Bachler, Tom J. – Port Huron, Michigan

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Tom was born in Port Huron June 3, 1958 and was only 46 years old when he passed away in 2004. He worked and lived in Port Huron, just four blocks from the junction of Lake Huron and the St. Clair River.  The hobby of decoy collecting lost a great carver, collector and historian of spearing on Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River. Tom in an interview just before he passed away advised he started carving decoys in 1989 and just before his death estimated that he had carved 250 to 300 decoys, the majority of which were perch and suckers. Tom said he was and avid spear fisherman especially in shallow shore line areas along Lake St. Clair’s, Anchor Bay. He said that Harvey Sampier the son of Henry “Burgeon” Sampier helped him refine his style in the early 1990’s. Tom estimated that 80% of his decoys were carved from scrap mahogany rescued by his Uncle John in the early 70’s that was scheduled to fire the boilers at the now closed Chris Craft Boat Factory in Algonac. Even though Tom was mostly carving for collectors he assured me that you would not find one of his decoys that would not be a great swimmer. His decoys range in size from 4” to 17” and usually have copper fins many with sun rays stamped into them.

(Information above provided by John Fonger of Oscoda Michigan)
Photo courtesy of NFLCC

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