The successful use of silhouette decoys has been well documented for centuries. Originally, they were hand fashioned from whatever material a goose hunter could find and hand painted to resemble a goose. Often times these homemade “shadows” were heavy, had a cumbersome stake and were far from weather proof.
Having grown up hunting ducks, Darrel Wise was 16 years old when he saw a television show about hunting geese in his home state of Washington. As fate would have it, the show was sponsored by a Sporting Goods store in his hometown. The store was a typical sporting goods store, hunters would stop for supplies or just to sit and chat. Darrel became a regular at the store trying to “soak” up all the knowledge he could from the goose hunters that would stop.
Finally, one of the older goose hunters invited him along for his first goose hunt. Darrel was surprised to find a decoy spread consisting of entirely of handmade silhouette decoys. That day Darrel shot his first decoying goose and he was hooked for a lifetime.
Now armed with unlimited desire to hunt geese, but very limited “resources”, Darrel began to study live geese and decoys. His intentions, with the help of a local plywood factory, were to make his own silos fashioned after the ones he had seen in action. His original decoy spread consisted of 60 silhouette decoys and they served him well for a number of years.
When Darrel moved to accept a new job with a manufacturing firm, his original silhouette decoys were lost in the move. When he told his new co-workers how sick he was about losing his prized decoys, the Real Geese idea was born. Since his new company was in the manufacturing business and Darrel believed so strongly in the power of silhouettes, it seemed only natural that they could produce them and offer them for sale to goose hunters everywhere. The partnership called Webfoot Outfitters was formed and Darrel went to work on the designs.
The first advertisement for Real Geese silhouette decoys, offered in 12 different poses, appeared in Wildfowl magazine in 1991. The phone rang off the hook!
The popularity of commercially made silhouette decoys grew steadily through the 1990’s and Darrel and his partners were forced to make another decision; move the manufacturing of Real Geese to a larger, more modern manufacturing plant.
In 1996, he got in his Suburban and began a cross-country track that landed him in Fremont, Ohio. There he found a small manufacturing company with a proven track record for quality products. It seemed a natural fit and Licensed Specialty Products began producing Real Geese decoys.
Over the next couple of years Darrel began his outfitting business in Alberta. With that business monopolizing a large amount of his time and production going well at License Specialty Products, an agreement was reached to purchase Real Geese from Darrel and his partners.
Since 2000, our product base and market has grown steadily. Without a doubt, our largest innovation has been the introduction of our patented, non-reflective Pro Series line of decoys.
“Made by hunters; for hunters” is a common statement used by companies that manufacture hunting equipment. That’s true here at Real Geese, however, we have always put the quality and durability of our decoys and the reputation of our company first in order to bring waterfowl hunters the best possible products. Perhaps the term “work when we should, hunt when we can” better fits the Real Geese business philosophy.
You can now find Real Geese silhouette decoys being used across North America, in parts of Europe, Russia, New Zealand, England and Iceland.
Thanks and Good Hunting,
LSP Webfoot, Inc. / Real Geese