Waterfowling With Confidence

Waterfowling With Confidence

Years ago, when I first heard about using confidence decoys to help attract ducks and geese, the idea seemed to make a lot of sense. I mean, why wouldn't it be advantageous for a waterfowler to enhance traditional spreads of duck blocks, goose silhouettes and the like with a smattering of something less "ducky" and "goosey?" Anything, I thought, to provide more natural deception, would legally tip the hunting scales more in my favor.

So I did it. I got some confidence dekes. I bought a big old fake blue heron, a dozen plastic coots, three composite cormorants and a few real-looking crows. I passed on a swan decoy. I've never seen a tundra swan in Southwest Georgia. However, I have seen a number of Southwest Georgia hunters who would dearly love to bag a giant white "goose" floating on a backwater slough. The possible consequences, for both decoy and me, weren't exactly to my liking.


I employed my confidence decoys for one season before giving them up. That isn't to say, mind you, that they didn't work. On the contrary: They performed magnificently.



Each variety reliably attracted the species it was designed to imitate. As a result, the waterfowl that showed up to check out my mallard, ringneck and canvasback blocks were put more at ease, willingly and uh, "confidently" pitching in with no thought of my intrusive presence.

Alas, though, there were negatives.


My blue heron, for instance, was set upon by a real great blue that resented the faux bird's intrusion into its fishing and frogging hole. The ensuing ruckus drew a bevy of other animated herons, resulting in a veritable shorebird melee. Never one to resist witnessing a gang fight, I paid no attention to incoming ducks while my expensive decoy was rent into a million unsalvageable pieces.


The coot dekes caused no uproar. Coots are peaceful little critters. Trouble is, they are peaceful little critters that look a lot like stumps in the morning fog. Or, should I say stumps look a lot like floating coots? Whichever, the resemblance never occurred to me until I motored through my coot set in the wee hours and hit one. (A stump. Not a coot.)

The subsequent law-of-inertia demonstration would have made Isaac Newton proud.

My cormorants, including a really cool one with motorized wings, brought in more cormorants. They, in turn, consumed every bluegill and bullhead in the pond, which earned me a vociferous cussing from an irate landowner and the loss of my hunting privileges.

And the crows? Ah, the crows! They showed up in droves. Remember those Southwest Georgia hunters I mentioned? They like nothing better than a good crow shoot.

Ouch! Shoulda just bought the swan.

There's a bright side, though. Despite the preceding less-than-pleasant experiences, seems I was fortunate enough to quit while ahead. I was surfing the Internet recently and came across the confidence decoy to end all confidence decoys. For $79.95, I could have had a life-size fake cow! Perfect confidence deke for a goose field, they say. Thanks be to an ever-kind providence for my missing that one.

Can you say "bull," boys and girls?

Recommended for You

Retriever

Waterfowl Workouts: 3 Summer Duck Dog Drills

Tony J. Peterson

Keep your retriever sharp in the offseason.

Recipes

2 Easy Duck Recipes for Summertime Grilling

WILDFOWL Online Staff

Make summertime barbecues super easy by grilling up one of these duck recipes from Scott...

Industry

Ducks Unlimited: A Duck Man's Best Friend

David Hart

To date, Ducks Unlimited has played a role in conserving 14 million acres.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Wentz Bros Outdoors - Throwback Waterfowl

This video is a classic! Take a front row seat with Carson as he hunted back in college. The clips are all either filmed with a GoPro or cell phone!

Women's Waterfowl Lineup

SITKA Gear waterfowl product manager Jim Saubier shows off the company's full line-up of women's waterfowl hunting gear for 2019. From warm and moisture-wicking base layers to water and windproof outer layers, this is a complete system for women who love to chase fall and wintertime ducks and geese across the four flyways!

Browning A5 Shotgun - 'Gun Stories'

Gun Stories host Joe Mantegna talks about the origin and history of the Browning A5 shotgun.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Calls

Cowboy Fernandez Commemorative Yentzen Classic Duck Call

Lynn Burkhead - January 28, 2019

As Groves, Texas duck call maker Sure-Shot Game Calls celebrates their 60th anniversary during...

How-To

Building a Duck Boat Blind on a Budget

Mike Marsh - May 10, 2016

Jim Orth needed'a simple blind for hunting Lake St. Clair. A staffing recruiter and outfitter...

Shotguns

Best New Waterfowl Shotguns for 2019

Lynn Burkhead - January 23, 2019

Check out our picks for the best new waterfowl guns from the 2019 SHOT Show!

See More Stories

More How-To

How-To

Hunting Land: Why You Should Invest

David Hart - October 30, 2015

While private land hunts may be harder and harder to reach come across days, there is tons...

How-To

7 Suggestions for Canadian Waterfowling Success

WILDFOWL Staff - June 08, 2016

The pursuit of waterfowl is always humbling. And Canada's prairie is a place we have spent...

How-To

Why V-boards Make More Sense for Waterfowlers

John Taylor - December 05, 2016

Want to triple your floating decoy spread with the effort of setting one decoy? Want decoys...

See More How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×