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?

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Arkansas Snow Geese

Arkansas Snow Geese

Wildfowl Editor Skip Knowles took this short video showing all the Snow Geese flying. Let's just say, he had a very good hunt!

Cowboy Fernandez Commemorative Yentzen Classic Duck Call

Cowboy Fernandez Commemorative Yentzen Classic Duck Call

As Groves, Texas duck call maker Sure-Shot Game Calls celebrates their 60th anniversary during 2019, company CEO Charlie Holder shows off the limited edition Yentzen Classic aimed at commemorating the life and times of company founder Jim 'Cowboy' Fernandez. With a special autographed box and a laser engraved call body, the Cowboy Classic is a perfect way to honor the legacy of the 1959 world duck calling champ and inventor of the double-reed duck call.

Swedish Duck Hunt

Swedish Duck Hunt

Kevin Steele takes part in a family driven duck hunt in Sweden.

Franchi 12-Gauge Affinity Semiauto Shotgun

Franchi 12-Gauge Affinity Semiauto Shotgun

Craig Boddington and Eric Poole take a look at the new modern Franchi Affinity shotgun.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

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

Author John M. Taylor has broken down the top waterfowl shotguns for the 2018 season. Shotguns

Best Waterfowl Shotguns of 2018

John Taylor - September 25, 2018

Author John M. Taylor has broken down the top waterfowl shotguns for the 2018 season.

SITKA Gear waterfowl product manager Jim Saubier shows off the Bozeman, Montana 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! Clothing & Waders

New SITKA Women's Waterfowl Lineup for 2019

Lynn Burkhead - January 28, 2019

SITKA Gear waterfowl product manager Jim Saubier shows off the Bozeman, Montana company's full...

Consistency is what pushes today's shotshell makers to constantly improve new waterfowl loads Ammo

11 Best New Shotshell Loads For Waterfowl

Wildfowl Online Staff - August 17, 2017

Consistency is what pushes today's shotshell makers to constantly improve new waterfowl loads

See More Trending Articles

More How-To

Competition for prime spots results in bad behavior. How-To

Waterfowling Etiquette: Use Your Manners

David Hart - February 18, 2016

Competition for prime spots results in bad behavior.

Brad Biere of St. Charles, Missouri, is 35 and has been hunting waterfowl for about 12 years. He is How-To

DIY Kayak Duck Blind

Mike Marsh - April 06, 2016

Brad Biere of St. Charles, Missouri, is 35 and has been hunting waterfowl for about 12 years....

Drowning and hypothermia are the two deadliest killers of waterfowlers. Here's what you need to know to survive! How-To

Deadly Waters: 11 Survival Tactics Waterfowlers Need To Know

David Hart

Drowning and hypothermia are the two deadliest killers of waterfowlers. Here's what you need...

Using high-tech tools such as aerial photography and smartphones for duck scouting hasn't quite caught on like it has in deer hunting. Here's why it should! How-To

High-Tech Duck Scouting

Tony Peterson - July 18, 2018

Using high-tech tools such as aerial photography and smartphones for duck scouting hasn't...

See More How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

Get Digital Access.

All Wildfowl subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now