How to Use Confidence Decoys

What are confidence decoys?

Confidence decoys are decoys of birds that are commonly seen with the type of bird that you are hunting.  The intent of confidence decoys is to make your decoy spread look natural to approaching birds.


To use confidence decoys effectively you will want to pay attention to how the birds in your area behave.  The next time you are driving by a body of water and see ducks or geese pay close attention to the other birds that are near them.  Whatever bird you most commonly see is what you should consider as using as a confidence decoy.


The most common confidence decoys used are duck and goose decoys. However, there are other decoys you could use as well.


Watch my Video to Learn More about Confidence Decoys:

Confidence Decoy Examples:

  • Geese
  • Swans
  • Seagulls
  • Sand hill cranes
  • Coots



Ducks often hang out near geese.  When you are hunting ducks you could put out a few dozen duck decoys and then add 6-12 goose decoys to the edges of your decoy spread.


Confidence Decoy Diagram:

Confidence decoy spread


Benefit 1: Realism

As mentioned earlier, adding confidence decoys to your spread can add a level of realism to your decoy setup.


This is because the most commonly hunted waterfowl usually congregate with other birds so having a few other species mixed in could improve your success.


It adds a level of comfort to the birds you are hunting because they feel that if it is calm enough for other birds to be in the area that it must be a safe place to land.


Benefit 2: Makes Your Decoy Spread Stand Out

Particularly if you are hunting on state or federal land, using confidence decoys is one way to help your spread stand out from the others.  If every hunter is using just using one type of decoy and you add a confidence decoy the birds might notice you more.


Additionally, as the season progresses, birds get more and more wary.  You could use your normal decoy spread as far as possible into the season and when you start having difficulty pulling in birds in the late season add in some confidence decoys.


Final Thoughts

I encourage you to continue to experiment with different ways to setup your decoys and trying new decoy techniques to improve your hunting success.  Implementing confidence decoys is one way to change up what you have been doing.


They can add a level of realism to your spread and confidence decoys can also help make your decoy spread stand out from the spreads of other hunters.  Try experimenting with confidence decoys and you just might find that they can give you that little advantage to get you bagging a few more birds.


One excellent manufacturer to get decoys from is TanglefreeTanglefree has some of the most realistic decoys on the market.  Tanglefree has been a great partner of ours and they provided the decoys for our instructional video above, visit my resources page for more information on their full line of duck and goose decoys.

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