Best Dove and Pigeon Decoys

There are various techniques used for hunting and shooting pigeons and doves, however, the most popular has to be decoys.

How to use pigeon and dove decoys

To successfully hunt pigeons and doves using decoys you'll need to monitor their flight line, detect wind direction and place the decoys in a specific pattern facing the breeze.

how to use dove and pigeon decoys
The New MOJO Outdoors Elite Series Dove Motion Decoy.

But remember, pigeons and doves are intelligent birds, so one decoy will not be enough to convince them to land. As these bird pests fly and feed in groups, you'll need at least a dozen pigeon or dove decoys in order to attract them.

There are loads of different decoys you can use to entice pigeons and doves, providing you have a license to shoot. From static lures to pigeon whirlies, flappers, and extendable dove trees, we will talk you through the pros and cons of using each decoy.

What are pigeon decoys for?

The pigeon is considered a pest in most countries, as they are notorious for destroying agricultural crops and ruining buildings by roosting and depositing feces. Numbers are therefore generally controlled through pigeon hunting and shooting, which also acts as a deterrent to other birds.

One of the easiest ways to attract pigeons to a particular place in order to hunt is via decoys. Pigeon decoying involves using artificial birds to entice other pigeons to within effective shotgun range.

Decoys are used to attract real pigeons down from the trees and out of their roosts in the belief that there is a plentiful food source where the decoy birds are situated.

The most effective decoys are those that look realistic and can mimic the rapid wingbeat of a pigeon coming into land.

It is important to note that although it is legal to shoot wood pigeons and feral pigeons in America, providing you have a hunting license to do so, this may vary from state to state.

In the UK, however, as of April 29th, 2019, a new law was put in place withdrawing open general licenses, making it illegal to shoot pigeons, crows, or Canada Geese without specific permission. This may mean that pigeons are likely to become a more pressing pest problem in the UK in the long run.

best pigeon and dove decoys available to buy

How to use pigeon decoys

Pigeon decoying is a skill to be mastered, and time should be taken to insure that it is done correctly. More often than not, there is as much reliance on having a well-camouflaged hide as there is on the pattern of the decoys themselves.

Getting the pattern correct is the first challenge and may take more than one shoot to perfect. Place the pigeon decoys too far away and the birds will fly over and land out of range. Alternatively set the pattern too close, and the pigeons will come around the back of the hide, providing you with a day of tricky shots to fire!

In order to prevent arousing suspicion, you want to place your pigeon decoys so that they look like a huddle of happy birds feeding. Just make sure that they are well exposed and not hidden too low in the crop fields to be spotted.

We would also recommend placing a few extra pigeon decoys on branches or in nearby trees so that they give the impression that they are resting after a feed.

Although a lot of advice surrounding pigeon decoys involves laying them out in a u-shape or horseshoe pattern, we have never seen pigeons naturally represent this. Therefore, we prefer to set our pigeon decoys facing the wind, with the odd few at a juxtaposing angle.

Artificial decoys can be incredibly realistic and do work for luring pigeons closer.  Flappers and whirlies are especially good as they provide motion, however, they should be placed upwind of the hide so that they ruffle in the breeze.

Setting up for shooting pigeons

Erecting your hide is also an important part of the pigeon shooting process.

camouflage hide for hunting doves and pigeons
Use a hide for hunting pigeons and doves.

Your hide needs to be fully camouflaged so that you, and your hunting dogs, are well out of sight and it is a good idea to make sure that use natural foliage to blend in with your surroundings.

It is important that you establish how large the area is that you want to cover and where best to place yourself. Ideally, you want to sit around 18-20 meters away from the decoys, with your back to the wind, so that the pigeons fly head-on towards your hide.

What are the best pigeon decoys?

There are all sorts of different pigeon decoys to choose from.  From plastic fold-up decoys to stackable shells and flying imitations, the closest they look to the real McCoy the better. Below we list our top pigeon decoys.

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Mojo Outdoor Pigeon Decoy

The Mojo pigeon decoys come with spinning wings, which are run by batteries and can last up to 16 hours. Situated at the top of a 3 piece, metal mounting frame this realistic-looking pigeon decoy sits high above the crops and brings other pigeons in.

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Guguluza Flocked Pigeon Decoy Shells

This is a good option if you are starting out in the pigeon shooting game and need some realistic-looking pigeon shells. These static pigeon decoys come with sticks on which to perch your plastic pigeons and are decorated with flock coating paint to reduce the glare when placed in the sun or covered in water.

mojo best dove decoys
The Mojo Voodoo dove decoy.

What are dove decoys?

The main reason mourning and Collared Doves are seen as pests is that they carry diseases that can be passed onto other species, ultimately putting livestock at risk through infected poultry and causing indigenous birds respiratory problems. Therefore, the shooting of these pest birds is popular among farmers and agricultural workers.

In America Dove decoys, when used effectively, can be a valuable hunting tool. Doves are well-camouflaged birds so are often difficult to spot on the ground. Therefore, if you can use a decoy to lure them to a particular place, it makes them much easier to shoot.

There are 42 states in America that let you shoot mourning doves and they are currently the most hunted migratory game bird species in the United States, with over 20 million being shot each year. This is the same with collared doves which are non-native to the USA and therefore not protected under state or federal law. All you need to shoot doves in America is a small game shooting license and the right equipment.

In the UK however, new legislation determined in April 2019, states that Collard doves are fully protected by law, making it illegal to shoot and kill them.

How to set up dove decoys

Unlike pigeon decoys, you want your dove decoy to sit off the ground as the silhouette of the decoy is key.

The most common arrangement would be to have a few dove decoys on the ground, with the rest placed on fences, overlooking waterholes or perched on bare trees all in the flight path of the doves themselves.

Since doves are flocking birds, they'll respond better to a perceived flock of decoys rather than an alone bird, which might seem suspicious. This is why dove decoys are so effective at luring socially-minded doves within a suitable gun range.

How to attach dove decoys to branches

The easiest way to attach dove decoys to trees, branches, and other high-up places, is to use wire. Some decoys have eyelets on their backs, which makes attaching them to branches or wires easier to achieve.

Alternatively, you could use a dove tree, which is a self-assembling stand that, when fully erected, can reach over 8ft. The top section then folds out to allow you to place static doves or motorized doves on either side as well as one perched on top.

What are the best dove decoys?

The best-quality dove decoys are made from highly durable materials like polyester. This enables them to be used throughout the year and to be placed on barbed wire or tree branches. They should also look as realistic as possible, mimicking the movement of a dove itself.

Below we list our best dove decoys.

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Mojo Voodoo Dove decoy

We highly recommend the Mojo Voodoo dove decoy as its realism intrigues and attracts. The wings are magnetically attached and can flap for a full 24 hours without needing to change batteries. It also comes with a durable support pole, made from steel, which making setting up this dove decoy a breeze.

Please note that Mojo also produces static dove decoys, which can attach to just about anything.

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Avery Hunting Gear Mourning Birds

Simple yet oh so effective these decoy doves look incredibly realistic. Sold in a pack of 6, they include alligator clips to enable these dove deterrents to attach to tree branches or barb wire with ease.

Dove and Pigeon shooting equipment

There is no doubt that using a dove or pigeon decoy can bring you great results when hunting or shooting. The only thing we find that beats using a decoy, is to use the real thing.

There are many products on the market that allow you to use real birds as well as imitation decoys. We particularly like the FF4 Multi-bird flapper, although there are a number of different brands producing similar things. These quick-release cradles allow you to hook tail feathers and wings in place to create the illusion of live doves or pigeons perching.

Another game-changer for many is a flicker device, used in conjunction with decoys. These small dove flickers attract birds by using several small spinning wings that flash intermittently, attracting doves from up high, down to the field.

dove flicker decoys
Dove flicker decoys

We have previously mentioned the importance of creating a well-disguised hide. However, if you are unable to carry lots of equipment with you when you hunt, then we would suggest trying a camouflage suit. Great for stalking whilst hunting, these ghillies allow you to move around whilst providing adequate concealment.

Another top tip is to take an outdoor belt to store your shells, binoculars, water bottle, and collect your bird game. This will leave your hands-free during a pigeon or dove hunt, to concentrate on setting up the perfect shot.


Whether you shoot to hunt or simply for a pastime, there are plenty of products on the market to make dove and pigeon shooting effortless.

Pigeon and dove decoys are great value for money and can lure pest birds from a great high into range. Setting up decoys is an art form and it may take a number of attempts to achieve the perfect pattern. But, if you have the patience to succeed, then it won't take long before you have them right where you want them.

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