Introduction: Portable, Controllable, Double-sided Moose Decoy

There is nothing better for getting a bull moose to show itself than the sight of a cow moose. This build extends off of a build at My version is light, quite portable (folds in half), double sided and the direction it is facing can be controlled "by wire". With this configuration, it can be set to face a bull moose, no matter where the bull shows up.

The build could be adapted to any other big game. Just find a picture of the animal you want to decoy, and follow these directions.

Note: There doesn't seem to be a category for "hunting", so I put it under "survival". Hunting should be about feeding the family anyway, which is survival as far as I am concerned. This device can also be used to coax a bull out for photography.

Step 1: Supplies

The major supplies are:

A 4' * 4' piece of corrugated plastic. (Sold at most hardware stores as "coreplast" or "tenplast".)

An extendable tent/awning pole. I found this one at my local outdoor store.

Some strapping used for strapping up plumbing pipe (about 3 inches.)

A heavy nut/bolt. I used 5/16 * 1 1/4", I used a nut with a nylon bushing.

A clamp for strapping 1/2" copper plumbing pipe to wood.

A few small screws. I used #8 * 3/4" pan head.

A thumb screw (I used 1/4" * 1 1/4").

Paint: I used two cans of spray paint, two shades of brown. I also used some black paint, and a black sharpie.

Some bits of wood: 2 4' 1 x 4s. A piece of 2 x 4 some 1 x 2.


Step 2: Building the Decoy Body.

  • I went to the website mentioned earlier ( ) and borrowed their image. I set it up through my projector to project onto the plastic sheet. (You may notice that I set up a drop sheet around the plastic sheet to catch any overspray.
    • VERY IMPORTANT! I set up my plastic sheet so that the the ribs run vertically, not horizontally!
  • I set up my home theater projector to project the image perfectly on the plastic sheet. This was all set up in my basement, kinda fit in between everything else, as you can see.
  • I then took my sharpie, and outlined where I wanted to cut out the decoy.
  • Under the influence of projector light, I took my brown spray cans, and did my best job to render the moose onto the plastic. My image quality ain't great, but moose eyesight isn't either. I did my best to emphasize (exaggerate) the girl parts.

The backside:

  • I then cut out my decoy along the original sharpie lines.
  • I flipped the decoy horizontally, so that the unpainted back was showing.
  • On my projector, there was a feature for "rear projection". Setting this feature caused the projector to flip its image horizontally.
  • I carefully aligned the cut out decoy with the projection, and proceeded to spray paint it as with the other side.


  • I took a brush and some black paint and painted in details around the moose's face and girl parts.

Step 3: Folding in Half.

First, locate where to fold it in half.

The ideal place to put the fold is at the balance point. Hold your decoy up with your fingers at the top. Shift your fingers. When it stands up straight, you've got it. (If you don't do it this way, it'll want to sit cockeyed on your stand.)

Cut through one side of the plastic, following the corrugation. This will make a perfect hinge.

Step 4: Mounting the Support Blocks

Before mounting the blocks figure out where they need to go to work with your tent pole.

  • For each block, fold the decoy in half, then put the screws, or a pilot hole, through both sides of the decoy and into your block of wood.
  • Now remove the screw, and put it back through just one side and into your block. Use the hole that now exists in the other side to put the second screw into your block of wood.
  • This way when you store the decoy, one screw, through both sides will hold the decoy in closed position.

With both blocks of wood mounted on the decoy, work out exactly how your tent pole will mount to your blocks.

What worked for me was that I made a [ shape out of some plumber's strapping, and screwed the top and bottom into the block. When I aligned it just right, the holes in the plumber's strapping fit the top pin of the tent pole just perfectly.

For the bottom, I used the plumbing pipe support, and screwed it to hold the bottom of the tent pole. This worked perfectly (and must work perfectly, even if you need to make some adjustments) to hold the tent pole firmly so that it cannot rotate. If this is not so, you will not be able to control your decoy's direction. Instead it will blow in the wind like a wind vane.

Step 5: The Base

  • I started with 2 1 x 4s. I drilled a hole through both, and put a nut/bolt pair through. I tightened them just enough to allow for them to still rotate against each other.
  • I then mounted a piece of 2 x 4 such that it covered the bolt.
    • I drilled a pocket in the 2 x 4 so that it fit over the nut.
    • I screwed the 2 x 4 to the top 1 x 4 from underneath. (Through the 1 x 4 first.)
  • I set up my stand like an X, and drilled a hole through it. (The hole is just large enough to receive the tent pole.) This hole is slightly off center so that it doesn't conflict with the nut/bolt pair. When the tent pole is put in place, it makes it so that the X cannot close.

Oh, I know that the two boards are slightly one over the other. This makes for a stand that is slightly wobbly on a hard floor. In the field, I have always found it easy enough to dig or stack something to make the base stable. I have sometimes placed heavy items (rocks or logs) on the stand to increase my decoy's stability.

Step 6: The Control System

I took a 1 * 2, and drilled a hole in it just large enough to receive the tent pole. This is slightly smaller than the hole in the base, as mine receives the tent pole in the middle segment, not the bottom segment.

I then drilled a pilot hole for my thumb screw. I made it small enough that when I wound the thumb screw in, it made threads. This assembly can tighten down onto the tent pole quite nicely. When it turns, the pole turns, turning the decoy.

I tied a length of string to each end of the 1 * 2, and to the ends of my control stick (which happens to be a 2 x 2, but could be about anything.

Step 7: Putting It All Together.

When put away we have 3 parts:

  • The decoy is folded in half, with each of the control blocks screwed on on just one side. This holds the decoy in folded position.
  • I normally store the tent pole with the control rod on it loosely.
  • The base.

To assemble it:

  • Remove both control blocks, open the decoy and reattach both blocks with two screws. Now the decoy is held open.
  • Extend the top part of the tent pole, and thread it onto the two control blocks. Tighten the bottom control block to the pole firmly.
  • Place the tent pole into the opened stand.
  • Adjust the height of the pole to establish how high the decoy sits.
  • Tighten the control rod onto the tent pole.
  • Extend the control strings into your hunting blind.
  • Wait for Mr. Moose.

Outside Contest

Participated in the
Outside Contest