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Homemade Robo Goose/Duck Plans

Discussion in 'Ohio Waterfowl Hunting' started by critterhunter, Dec 20, 2002.

  1. Hey all, thought I'd tell you guys about my latest project. I am the only one who hunts a buddies 3 and 1/2 acre pond and the surrounding cut fields. I've seen a lot of geese flying about in the area but they won't commit to a spread of decoys since they've been shot at on other nearby land. I have yet to shoot a goose on this property because of this.

    Anyway, I decided I needed an edge to fool them birds in and had heard good things about robo ducks and robo geese. These things seemed a bit pricey in the catalogs at roughly $100 to $160, so I decided to build one myself and it came out great. Best part is I have less than $20 in it ,excluding the decoy which I garbage picked for free...By the way, anybody have an extra bigfoot goose decoy head they'd like to sell me? This one didn't have one. I'd prefer a head in the active pose, but will take an upright. I live near Cleveland and am willing to drive to you.

    Back to the project. It's simple and easy to make and here's how to do it: Get yourself a shell or full body decoy that you are willing to do some cutting on. Make sure the decoy is hollow if it's a full body like the Bigfoot decoy.

    Next, go shopping and pick up a kid's remote control car or truck. Make sure it's an actual remote control model and not one that has a wire going from the controller to the car/truck. You don't want to be messing with extending wires and unraveling them in the field. I found a remote control truck at Big Lots with a 6volt rechargable battery and charger that came with it for under $20. The controller runs on one 9v battery and should last a long time.

    Your next step is to pick up a piece of wood doll rod or even an arrow shaft for the goose wings to spin on. Doll rod about the diameter of a pencil to twice a pencil's size is good. You don't want to use too thick a doll rod to save on wear and tear on the battery and motor. Make sure the doll rod or arrow shaft is long enough to go through the decoy where the wings would normaly be and still have enough (at least 5 or more inches) sticking out of both sides of the decoy to mount the wings on.

    Next, pick yourself up some corrugated plastic to cut some wings out of (the stuff that looks like cardboard and they make yard signs and such out of). You can use something else, like a rubbermaid container or rubber garbage can but keep it as light as possible. This will save on stress on the battery and motor. You can get the corrugated plastic at most sign shops, or you can go garbage picking for some old signs...or volunteer to put some signs out for a political campain. :') The wings don't have to be as big or as wide as those on a real goose. Mine are about 2/3rd to 1/2 actual size. Draw and cut out one wing and then use it as a template for the other wing.

    The remaining items you'll need are a couple of plastic pulleys (think thread spools, wire spools, fishing line spools, etc.) to act as belt guides for the belt to drive the wing shaft from he car/truck wheel. I was going to mount the wings directly to the end of the wheels but using the belt takes stress off the car/truck motor and wheel shafts. Besides, it's way more complicated to mount it inside the decoy that way.

    Now the fun begins. If your decoy is full body like a Bigfoot you'll need to cut a hole in the bottom big enough to fit the car or truck inside. You might want to leave one side of the hole you are cutting conected to act as a flap door to close when done, or discard that part if you don't care.

    Strip as much junk off the car to save space. Usually the rubber wheels and body will come off while still leaving the rims and chasey containing all the electronics. You might be able to drive the belt (a thick rubber band works well) via the rear spinning rim on the car but you'll probably need a pulley with higher side walls to keep the belt from roaming. If this is the case then glue one of your pulleys to the face of the rim. Make sure you center it as good as you can. Stick the car inside the goose and see where you need to mount it in relation to the wing shaft. Remember too that you can't mount it too far away without a longer belt. Also keep in mind that the car might need to be mounted upside down so you can reach the on/off switch and change the battery without removing the car.

    Next, find the proper spot on the decoy where a real wing would normaly be and drill a hole on both sides of the decoy for the wing shaft to go through. Make sure you only drill it big enough to let the doll rod or arrow shaft to spin easily in. Also make sure you've got enough room for the car/truck inside in relation to where this shaft will be. Otherwise you might have to move it some.

    Once you've got the wing shaft holes drilled insert the wing shaft into one side but not all the way through. Here's where you'll put on the other pulley. You'll also be putting two washers on the doll rod inside the decoy. These will be at the backside of the hole on the body on the doll rod to keep the wing shaft from roaming left or right. Use a rubberband tied to the wing shaft BEHIND the washer (so that the washer is between the rubberband and the inside body of the decoy). This keeps the washer in place but lets it freely spin on the doll rod to cut down on drag. Of course the pulley is on the shaft by now in a place lined up with where the car's pulley will be, but you can figure all that out without me telling you.

    It might be a good idea to put several rubber bands on the drive shaft before it is put back together. One can act as a belt drive and the others can be spares if it snaps. Just let them hang loose in the middle of the shaft until needed. Glue and secure your pulley to the proper spot on the wind shaft. Put a little wheel bearing greese on the wing shaft at the hole on each side of the body to cut down on friction.

    Next, figure out where the car needs to mount. I raised mine off the body (back) of the decoy with some foam cusion which also helps to cut down on noise. I then drilled a hole on each side of where the car chasey will sit through the back of the decoy and inserted eye bolts with washers and a nut. I then placed the car chasey in place and used rubberbands from one eye bolt, over the car body, and to the other eye bolt to snug it against the back of the decoy. Insert your rubberband over both pulleys for a belt and test the setup to make sure the shaft spins and the belt isn't jumping. If all is well then attach the wings to the shaft on each side, making sure they clear the body when spinning. I hot glued mine to the doll rod but whatever works for you.

    Most of the commercial units are mounted three or four foot in the air to look like a bird landing. I personaly don't think this looks natural so I wanted mine to look like a bird stretching it's wings. I drilled a hole in the middle of the front chest and inserted an eye bolt here. I stick a pole in the ground and put the eye bolt onto the top of the pole, with the decoy resting on it's tail. This creates the look of a bird standing up and stretching it's wings. Last thing to do is paint the wings and the pole. I painted my wings grey on one side and black on the other. That's all there is too it!

    The beauty of this setup is that it isn't constantly spinning like most commercial units are. I've heard good things about them drawing in birds but then causing them to flare as they get closer and see the wings still spinning. Instead, I plan to spin the wings when a flock is in sight and then stop them when they come in closer so they don't think the bird is getting up. You might also want to put the controller in a zip lock bag to keep it dry while in use in the field. Didn't mean to be so long winded about this project. Hope you guys find this of use.
     
  2. Have you tried flagging?
     

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