Why You Should Ditch Your Full Bodies and Start Hunting Over Silos


Goose hunting is a game of excess. The more you spend, the more you have, the more you prosper. But that doesn’t always have to be the case when it comes to hunting these big northern birds. In fact, if you are working on nothing but limits (limited time, limited budget, or limited storage) there is one tool in the toolbox that will allow you to compete with some of the most elaborate spreads known to man. Goose silhouette decoys have been making a comeback in the world of goose hunting over the past 10 years and they are here to stay and here is why.



Bang For Your Buck

If you’re new to goose hunting, you have probably been told that you need to invest as much money as you can into your decoy game. I would even go as far to say that those same people that are telling you to buy as many decoys as possible are also telling you that you have to have full body decoys if you want to be successful. Though they mean well, you don’t have to buy the best of the best to fool a gaggle of geese.

Unlike their 3D full body counterparts, goose silhouette decoys, better known as silos, are a 2D representation of a goose that is typically printed onto some type of board material. Silos can range from very high tech and intricate depictions of geese to crude, hand-drawn, black and white, spray-painted imitations. Because of their simplistic structure and the lower amount of effort it takes to produce them, one of their biggest benefits is price. Depending on where you shop, you can find a dozen silhouette decoys for just shy of $100 whereas a dozen full body decoys may cost you north of $300. These prices make it easy to put together a large enough spread without having to completely break the bank.



Simulated Movement

Any hard-hunting waterfowl hunter knows that movement can make or break how realistic your decoys look to incoming honkers. Most hunters will typically use flappers, flags, or field spinners to add in movement to their full body decoy spreads. Instead, by simply switching from full body decoys to goose silos, you can add in a layer of movement at no extra cost. This movement comes from a silhouette decoy’s 2D construction.

Full body decoys can be seen from every angle by onlooking eyes from overhead.



Where silhouette decoys’ 2D nature offers a benefit is in their ability to disappear and reappear at certain angles. This coming and going from view is what gives off the illusion of moving birds to circling geese. In order to gain this advantage, it is important that you take the time to set your silos up correctly. As you are laying out your decoys make sure to have them all facing different directions and changing the angles of their outlines. This will give you the best chance at creating enough deception to change even the weariest bird’s mind.



Another great benefit of switching from full body decoys to silos is that the latter allows you to become more adaptable as a hunter. Full body decoys are most often heavy and cumbersome. They require a large amount of space in a truck bed or worse force you to have a trailer. Both of these limiting factors are nonexistent with silos, and it is common to be able to fit up to 5 dozen decoys into a single bag (yes, you read that right).

Then there is the dreaded midhunt shuffle. We have all been there, sat in a blind in frustration as flight after flight of birds have been flaring at God knows what. You go through the mental game of contemplating how to shift your spread and whether or not you even have enough time before the next group. In these make-or-break situations silhouettes are king. They can be quickly and easily picked up and relocated within the span of just a few minutes. They also make it a breeze to layout and pack up your spread at the end of a hunt as they can be carried in stacks, unlike their more cumbersome brethren.



For too long hunters have bought into the myth that you can’t kill limits of geese if you don’t have the most realistic full body decoys money can buy. Well, I’m here to tell you that you can, and you can do it much more efficiently. The days of needing a bank loan just to afford a decent spread are over. Whether you’re just getting started, are a solo hunter, or maybe someone who doesn’t have a lot of storage available, investing in silhouette decoys will be the best decision you will make this year.

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About The Author
Lance Louth

Lance Louth is a waterfowl and upland hunter located in northeast Ohio. He owns and operates Honeybrook Kennels, a gundog training facility that focuses on developing a retriever’s natural abilities. Lance chronicles his passion for his dogs and hunting through his writing and photography. He is driven by his love for the outdoors and his obsession with the art of storytelling. You can follow along with Lance as he highlights the endless hunting opportunities that can be found in your own backyard on Instagram at @lancelouth or through his own personal blog, Into The Uplands.