Decoys for newbie - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-28-2018, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Decoys for newbie

So last year I wanted to start getting into goose hunting. I was more of a if the opportunity presented itself hunter. I realize that's not the best way to go about it. So I'm looking for recommendations on decoys; what kind, how many, new or used. Budget is a concern with a 3 month old at home. Also willing to take any other tips people can recommend.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-28-2018, 06:00 PM
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So last year I wanted to start getting into goose hunting. I was more of a if the opportunity presented itself hunter. I realize that's not the best way to go about it. So I'm looking for recommendations on decoys; what kind, how many, new or used. Budget is a concern with a 3 month old at home. Also willing to take any other tips people can recommend.
This is gonna be a problem....

In all seriousness, decoys are expensive and the people that are really really successful use ALOT of decoys, I'm talking trailers full of em. That being said, having some decoys is better than having none at all. Generally, full body decoys are the most expensive so you're probably going to want to limit those with your budget. Shells are probably a little bit cheaper, and silhouettes even cheaper yet. Your results may vary but I would try a mixture of the different types.

Without a big spread of decoys, I think it's more important to do your scouting and set up where you know the birds want to be.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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This is gonna be a problem.....
the 3 month or the budget or both?

i am hoping maybe to find some half decent used decoys to help offset the costs. i did find a guy selling 26 used decoys that are in decent shape. i was also told that trash bags could be used as decoys but wasnt entirely sure.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 11:45 AM
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Waterfowling can get extremely expensive. I'd recommend looking into used decoys and then look up videos on how to flock and paint them. If you're handy, you could get really nice looking decoys this way for much less than new. I'd also try hooking up with a good friend or two and try going in on a spread. There is the obvious drawback of co-owning decoys if there is a falling out between you but, it could double the size of your spread. I don't know too many guys that field hunt geese alone anyway. So try hooking up with like minded friends and see what they have, then go out and try to buy something to add to the spread. Each year add a little to it. In a few years you should have something decent.


Marcus99 is spot on. Our spread includes a mixture of full bodies, shells, and silos. Also right on with being where geese want to be. Sometimes it takes only a dozen or so decoys if you are exactly where the geese want in. Your hide is then most important.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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i am trying to figure out when i can get out with some friends that are waterfowlers so i can get some experience. im figuring this will be a long term hunting goal of building up stocks of decoys.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 02:37 PM
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Don't let them discourage you. Can decoys be expensive, yes, but this is all relative. If I were to start over I would buy a dozen shells and silos and go from there. I started out with a dozen carrylite decoys and we had "good" success over them. The key to success is not in the decoys, but in the scouting and setup. Focus on the scouting and you will find success.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 02:47 PM
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silos and wind socks will be your cheapest route for new. You can find used lots for sale if you keep your eyes open. Good deals go fast. Sales and such are usually better after the end of a season. If your walking into a lot of spots your going to want a portable spread. You can continue to expand and mix everything together for big spreads shells, full bodies, etc.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by schappellt View Post
the 3 month or the budget or both?

i am hoping maybe to find some half decent used decoys to help offset the costs. i did find a guy selling 26 used decoys that are in decent shape. i was also told that trash bags could be used as decoys but wasnt entirely sure.
hahaha mostly the budget, but maybe both. I don't have kids so I wouldn't know.

Used decoys can be good, but like other's said it not always easy to find a good deal and if you do find one you better jump on it fast.

I think all the advice that you've received here is very good.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 07:30 AM
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There are lots of things that have been used for decoys over the years from bags + pieces of tires all the way up to "stuffers" (taxidermy decoys). Starting out I'd stick with getting 4dz cheaper shells or buying used but compare prices some guys want "new" prices for used decoys. I would get standard size for 3dz then get 1dz magnum to start and just stick to basic decoys.

My starting rig was 30 hand-me-down shells that had been repainted(sort of LOL) several times. I also got 6 floaters for water use(I rigged bases out of 4" PVC pipe for field use). I added 4 super mags then in added 1dz "silos" the next year and 1 dz shells in the following year(I quit using the floaters in the field). I looked at getting some full bodies but never did and did get out of goose hunting a few years back(the crew broke up and going solo was getting old). I bought factory seconds on the "silo's" and some companies offer seconds or discontinued decoys at reduced rates. All of my solo spots were on GL's so I walked in with my gear.

No matter what you buy you will need to touch them up at some point and you can add flocking then if you stick with it. I would get a pack of motion stakes to add some "life" to your spread. (trick - tie a string to a couple of them on non-windy days)
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 08:23 AM
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I will be honest with you and tell you that buying the decoys will be about the cheapest part of waterfowling !! Once you have bought them money wise you are done there but the money you will spend in fuel will surpass the moneys in the decoys if you really want to kill birds ! I've been doing this for 35yrs and fuel is the biggest expense ! I've spent up to $750 in one month ! Scouting is the most important part if you want to continuously kill birds !
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