Crow huntress. Photo: Rikard Lewander
Hunting with decoys
Decoys are artificial birds used on land to attract real birds. Birds that are used in the same way in water are called floating decoys.
Crows have been hunted with decoys since long ago. In the past, live Eurasian eagle fowl were often used. This form of hunting is based on the crows' innate anger towards birds of prey.
The decoy is placed within firing range of a shooting station, where the hunter is hiding. The best time for such crow shooting is in early spring.
Stuffed goshawk or fox can also be used.
Photo: Rikard Lewander
Decoys are also used for pigeon hunting, with the purpose of attracting the pigeons. The aim is to create the impression of a flock of pigeons feeding safely. 10-15 decoys are placed in a horseshoe shape. This then looks like a naturally grazing flock, and live pigeons will land in the empty area in the middle. Already shot pigeons can be used to enhance the impression of volume.
Ducks and geese
Decoys, floating or stationary, can also be used to hunt ducks and geese in migration. Goose decoys are placed against the wind, within shooting distance of the hiding place. To look as natural as possible, some decoys should be placed with their heads raised, to imitate geese keeping guard while the rest of the flock feeds. Some decoys can also be placed outside the firing range, to catch incoming geese.
Photo: Åsa Norrby
Hunting with floating decoys
Placing floating decoys on water can be very useful when hunting migrating ducks. A duck whistle can be used to give a more natural impression.
The floating decoys must be placed in areas where ducks will naturally land.
If a shot bird does not die right away, it is important to shoot it again immediately, as it can otherwise dive and be difficult to locate.
This type of hunting works best in light or moderate wind. If the water is too calm, the floating decoys won't look lifelike enough, and if the winds are too strong they move in an unnatural manner.