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 Post subject: calling ducks
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 4:52 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:11 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Texas
I need to learn to call ducks. My old hunting buddy has moved on and I like an idiot just did not learn to call because he was so good at it. He also wanted to do all the calling and didn't seam to interested in teaching anybody. The calls he had were old and I have no idea who they were made by. I hunt any duck I can get the chance to hunt but the standards are the normal. Mallards and teals mostly and I get a trip ever couple yours to hunt wood ducks.
I figure I have been watching and listening for a long time so I decided to go down to the store and get a couple calls, "Holy Crap!!!" These critters are expensive, at least the ones that resembled my friends.

Here is the question, I would like to hear some incite on calls from some of you that have been hunting ducks a long time. I like to get the ducks down into reasonable shooting range and I am not interested in the super magnums. I like the sport of duck hunting, the calls and the commitment from the ducks. I don't just like to shoot up at the clouds. I am sure some of you will understand what I am saying.
I will pay a decent amount for a call but 140.00 is almost insanity. Shirley a man can buy a decent call for 50 bucks or less hat is effective. My friend always said it "isnt the call but how you use it". Funny thing to mention is he would not use any calls but the 4 or 5 he had. I live to bird hunt from upland to low land to desert, I missed out on the ducks this past year, so I need to start learning soon. Any information will be appreciated on all duck calling for the three species above along with any call brands, instruction videos etc.

Thanks, DTW


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 Post subject: Re: calling ducks
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 6:13 pm 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:14 pm
Posts: 1942
Location: Illinois
Get yourself a Primos High Roller and buy a instructional CD (RNT series seems decent), you can always use those. Listen to the CD for awhile, then find a mallard hen call that you can blow easily that sounds "realistic". Try them out in the store. Acrylic is loud and durable, but expensive to make. Poly is less expensive, but not as durable or loud. Quality wood calls are a joy, but can swell and freeze on you during very cold/wet days and the cost is higher. Get what you can afford and work. After you decide...then practice, practice. Whatever you buy just use it...don't drag it out a few days before opening and expect to dazzle the birds.

I practice in my car during the commute to bone-up. I get many odd looks.

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 Post subject: Re: calling ducks
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 12:35 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 11:52 am
Posts: 148
When I first started I bought a call and a cassett tape and did just what it said to do, thought I was pretty good. That is until I went on a guided hhunt and asked the guide, who did some compitetion calling to listen and give advise. He was the best help I could get and in no time at all he had my calling so improved that I could not believe what I had been doing. Now I am by no means a compitetion caller, but at least I can get ducks into range. If you get a chance, get someone who really knowshow to call to help you after you get the instuctional tape or cd.

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 Post subject: Re: calling ducks
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 9:39 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:03 pm
Posts: 4379
Location: orygun
My favorite amongst the many calls I tried and still use is the Primos acrylic Fusion. At the point I am now I am realising that it is missing some range. So Im ready to advance to a fuller range call. The Primos does what I need but I like to get as good as possible at skills like this ( I also practice daily in the car). You really need to get somewhat proficient before you start to look for your high dollar full range call ( unless you are a collector of things ). That way you can run it through its motions and see if it fits your style.After you find it, buy it on Ebay for half or two thirds price.
As far as instruction goes, www.callingducks.com has the Buck Gardner basic instruction for free, which is a good start. Another more advanced cd is the Carlson Calls "Pro Calling" cd. I saw a deal on their site where you get 2 Poly calls (properly tuned with good range) the Pro Calling cd and the A-Z calling cd for $50.They also have some instruction on their site.

Even more important is learning when to call. We have a blowhard that frequents our club that won the state contest and went to Main Street. Now he is most definitely a good caller for the stage but his field calling doesnt contain any magic on those days you need to figure it out because the birds arent coming in. He possesses the skill but not the brains or instinct to be a good or great field caller.

MWAG


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 Post subject: Re: calling ducks
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 11:59 am 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:14 pm
Posts: 1942
Location: Illinois
The best situation would be for an experienced waterfowl guide to teach you to call. Someone that can interact with the ducks, and show you when to call and when not to, but you need to get the basics down first. I like monkey's suggestion on the free website tutorials, that will get you started.
The contest guys have my respect for working the call to the extreme degrees they do, they know how to use the call well. However, to hunt ducks you must interact with the ducks AND use the call well. Some can do both, some can't.
No tape, cd, etc. will give you the lessons that calling to real ducks will, but they can provide you with good basics. Start there.

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 Post subject: Re: calling ducks
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 7:54 am 
Tournament Grade
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:17 am
Posts: 134
Location: North Texas
One more thing, master just the basic quack. This simple call goes a long way. Sometimes you have ducks flying over your decoys, not commiting, and one quack will get their attention, enough to turn them around. I won't call especially if they are locked up and coming in. Sometimes hunters make the mistake of overcalling and actually spook the ducks.


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 Post subject: Re: calling ducks
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 11:20 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:11 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Texas
Thanks everybody for your input. Now I have a little somewhere to start.

DTW


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 Post subject: Re: calling ducks
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 7:30 am 
*Proud to be a*
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Posts: 15589
Location: Wyoming
I bought a el cheapo call that came with the cd at Wally Mart whe they clearanced everything out. I still have that call and it has been a decent one. I have never bought a call that costs over 20 bucks either. I can call reasonably well and turn plenty of birds into the dekes.

As to learning I can't believe no one suggested going to a park or whereever and trying to talk to the ducks that stay there year round. Even just sitting and listening to them will give you a great example of what they really sound like. You can also often get them to talk to you and see what they will respond to.

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 Post subject: Re: calling ducks
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 1:33 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 5:54 pm
Posts: 749
Location: Ontario, Canada
Also have a look at the "Favorite Duck Call ?" post further down the page.

An instructional record/tape/disc is probably the best way to get started ... get one you can play in the car or truck when you're BY YOURSELF, alone, and windows up !!! That way you can play along & practice to your heart's content... no fear of divorce at home, and the funny lookin' kids with their hats on backwards and baggy pants will leave you alone ... cause they think you're wacked !


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 Post subject: Re: calling ducks
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 7:56 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:03 pm
Posts: 4379
Location: orygun
Another good source of instruction is You Tube. A Lot of great stuff on there. Chaco1's advice will be applicable when you start figuring out how to blow the call and are at the point of wanting to refine how to sound more like a duck i.e. volume, cadence etc. At that point it is a very good idea.

MWAG


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 Post subject: Re: calling ducks
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:24 pm 
*Proud to be a*
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 11:48 am
Posts: 1834
Location: South Carolina
ntxshotgunner wrote:
One more thing, master just the basic quack. This simple call goes a long way. Sometimes you have ducks flying over your decoys, not commiting, and one quack will get their attention, enough to turn them around. I won't call especially if they are locked up and coming in. Sometimes hunters make the mistake of overcalling and actually spook the ducks.



Excellent advice!!

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 Post subject: Re: calling ducks
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:03 am 
ID & Value Expert
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 10:16 am
Posts: 10514
I use an Olt call that I bought in 1961. I was lucky to learn from several exellent callers as a boy. Also, I had a Herter's 45rpm record to practice with! :lol:

Two sugestions: 1. Go to a local park and listen to the ducks as others land. 2. call as little as needed when you start out. The biggest mistake that I see in the marsh is too much calling. Usually too much bad calling! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: calling ducks
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:45 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 8:20 pm
Posts: 208
Location: louisiana
1961 is the year I was born.Knew it was special. lol


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 Post subject: Re: calling ducks
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:21 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 3:08 pm
Posts: 6
get a haydel dr-85, easy blowing call, very inexpensive.

RNT has a 3 cd series for instruction.


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 Post subject: Re: calling ducks
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:01 am 
Field Grade
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 39
I agree with one of the guys who said you should go out and listen to the ducks. if you have access to a swamp or any place with a descent amount of ducks flying in and out i would go there and just listen to what the ducks "say" to each other when they are coming in and flying around. I did that and learned alot. but i have a swamp in my back yard that is huge and i would go out to my blind and listen in the mornings and evenings. I personally like knight and Hale calls and also the final approach strait meat call or whatever. i have a couple knight and hale calls and they are the only ones i use and i love them. I also would reccomend an acrylic call over all the other types. And also a single reed over a double reed depending on what your doing. As far as learning to call again i also got an absolutely great dvd from minnesota waterfowl assosiations website and it has duck and goose calling in it. also you tube is a good source. If you go to youtube check out duck calling tips and find the one with dave hochman ( i think thats how you spell his last name) thats a good video. Like i said before how i like knight and hale calls and the strait meat call, go to either KnightandHale.com or foilesmigrators.com i think it is and check out the straigh meat that foiles makes.

hope this helps


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 Post subject: Re: calling ducks
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:27 am 
Utility Grade
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 10:03 am
Posts: 16
Location: South Dakota
As previously mentioned, the Haydel's DR-85 is tough to beat for an inexpensive good sounding call. The Primos Wench is another good one. Single reed calls are higher pitched and louder than doubles. A thing to keep in mind is a $135 call isn't going to call ducks any better than $14 call that sounds okay. I had a DR 85 which lasted ten years before a Lab got a hold of it. I replaced it with a Haydel's "Red Leg" RL-99.

The more expensive calls are competition calls and there are differences between competition calling and calling ducks. I never heard a hen mallard blow a 14 note hail call loud enough to be heard in the next county. I also have some more expensive calls but none over $100. I would invest in a good double reed call and a mallard drake whistle. I love the Duck Commander mallard drake call, sounds perfect. Competition calls can be used for hunting, and sound great in the hands of an experienced caller, but don't let any sales person convince you that is what you "need."

I do feel that my more expensive calls hold a tune better than the cheap ones do.

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