Bill Kell



222 West Gay St Red Lion, PA 17356


(717) 246-4896 




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Bill Kell is one of America’s leading decoy makers, noted for his broad portfolio of waterfowl species and captivating gunning rigs. Bill grew up in the Susquehanna valley town of York, Pennsylvania only a few miles from the Susquehanna River. It was on the shores and islands of this mighty river where he hunted and studied the diverse migratory flocks of ducks and geese that today comprise his highly prized, award-winning rigs.

A traditionalist, Bill’s decoys stand out boldly in the water with exacting attitudes learned from decades of observation and trial and error. His rigs are fine tuned to have those special attributes that reel in wary waterfowl-but on closer examination also have surprising detail, tremendous color and subtle styling.

One of Kell’s favorite methods of hunting is from a handmade Susquehanna roll-over, or "sneak" boat. This craft is tilted, or rolled over so that the gunners are hidden and then paddled or sneaked into the flocks of ducks that settle in among a large spread of his hand-made decoys positioned carefully out in the middle of a lake. Several species may be represented in these artful decoy spreads and Bill usually manages to get great shooting when other gunners along shore can only watch and wish.

Bill’s birds are all constructed and painted by hand and have outstanding coloration and durability. Every bird must pass Kell’s critical inspections for species character and construction-every decoy must embody the character of that bird under various gunning conditions. It must set in precise balance on the water, have the projection to attract from a distance and the exact tones, textures and colors of the species to instill confidence at close range.

Each autumn, along many rivers in numerous states and in the salt water marshes and bays of both coasts, Kell’s decoys serve hundreds of gunners each autumn and will continue to serve for decades to come. At home riding a wave on choppy water during a sleet storm, or on the fireplace mantle in a cozy den, the decoys of Bill Kell are a delight to own and use. They are a true American art form as distinctly and masterfully made as t he long rifles and furniture built centuries ago in the heritage rich Susquehanna Valley where Bill still resides-a place where superior craftsmanship and the character of hand made objects continue to be recognized as something of value.