Duck and Goose Calls


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dak0ta
December 3, 2011, 04:41 PM
Hi,

I was wondering how effective these are if one is concealed but is not using decoys.

Also, is each call specific to each duck species? So a Mallard call will not work for other ducks even if you try to play the other species' call on the Mallard call?

What brands and types of calls do you recommend?

Please share your tips and suggestions

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juk
December 3, 2011, 06:52 PM
I have never been able to call in a bird when I didn't have a few deeks out. They are social animals. They fly together, eat together, swim together...you get the picture. I have had great luck just throwing out a dozen deeks and sitting there waiting for a few birds to fly in. I have limited out without hitting the call a single time.

Ducks learn to be wary of calls and will sometimes go out of their way to avoid them. The only time I will use a call is to get the ducks looking my way. Once they turn towards me, I stop calling. I may throw in a light feed chuckle, if it is a flight of Gadwalls or Greenheads.

For the most part, puddle ducks can be called in with a standard hen mallard call. If you want to get real fancy, you can get a woody whistle and experiment with it. A whistle or two can really turn a ducks head.

Divers don't care for calls. The only call they may pay attention to is a "grunt". Divers themselves don't make much racket.

As said before, some of my best days were spent sitting on a log looking out over a couple of dozen decoys with the calls still in the boat. You may want to take this with a grain of salt, though. All of my hunting is done on very public land in north Alabama. Ducks may react differently to calls in another part of the country, or even on another body of water.

308win
December 3, 2011, 07:09 PM
If you are hunting flooded timber you need something to get the duck's attention such as a call or some motion that they can see, this could be wavelets on the water or even smacking the water with your boot or something. Once you have them working don't over call; if they are working the decoys leave the call alone. Use it to turn them if they act like they are losing interest. Geese are a different deal sometimes. They get call shy but will also flare off if things suddenly go quiet. Use a quiet whine/moan to work geese when they are close.

MCgunner
December 3, 2011, 07:17 PM
I have never been able to call in a bird when I didn't have a few deeks out.

I have, but deeks make it a lot easier to do consistently. Speckle belly's and spoonies are particularly stupid.

You can't just buy a duck call and start calling ducks. Takes some time, practice, and experience talkin' duck. You will get better with experience.

dak0ta
December 3, 2011, 08:40 PM
Ok thanks for the tips. I thought that if the ducks hear the call they will fly over to investigate even though they may not see decoys.

MCgunner
December 3, 2011, 09:06 PM
Duck calls are used with deeks mostly for confidence, but you can turn 'em if they see and like your spread, with a "hail call" and then talk 'em in with feeding chuckles and quacks. Many times too much calling is worse than not enough. You learn to read the ducks intentions. Sometimes it works and you look like a pro, more times, well......:D But, it's great fun after you get enough experience at it. You will NOT do well without a good decoy spread, though. I use only a dozen in the marsh potholes, big water can often take a lot more. Deeks are way more important to a good duck hunt than a call, but when combined with a call and the knowledge on how to use it, you can have some awesome mornings afield.

Calling geese is a lot more straight forward as they don't have the vocabulary that ducks do. They won't normally get close, though, without a decoy spread. That varies by species and type of layout, field or pothole. For our snows and specs down here, I use "texas rags" which look like a wind sock on a stick with a black X on the tail of it to mimic a snow. They work great and are cheap. Full body deeks can be expensive to build a big spread out of and they're bulky.

If you wanna browse while you learn, go to http://www.mackspw.com/. They have the gear. :D

dak0ta
December 3, 2011, 09:53 PM
How using a call to get the duck close enough to pass shoot?

MCgunner
December 3, 2011, 10:02 PM
You really can't count on that. You can't COUNT on a call for more than bringing 'em in to a good deek spread and even then, late season, if you don't sound just right, they'll ignore you. You might get the oddball shoveler in with the call and no deeks, I have, but it's the exception 'cause shovelers are stupid birds. Thank GOD for 'em, though, cause they've filled many a limit that would otherwise not have been. LOL

Duckingit88
December 3, 2011, 11:08 PM
a rule of thumb I always use is that deeks bring them in and the call is a last resort to finish of the deal. spend more time on your decoy spread and you will have more success. you need to know how to blow a few simple calls. feeding chuckle come back call and lonely hen. but deeks are the key. all ways pay attention to wind direction. And make sure you have a hole in the deeks for the ducks to try to land.

303tom
December 4, 2011, 09:13 AM
You gota know how to use calls, and if you have never just sat out there & listen to them. (you don`t know how)

308win
December 4, 2011, 10:23 AM
I am far from an expert caller and the feeding chuckles were always the most difficult for me.

Goose calls (geese vocalizations) are also very nuanced. You should go to a refuge or someplace they feel at ease and listen - a lot.

dak0ta
December 4, 2011, 12:06 PM
The area we hunt is outside the bird sanctuary!

MCgunner
December 4, 2011, 02:14 PM
I am far from an expert caller and the feeding chuckles were always the most difficult for me.

Verbalize "ticket, ticket" into the call. String the "ticket"s together and emphasize the Ts on either end, then speed it up. Not really that hard once you get the hang of it. It's a real confidence call for an approaching bird. You see the bird starting to veer off his approach, a few chuckles will get him back on course. :D

308win
December 4, 2011, 02:15 PM
I wasn't suggesting you hunt in the refuge just go in, sit, and listen to the geese when they are relaxed and don't feel threatened. After you have spent some time you will start to pick up on their vocalizations in various situations.

dak0ta
December 4, 2011, 02:53 PM
No I don't hunt in the refuge, but the public land surrounds it, so you can get them going in and out of the refuge.

308win
December 4, 2011, 03:10 PM
When I was living in Illinois we used to hunt geese in southern Illinois. There were three large refuges and the geese used to trade back an forth between them. We hunted both public ground and private 'clubs'. The public land pits and I believe the private pits had to close at noon. We used to pass shoot the geese coming off the refuges in the afternoon. There was one spot outside the Crab Orchard Lake refuge where we would stand on top of a high ridge in timber and pass shoot the geese with pretty good success. I used to go to the refuge at Crab Orchard Lake in the summer and sit and watch the geese for hours; it was fascinating to watch them. When I was waterfowl hunting if you had shot geese you had accomplished something. Now, at least here in Ohio, they are everywhere; parks, roads, yards, appartment complexes, golf courses, anywhere there is grass there are geese. I can't see how it could be difficult to get a goose or three anywhere around Columbus if one had a place to hunt. I may find out as an associate I work with has access to some farm land west of Columbus that he says the geese use regularly and has hinted at going hunting. I may have to spend close to $100 for license, stamps, and shells and see if I can still call.

DRYHUMOR
December 4, 2011, 05:14 PM
I've got a raspy hen call that works just before they lift off in the morning, hit it a few times (lake hunting) if you can hear them start to vocalize then be quiet. If the deeks look right, they will come in most times.

Most calling I hear is too often and too loud. Mid and late season they respond to short quick low "here I am calling", or no calling at all.

Geese on the other hand... I try to pick one voice and call only to that voice. It takes a bit of effort, but if you can watch them and see at least one or 2 heads turn, you've almost got them. If one or 2 swing out, most times the whole flight will turn.

Years ago, a buddy and I had 4 goose decoys out (all we could afford), it was late in the evening and about 35 or 40 were strung out across the big water. I got them to turn and they flew right over us. There were a few clouds in the sky, lit up with the sunset, and all those geese were low enough to hear the whistle of the wings as they flew overhead. We didn't even shoot, just kinda enjoyed the moment.

Duckingit88
December 4, 2011, 06:41 PM
MCgunner great tip on the feeding chuckle with the Ticket Ticket. I have always used the word tucka tucka but just tried the Ticket and it worked really well.

308win
December 4, 2011, 06:51 PM
We didn't even shoot, just kinda enjoyed the moment.

Toward the end of my waterfowling I did a lot of this.

dak0ta
December 5, 2011, 12:28 AM
Why exactly do the decoys cost so much for 1 dozen? Aren't most plastic molds with cheap paint manufactured overseas? And if you want good quality it costs almost $100 for 6,8 dekes!

interlock
December 5, 2011, 04:57 AM
Duck calls are used with deeks mostly for confidence, but you can turn 'em if they see and like your spread, with a "hail call" and then talk 'em in with feeding chuckles and quacks. Many times too much calling is worse than not enough. You learn to read the ducks intentions. Sometimes it works and you look like a pro, more times, well...... But, it's great fun after you get enough experience at it. You will NOT do well without a good decoy spread, though. I use only a dozen in the marsh potholes, big water can often take a lot more. Deeks are way more important to a good duck hunt than a call, but when combined with a call and the knowledge on how to use it, you can have some awesome mornings afield.

Good advice. I have learned to call duck with my voice. I can do mallard and teal, wigeon will often come in to this as well. But they prefer a whistling call - there is a smart phone app that is worth downloading and learning the calls from. if you can finger whistle then learn the whistling calls with your fingers.... you don't leave your fingers in your other bag or the car! (a bit hypocritical... because i cant). i use 2 deprimed low brass cartridge bases ... plastic removed pressed into each other.

I can turn flights of duck and sometimes bring them into shooting range. It is really crucial not to overdo calling.

You can practise at the village pond or park.

MCgunner
December 5, 2011, 02:21 PM
Why exactly do the decoys cost so much for 1 dozen? Aren't most plastic molds with cheap paint manufactured overseas? And if you want good quality it costs almost $100 for 6,8 dekes!

There's a law of economics called supply and demand. It's about all I remember from high school economics. :D But, beyond that, anything is worth what someone will pay for it. It's a free market.

100 dollars seems a bit high, but I've had mine for a while. I bought 6 dozen used from a guy for 20 bucks 20 years or so ago, but I prefer my carry lights. They're light and inflatable. I have a bag of several dozen for big water, but I mostly hunt marsh potholes on state land now days, easier, don't have to mess with the boat. I have a dozen in a small bag, very light to carry. Windy days, they're stable because the bottom is of a heavy material molded into the rubber. These are the neatest blocks I've found for walk in pothole hunting. They were maybe 40 bucks a dozen from Walmart IIRC. The Walmarts around here ALL carry duck hunting stuff, deeks, bags, etc. Big sport on the Texas coast.

I notice some deeks on www.mackspw.com for 30-40 a half dozen. You need a dozen for most any pothole, but I've had success with less out on small water.

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