How to Set up Decoys for a Waterfowl Hunt

Discover how to fool fowl with a realistic pocket of lifelike decoys.

In order to attract prey, you’re going to need some basic lessons in trickery. Keep in mind that just owning a set of decoys isn’t going to help you land your trophy bird. The key to truly deceiving your target is knowing how to position them.

To help prepare you for your next hunt, Canadian Waterfowl Guide John Prosak gives his tips for positioning your decoys in order to get a clear shot.


Knowing the direction of the wind is important. Geese land into the wind, so you’ll want to setup your decoy spread in front of you while the wind hits your back.

When positioning your decoys, remember to give your target an easy place to land. To do this, have your decoys flaring off to the left and right so that there is a pocket of turf in the middle. That area acts as a landing strip for the fowl.

Add some realism to the scene. In the pocket, try to place a few family groups in the mix so that the whole gaggle of geese looks realistic. The wind will also give your decoys a life-like motion, which could help increase your odds of deceiving the incoming flock.

Now that you have the birds right where you want them, it’s time to take aim. Check out our waterfowl aiming tips to learn the strategy behind timing your shot.