My Thoughts on Calling Birds
When it comes to calling waterfowl, geese are to ducks what Hank Williams is to Neil Armstrong; both are great but way different.
Now, I probably should clarify, this is what works for me, others have different approaches.
When calling geese, I engage early and stay engaged as long as I can see them. I lean on loud, greeting calls through an acrylic short reed. Rapid notes and pleading tones. I keep this going as long and they ignore me … or come toward the spread. I keep it going. As they begin to target the decoys I begin to shift to more moans and clucks. As they continue to get closer I give them even more moans. When they commit, I give them the ground murmur….right up until they touch their feet on the ground. If at any time the geese lift or turn away I go back to the rapid and pleading loud stuff…. Until they turn toward the decoys. Loud, pleading, and constant is the style I use. Yes, I know some people go the less is more philosophy ~ no calling until the geese have passed you. I have even hunted with guys who were disciple of such a gospel. I have an alternative belief system.
Ducks I work differently. I start loud if they are super high or far away. Where I hunt, ducks are usually using the water or field I am in. So loud hailing calls are not something I usually resort to. Most common is that I am using five to seven note moderate volume greeting calls. A soon as I determine they are headed to the decoys I stop calling. If they pull up or begin to slide, I offer them a soft short one to five note quack.
If they fly over or circle close I will hit them with a soft quack or two and some feeding chuckle. I never call at the ducks unless they are way out or moving away.
Now I also hunt with a couple of guys who love the sound they make on a duck call. They love to hear the echo off the water and the rush of blowing so hard their head pounds. More often then I care to admit I have sat quietly in the blind staring at my partner who is pushing ducks off us with the loud, insensitive blaring of their call. Nothing harder to do then to tell a hunter you are not related to please “SHUT UP” with the calling.
This is my philosophy for calling ducks and geese. Different as can be but still effective…. Just like Hank Williams and Neil Armstrong; so different and both great.Until I see you in the field, be safe, be good, and be LUCKY!