Decoys are obviously a very important part of our waterfowl hunting strategy. There are plenty of types of decoys we can use, and there are near endless amounts of spreads that we can put our decoys in. So, which ones are the best, and do silo (short for silhouette) decoys deserve a spot in your decoy spread? I think they absolutely do, based on the major success that many hunters have had with them. Let’s take a closer look at silhouette decoys and see why you may want to pick up a few.
Silhouette decoys work exceptionally well while hunting in fields, but they also work in water. Silhouette decoys are known to be cheaper, and easier to set up than other decoys on top of the fact that they are very realistic and are more convincing to waterfowl overhead than you may initially think.
With that being said, there are more reasons to use these 2D decoys other than the price. Let’s start off with the advantages that silhouettes have over other decoys and then we can dive into how to use them effectively.
Advantages of Silhouettes Over Other Decoys
As I mentioned before, silo decoys typically come with a preferable price tag. Typically, you expect to pay well over $150 for around a half dozen of quality full body decoys. While you can get a dozen or more silo decoys for around $90.
This is a huge advantage for the average hunter. If you can afford more decoys and can make more developed spreads, you can more effectively hunt geese. Plus, if these silhouette decoys work just as good or better than full-body, or shell decoys, why not use them?
Another awesome thing about silhouette decoys is how easy they are to pack. Since they are 2D, they stack right on top of each other and you can easily fit three dozen of these guys where you would typically fit a couple of full-body decoys. So, your overall load to the blind will be greatly reduced.
They are also easier to put out than other decoys as a result. You can pretty much carry all of them at once and just stick them in the group like a yard sign. I would take this over lugging around full bodies or shells any day.
Added Motion Effects
While these 2D decoys do not move by themselves, they give the illusion that they do. If you picture yourself as a goose (or watch drone footage) flying above a spread of these silhouette decoys, you will notice that you cannot see the decoys that are parallel with your flight path.
They can see the ones perpendicular to them though, and as they circle the area the angle they see the decoys changes. So with decoys appearing and disappearing, it looks as if they are moving. Which is much more effective than having a few moving decoys and the rest being stationary like we would with 3D decoys.
There are plenty of decoys that move or other methods for moving decoys but none are as simple as the silo. You do not have to set up big battery-powered decoys, rely on the wind, or use any sort of jerk string on the water. The decoys do all the work, in any condition.
They Are Super Realistic
While super cheap silo decoys may not look all that great, they will certainly do the trick. With that being said, the premium silhouette decoys (that are still cheaper than mid-range full bodies) look super realistic. It is much easier for manufacturers to print a picture of a real goose on a silo than to try and make a 3D model look realistic.
So, while plenty of 3D models look great, 2D silos look just as good and often better. World champion caller Sean Mann said in an interview with wildfowl magazine that he has even had coyotes hit his silo decoys. To which he said:
These silhouette decoys are also good for pulling in birds that have experienced a lot of hunting pressure. With a more realistic layout, they are more likely to trust in the decoys. As long as you do something different than what most of the hunters in the area do, then you will have more geese come within shooting range.
How Do You Use a Silhouette Decoy?
Great, now that you know the advantages of a silo decoy how the heck do you use them? Well first things first, do not go throwing away your other types of decoys. While you could definitely make an entire spread out of silo decoys, it is also very beneficial to mix in what you already have. Adding any sort of small variation will help in the long run.
Two common spreads that continue to work well for goose hunters are the X spread and the U spread. Taking a few dozen silhouettes and putting them in an X pattern is always a good strategy. It does not matter which way geese fly in, or how the wind is blowing. This spread is going to work the same way in every situation.
Decoy spreads are a whole wild animal that honestly deserves its own article, but if you are just starting out use the X. If you already have a spread that works well for you, adding in a dozen silos, or replacing a few of your other types of decoys is sure to work wonders.
You can also use silhouette decoys on the water too! While most of the time we just think of using silos in fields, they look great on the water if you can find a way to float them. In this video, you can see an example of where YouTuber Average Opportunity put two silo decoys on a simple wooden frame that floats. Check it out here
Can You Use Silhouette Decoys for Ducks Too?
Just like we saw above, silhouette decoys work on the water too. So why not use them for duck hunting? It may take a little DIY, but you can definitely incorporate silos into your duck spread if you really want to.
Although, it may not be necessary if you are hunting smaller ponds or swamps. If you are hunting large lakes or even oceans, then silhouette decoys may be a good type of decoy to incorporate in your spread.
How Many Silhouette Decoys Do You Need?
To make an effective goose spread you will need at least two dozen silhouette decoys. With their ease of use and cheaper price tag, you could do much better with four dozen or more silo decoys.
If you want to pick a couple of dozen, here are some quality decoys on amazon for less than $100 a dozen. Currently, Dive Bomb V2’s are the best on the market.
Thank you for reading my article about rutting bucks. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something you didn’t already know. If you like my content, subscribe to my weekly update. If you have any other questions about caring for wild meat, or just want to connect, feel free to email me at Patrick.Long@omegaoutdoors.net.