant – Ross Smoker; Working - Rick Banko; Masters - Tom Newell; Working Foam – Scott Green; and Youth/Novice – Paul McGovern. Ducks Unlimited also had their Ruddy Duck competition, won by Mike Nesbitt. 

A group of fun vendors included Skagit Muzzleloaders, WA Prospectors, Lodge Cookware, WA Waterfowl, Benelli Arms, WA Outdoor Women, author John Orrelle, and Reverie BBQ. A big Thank You to Holiday Sports/Skagit Arms for a great local venue and support from Burlington Parks & Recreation.
You can check out some pictures from the event in our photos section here: 2015 WBF decoy contest

Pictures from the March 2015 Beginner's Carving Class

Check out our photo gallery for some new pictures from the March 2015 Beginning Carving class taught by Kurt Benson.


2014 Carving Classes

As part of our public outreach WBF has partnered with Burlington Parks & Recreation to offer beginner carving classes. Taught by our master carver Kurt Benson, the sessions have been fun and rewarding for all ages. Decoy carving, once a matter of livelihood, has evolved into a source of enrichment for the current day artist or sportsman.

Kurt supplies everything as he patiently guides students to bring cork and wood to life as a duck. Then his many years of experience are even more evident during the crucial painting process. Much like hand-tied flies to a fisherman, these working decoys are a source of pride on the pond or the shelf.

We are very proud to pass on this part of our waterfowling tradition.  

Contact Burlington Parks & Recreation at 360-755-9649 for future classes.


Washington Brant Foundation 2014 Scholarship Winners

The Washington Brant Foundation awarded two $1,000 and one $500 scholarship to college students pursuing a career in wildlife management, with emphasis on waterfowl. The awards are in memory of late members Gary Fisher and David Hagerbaumer, both distinguished veterans with a long history of selfless mentoring and promoting waterfowl conservation. We are extremely proud of these outstanding winners and consider them very important to the future of waterfowl.


Hannah Clipp -   $1,000 Scholarship


Hannah developed a self taught interest in wildlife and habitat while growing up near the famous Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. She is a most impressive student with a 4.0 GPA as a junior at West Virginia University. After just 2 years she has enough credits to be considered a senior in the Wildlife and Fisheries Program, rated in the top 1% of students by her professor. Hannah is very active in several wildlife oriented organizations and is working as primary data collector on a wetland restoration project for the university’s Environmental Research Center. Her goals include a PHD at grad school leading to a career as a wildlife biologist.


Message from Hannah:

Thank you so much for selecting me to receive this scholarship in honor of Mr. Gary Fisher! I was honored to learn that I was a recipient.

I plan to use the money to help fund my way through college. I am currently a junior at West Virginia University, majoring in Wildlife and Fisheries Resources. Once I graduate, I plan to go on to graduate school and obtain a Ph.D. in wildlife biology/conservation. Eventually, my professional aspiration is to become a TWS-certified wildlife biologist and work for a federal natural resources agency, ideally conducting research pertaining to waterfowl and wetlands. I truly appreciate the scholarship from the WA Brant Foundation, which makes college more affordable and my goals more attainable.
Best regards,
Hannah Clipp


Scott Capra – $1,000 Scholarship


Scott is in his second year at Humboldt State University with a 3.86 GPA. He is active in their California Waterfowl Assn club and assisting with a feeding ecology study. He has worked as a technician for both Idaho Fish & Game and at Modoc National Wildlife Refuge doing surveys, banding, and nest searching. His intent is a career as a waterfowl biologist that encourages wetland conservation, mentors others, and leaves an ethical legacy.

Message from Scott:

I am enthused to hear that the committee selected me for the David Hagerbaumer scholarship! The monetary award will be put to good use. I will be using it to cover a portion of the upcoming semester's tuition and books. I attached a photo of myself to this email. It was taken this week on our WMA in North Idaho while we were banding bait trapped Mallards and Wood Ducks. I really appreciate what your organization does for conservation and the opportunities that it offers for students. 

Thank you,
Scott Capra


Cody Deane - $500 Scholarship


Cody is much farther along in his education, already having a B.S. degree in Economics with a Wildlife Ecology minor from UNR, and currently a grad student at Montana State University with a 4.0 GPA. His thesis study  on Lesser Scaup is being conducted at Red Rock Lakes NWR. His impressive credentials include projects on Brant in Alaska and Mexico, Swainson’s Hawks in CA, Sandhill Cranes in Nevada, research tech at Ruby Lake NWR and for DU in S.Dakota. His peers are extremely complimentary about his level of skill, professionalism, and responsibility.

Messgae from Cody:

WBF,Thank you for your advocacy, I am grateful for the inclusion of myself as a recipient. At this point in time, I will probably use the money to attend the Graybill Ecological Modeling Conference at Ft. Collins in September if that is an acceptable use of the funds.



2015 Contest and Rule Details

The 2015 rules and contest details and now available.

We've made some interesting changes to the rules and available contests this year.  In some cases we've eliminated some rules to allow more flexibility and creativity from the carver. For the working class decoys, we're also adding some strict distance for judging requirements in an effort to embrace and support the roots of the working decoy.

There are also a few differnet contests being offered this year so be sure to check out the details.

You can visit the Contest Details Page here.