Annual Ocean County
and Gunning Show!
more perfect day couldn't be had for this great event in southern
New Jersey, where every type of decoy, from working rigs to
stunning decorative carvings of birds, fish and mammals could
in Tuckerton, at the southern tip of Ocean County, this 2-day
event may well be the largest of its type on the eastern seaboard,
and possibly the country! Taking place at Stanley "Tip"
Seaman County Park, Pinelands Regional High School and Tuckerton
Seaport, the show encompasses all facets of the life of the
Bayman, from duck hunting and fishing to the great food and
music of the region!
I was told emphatically by one exhibitor that anyone living
east of the Garden State Parkway is NOT a "Piney",
Tuckerton is named as an official "Pinelands Town"
and is included as part of the Pinelands Management Area.
As I walked through the dozens and dozens of displays and
exhibits, and watched the skeet shooting and retrieving contests,
I witnessed a camaraderie not often found anymore, but one
I find throughout the Pine Barrens: friendship and kindness
is abundant. Even the occasional skirmish between dogs (and
dogs are quite welcome here, as long as they're leashed) was
dealt with by humans with a smile and quick apology for the
are a few of the photos I took - enjoy them - and put the last
weekend of September on your 2008 calendar right now!
Working decoy contest winners.
These decoys were entered in the working rig contest.
stunning avocet and Wood Duck were carved and painted by Sam
Esleeck of "Feathers 'N' Wood, from Virginia Beach, VA.
to Sam, this raven is quite popular in Baltimore!
"Silly Bears" (and other animals) of all sizes are
carved with a chain saw by Michael Jones of Green Bank. He'll
be doing live demonstrations at the Pine Barrens Jamboree
on October 13.
Not to be outdone by the feathered friends, this display of
fish carvings was a blue ribbon winner!
Clack, a male Eastern screech owl, was the star of Woodford
Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge's display tent! This little
guy was just as calm as could be despite all the kids and adults
crowding around him!
Artwork of all types was on display by the artists!
Under the big tents were dozens of exhibitors proudly displaying
their work, some with ribbons they had won!
Not just for hunters, fishing enthusiasts also enjoyed the
An award winning booth of fish carvings.
Stunning handmade wooden canoes and kayaks.
Park employees Debbie & Vicky were happy to answer questions!
hardworking staff of Ocean County Parks and Recreation,
as well as the dozens of volunteers, are to be commended
for the many hours spent setting up before the show, working
12+ hours two days straight, and cleaning up after the show!
(a job no one else thinks about once they go home) The "Ocean
Ride" team supplying the free shuttle bus service throughout
the day was also the best! The buses were frequent, and
the drivers were smiling and friendly!
Tanner and Amanda Barrett, their son Tyler, and their Weimaraner
Mason attend the show every year. Amanda actually worked
at the Decoy Show when she was a teenager!
Ocean County Decoy and Gunning Show is the site of the New Jersey
Finals for the World's Championship Duck Calling Contest! The
winner of the day's contest will go on to Arkansas for the finals.
The Ocean County
Decoy and Gunning Show takes place in Tuckerton, NJ at Tip
Seaman County Park and Tuckerton Seaport, both on Route 9. Complimentary
shuttle buses will transport you to each of the locations,
as well as the designated parking areas. From the north, take
Garden State Parkway Exit 58 to Route 539 south and follow
Above photos were taken at the 25th Annual Decoy & Gunning Show