HOISINGTON — Seeing is believing. You’ve got to see these realistic sandhill crane decoys to believe them.
Co-owner Grant Doyle launched Deception Outdoors with his brother Garrett and their friend Josh Medlin with the premise of doing everything the right way.
They are avid sandhill crane hunters, which travel through Cheyenne Bottoms every fall and winter. But when they could not find any realistic sandhill crane decoys, they decided to create them at a property in downtown Hoisington. Sandhill cranes are not easily fooled by poorly-crafted decoys.
“We saw there was a hole in the market for premium sandhill crane decoys. Not very many people make a good one,” Grant said. “That’s where we started. It’s a smaller market. The sandhill crane are a unique game-bird species.”
Deception Outdoors started two years ago as a custom decoy company that promised to design the most durable and realistic decoys available. Their quality answers the serious outdoorsman’s demand.
The business also markets decoys for turkeys and various species of Canada geese, but sandhill crane decoys have developed into their specialty because of their limited travel.
“They are tasty. The sandhill crane is one of the most sought-after waterfowls,” Garrett said. “They fly super high and have eyes like a hawk. They are smart. They are hard to hunt because they circle in the air. You have to put a lot of work into it.”
The Kansas sandhill crane hunting season is November and December. Sandhill cranes fly south from Canada to Oklahoma and southern Texas for the winter. Another wintering location is Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, south of Albuquerque, N.M.
Deception Outdoors sells many of the sandhill crane decoys to outfitters who operate hunts. They are on target to sell several thousand sandhill crane decoys this year, the majority to out-of-state buyers.
“Outfitters were skeptical,” Medlin said. “They had to be convinced they worked. Once they saw how realistic they were designed, they realized they worked. A large percentage of the outfitters in Texas now use them.”
The co-owners enjoy every moment when a sandhill crane, with impeccable vision and perception, lands next to a Deception Outdoors decoy.
“When the sandhills cranes fly in, they fly in right next to the decoys,” Grant said. “Hunters are a lot more successful when they use decoys. Most guys, if they have the option, use them.”
Garrett said his brother Grant is blessed with an eye and workmanship for detail. Grant uses photographs to recreate exact details.
“Grant has always been that way, with great patience and an eye for detail,” Garrett said. “He’s our guy.”
It requires several hours of work to create each decoy because each process takes time.
“Our goal is to make the most realistic and durable decoy with high quality paints and paint schemes to provide the hunter with a decoy that will work every day of the season,” Grant said. “We build all of our decoys in house to make sure the quality is the best it can be. The sandhill crane and goose decoys feature a design made from an extremely durable rubber material.”
The Doyles stress high quality craftsmanship. Grant is a meticulous quality control supervisor.
“On top of these rugged decoys is the best paint we could find that has excellent adhesion with our decoy material,” Grant said. “Our paint is flexible, so it can withstand impacts and abrasions in the cold weather and will not flake or chip off. Our paint schemes are as close to live birds as we could get them. They are all hand painted, so, no two birds are exactly alike — just like in the wild.”
Call 620-262-6315 for information. The business web site is deceptionoutdoors.com.