THE ORIGIN OF DECOYS.
| Gough, in his edition of Camden, mentions that about 1720 3,000 ducks were to his knowledge driven into a single net at one time.|
There are many accounts extant of this driving of the ducks into nets in summer, and the birds are distinctly described as young or moulting at the time they were taken, and so were driven and hustled into nets by an advancing line of men and boats behind them. We also have a description of the nets used.
THE ORIGIN AND AGE OF DECOYS.
| These were V-shaped and placed at a narrow end or point of a mere. They were long and strong, and similar in shape to our modern Decoy pipes, though necessarily much larger. The ducks were beaten out of the reeds and marsh into the water, and then the young birds, being unable to fly at all, and the old ones but little, owing to their "moulting" condition, all were easily edged on to their capture by a compact line of men and boats, just as a net surrounds a shoal of fish.|
The actual nets the birds were taken in were flanked by other nets on either side of them, all of course tending to guide the fowl toward the net they were subsequently driven into as a huddled crowd. See illustration.