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DSD Snow Review

Discussion in 'Snow Goose Hunting Forum' started by Geez n Quackers, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. Geez n Quackers

    Geez n Quackers Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    865
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    Mar 13, 2000
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    When the new DSD snow goose decoy was released, my initial thoughts were that it was an incredibly realistic looking decoy. Ahead of anything on the market to date. No doubt it would attract hunters. It certainly did me. I am unapologetic that I prefer full-bodies. And for me, the more realistic the better. But the cost versus other full-bodies certainly gave me pause. As much as I may prefer looking at a spread of the DSD’s over my currently used GHG’s, the real question I was asking myself was, is the added realism of the DSD significant enough to improve decoying snows. I have always made my choice of equipment – especially for hunting snows – based on what I believe is the best option for fooling them.

    Initially I couldn’t convince myself that the new DSD was worth the added cost. Eventually I decided that I had to know and ordered a quantity that I believed would be enough to make that judgement. I ordered 250, about 1/3 blues. So here are my thoughts on the decoy itself:

    The pictures in the DSD advertising are accurate. They look as good in hand as in the company pictures. I have to say that the photos I took are with my camera phone and a little flat. Especially in wider angle shots of the decoy spread. I took some comparison pictures with the DSD, GHG, and Avian-X below. In size they are between the GHG and the Avian, and I would say in between with regard to weight as well. From any angle, they just look more like a live goose in posture and proportion. Some may argue whether that added level of realism is required. The argument being that when they are that close, you should be shooting. I have my own personal opinions about that, but I am not here to debate that now.

    IMG_2885.JPG IMG_2888.JPG IMG_2890.JPG IMG_2894.JPG

    The decoy is well made and seems very durable. It’s the plastic with a little flex many are using these days. The paint adhesion is good. Scuff resistance seems really good on the white snows, and ok on the blues but not bullet proof. I think the darker colors are just more prone to showing scuffing. That’s not to say it scratches off easily. The paint placement and detailing is very accurate and consistent on every decoy. The bills alone have two or three colors on them. I will say though that this is one of the areas I repainted. Most may not care about this but it’s one of my pet peeves. I have repainted the legs and bills on almost every manufactured snow goose decoy I have ever bought. And the DSD is no exception. Nobody can seem to get this color correct. The picture shows the difference, the brighter red being the paint as it comes on the decoy.

    IMG_2781.JPG

    The elastic cord that holds the legs on and allows them to fold is substantial and far superior to that thin elastic string on the GHG’s that tends to break.

    Other than the incredible realism of this decoy, what I love the most, and really sells it for me, is the cone/ stake design. Though it’s the cone design that makes it. On almost every other decoy, you have to search and feel for the stake hole opening. The DSD opening is large and it’s amazing how easy it is to place the decoy on the stake, and surprising how much of a time saver this is! And here’s is one of those things you only come to appreciate after using the decoy. The way it stays on the stake! The spread we are running is a permanent water/field spread. They are set very tight. With almost every flock we bust several out of, the two or three dogs retrieving birds are roaring through, over and crashing into decoys. I have to reset four or five GHG’s with almost every salvo as they get knocked off the stake. And that tail on the stake of the GHG routinely gets stuck between the cone and the body. (I hate the GHG cone/stake design)! Not once was a DSD knocked off it’s stake. And probably more birds hit in them than the other decoys. And the ease with which they come off the stake when picking up is equally efficient. If you were hunting a muddy field, it’s easy to gather a dozen decoys right off the stake by the tail loops, and carry them to a bag without them ever touching the ground.

    Is there anything negative that I found? Yes. I pre-ordered the decoys and according to DSD’s schedule I was anticipating having them to try in Canada in October. They were delayed due to a QC issue with the cone design. I applaud them for holding off until the decoy was just the way they wanted it. And they kept me informed of the fix and new schedule, even calling. I received them in January, in time for the Spring CO.

    I like the stake cap design (plastic on top of the fiberglass), but the plastic it’s made of is too brittle. Three or four of the caps were broken off the stake as they came out of the box. Out of the first ten stakes I set in the ground, two more caps broke before I changed how I set them. Granted, there was a thin layer of frozen ground and I had to use a hard rubber mallet to pound them in, but this is pretty common to setting snow goose spreads in the mid-continent. And I was by no means wailing on them as I have with GHG stakes without breaking them. I spoke with DSD about this and they are aware of the issue and state they will be correcting the problem including replacing mine. You can’t ask for more than that.

    I will say that DSD’s level of customer service is top notch. If something is wrong, they want to make it right!. Not surprisingly, they truly want to put out the highest quality product! And they listen. I questioned the paint color of the bill and feet and they acknowledged my opinion . Sounds like it will be adjusted as well in the future.

    Continued.
     
    Kansan, Jay Mo 37, twdjr and 3 others like this.
  2. Geez n Quackers

    Geez n Quackers Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    865
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2000
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    So, what is I my perception on their impact at decoying snows. Does the additional cost pay dividends in decoying success? First I’ll preface my opinion (which is all this is) by stating I do use socks as well. At times you have to for mobility. And I recognize that a lot of snows are killed over socks. Probably more than full-bodies. But day in and day out, if I can use them, I will choose full-bodies every time. Nobody will ever convince me socks decoy snows better or more consistently!

    In the spread photos below from this spring, we run decoys all along the pond bank. The bank generally runs north and south and with any wind direction the birds typically fly parallel to this line of decoys. The pit is in the center highpoint in the photo. From the centerline of the pit we run a point of decoys out into the feed field. The spread sweeps up to this point from both the north and south. It effectively forms a landing zone for birds coming from the south or north. Decoying birds typically target this point, the water in front of the pit, or a couple areas along the bank where the decoys are spaced out more.

    IMG_2859.JPG

    IMG_2864.JPG IMG_2869.JPG IMG_2871.JPG IMG_2870.JPG

    This year almost every single flock targeted this point. All of the DSD’s were in a triangle in this area east of the pit. Our shots out of the pit have always been pretty close in most days. Never have they been consistently closer in than this spring. And I am not talking about the scattered juvies that come in and land all over the spread out in front of the main flock that we all regularly experience. I am referring to the main flock squaring the landing zone up as a group and preparing to back pedal. From the leading edge birds to the tail end, our hunting was more consistent this spring even though we had less birds feeding in our immediate area all spring.

    I have no connection to DSD other than I have used and liked all of their decoys for years. I am not even interested in changing anyone’s mind about them. I am just relating my experience and opinion of them. And given that it’s my opinion, I am planning to sell off a bunch of GHG’s and replace them with this decoy.
     
    spring man, Kansan, Jay Mo 37 and 9 others like this.
  3. slucrew1

    slucrew1 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    873
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    Cali
    I purchased 250 as well. Didn't have a chance to use them until the late season. I will say, the way the birds worked into them was definitely better than any other decoy I've used. Customer service is second to none with DSD. As stated above, I did have issues with a few stakes right out of the box. Made Brad aware right away and was taken care of with no questions asked! I'll be purchasing more of them in the future for sure!
     
    Kansan likes this.
  4. Ramblingman

    Ramblingman Senior Refuge Member

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    Aug 30, 2015
    Location:
    Kansas
    It's as if nobody wants to get the colors right on the bills. They go great lengths for many things on the decoy and paint scheme, but absolutely whiff on the bills.
     
    Kansan and Geez n Quackers like this.
  5. GK1

    GK1 Elite Refuge Member

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    Apr 11, 2007
    Location:
    MN
    Thanks GQ for taking the time for the review. Awesome looking spread!
     
    Kansan and Geez n Quackers like this.
  6. 870

    870 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    554
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    Sep 2, 2000
    Location:
    Waterfowl Heaven Alberta Canada
    That is a great looking spread and the realism of the DSDs is unmatched. Question,,, did you move the DSDs around to different parts of the spread?

    It makes sense to put our best decoys around the target landing area,,, but you have such a well planned / well made spread that lines birds up to where you want them. Swapping your DSD's with your GHG fillers to see if there was any difference in how the birds finished would give a better idea of DSD effectiveness compared to other full bodies.

    Again, let me say, I really like your spread layout. Your pit is obviously well hidden as well. I can sure see myself trying a similar pattern this spring as the blinds should not be in a direct sight line with decoying birds flight path. I take it you are getting quartering shots vs full head on?

    Kudos on the spread!!!:tu
     
    Kansan likes this.
  7. Geez n Quackers

    Geez n Quackers Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    I did not move them 870. I'm a set it and forget it guy. Certainly nothing scientific about my experience and observations. I just noted that it has never been typical for everything, and I mean everything, to target landing in that one area. A significant number tend to target the water as the temps warm up. And, yes, most of our shots are crossers or quartering into us from the right or left.
     
  8. 870

    870 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    554
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2000
    Location:
    Waterfowl Heaven Alberta Canada
    Thanks Geez,,,

    That observation by itself does say something about the DSD decoys.

    I did not see any motion / flyer type "gizmos" in your spread,,,, have you given up on that kind of stuff?
     
    Kansan likes this.
  9. KID CREOLE

    KID CREOLE Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
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    Mar 20, 2002
    Location:
    San Pedro, Ca.
    Great info James, thx
     
    Kansan and Geez n Quackers like this.
  10. Socal Waterfowler

    Socal Waterfowler Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    1,080
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    West Coast
    Great write up and appreciate the detail. In the first few pics it looks like the DSD's have more of a Cream/Yellowish color (not around the face as that's apparent) compared to the GHG/Avian X, would you guys say that's accurate? Those running these are you storing them in Seed bags?
     
    Kansan and slucrew1 like this.

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