Gone Outdoors

How to Make Homemade Goose Decoys

by Ben Team

Decoys are important tools for modern waterfowl hunters, but assembling a sizable flock of commercially produced models often is expensive. Instead, make your own decoys from a variety of materials -- your creativity is the only limiting factor. Construct and use a variety of different decoy types and postures to achieve the best results.

Floating Decoys

Make floating decoys from foam buoys by cutting the buoy in half and attaching a wooden keel to the bottom to keep it floating properly. Cut out a foam or wooden head and neck and attach it to one side of the buoy. Use black and white spray paint to give the decoy a convincing color scheme. Alternatively, make a head and neck from foam and attach it to a plastic jug, painted black and white. Tie a tug string to several of the floating decoys so you can impart movement when ducks or geese fly overhead.

Silhouette Decoys

Alter plastic yard signs – such as those used by real estate agents – to create convincing silhouette-style decoys. Remove the plastic sheet from the metal stakes and cut it into the shape of a goose. Paint the plastic sheet black and white to match the plumage of a goose and re-attach the plastic to the metal stakes. Make several of these two-dimensional decoys to create an effective spread, and create them in a variety of postures -- such as feeding, alert and sleeping.

Full-Bodied Decoys

Full-bodied decoys look more realistic than any other type of decoy, but are the most difficult type to make. If you have the necessary artistic skill, cut a three-dimensional decoy from a block of foam and then paint it to resemble a goose. If you are an accomplished woodworker, carve decoys from basswood, give them a good paint job and then coat them in a waterproofing sealant.

Filling Out the Spread

While you want the majority of your decoys to accurately resemble geese, it is often wise to fill out your spread with a few simple decoys that may not look exactly like geese, but help to create the impression of a vibrant flock. For example, cut out a goose head and neck from a piece of cardboard. Use black and white paint to color the cardboard like a goose’s head. Attach the goose head to a straightened coat hanger, which will serve as a stake for the decoy. Tape, tie or glue a black trash bag to the stake and paint a white tail patch on the end. Place the decoy among your other decoys, where the wind will cause the trash bag to flap and add movement to the spread.

Photo Credits

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