How to Make Floating Goose Decoys out of Shell Decoys

Do you have excess shell decoys but not enough floating decoys?  Floating goose decoys can be expensive, with these simple to follow step-by-step instruction we will show you how to turn your shell Canadian goose decoys into floating goose decoys for about $2 per decoy.

Watch the Step by Step Video Here:

Supplies Needed:

  • Shell goose decoys
  • Hack saw
  • Power drill
  • 1/8 inch drill bit
  • Permanent marker
  • 1 inch screws 2-4 per decoy
  • Clear silicone caulk
  • Inerior exterior heavy duty construction adhesive in caulk tube
  • Caulking gun
  • 1 inch thick by 5 foot long PVC pipe
  • 1 1/2 inch thick by 14 3/8 inch wide by 96 inch long expanded polyestryene (thick styrofoam)
  • 1 square of sandpaper
  • Paper towels
  • Decoy line
  • Decoy weight
  • Disposable plastic gloves (optional)


Step 1: Place your decoy shell on one end of the thick Styrofoam sheet with the tail touching the end.  Use the permanent marker to draw a line across the Styrofoam by the head with about ½ inch extra clearance.  Cut this section off the Styrofoam sheet with the hack saw blade.


Step 2: Hold the decoy in place on the cut out piece of Styrofoam and trace around the chest and side sections of the shell decoy with the permanent marker.  When you reach the rear area of the decoy you will need to push this section down to the Styrofoam board to continue tracing.  This is because the tail section of most shell decoys is higher than the rest of the decoy.  Be careful not to push too hard or the decoy will separate beyond its normal size making your tracing inaccurate.


Step 3: After you have traced the outline of your decoy use the hack saw blade to cut out the outline of the decoy. Do this by cutting along the traced lines that you just made. Be careful to not cut the Styrofoam too narrow with this first round of cutting as you can trim any excess later.


Step 4: Place the cut out Styrofoam board inside of the decoy shell to check for fit. You want to the board to fit inside of the decoy as snugly as possible to keep a good seal from water. Additionally, the better the board fits the less caulk you will need to seal it in place.


Step 5: In any areas that the board is too large, use the hack saw blade to carefully trim away excess Styrofoam. Do this in small steps as you do not want to trim too much Styrofoam at any one time.


Step 6: Place the board back into the decoy and carefully drill 2 to 4 drill screws through the side of the decoy into the Styrofoam to secure the Styrofoam board into the decoy.


Step 7: Using the caulking gun loaded with the clear caulk, seal the gaps between the Styrofoam board and the decoy shell. Do this in 6 inch sections by making a 6 inch line of caulk on the edges and then use your finger to fill the caulk into the holes and to scrape off the excess caulking. After you have all of the gaps filled in with caulk allow the decoy to dry for 24 hours.


Step 8: While allowing the decoy to dry you can prepare the PVC piping for the keel. Since I purchased a 5 foot PVC piece (60 inches) I cut the pipe into 4 equal 15 inch sections.


Step 9: Using your power drill with the 1/8 inch drill bit, drill holes for the decoy line on each end of the pipe. Drill the holes about 1 inch in from each end. When drilling, go all of the way through both sides
of the PVC pipe.


Step 10: After you have the decoy line holes drilled you will want to take the piece of sand paper to rub off any rough edges that the drilling left behind on the PVC pipe. We want to ensure the pipe is smooth around the holes to prevent the decoy line from getting frayed once it is tied to the hole.


Step 11: Now that the decoy has dried for 24 hours it is time to secure the PVC pipe to the bottom of the Styrofoam board. First, place a line of the Interior & Exterior Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive in a straight line on the bottom of the PVC pipe. Do this adjacent to the decoy line holes that you have drilled. This is so that when you place the pipe on the board the decoy line holes will both be accessible for tying the line to. Now center and place the PVC pipe on the bottom of the board with the pipe running parallel to the long section of the decoy. One end of the pipe will be facing the head, the other end will be facing the tail.


Step 12: While gently holding the PVC pipe in place, be careful to not push too hard into the Styrofoam board. Now use the caulking gun loaded with the Interior & Exterior Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive to secure the PVC keel in place. Do this by placing a thick line of adhesive to each side of the PVC pipe. Use your finger to squish the adhesive alongside the pipe and to remove any excess adhesive. Allow the PVC pipe keel to dry for 24 hours.


Step 13: Once the PVC keel has dried in place for 24 hours go ahead and tie your decoy line with decoy weight in the decoy line hole.  You will now have a floating goose decoy made out of a shell goose decoy. Enjoy hunting over water!


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