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The Facts About Confidence Decoys

Message to Ducks: "It's safe here. Come on down!"
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Story at a Glance

Confidence Decoys We'll Cover:

  • Geese
  • Coots
  • Herons, Egrets & Cranes
  • Sea Gulls
  • Swans
  • Crows
  • Cormorants
  • Specialty Duck Decoys

Also: Confidence Decoy Manufacturers



Geese are probably the most commonly used confidence decoys today. Waterfowlers in all areas of the country use them to enhance their duck decoy spreads.

Some hunters may use white-fronted or snow goose representations, but these aren't often employed as these species tend to form their own large flocks and seldom mingle as singles or small groups near a flock of ducks. Canada geese, on the other hand, often feed at the edges of duck flocks in pairs or groups. Consequently, Canada goose decoys make good confidence decoys.

These are wary birds, so their presence in a rig indicates all is okay. And more importantly perhaps, their large size allows them to be seen from a greater distance, adding visibility to the spread. Most savvy waterfowlers consider it best to place them in pairs here and there on the outside edge of the duck decoys (on shore or in the water), typically on the upwind side. Standing, floating and silhouette models are available.


You may get teased mercilessly by your friends if you add water chickens to your spread, but coot decoys are good confidence decoys. They were commonly added to the decoy spreads of 19th century hunters, and because they're readily available today, they still are used by enterprising waterfowlers.

Coots often mix with flocks of puddle ducks, eating vegetation and bugs stirred up by dabblers such as pintails, wigeons, gadwalls and mallards. To a lesser extent, they also attend flocks of redheads, canvasbacks, ring-necked ducks and other divers. Whenever coots are in the area you're hunting, you might want to consider setting at least a dozen coot decoys out to the side of your duck decoys.

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Related:  decoy tips

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