Goose Hunting photo

The video below shows a behind the scenes look at a Field & Stream photo shoot. The photographers ran a time-lapse camera through the whole day, and this video compresses a seven-hour session into a minute and a half. We had to go to Des Moines to find a photo studio big enough to drive a car into and F&S hired three photographers from Chicago to do the shoot. I am the model, the floor washer, and assistant decoy arranger in the video. We spent the entire morning, 8 a.m. to noon, moving decoys around. The actual photography didn’t take long at all.

The story we illustrated had to do with how I faced the challenge of putting together a decoy spread that would be effective but would also fit into my small garage and into the back of my Jeep Liberty.

I used a combination of lifesize shells, silhouettes and Lesser Canada goose fullbodies to make up my spread and I can fit around 100 decoys if I pack everything in just so – it’s like playing Tetris with plastic geese.

Since the we shot the photo and video, Avery has introduced new cackler and one-piece lesser Canada goose decoys (for those who aren’t aware, geese come in several “races” ranging from

mallard-sized cacklers to 15-pound giants). These decoys are really small* – the cacklers are the size of duck floaters, the lesser only a big larger larger. I can a bunch into my Jeep with lots of room to spare for other, larger decoys.


I had a chance to try them out the other day in the snow, where even tiny decoys show up very well. As you can see in the photo, the cackler decoys really are small compared to the real thing, but they fooled these two geese and three others for me and a friend.

*The decoys reminds me of a sort of shaggy dog humor piece that ran in the old Sports Afield back in the 80s (I miss them the way they were back then). It was about a goose hunter who used tiny decoys on the theory that geese had to fly extra close to see them. Perhaps that’s what happened the other day!