When I first started goose hunting, we used whatever decoys we could afford and they did the job. We noticed that as the season progressed and more and more migrating birds came through, we were getting fewer birds. Finally one day, my buddy Rick had had enough. We walked out of the field and drove off to the closest sporting goods store to buy better dekes. We quickly learned with our newfound full-body decoys is that the geese reacted better to decoys that looked more like real birds.
That was several years ago and since then, I have updated my own pile of decoys to a mixture of full-body decoys and shells. I looked at a lot of variations in the stores and catalogs. I pity the poor guy at one store who had to pull every deke out of several boxes with me so we could compare different spreads. Hey, I was going to spend a lot of money…
Final Approach is a company that makes some truly life-like decoys as well as other products with the hardcore waterfowler in mind. Their Last Pass Canada goose decoys in full-body and shell configurations are worth every penny.
The full-body experience
The level of detail in these decoys is amazing. They look like real birds. The head positions and feet are incredible life-like. Set-up is easier than ever thanks to their patented Dura-Connect system for attaching the heads. This used to be a real weak link in the goose decoy area. The included motion stakes allow for realistic and much-needed movement. I used these dekes in a spot that wasn’t truly ideal. The geese actually wanted to land in the next field, but gave these dekes a look and they came in.
The shell game
I like to have a few shell decoys to mix in with the full-bodies. To be honest, I’ve never had much luck with shells. It seems the ones I’ve bought in the past looked as cheap as they were and the paint never held. I won’t say which brand these were, but they are one of the bigger name companies. So I didn’t expect too much when I opened up the box of FA shell decoys.
Boy, I should have known better after seeing the full-body decoys. They have all the features of the full-body dekes with the convenience of a shell deke. They even go one better as all of the black areas on the shell are flocked, including the tail feathers. This is such a nice touch as it makes for added realism, but it is also adds to the work. I can’t just toss these into a decoy bag anymore. I’ll take the added work for the added realism though.
The Outwrite Truth
I’ve used these decoys in cut alfalfa fields, cut wheat fields, and cut corn fields. I have had them out in frost cold mornings and sloppy wet nasty days that make you second guess even coming out. I am not kind to my decoys and expect them to pull in birds and not fail. After all the abuse I have lumped onto them, the Final Approach goose full-body and shell decoys have held up far better than I expected. Like with any flocked decoy, you have to take care of them and pay extra attention to keep the flocked areas clean. In this, they are no different than other dekes.
Where they leap ahead is in realism and value. I had my spread out and was sitting in my layout blind waiting for the next flock when I noticed something in the field. Now, I’ve had coyotes come up and check out a decoy spread, but they have never come within 100 yards. Here came ole Mr. Yote in full daylight, putting the sneak on my decoy spread. He was looking hard at a resting deke at the edge of the spread and went to make his final move. A load of BB ended his charge at three yards from the decoy. Apparently it was too temping and too realistic for him to resist.