Delta Waterfowl and Copley Fine Art Auctions Announce the Sale of the George Secor Decoy Collection

Proceeds from the auction to be donated to benefit Delta’s conservation programs

A few of the decoys from George Secor's decoy collection can be seen on display.

For immediate release
April 2, 2024

HINGHAM, MASSACHUSETTS – Copley Fine Art Auctions, the world’s leading Decoy and Sporting Art auction firm, is excited to announce the sale of The George Secor Decoy Collection to Benefit Delta Waterfowl to take place July 11-12, 2024. This important auction will present the Secor collection of premium Ontario carvings to the decoy collecting community and waterfowl enthusiasts alike, with the proceeds of the hammer to be donated in their entirety to Delta Waterfowl.

George Secor can be seen in his Delta Waterfowl gear.

George Secor’s love of hunting, fishing, and all things outdoors came from his father. Growing up in Toledo, Ohio, Secor’s first fishing was on the AuSable River near Grayling, in Northern Michigan. Over the years his family traveled to the trout streams of Wyoming, Montana, and Alberta. Secor recalls first being taken hunting at the nearby Erie Marsh when he was 6 or 7 years old without a firearm. Despite the bitter cold, Secor’s main memory is the fun he had with his father. Those outings were the genesis of a lifelong passion: “I truly love everything about waterfowl and waterfowling—calls, shotguns, decoys, all of it.”

The first Ontario decoy Secor purchased was carved by Addie Nichol (1864-1929) of Smith Falls, but some of the top birds in the collection are by Ontario masters Thomas Chambers (1860-1948), John R. Wells (1861-1953), Phineas Reeves (1833-1896), and George Warin (1830-1905).

Secor’s decision to donate the proceeds of the sale of his decoy collection to an organization that will conserve the actual species resonates well. It is an act of appreciation for the birds, both live and carved. Secor still enjoys watching the flocks fly past, armed with the satisfaction of knowing his actions will enable future generations to enjoy waterfowl and wild places.

Secor has a proud history of giving back to waterfowl conservation, having served on the Delta Waterfowl Board of Directors from 2002 to 2012, including a two-year term as chairman.

“George Secor continues to demonstrate exemplary leadership as a steward of waterfowl and waterfowl hunting traditions in North America,” said George Freeman, vice chair of Delta Waterfowl Board of Directors.

“By generously donating his fine collection of decoys, George Secor is making a substantial investment in Delta’s mission to produce ducks and secure the future of waterfowl hunting,” said Dr. Scott Petrie, chief executive officer of Delta Waterfowl. “We’re celebrating George’s legacy through the decoy auction and his gift, and we’re very grateful for his support.”

About Copley

With a focus on quality over quantity, Copley is the world’s leading seller of high-end decoys. In 2023 Copley sold the top seven decoy lots at auction. Since 2005 owner Stephen O’Brien Jr., a fourth-generation sportsman with a refined collector’s eye, has been a trusted advisor to major collectors and institutions. Copley and O’Brien have a long history of working in collaboration with nonprofit and conservation organizations, making the Secor sale to benefit Delta Waterfowl a perfect fit.

Copley was founded on the principles of knowledge, integrity, results, and a strict adherence to confidentiality. The firm’s mission is to work hand in hand with individuals and estates to accommodate their collecting and deaccessioning needs. Whether working with knowledgeable clients to build world-class collections or helping families with difficult trust, estate, and appraisal questions, the personal attention Copley clients receive enables them to achieve their individual goals. No other firm matches Copley’s results as the top seller of decoys and Sporting Art in today’s marketplace. Copley is honored to partner with Secor to benefit Delta Waterfowl. To learn more, visit

About Delta Waterfowl

Delta Waterfowl is The Duck Hunters Organization, a leading conservation group working to produce ducks and secure the future of waterfowl hunting in North America. With roots to 1911, Delta Waterfowl became the premier waterfowl research organization in 1938, when founding father James Ford Bell (1879-1961) established the Delta Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Station in Manitoba. Bell, the founder and president of General Mills, an avid hunter who loved canvasbacks, wanted to put back as many or more as his camp shot at the Delta Marsh. Guided by Bell’s conservation ethic, Delta Waterfowl continues to work for waterfowl and waterfowl hunters, delivering innovative programs across four key pillars: Duck Production, Habitat Conservation, Research and Education, and HunteR3. For more information, visit

Call to Give Back for Conservation

Decoy collectors, Ontario residents, sportsmen, hunters, birders, and Delta Waterfowl members are invited to bid on exceptional works by Ontario carvers that will directly support the species that are represented in wood. The revenue generated from the auction will fund Delta’s important waterfowl conservation work. This initiative is the brainchild of George Secor and is a testament to his dedication to giving back to the species that have brought him so much joy.

Media Contacts:

Chelsie Olney
(415) 203-0874

Paul Wait
(309) 634-9408