There have always been two drawbacks of DSD’s: initial cost, and horridly long wait times to get product. We have been blessed with an insanely loyal following and we could never thank you all enough. Some have actually loved that DSD’s are hard to come by; they don’t want everyone having them. But, lately, it had become slightly absurd. That’s hard to admit. We have grown every year since we started in 1999. We anticipate growth and prepare for it. With so many new decoys appearing on the market, we thought maybe things would slow down for a bit? Nope. There was so much marketing and so much hype about so many new decoy brands and models coming, we thought for sure it will help meet the needs of hunters excited to decoy geese, or turkeys, or deer, etc. The marketing by some of these companies did create more excitement about the fun of decoying, and many hunters dove right in. But in a short time, just having “decoys” wasn’t good enough. They wanted DSD’s, and they wanted them NOW. Even with so many new decoys becoming available, we STILL increased our production capabilities significantly, just in case demand continued to soar,but it wasn’t enough.
Statistically, there are fewer hunters per capita than at any time in history, but that means the ones who hunt, are better than ever, and more serious than ever before. That’s the direction hunting is headed- the trend is, you make it very fun and rewarding, or drop out altogether and find something else that brings you joy. So, details matter. Your days to hunt are precious and few, and people want to make the very best of those days. We spend all the time and money on all the other equipment and vehicles, and take a precious day off, plus countless hours of preparation, scouting, and research. Or even have a chance to be a hero to your son or daughter. Lately, few people are willing, after all that, to not have 100% trust and faith on their decoys. It’s exactly the same amount of work and effort in the whole equation to put out mediocre decoys as it is great decoys. Nobody ever said “the birds were hanging-up a little, but I saved money on the decoys, so that felt great!” “Maybe” five years ago, but not anymore. The internet is a powerful thing. The days of “Pro staffs” convincing people that this decoy or that decoy works like magic are long gone. People have a good hunt, or a bad hunt, and it’s on social media in no time. Literally everyone knows that a Pro staffer is required to say nothing but great things about the decoys they represent, no matter what their personal experience is with it. They earn status, notoriety, points and product by doing their good deeds. They must first convince the public they are a hunting authority, then convince the public that “brand X” works as good as a DSD. We get it- it’s OK! That’s how the world works and what keeps the economy going! There also has to be a variety of levels of decoy quality, effectiveness, and yes; price! We have an embarrassing amount of people tell us they represent a certain company, but use our decoys for their own hunting, and sometimes even when filming. At DSD, we purposely don’t have a pro-staff. We want every single thing ever said about our decoys to be 100% REAL and un-prompted. We joke about the evolution of the pro-staff; the PRO started as professional, then evolved to promotional, and maybe leans toward prostitution?? OK that’s an exaggeration, but “slightly” funny? No?
Back to the two issues with DSD. On cost; there’s just not a lot of hope for that one. We work off of VERY slight margins. Seriously. We buy the absolute best materials on earth. The market is FLOODED with price-point decoys. The niche we are filling is the very, very best decoys on the planet. We spare nothing when it comes to materials, quality, R & D, customer service, etc. The bad news is the initial price, the good news is how you will save a lot of money in the long run. Buy it once, buy it right, and be done with it. Besides the savings of not replacing your decoys every few years, you get to use really good decoys that work far better than any price-point decoy. While we’re on the subject: be aware that decoys made in countries where labor costs very little, and of inexpensive materials, should NOT cost you as much as they do. Prices are raised, in some cases, to make you believe they are near the same value as a DSD.
The other issue: that DSD’s have been practically impossible to get. Let me just say that, you spoke, and WE LISTENED. We would like to think we’re not too old or too dense to learn (it’s questionable). We had some people waiting three years to get speck decoys. People were very vocal. There are, according to them, NO viable alternatives so people got frustrated and we don’t blame them one bit. We are lucky and blessed that people were willing to wait when they did. We refused to rush things to fill orders- we proudly kept the quality up. Even reworking our entire lesser line (see blog post on that). We lost David “Tiny” Hanson, mold maker extraordinaire, to untimely passing. Lots of time and hard work later, and we are in a much larger, more modern and efficient building. We have Greg Hogan, a genius general manager, and we’ve staffed-up significantly. Will DSD’s be always and readily available from now on and in huge supply? No. But no more three year, or even two year waiting, and hopefully no more one year waiting. We have taken the problem VERY seriously. We’ve halted all trade shows and marketing, and just stayed home and made decoys and amped-up the efficiency of our new facility. If you’ve ever wanted DSD’s but were disgusted at the idea of waiting, I think 2017 and beyond will have you pleasantly surprised. As always, we wouldn’t keep growing, or make any good products, without YOU and your input, positive or not- we appreciate YOU!!