How to Setup Silhouette Decoys

What are Silhouette Decoys?

Effective Decoys with Great Cost Efficiency

Silhouette decoys are often misunderstood and not given full consideration by duck and goose hunters.


However, silhouette decoys have many advantages when hunting ducks or geese and these decoys should absolutely be in the conversation when you are making a decoy selection.


  • Low cost
  • Great addition to existing spreads
  • Easy to transport and store
  • Work well when snowing



  • Durability can be an issue if not properly cared for
  • Need to have sufficient numbers to be seen from all directions


Low Cost

One of the biggest barriers of getting into hunting ducks or geese is the cost of building a decoy spread.  The great news is that silhouette decoys allow you to build an excellent looking spread at a very reasonable price.


You can get these decoys in the range of $3-$10 per decoy which is significantly lower than full body or shell decoys that typically go from $15-$60 or more per decoy. This allows you to get an excellent starting spread of 2 dozen decoys for around $200. 


Great Addition to Existing Spreads

Summer Silhouette Decoy SetupAdding to the benefit of low cost, silhouette decoys can be a great way to add numbers to your existing shell or full body decoy spreads. You may have started off by getting 2 dozen full body decoys but now you are looking for a way to get more decoys to pull in larger flocks of late season goose hunting.


By picking up 1-2 dozen silhouette decoys, your spread can easily be expanded to add some quantity to what you already have.  This way you don’t have to break the bank in order to improve your hunting success.


Easy to Store and Transport

The flat design of silhouette decoys allows them to be easily stored and transported.  You can stack many of these decoys together and they will take up minimal space in your storage area as well as your vehicle.  For those hunters who do not have a truck and trailer to haul around dozens of full body decoys these are an excellent choice.


Additionally, you can purchase silhouette decoy bags that can hold around 4 dozen decoys each.  If you have a long distance to walk from your vehicle to your favorite hunting spot then this is a much easier method over lugging full body or shell decoys across the field.


Work Well When Snowing

Winter Silhouette Decoy Hunting SuccessIf you like to hunt geese in the winter then you have likely experienced snow piling up on top of your decoys.  Full body decoys and shell decoys collect falling snow on the top of the decoys; this creates an unnatural look and will scare off approaching geese.


On the other hand, silhouette decoys have a significant advantage when hunting in the snow.  Unlike full body or shell decoys, silhouette decoys do not collect snow on the top which improves your hunting success in snow as well as saves you time from continually cleaning off snow from your shell or full body decoys.


Setting up Silhouette Decoys

Face Your Decoys in Many Directions

One key item to remember with setting up silhouette decoys is that they need to be faced in several different directions to be seen well.  This is because silhouette decoys have the best visibility when they are directly facing the birds approaching your spread.


If you are strictly using silhouette decoys we recommend that you have at least two dozen decoys to ensure that you have enough decoys to be seen from each direction.


How do you do this?

  • Place the decoys facing multiple angles during setup
  • Adjust as necessary


Example: Hunting With Silhouette Decoys (Common “V” Shape)


Silhouette Decoy Setup

You can see that in this example we have our decoys setup in one of the most common goose hunting spreads which is the “V” shape.  The concept of the “V” is to funnel geese to land into the opening spot of the “V” where we have labeled it the “Landing Zone”.


To setup this spread with silhouette decoys you simply need to place the decoys facing a variety of directions.  As the example shows, we have some decoys facing left, some facing right, while others are facing forward.  Setting up your silhouette decoys in this manner will allow the geese to see the decoys from all directions.  This provides visibility if the geese circle your spread before making their final approach.


Final Words on Silhouette Decoys

Silhouette Decoys Should Be Considered With Your Next Decoy Purchase

To quickly recap, there are many advantages to using silhouette decoys including low cost, easy to transport and store and work well in snowing conditions.


If you are looking to start or grow your spread we encourage you to think about your specific hunting needs and keep silhouette decoys in mind for your next decoy purchase.


Where Can You Get Silhouette Decoys?

As with any hunting item there are many places to purchase silhouette decoys.  However, not all silhouette decoys are created equal and as we discussed earlier durability and realism needs to be considered with silhouette decoys.


The decoys that I reviewed for this article were provided by Big Al’s Decoys and I can tell you first hand that they look incredibly real and are made of high quality material.


Big Al’s “Take-Em” style economy silhouettes have an incredible life-like look, Each silhouette is printed in a duo-tone screen-print process, along with an ultra matte coating on 1/4″ thick corrugated plastic material.  This means that the decoys will be able to stand up to the harsh conditions that you will encounter when using them in the field.


You can find Big Al’s Decoys at or call 1-800-759-2774, Ext 125.

Big Als Decoys