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I love decoys and...ratios!?!

A large database gives us the opportunity to extract useful ratios. The larger the sample size – the more accurate the ratios. In each of our books, Peter Muller and I made estimates as to the commonality of the known species of decoys made by the Stevens Brothers. However, we were both working with somewhat small sample sizes and, not surprisingly, based on my new database of 500 decoys, a few of our earlier assumptions turned out to be wrong. Although I had collected nearly 400 records by the time I published my book in 2004, I didn’t have an digital database to extract the ratios. Now I do, so here are a few of the more interesting ones...

1. Only 1 in 5 decoys are from the tackeye period. I had previously thought this ratio was 1 in 3.

2. More than 1 in every 3 decoys is a either bluebill or redhead.

3. During the glasseye period, Harvey and George produced, on average , about 6 drakes to every 1 hen.

4. Of all the glasseye decoys, Harvey made more decoys than George, even though Harvey lived only 5-7 years into this period and George had lived nearly 20 years.

5. Nearly 1 in every 6 decoys attributed on the Internet to be a Stevens Decoy is not made the Stevens Brothers of Weedsport. The Essential Guide to Stevens Decoys illustrates the difference.

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