How to Build a Vortex Spinning Wing System

by Timothy Burns
To attract ducks, a hunter must create a life-like sanctuary with decoys and hunting blinds.

To attract ducks, a hunter must create a life-like sanctuary with decoys and hunting blinds.

A vortex spinning wing system is a waterfowl hunter's decoy that is similar to a yard ornament that spins in the wind. In nature, flying ducks are attracted to ponds where they see other ducks have already landed. The vortex duck system allows hunters to create the image of a populated, and therefore safe, duck haven. The decoy attracts ducks to the ground, where the hunter can kill them.

  1. Paint the PVC tubing and the 3/4-inch wood dowel dark gray with spray paint. The framework for the vortex spinning wing decoy should blend into the surrounding environment.

  2. Cut a 6-inch piece of 1-inch dowel, and tap it down into the 1-inch tubing until the dowel is flush with the top of the tubing.

  3. Drill a 1/8-inch hole in the center of this wood dowel, down into the end of the wood dowel. Also drill a 3/8-inch hole through the diameter of the long, 3/4-inch dowel at its center point. (If the dowel is 36 inches long, drill the hole 18 inches from one end.)

  4. Place a washer on the 1/4-inch lag screw. Slide the lag screw through the hole in the long dowel, and then place a washer on the bottom of the bolt. Screw the bolt down into the hole on the end of the dowel that is inserted in the end of the 1-inch tubing. You are creating a “T”-shaped spinning frame. The long 3/4-inch dowel will spin on the pivot created by the lag screw.

  5. Attach one of the duck decoys to each end of the wood dowel with fishing line. Use 16 to 18 inches of fishing line so that the decoys look like they are flying just below the wood dowel.

  6. Put a dab of graphic lubricant on the joint between the 3/4-inch wood dowel and the washer on the top and bottom of the bolt-pivot. The lubricant will help the crosspiece spin freely in the wind.

Items you will need

  • 2 spinning-wing duck decoys
  • 6-feet-long carbon fiber or plastic PVC tube, 1-inch inner diameter
  • 1-inch dowel
  • Wood saw
  • Dark gray spray paint
  • 1/4-by-2-inch lag screw
  • 1/4-inch lag screw washers
  • Cordless drill with drill and driver bits
  • Graphite lubricant
  • Hammer or rubber mallet
  • 3/4-inch hardwood dowel
  • Fishing line


  • Use the vortex decoy by driving the tubing into the ground in the middle of a shallow pond. From the air, ducks see the decoy, which resembles ducks landing and taking off from the surface of the pond.

About the Author

Since 2003, Timothy Burns' writing has appeared in magazines, management and leadership papers. He has contributed to nationally published books and he leads the Word Weavers of West Michigan writers' group. Burns wrote "Forged in the Fire" in 2004, and has published numerous articles online. As a trained conference speaker, Burns speaks nationally on the art, science and inspiration of freelance writing.

Photo Credits

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