Contact Information:

Chad Tragakis, President

      Potomac Decoy Collectors Association


PDCA: Advancing Decoy Scholarship

One of the core missions of the Potomac Decoy Collectors Association is advancing decoy scholarship. Our members do this in many formal and informal ways. Several of our members actively research and publish articles on the history of the old decoys we collect – their makers, those who used them and the context in which they were used. These articles are published in several leading magazines including Decoy Magazine, Hunting & Fishing Collectibles and The Canvasback. Several of our members have also written books on decoys.

In 2000, the PDCA was the catalyst behind a huge effort to list and identify the brands on the bottoms of many old decoys. This effort grew beyond our own club and featured contributions from collectors across the country. The result was a landmark publication, Decoy Brands: An Identification Guide, which has proven to be an invaluable reference for collectors and waterfowling historians. This remains one of the most ambitious efforts in decoy scholarship to date.  For more information or to order a copy of the book, please contact:

PDCA members help organize and participate in many of the decoy shows and tailgate events held throughout the year. We hold our own show each year where we make public outreach a strong focus, preparing special displays, providing free decoy identification and appraisals, and educating people about old decoys and their importance as an American folk art.

The club also partners with leading museums and institutions that preserve this important American art form and we support them with regular financial contributions.

For more than seven years, we have curated a series of guest exhibits at the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Our members also serve as volunteers in many different capacities for several important decoy museums.

Informally, we all learn a lot by sharing and discussing decoys. PDCA members meet monthly to explore the history of decoys and early American waterfowling. We display decoys from members’ collections and engage in dialogue and occasionally good-natured debate about makers and attribution.

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