Even wondered how the best goose decoys can improve your hunting game? Goose hunting requires determination, skill, discipline, and maybe most of all, a ton of gear. Any type of waterfowl hunting has this added requirement of investing in the hunt. Blinds, boats, calls, clothing, and that is just the basics. Every hunter is different, as is every situation, but one thing that has held up through the years is the use decoys in goose hunting.
Geese, like most waterfowl, are incredibly smart. They have keen eyesight, and are very sensitive to movement of any kind. They also know when a decoy spread doesn’t look natural. Some hunters will put their decoys way too close together not realizing that even a small goose has a four-foot wingspan and would not land so close as to not be able to open their wings. Some hunters do not mix up their spread, choosing to only use floaters, or shells, or full bodies. I, like many hunters, use a mix of all decoys, if it is possible.
What To Look For
When choosing the best goose decoy, it is important to know your hunting grounds. Hunting on a river or lake will require different tactics than hunting in fields or meadows. If you have to walk a long way to get to your spot, light-weight goose decoys will be of some concern. In general, there are four main factors that every decoy should be judged by. These include durability, realism, portability, and price.
Durability is one of the most important things to consider when buying decoys. They need to stand up to sixty plus days each hunting season. I have always lived by the rule “quality over quantity,” especially when it comes to the best goose decoys. If you have to choose between a small spread of higher quality and durable decoys, or a bigger spread of some “bargain” decoys; the better quality goose spread is the way to go for two reasons:
- First, higher durability means they will retain their realistic appearance, and not have paint flaking off, or cracks and chips.
- Second, they will last a good four years at least, which will save you money in the long run letting you build up your spread with quality decoys.
Most decoys are made out of hard, molded plastic, foam, or a mixture of those two. Deciding which material to use depends on your situation. If you can get to your spot without much hiking, molded plastic is the better choice. If you have a long way to trek to get to your hole, foams or mixed will save your back at the end of the day. Foam decoys also have better movement which can mean the difference between eating goose, or picking up a bucket of chicken on the way home.
Plastic decoys are the favorite and most popular with hunters because they simply outlast the other kinds. In the past, there was not much choice as far as weight of the decoys, and they were stationary. Nowadays there are many choices. Technology has increased tremendously, allowing for the development of lighter, more durable material. Many have movement, and the painted details on these decoys lasts year after year.
Going after geese is one of the most challenging hunts in my opinion. They have a strong flock mentality that can be very hard to convince. Realistic decoys is as important as durability. Why? Well, if a single goose senses something off, they will keep right on going. That situation ends in a fruitless hunt.
Towards the end of the season is, by far, the hardest to bag a beautiful bird. They have become wary, and their senses are on high. The slightest spot of unnatural stance, look, paint, or any other factor can prevent a flock from landing. If you can see something that doesn’t look realistic or natural, then geese will see it many times better.
Realism not only refers to the detailed paint jobs that are done, but also the different motions that the decoys are capable of. Some flap in the wind as if they are landing, some as if they are eating, and quite a few other positions and styles are available. Many hunters use two or three kinds, sometimes more. The key is to mimic a real flock.
Any seasoned hunter will tell you that hunting geese takes patience and mobility. There is a reason that people say that having to search hard for something is the equivalent of a “wild goose chase.” What worked yesterday, and the location you were at may very well not work today. Being able to set up decoys and take them down quickly is a key component to success.
Hard plastic goose decoys are bulky, heavy and require quite a bit of work to setup and takedown. Foam is always lighter, but the question of durability comes into play. Most hunters prefer the hard plastic, or a combination, because, as I said, they outlast every other decoy. With the money that gets invested in decoys it is no secret why.
If you can get to your blind with a four wheeler or an other form of transportation, what you choose to use is a bit more open and a less important factor. However, many places take old fashioned walking to reach, and many wetlands are protected from the use of vehicles. Taking some of each decoy is recommended, but not necessary.
The 4 Best Goose Decoys
So, that’s pretty much it when it comes to decoys. The last thing is price, but this is up to the hunter. The thing most hunters will tell you is, that spending a little more in the beginning will save you a ton in the long run. With that being said, here are a few different decoys and their reviews, that I suggest you should look into.
Big Foot Full Body Goose Decoys
These hard plastic polyethylene decoys are a favorite for many hunters. They are incredibly durable and will last, even when put through the hard abuse that many hunters, including myself, are known for. They can be thrown in the back of the truck, or kicked across the ice without any damage to their detail.
They are amazingly realistic. With flocked heads, and great feather detail, these are sure to bring in some birds. Big Foot uses a special technology that mixes the paint with the plastic body, instead of painting over the top. This prevents cracking and chipping of the paint. They are built with the most realistic measurements on the market today.
Remember we are talking about hard plastic decoys here, so they are bulky and harder to move around. Still, they are not as heavy as some of the older decoys that people used to use and they make a great addition to a basic spread. These decoys are expensive, but as I said before, you don’t want to trade in quality for quantity. Definitely one of the best full body goose decoys for the money, the “Big Foots” are a good choice for any hunter, whether they are a novice or seasoned. Four decoys are included in this pack.
- Very durable molded plastic
- Flocked heads
- Realistic movement
- Molded in paint
- Heavier than other decoys
Hard Core “Full Body”
These full body decoys come with Trumotion stands. Those stands are removable for use in other spreads. Their appearance decoys will fool even wary, end of the season flocks that are flying through. Hardcore uses an armored paint system to prevent chipping and cracking.
The six pack comes with two feeders, two hungry feeders, two active feeders, and six Trumotion bases. The bases make them really good floating decoys by realistically moving them, when used in the water. You can either use them there, or in the field as a lay-down set.
They are full body decoys, which makes them heavier and bulkier than other goose decoys. Since that’s the case, their heads are removable for easier storage and transport. This set will add depth to any spread, or work as a starter pack for a beginner.
- Very Durable armored paint technology
- Six pack
- Three different stances
- Trumotion stands give them realistic movement
- Removable flocked heads
- Full body are harder to transport
- Heads can be hard to move
- Price is a little high
Primos Final Approach Last Pass HD Field Honker Decoy
The anatomy of these decoys is equal to custom decoys of a much higher price. The realistic detail is second to none. This is a six pack with six unique postures, giving it the ultimate realistic detail in any pack so far. The bases offer realistic movement, and let the bodies swivel for specific placement.
They come with a heavy shock cord to mimic leg movement and Sculpture flock showcases unbelievable detail and design. Sentry, rester, walker, and three feeders all positioned differently, combined with an intricate head design and realistic feathers.
While the price of these is quite high, the amount of quality is worth it. The sentry and rester are on static stands, while the feeders and walker are on motion stands. They are made with hard molded plastic to make them last in the field for years to come.
- Lifelike detail
- Anatomy is close to perfect
- Six decoys with unique postures
- Swivel heads gives more freedom for placement
- Hard molded plastic
- Heavy shock cord mimics leg movements
- Highest price yet
- Bulky, not easy to transport
Avery GHG 71572 Pro-Grade Fully Flocked Full Body Honkers Sentry Pack
Another pack of decoys and great addition for any spread. They have fully flocked heads with hidden transition lines commonly found on other decoys. It includes Realmotion bases and field stakes for use in multiple environments.
GHG includes a Flexsorb body impact dispersal system to eliminate broken heads and cracked bodies. The paint is molded in, and legs have a snapback feature that rounds out this package to make it very realistic and durable.
The pack includes two straight sentries, two relaxed sentries, one left sentry, and one right sentry. It is a great starter pack for the beginner, or a great pack to fill out a huge spread. Whatever your use, they definitely deserve to be on the list of the best goose decoys and are sure to provide some good hunting action.
- Flocked, trimmed heads to eliminate transition lines
- Molded in paint
- Six pack with four styles
- Realmotion bases and field stakes included
- Flexsorb system prevents breaking and cracking
- Snapback leg feature
- The price
The Best Goose Decoy For The Money
The reason I picked all plastic models is because I think these are the most durable and will stand up to the pressure of abuse that is given to the common goose decoy. I also looked for decoys with an easy setup. With all this in mind, and because of the price, I picked the Final Approach “Last Pass” as the best goose decoys for the money. They are finely painted and durable and are about a hundred dollars less than the GHG models, which would be my next choice. Whatever your choice will be, you can’t really go wrong with any of the goose decoys reviewed above.