Welcome to the Houston Alaska Chamber of Commerce inc.
Thank you to Greg for creating our 1st place trophies
He carves and paints each decoy by hand
Born and raised in Minnesota, Greg
has been winter spearing and carving
decoys for pike since he was a kid. An
Air Force career kept himaway from
the sport for several years, until being
stationed in Alaska in 1992. Happy to
find pike plentiful and spearing a legal
methodfor pike fishing in Alaska, he
immediately resumed carving decoys
andthe pursuit of pike fromthe
Each decoy is carved and painted
freehand, using no mechanical means
of reproduction. So though similar,
each is a unique, individual piece. All
decoys are fully functional, working
models. Each one is balanced and
tank tested to insure optimum
Decoys are available in Presentation
Grade or Standard Grade.
Presentation Grade decoys, have
more detailed carving and paint
schemes, are more “realistic” and
could be for display or decorative
purposes. Standard grade decoys
are more for everyday use, ones you
won’t mind knocking around your
tackle box, or if they get a few pike
teeth marks in them. Presentation
decoys are available in styles made
to represent a specific type of fish or
specie. Standard decoys may be
ordered as specific specie or as the
basic model D-1. Model D-1 is a
contrasting head and body color,
such as the classic Red/White.
Decoys range in length from 6 to 8
inches, with smaller or larger ones
available on request.
Delivery times will vary based on
availability of on hand stock. As each
decoy is individually made, delivery
times will also vary based on type and
complexity and quantity ordered.
Typically a Standard grade model D-1
canbe completed andready for
delivery in 7-10 days in quantities of 7
or fewer. Presentation grade or
customrequest delivery times are as
mentioned, variable based on type,
size, complexity andquantity. Custom
requests are welcome.
Pricing for standard D-1 models in
sizes between 6 and8 inches is $
15.00 each. Standard Grade specie
specific decoys are $ 25.00 each.
PresentationGrade decoys start at
$ 35.00 for a 7 to 8 inch decoy. Larger
or customrequest prices will be
determinedand quoted at time of
HC 38 Box 2423
Wasilla, Alaska 99654
Custom, hand carved spearing decoys by Greg Busch
Local anglers have a voice through club
By TODD L. DISHER
Published on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 11:56 AM AKST
BIG LAKE — A new club in the Valley hopes to unite sportfishermen for the conservation and enjoyment of local fisheries.
Mat-Su Anglers will fill a void in the Valley, according to co-founder Julie Busch, who doesn’t think sportfishermen have an outlet worthy of their great resource.
Busch and her husband Greg Busch, owners of BuschWacker Decoys, first had the idea after accompanying a fishing club on a trip to Mexico. In between landing blue and striped marlin, the couple learned about the good the club does in Gig Harbor, Wash., the community where it is based.
(ROBERT DeBERRY/Frontiersman) BuschWhacker Decoys and www.matsuanglers.com owners Julie and Greg Busch know ice fishing in Alaksa.
“When I got home,” said Busch, “I asked a contact at the ADF&G if there was a need in Mat-Su to enhance recreational fishing. He said yes, the sportfishermen do not have a very large voice.”
In response, and after very positive reactions from their local fishing friends, the Buschs are trying to create a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to provide more opportunities for sportfishermen in the Mat-Su.
Mat-Su Anglers will be similar to the rod and gun clubs Busch remembers from growing up as an Air Force child. It will be a social club with a mission, said Busch, based largely on the Gig Harbor model. Its guiding principles will be three-fold:
1. Recreational fishing is an important part of Valley culture and way of life.
2. The fisheries should be managed for conservation of the resource first and secondly to provide quality, sustainable recreational fisheries.
3. Anglers will support full enforcement of fisheries laws, rules and agreements.
In order to accomplish its goals, according to Busch, “we will have to work with [the ADF&G], and they appear to be more than willing to work with groups to find the issues and work through them.”
But besides politics, the Mat-Su Anglers will start small with the social aspect. They are first planning on co-sponsoring events with local groups like Sportsman’s Warehouse and the city of Houston. Down the road, the club will run events of their own like fish-frys, derbys and clean-ups.
The group will meet the second Thursday of each month from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Mat-Su Resort. Meetings will feature a guest workshop about techniques and issues that pertain to the Valley fisheries.
The club’s first meeting is planned for April 16. Membership is $35 per person, $50 for families, and $75 for corporations. Memberships will potentially include a subscription to Fish Alaska magazine.
Mat-Su Anglers are actively seeking volunteers with all skill sets to help organize the club, create a website and get through the necessary paperwork.
Joy of ice fishing leads to business venture
BY TODD L. DISHER
Published on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 11:58 AM AKST
BIG LAKE — Greg Busch stands over a hole augured in a frozen lake, sharpened spear pointing downward, light refracting off egg shells and crab legs. With a hand-carved rainbow trout decoy below, he gently slips the spear through the water and on to a northern pike looking for a mate or a meal.
His father taught him how to carve these six- to eight-inch-long wooden decoys when he was a boy fishing the frozen lakes of Minnesota. With a few updates to his father’s paint job and body style, Busch has been slaying pike in Alaska for years following this method. Now, this childhood hobby has turned into his latest business venture.
Busch started BuschWhacker Decoys with his wife, Julie, after last year’s Houston Pike Derby. Julie approached the Chamber of Commerce and offered decoys as a prize for seven winners. Greg ended up making eight because one was a tie.
ROBERT DeBERRY/Frontiersman BuschWhacker Decoys owner Greg Busch holds one of his handmade rainbow trout decoys.
Never missing an opportunity, Julie Busch approached the representative from Sportsman’s Warehouse, a co-sponsor of the event. She asked them if they would be interested in selling the decoys at their store. After the strong interest generated at the derby, the representative said absolutely.
Sportsman’s Warehouse sold the decoys faster than Busch could make them working from a folding card table in the spare bedroom/studio of his log cabin-style house in Big Lake. The first order of 38 is long gone, and he is now working on back orders. On his table now are three small, gold-brown suckerfish and one rainbow trout.
The process begins with a rough block of cedar or bass wood. Busch sketches an outline in pencil and grinds down the block with a rotary tool. A wood file does the fine tuning, and sand paper finishes the form.
After the woodwork is done, he attaches hand-cut metal fins and a loop for the fishing line. He drills out a section in the bottom of the fish for lead weights to keep the fish upright in the water and then hand-paints the pattern and seals the finish. Plastic eyes finish the fish.
Before the fish hits the lake, each decoy is “swam” to check its weight and balance. The highly scientific proving grounds is family’s laundry room hopper sink.
After the final fin adjustments, it goes jigging through the water after the egg shells and bits of crab legs. The shells refract the light to attract the pike, and the decoy draws them closer. There, Busch waits with his spear.
“It doesn’t matter what species the lure is,” according to Julie Busch. “The pike is just looking for a date or dinner.”
Wanting more convincing evidence, Greg Busch is testing the different species in this year’s pike derby.
The species include pike, rainbow trout, suckerfish and model D-1. The D-1 decoys have the classic lure design of a white body and sharply contrasting head. Each model is six- to eight-inches long, but larger lures can be custom ordered.
Other than the hundreds of trophy pike, Buschwhacker Decoys caught the eye of Fish Alaska magazine, who called the product ice fishing’s “hot new item.”
When asked if they have plans of expanding to stores other than Sportsman’s Warehouse, Julie Busch says she hopes to ride their early success.
Barely one year into their venture, the local team hopes anglers around the state will soon look down to see BuschWhacker Decoys beneath the ice.
The Buschs can be reached at (907) 892-7543 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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