Auction To Benefit Sycamore

Decoy & Sporting Collectible Auction
Featuring the Steve Weller Collection
Live Webcast: Saturday June 17th, 2023 starting at 10am Eastern
Bid online now!

Proceeds from the Steve Weller collection will be used by Sycamore Land Trust to create an Environmental and Conservation Education Center elevated above a wetland property along Beanblossom Creek near Bloomington.

Auction to Benefit Sycamore Land Trust

Featuring the Steve Weller Collection

On April 15 and June 17, 2023, professional live webcast auctions of Steve Weller’s collection of duck decoys, sporting collectibles, and rare John James Audubon books and prints benefitted Sycamore Land Trust’s wetland restoration and outdoor education projects. The amazing collection was created by the late Steve Weller, a noted outdoor educator, conservation leader, and owner of his own firm specializing in large-scale wetland restoration. Steve and Kathy Weller are also long-term supporters of Sycamore Land Trust, and Kathy selected Sycamore to receive the proceeds from the sale of Steve’s collection.

Proceeds from the Steve Weller collection auctions will be used by Sycamore Land Trust to create an Environmental and Conservation Education Center elevated above a wetland property along Beanblossom Creek near Bloomington, Indiana.  This education center and the nature preserve will enable people of all ages and abilities to experience and learn about the importance of land conservation, habitat restoration and wetlands, to support biodiversity and climate resiliency. In the coming years, Sycamore will significantly expand the preserve’s current wetland to create more waterfowl habitat.

Ann Connors, Development Director, was interviewed by Shelley Kirk on Eyewitness News in Evansville about the April 15th auction, when the first 190 lots from the Steve Weller collection were auctioned to benefit Sycamore, including a rare set of The Royal Octavo Edition of Birds of America by John James Audubon.


Steve Weller 1953- 2022


Steve was born March 25, 1953 in Danville, Illinois but grew up across the state line near Perrysville, Indiana. As a child Steve tromped the fields, woodlands and streams of the Wabash River Valley in west central Indiana hunting arrowheads and morels, fishing for bass and bluegill, and learning to identify the flora and fauna he observed.

Steve began his career as an outdoor education naturalist at Forest Glen County Preserve near Westville, Illinois. By then he could identify anything that “grew, flew, walked or squawked” in the native landscape. He went on to obtain two Masters Degrees in Biology/Education and Landscape Architecture, and held various positions in Outdoor Education, Open Space Planning, and Natural Resource Conservation/Restoration in Indiana and Illinois. In his last job in the public sector, he was Executive Director of the McHenry County Conservation district, conserving over 6,000 acres of high-quality native areas and developing 60 miles of rail trails, which connected to biking/hiking trails in northeast Illinois.

Upon retiring from public service Steve formed his own firm specializing in large-scale wetland restoration to mitigate wetland losses from development in the Chicago region. The wetlands he brought back to life serve as freshwater sinks for groundwater replenishment and habitat for animals, birds and migrating waterfowl.

Toward the end of his life Steve developed a fascination for wooden duck decoys along with tinnies, shorebird decoys, fish decoys, duck calls and an assortment of related items you see presented in these two auctions by Grant Cole of Auctioneers, Inc. Steve would be pleased that these treasures will be “flying off” to appreciative wildlife lovers across the country. He would also be pleased that the totality of profits from these auctions will be directed to public wetland restoration and outdoor education projects.


How does the Live Webcast Auction work?


If you have any questions please contact:

Grant & Megan Cole
Auctioneers Inc.

More information from Auctioneers Inc. about the auction process and timeline:


How can I Bid?

We offer Online Bidding through our Website using (HiBid) go to to register, we will also be offering the auction on Live Auctioneers, Invaluable & Auction Zip Live. We also accept Phone & Absentee Bidding.

Online Bidding Advantage:

If you plan to bid Online be sure to register on our website (HiBid) for a discounted Buyer’s Premium of 20% cash or check or 25% for credit card. If planning on paying by check please send an email to Megan Cole at, Buyer’s Premium for Invaluable, Auction Zip Live & Live Auctioneers is 28%.

Lots Per Hour:

We will sell on average 50 – 70 lots per hour during the live Auction. This will give you a ballpark timeline of when your item will go live. The auction goes live at 10AM eastern. For example lot 150 will be 2 – 2.5hrs into the auction.

Want to listen to the Auction Live?

We offer live audio through HiBid, this will allow you to listen to the auctioneer live during the auction. It makes for a more enjoyable auction experience and is helpful to hear when Grant, our auctioneer, is getting ready to sell the item. Please understand that we do not want to miss any bids and once you see the “Fair Warning” This Item is about to close so please get your bids in. We do our best to communicate with our buyers when an item is about to sell. Once the Auctioneer has said sold the item is sold. There are no tie bids and the bidding will not remain open for a late bid.

Pre Bidding vs Live Bidding Advantage.

We have seen our customers miss out on items that they were interested in for a number or reasons in the past and we hope to share some insight to the pre bidding advantage. Pre Bidding allows you to place bids prior to the auction and lets the software do the bidding for you. Do you live in an area with slow internet speed? Pre Bidding is the perfect solution, you place your max bid and the software bids competitively on your behalf. You can sign up for email notifications when you have been outbid. This allows you more time to really think about what you are willing to bid on an item or gives you the opportunity to pursue other items in the auction. Live Bidding works well also as long as you have good internet speed. You can bid using a Laptop or Desktop Computer which seems to be the easiest as it allows you to have a mouse in hand and actually click the bid button. You can also bid using your phone or a tablet. Phones or Tablets are more sensitive on the screen and we have seen bidders miss the opportunity to bid.

Be Sure to Register Early for the Auction!

Like we have said before please be sure to register prior to the auction. You will know when you have successfully registered for the auction as an instant pop up notification “Congratulations You Are Registered”. We encourage you to try and place a bid on an item prior to the day of auction. The HiBid software will NOT accept your bid if you are not registered for the sale. If you have any questions or need assistance to register please contact Grant at 231-651-9099. The registration process takes about 5 minutes.

Absentee Bidding:

This is a great option if you don’t want to register an online account. Just call Grant at 231-651-9099 to set up your absentee bids. Absentee Bids are confidential & we bid competitively on your behalf. Please contact Grant asap to get your bids in.

Phone Bidding:

Some customers prefer to be on the phone for the auction. While we do offer this option we strongly encourage you to bid online. We have seen customers miss out on the opportunity to bid because of poor cell phone reception or their ringer was off on their phone. If you want to register for phone bids please contact Grant at 231-651-9099 to place your phone bids.

Auction Day:

We will start the Live Auction at 10AM Eastern with Lot 1. We will have the Auction Ring Open on HiBid 10 minutes prior to the auction going live. If using HiBid you can “Enter Live Auction Ring” and select Live Audio and turn the speaker up to hear the opening announcements and the terms & conditions of the sale. We only offer Live Audio on HiBid.

During the Auction:

Please do not contact us Unless it is an emergency. If you have any questions that can wait until after the auction please send us an email at If you are having issues with registration or online bidding during the live auction we can accept absentee bids for you but please be aware that we are very limited to what we can do once the auction is live.

After the Auction:

We will not send Invoices until Monday afternoon – evening. If you bid through Hibid-Phone or Absentee bidding your invoice will come over at 25% Buyers Premium unless you have contacted Megan to notify us of paying by check or Wire Transfer. If you bid through Live Auctioneers – Invaluable or Auction Zip Live your invoice will be 28% buyers premium. We wait 4 days after the auction to charge credit cards on file. If you would like to speed up the payment process and want to use the card on file contact Megan at

Shipping your items:

The shipping is separate from the auction invoice. Once the invoice has been paid we will begin packing your items. We provide a shipping service that is much more affordable than the large UPS box stores or Pak Mail. Please understand that there are over 500 items in this auction and it does take time to process and pack these items. When your items are packed and ready to ship you will receive an invoice via email and text from Shipping Saint. This is the name of our new Shipping software. When you have paid the your shipping invoice you will receive a shipping confirmation tracking number via email and also text message. If you wish to pick up your items at our warehouse in Benzonia please let Grant know at or 231-651-9099

The Auctioneers Inc. Mission:

Megan & I are very proud of our auction business and we are very excited for this auction. We wouldn’t be the auction company that we are today without you. We are a family owned & operated auction company that cares about our customers. Every aspect of our business is important to us and we appreciate the feedback from our buyers and sellers as it helps us become a better auction company. We operate in a very transparent manner and we have built our business on honesty and integrity. We hope that you enjoy this auction as much as we will. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.


Learn More