The Byler ‘Muskie-Duc’


William M. James of Chicago obtained patent number 2,665,514 on January 12, 1954 for a wooden duck lure. He then assigned the manufacturing rights to the Byler Corporation, located at 602 Green Bay Road, in Kenilworth, Ill. The name they gave the lure was the “Muskie-Duc.” It came in a tan cardboard box with an instruction sheet. 

The four colors and the combination options it came in were all beautiful: green and yellow, red with silver and black-painted oval eyes, black and white with red eyes and a yellow beak, orange with red trim and bluish-black and white with round red-painted eyes. These 3 1/2-inch-long lures also had white wavy lines painted on their bellies.

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Wings on the Muskie-Duc were aluminum-jointed and designed to flap, giving an action from side to side, like a Heddon Crazy Crawler. In addition, the two “legs” were with Hildebrandt dual spinners to simulate paddling feet, completing the bait.

These are very hard to find now. Years ago, in the “toy” section of some antique stores, there were a few of the unpainted bodies being sold for 25 cents each as bathtub toys. Wish I had bought them all, but hindsight is 20/20.