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Lessers Can Mean More

A couple of geese shot over a mixed spread of lessers and standard decoys.

I am sure there are plenty of Canada goose hunters that are in a similar position to mine. They have the desire to occasionally work with a big spread but just don’t have the carrying capacity to handle a heavy load.

For example, my goose trailer is not really a goose trailer. It is my four-wheeler trailer with sides and a canvas top. It is less than ideal in some ways but certainly fits my storage issues and gets the job done.

 There are days when even my makeshift goose trailer is more than I want to haul around. This is especially true if I am hunting by myself or if the fields are so wet that I am afraid of getting stuck.

 When this happens, I am forced to use the decoys I can carry in the back of my truck. If I am stuffing full body, feet attached decoys in the back, I won’t be taking many along. However, if I am smart and incorporating lesser Canadas into the spread, it is a whole different story.

 My first lesser geese were added to the collection a number of years ago. It was shortly after the fully flocked decoys hit the market and I felt inclined to give them a try. I was also intrigued by the size of the lesser Canada decoys and thought a mix might be nice.

 The first half dozen ended up right in front of the blinds in the landing pocket. They worked so well that the next season I was in the market for some more. After shopping around for fully flocked lessers I settled on Dakota Decoys (available from

 In an effort to learn more about the use of lesser geese mixed in with standard Canadas, I talked with Brain Cahalan from Goose and Duck Smackers Guide Service. Cahalan has been in the guide business for nine years and has a lot more knowledge about the mix of big and little geese than I do.

 Although Cahalan utilizes lessers all fall, he really likes them for the early season hunt. During this time, young geese are considerably smaller than the mature adults. By mixing the lessers in with the standard full bodies, he is able to create a situation where the small decoys and big decoys look like normal family groupings.

 Cahalan also likes them later in the season. He feels that lessers, EPP birds and larger resident Canadas are all around at the same time. A mix of sizes in the spread duplicates what is happening in the real world.

 In addition to the natural look lessers give a set, Cahalan mentioned that they move on motion stakes more easily than larger, heavier decoys. The compact storage feature of lessers was also appreciated by Cahalan. Even guides have space issues to deal with.

 Chad Allen, CEO of Barrels Up internet shopping site, also had some interesting

Mixing lessers and standard decoys together gives a spread a very natural look.

thoughts to share about lesser decoys. Allen said in the past year there has been an increase in the number of lesser decoys they have been selling. He felt hunters were learning that lessers not only solved storage issues, they actually enhanced the spread.

 Throughout the season, I continue to put the bulk of my fully flocked lessers close to the blinds. These are the decoys that the incoming geese are concentrating on and the ones that will reduce the concern over the unusual appearance of the layout blinds. I want the landing zone to look as inviting as possible.

 In short, lesser decoys have proven to add to my goose hunting success. They allow for greater flexibility when fighting storage issues and also create a very realistic appearance in my spread.  

 In other words, lessers can mean more.

June 23, 2011 - Posted by | Hunting

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