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Thread: Calling help?

  1. #1
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Default Calling help?

    Since waterfowling is right around the corner I thought I'd better add learning to call decently(at all) and getting some advice on laying out a decoy spread to my preseason prep list. Last year was my first hunting waterfowl and despite being a newbie, hunting solo and being a bow only hunter I did manage to harvest a few ducks. However no matter how many videos I watch, or how much time practice quacking I still can't manage to do more than terrify a real duck with a call. Stalking up on them with the canoe has been effective but not really how it should be done and I'm dieing to wing shoot a few as they come into a spread of decoys. Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated. I think I just need to sit down with someone who can call well.
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    Member AK DUX's Avatar
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    If you're ever in Fairbanks I'd be glad to sit down with you. I've taught a number of people to call. First hand is the best way to learn. In lieu of that, there's some good CD/DVD's on learning to call ducks and geese. RNT makes good duck instructionals. Bad Grammar is probably one of the best goose instructionals....with Zink a close 2nd. These are my opinions.
    Remember, calls are basically specialized kazoos. We tend to over-think what it takes to make a good sound. After you learn the fundamentals, then you start worrying about inflection, varying pressure, etc.
    Most of my practice has been driving down the road. THis is where an RNT CD would help. Lots of practice....which is to develop the control and endurance of your tongue, and what it takes to get different sounds with low and high pressure. The same as a musical instrument. Start with the basic quack....nothing else...soon you'll have a Eureka moment...and the rest will come easier and start working on different sounds.

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    AK DUX has some really good advice there. I practice my calling in the car on the way to work as well. I use the Zink CD. Another good idea is to head down to a local duck pond or somewhere the birds are setting and listen to the sounds they make and try to make those sounds on your call. There is no replacement for the real thing. After a while you will get better and better with practice.
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    Member Waldo2382's Avatar
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    A good teacher with you will help tremendously. I tried to practice and practice, but when a friend of mine that is a guide sat me down and we blew the calls till I got it. It is a little complicated to explain on a single post here. Come on down to Homer and I could show you. As popular as the traditional mallard call is, don't under estimate the whistles. The New Version's Morwhistle or the Haydels MP-90 does a great job at widgeon, pintail and teal and even a drake mallard.
    Reading the birds is just as important. Sometimes they'll talk back, sometimes they won't. Sometimes they flare, sometimes they won't. Volume control is another issue I see with people calling ducks, especially on days with low clouds. Calls will echo off the clouds and not sound right. Anyway, you're headed in the right direction and already have some good advice from the above posters. Good luck, the season is nearly upon us!

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Be careful calling in the car with other drivers around. I remember a story a couple years ago about a duck hunter pulled over by the cops in CA. Seems another driver thought the guy was smoking a crack pipe or something and called the highway patrol. Both the officer and hunter had a good laugh once the facts came out.

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    The most I have gotten is some pretty funny looks.
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
    "Swans are a gift" -DucksandDogs
    I am a shoveler's worst nightmare!

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    Member ksbha4's Avatar
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    No doubt about it, the automobile is a popular place to call. I practice my pre-season calling in my truck as well. Stick to the basics and when calling. Remember that in the field, sometimes less is more. I had a hen sneak into the grass one time and simply gave single quacks about 20 seconds apart. So I replyed back with a single quack. 20 seconds later, she quacked again and I replyed with another single quack. This continued for about 10 minutes. She swam all the way into the spread and so I decided to experiment. I gave a loud hail sequence and she took off like a bat out of hell. It was great to see the different reactions to the calling.
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  8. #8
    Member DucksAndDogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    Be careful calling in the car with other drivers around. I remember a story a couple years ago about a duck hunter pulled over by the cops in CA. Seems another driver thought the guy was smoking a crack pipe or something and called the highway patrol. Both the officer and hunter had a good laugh once the facts came out.

    I've been pulled for that very reason in NC.

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    Member AK DUX's Avatar
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    I definitely think RNT makes the best crack pipes!

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    I am partial to the Echo crack pipes myself
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
    "Swans are a gift" -DucksandDogs
    I am a shoveler's worst nightmare!

  11. #11
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    Default instead of...

    calling them in, try texting them, & see if that works... :P

    What type of call do you use Rick?

  12. #12

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    I think you've gotten solid advice on calling.

    For decoy spreads, it depends on what you're hunting, how many decoys you have and what the birds want. Basically try to create a natural looking spread. If there is wind, tuck the dekes up into the brush a bit. Ducks and geese want to get in out of the weather as much as we do. Try to leave pockets of open water for the birds to land in. Of course they won't really land as they'll have steelshot in them... Add movement to your spread and watch what other hunters are doing. If they have big spreads, make yours smaller. Vary the dekes too. Add different breeds into the mix. Goose dekes make great confidence dekes too.

  13. #13
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Gogoalie
    Brother I can"t figure the whole texting thing out at all. Tracy sent me a text once and I took it into the store because I thought the text message was a maintenance warning. You know like a low oil pressure light in the truck.

    I got a Primos calling pack that came with 2 calls and a DVD. I frankly got it because it was the most call and instruction I could get for the money I had too spend.

    Sigler916
    Got some very good advice here that I very thankful for! Also lined up someone to help me out a little and as soon as my jaw heals up(long nightmare dental story) enough to blow a call I'll be getting some real instruction.

    Thanks for the ideas on placing my decoys as well. I tend to hit little hunted, out of the way spots so I haven't really seen how other folks set up there spreads. It's tough for an archer in a canoe to compete with shotguners in air boats, I've done better in swamps you have to hike into and on archery only lakes so far. Tried to do a weekend trip on Jim lake last year...............WAY scarier than my solo November mountain goat hunt!
    BHA Member
    Bowyer to the forces of light in the land of the midnight sun.
    The 3 fold way: Every step we take as we walk through life effects, our family, our comunity and ourselves. One should walk thoughtfuly.

  14. #14
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    Default Blow softly...

    & in quick bursts...that may help...keep at the DVD's & listen carefully...

    I have a friend who buys Knight & Hales...goose calls though, not duck calls...

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