We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Duck Decoys?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Sports n' Hobbies, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Duck decoys are tools used in the trapping and hunting of ducks. In the original sense, a duck decoy was a wickerwork tunnel positioned over a pond or stream, and used to trap a large number of ducks. In the modern sense, decoys are usually fake ducks which are floated on bodies of water to encourage real ducks to land. These decoys are also used in the training of hunting dogs.

The original duck decoy was a rather clever device. The hunter positioned what was essentially a large basket over a body of water, and then used a well trained hunting dog to herd ducks into the decoy. Once inside, the ducks were trapped, and the hunter could take the ducks to market and sell them. This type of decoy is still used by some naturalists to trap live birds for the purpose of tagging and study.

The cage-like basket also explains the origins of the word “decoy.” In Dutch, de kooi means “the cage,” and English users probably picked up the term as well as the technique from Dutch hunters. Several examples of historical decoys can be found around Europe; some are considered national heritage sites and they are part of larger parks and reserve areas. In some instances, reserves offer live demonstrations of decoys for visitors who are interested in seeing them in use.

However, when the term “duck decoy” is used today, most people think of model ducks, rather than cages. Duck decoys range in design from being very crude representations of ducks to elaborate mimics which may be designed to move or swim around, thus lulling ducks into a sense of security. When ducks see the decoy, they decide that the body of water is safe, and they land on it, thus exposing themselves to hunters who can shoot, snare, or trap them.

Hunting dogs are also trained with the use of decoys. Hunters who pursue waterfowl need dogs to retrieve the birds they shoot without damaging them. Decoys are used to teach dogs to sit patiently until they are needed, and they are also used to show dogs how to carefully pick up a bird and bring it back to the person who shot it.

Many hunting suppliers sell decoys, and it is also possible to make one by hand, if one has crafting skills. Some people also collect antique and historical duck decoys as interesting pieces of household sculpture, especially in homes which are decorated with a rustic or country theme.

Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Sports n' Hobbies researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon147850 — On Jan 30, 2011

What are duck decoys made of? Who discovered duck decoys?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
Sports n' Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Sports n' Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.