Waterfowl hunting is all about decoys. I never knew a waterfowl hunter that couldn't spend hours turning page after page in every hunting equipment catalog published and looking at the waterfowl decoys over and over again. Of course that was way back when we had no internet and no online catalogs. But even today, most hunters spend a large percentage of their catalog browsing hours looking at and dreaming of hunting with this decoy or that decoy. And, this activity is not limited to only duck hunters.
I do not know of a single game that has not been duplicated, and in most case, with artistic accuracy by numerous decoy companies. Deer decoys, elk decoys, coyote decoys and the popular wing hunting decoys like dove decoys or turkey decoys. of every description are deployed in an attempt to give the hunter an edge. Decoys to attract a prey within range, decoys to distract the prey and better conceal the hunter or decoys that actually hide the hunter and many times not a replica of the prey but simple a 3rd party bystander like the ole 2 man cow blind used for hunting everything but cows.
Well one may debate the effectiveness of decoys or debate which decoy appears more realistic or performs best, but I think everyone in the field will agree that decoys of every type make the hunt more enjoyable by enhancing the best part of the hunt. And by the best part of any hunt I am referring to the planning, the strategy, the preparation and the anticipation that makes the hunt a challenge. While the hunt itself usually last a few hours or perhaps a day. The "best part of a hunt" is everyday that the season is closed and everyday during the season that we can't hunt because life's other demands. Now that's just my opinion about hunting and because I have never seen a decoy that is foolproof. One day the decoy is just magic and the next day the game cant run the other way fast enough. And, how many of you waterfowlers have seen the day when the ducks and geese just loved anything you did with decoys while the next day, and after rearranging the spread so many times you lose count, we put the same decoys and an empty strap in the truck and head for the house.
Well I will always use decoys, but I absolutely get as much pleasure out of shopping for them, planning how to use them and adjusting that strategy as I do from shooting game with them.