What is a decoy?
The word decoy was originally found in English as “coy”. Coy comes from the Dutch word “kooi” and means “the cage” and dates back to the early 17th century. From the beginning the word was used to describe a type of duck trap that was used in the UK and the Netherlands. During the following years a “decoy” more often signifies a person or a device not just specific to duck hunting. Back in the days all duck decoys was created from wood, today however the most common material is plastic which gives a more authentic look and is also much more durable.
These are the most common decoys in the world. The idea behind it is very simple. Ducks like ducks, and if you place out a convincing replica of a real duck next to a pond the chance that other ducks will join the decoy is very high. These types of decoys are often called “Wildfowl decoys” and they usually have the shape of ducks, geese, shorebirds and crows. Last year Elmer Crowell sold over 1 million Canada goose decoys.
During the Second World War the use of decoys was very popular. The idea behind it is easy – fool your enemies by making yourself look more intimidating by using dummy weapons. For an example, England had put up telephone poles disguised as cannons on their southern coast in order to make the German bombing planes fly around them and loose valuable fuel. Before the invasion of Normandy the English had used hundreds of inflatable tanks on a certain location which made the Germans think that the attack wouldn’t come from Normandy at all. Today there is also used decoys in warfare, the most popular way is to use fake bombs to scare people. This type of warfare is often used by guerillas.