Homemade Snow Goose Decoy Kite?

by Peter
(Iowa)

Q:

I know I can buy a Jackite for like $30 to use for hunting geese. I was curious how a guy could make his own kite that would resemble a snow goose? Any ideas thank you! Just FYI, I have found the Tyvek 1443r kitemaking material here in town for $3 a yard so that will be the cheapest part. Just the design I am a little unsure of thanks.

A:

After a quick whip around the Net to check what others have come up with, I realized you have done a bit of your own research ;-)

The realistic flying and flapping decoys are impressive - I have seen a video, and you would swear that it was a real snow goose! It seems the designers have put a lot of effort into doing a great job of it. Also, they have legally protected their ideas with a patent. Of course, that doesn't stop anybody from making their own replica kite for personal use.

However, my impression is that it would not be practical to attempt a copy of one of these decoys just from pictures. Even with an actual bought decoy as an example, there's plenty that could go wrong! Sail shape, balance, bridling, spar flexibility and weight would all have to be spot on to end up with a properly working decoy. If you value your time, it would make a lot more sense to just buy one.

But hey - I do have an idea for a cheap, flying decoy that might be better than nothing!

Check out my Dowel Delta design. Use your Tyvek instead of plastic. That way, you or an artistic friend perhaps, can paint the top surface (only!) of the sail with a matt-finish acrylic. Glossy finishes are no good for decoys, apparently. Ideally, you would want to paint a background color scheme that blends with the surface over which you intend to fly the kite. Water? Marsh? Use as little paint as possible, to keep weight down. Spray it perhaps.

Then, you would hand paint on a picture of a snow goose in flight, viewed from above. The shape of a Delta kite would allow for the long neck, outstretched wings, and short tail. Obviously, make this image just as realistic as you possibly can.

Just an idea! And if the weather is often a bit windy, you might want to go up a size for the dowel spars as described in the instructions. Or at least, beef up the spreader to ensure it doesn't snap during a strong gust of wind.

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Wind Speeds


Light breeze

6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
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13–18 mph
11–16 knots
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19–24 mph
17–21 knots
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25–31 mph
22–27 knots
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