Reported by: Kyle Rogers
PEACH BOTTOM, Pa. Matt Kneisley has been an avid duck hunter for most of his life, but never before had he a run-in with lame duck, figuratively, who stole $8,000 worth of his decoy ducks.
Kneisley, like other serious duck hunters, uses decoy ducks to attract the migrating birds over the Susquehanna River.
Its been a way of life for me, said the fourth-generation duck hunter. My father taught me everything I know.
For more than 40 years, he and his father attach 6-pound weights to the handcrafted decoys he has made. In those decades, a few have been stolen or washed away but on Thanksgiving morning, he knew somebody made a foul move.
Since a child, he put out 120 decoy ducks in an area of the river near Peach Bottom. Putting the ducks in and taking them out takes about six hours, so for the daily hunter it was always easier to leave the decoys out for weeks at a time.
My gut just sank, said Kneisley.
While taking his boat to where he kept the decoys, only 10 were there. The other 110, he believes, were stolen.
That Thanksgiving the morning was the first time he would go duck hunting without his father who died just five months before.
It hurts my feelings, said Kneisley. Hes gone and now I lost another big part of him.
The father and son spent hours upon hours creating the decoy ducks. From shaping the life-like birds to delicately painting them.
Thats not here anymore, he said.
They took a tradition that weve always done and stopped it, said Kneisley.
Hes since had to cancel several hunting trips with those in the community who wanted to experience duck hunting. One little boy, he said, was very upset.
Kneisley, who serves as the regional director for the Delta Waterfowl Foundation, reported the theft to police.
He said his hunting season had to end suddenly. He hopes a similar crime wont happen to other hunters.
This is what I do every day. I protect water fowl. Conservation. Hunters rights, said Kneisley. This goes up against my grain for somebody to come in and do something like that.
Kniesley took to social media to spread the word. He fears they may be sold online and hes keeping a close eye on website popular for buying the items. The bottom of each duck features his initials M K and hes offering a cash reward to get them back.
Hell is coming to breakfast....if they get caught.....yes the sherrif will be there....he will say just like one of those people try an steal more chain than they could carry....as they pull the grapple hooks out of them at waters edge....let me know dirty deeds done dirt cheap...praying for you!!!!!!! 😀🙈🙉🙊🐵🐒
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