For waterfowlers and wildlife art enthusiasts, Easton will be the place to be Wednesday through Sunday as the Waterfowl Festival and a pre-festival auction of extraordinary decoys come to Talbot County on the Eastern Shore.
The Waterfowl Festival runs Friday through Sunday, with 18 exhibit locations throughout Easton and free shuttle service available.
Before the festival opens, however, a large selection of decoys made by the Ward Brothers of Crisfield in the 1930s and 1940s will be included in the annual auction held by Guyette & Schmidt Inc.
The decoy auction, which has a projected gross of $1.2 million, will be held at the Talbot County Community Center. On Wednesday, preview hours begin at 9 a.m.; the auction will start at noon. Preview hours begin at 8 a.m. Thursday, with the auction starting at 10.
In addition to the prized works of the Ward Brothers, works by Elmer Crowell, Harry V. Shourds and Nathan Cobb Jr. will be sold, with prices expected to range from $150 to more than $100,000. Among Maryland carvers featured in the sale are Madison Mitchell, Paul Gibson, Ben Dye and Robert McGaw.
The auction will include more than 700 decoys, waterfowl paintings and accessories.
After the auction, the Waterfowl Festival will open at 10 a.m., and Friday through Sunday its Wildlife Art Show and Sale will feature some 450 of the country's best sculptors, carvers, photographers and craftsmen.
The festival also will have a full schedule of shooting and fly-fishing demonstrations, a world championship goose-calling competition and a regional duck-calling contest, retriever demonstrations, workshops and seminars.
Admission to the festival is $10 per day or $20 for a multi-day pass. Children 14 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult.
For more information on the decoy auction, call 207-778-6256. For more information on the Waterfowl Festival, call 410-822-4567.
Dry conditions throughout the state have increased the danger of forest fires, according to the Department of Natural Resources Forest Service. The service's remote weather stations show the drought index averages more than 600 out of a possible 800, indicating very dry conditions.
Hunters, hikers and campers should be aware of the dangerous fall conditions and exercise caution when building fires or disposing of matches or smoking/smoldering materials.
The state's Forest and Park Service has developed a program at Rocky Gap State Park for hunters with disabilities, designating nine sites for use during the firearms season for deer, which runs from Nov. 28 through Dec. 12.
The sites will be assigned through a lottery to be held Nov. 21. To qualify, hunters must send proof of a valid Maryland hunting license and a permit to hunt from a vehicle to: Rocky Gap State Park, 12500 Pleasant Valley Road, Flintstone, Md. 21530.
The information must be received before the drawing.
Pub Date: 11/08/98