It pains me to write that title. Could there be a more boring name for a new decoy? I think about all the cool, “dynamic” names we could’ve considered. We’ve been waiting close to 2 decades to make this decoy. It’s been brewing inside all of us and the time finally came for it to see daylight and take its first breath. Why not an “X-treme” something? At least a something-something “HD”? Nope. It’s just not our style. DSD has always been about the product, and the product’s effectiveness. We suck at creating marketing hype. Heck, we suck at marketing. Even if we were masters of marketing, we have almost zero budget for it, because we pour everything we have into the product; R & D, and the best materials and craftsmanship on earth. Luckily, the resulting product is anything but generic. We have to make the product good so it sells itself, or we go out of business.
The one-piece honker is a life-sized, large-race, canada goose designed, like all DSD’s, to effectively replace the “stuffer” decoy. Will its finish ever equal a stuffer? Probably not, but dang close. Will its shape ever match a stuffer? Easily, and then some. Like a strutting Tom turkey, no one seems to be able to nail the shape and feather loft of the real thing in taxidermy renderings, or at least no one bothers to go to the effort of nailing the poses, especially since it’s “just a stuffer”. Like our strutter and all our turkey poses, we can “nail” the poses and feather loft. We only have to nail it one time. With a sculpture, I, personally, stick with each one until it’s right. I’m so inherently lazy, that I actually love the idea of doing lots of research and putting forth lots of effort, knowing that if I get it right one time, then all subsequent parts will be right (and my work is done LOL).
Back to the finish. Why would I say we can come “dang close” to the finish of a taxidermy mount? Two reasons. First, and most important: we use a spectrometer to measure the reflection of color in the visible spectrum and also in the Ultra-violet spectrum on freshly-killed birds and then match our finishes as closely as humanly possible. The best part? We now have our own, on-site spectrophotometer. A huge investment, the beauty of this is we can measure the colors and reflection of more specimens, and fresher specimens compared to borrowing occasional time-slots at the local university (where they’re not nearly as excited about dead things as we are). Our new imaging equipment is state-of-the-art, too. The other reason I say we can come dang close to the finish of live birds: since we can measure the colors and reflective finish of freshly killed birds and then match the reflection in the visible and UV spectrums, this is potentially more accurate than a stuffer, since a stuffer stops preening itself at death (generally speaking lol). The uropygial oil that birds oil their feathers with during daily preening has a huge effect on light reflection. Stuffers even just one year old, measured with our spectrometer show a pretty vast difference compared to a freshly killed bird that still has preening oil on all the feathers. Even in the visible spectrum, the light colors on a stuffer quickly get lighter, and the darks quickly get more tan/orange/yellow and lighter in value and hue.
Another feature that helps the finish on the one-piece honker is the deep, rough texture. The same texture that’s found on our Lessers, Specks, and Cacklers. This texture has proven to get the best readings with our color and reflection metering equipment, but more importantly, it has proven itself in the field, over and over and over. Finally a honker with this deadly texture.
This represents the first sculpture I’ve ever done where I took a series of photographs, blew them up to the size I wanted, then used them to make patterns. In the past, I did a lot of “winging it”, starting with a blob of clay and some mounts, photos, and videos for reference. If the one-piece isn’t accurate, then it’s because the goose I used as a model wasn’t anatomically right, but I’m pretty sure he was.
One thing about this goose that really makes me smile is the tail and wing tips. My first goose sculpture of 1998 had add-on tail and wing tips and I loved the thinness and realism. It always made me sad to have to thicken them up for production over the years. I would die if I had to “block them in” like they do at the blow molding factories in China and Taiwan. We were determined to bring back ultra-thin tails and primary wing tips, without having to add them on and we did. The only decoy available with this, now they are ultra-thin and ultra-durable- YESSSSSS!!
So, did I mention that the one-piece honker is one-piece? Ha ha. Well, it is! How great is that? I love our original honker, but thank God for a one-piece decoy where the heads stay on and are always in perfect position. We would never be able to fit our original honker in a box if the heads weren’t detachable, but these gems: no problem. In fact, the new one-piece honkers are roughly halfway in size between our lessers and original honkers.
If our original honker is about making a big, attracting presence with fewer decoys, this new honker is about ultra-realism and even stealth & slight subtlety. Deadly accurate for extreme pressured, wintering birds (extreme, not “X-treme” LOL). Between the finish, colors, size, tails & wing tips, motion, and LEGS, this is the deadliest decoy from already the world’s deadliest decoy makers.
Yeah I guess I did say “legs”. Yes, these have deadly accurate legs, molded from a real goose and no, they’re not painted jet black (for the same reason we don’t paint check patches white: realism!) Based on our design from a limited run in 2001, the legs easily fold out of the way for bagging. The system also allows for the base to stay attached to the decoy for quick spread adjustments when the wind changes.
Bottom line: we present to you: the greatest Canada goose decoy on planet earth so far, from creation to the present time. Our secret? We dedicate each and every sculpture to the original creator himself, and he, in turn guides us. It is our sincere hope that this decoy is a part of life-long memories and as always, we would be NO WHERE without the humbling support and even guidance from our loyal friends who also happen to be our customers. THANK YOU ALL