Picking a Call~
One of the questions I get a lot is “How much do I need to buy a good duck or goose call?”
Fair question for sure.
If you leaf through the pages of most the big waterfowl catalogues you may think a good sounding duck or goose call is going to cost you in the neighborhood of a $100 to $200.
Now first let me disclose that when I am hunting I have roughly $500 worth of calls around my neck, (no need for you to share that with my wife). But do you need that kind of investment to get a good sounding call? No. No you don’t.
I like the feel of nice wood and acrylic. I do think the volume of acrylic is hard to equal. Now having said that, in my experience, the differences are not equal to the advertisement.
Fine custom calls are usually very good sounding. So are some much less expensive molded calls. For several years I used a J frame molded duck call that I picked up on season clearance for $14 at Wal-Mart. Even after I had purchased an acrylic duck call at over $90 I still used that J frame most days. My first short reed was a molded Hammer Time that I am sure was used to kill 100 geese, maybe more. Both of those calls I gifted to my son and they still kill birds.
I don’t want to leave the wrong impression. I have also bought a few, not many, but a few molded calls that didn’t sound good at all. Some I could tune up with a little work. I few I gave up on and got rid of.
I have never purchased a high end call that didn’t sound great. The big name call makers who have top end and molded calls are, in my experience, very reliable - even with their more modestly priced calls. In most situations there are only slight differences in noticeable sound differences. Acrylic typically is louder and somewhat sharper.
However, during many a slow morning we have played “guess the call” and more frequently than not the guys I hunt with can’t tell the difference between different materials.
So why do I own mostly high priced calls? Because I like the feel and looks of them. And I like knowing if I need to be loud I can. And let’s face it; I like to think I own the best.
I also keep on my lanyard some more modestly priced wood calls. Wood calls, although not normally as loud as acrylic, can have a more mellow low end. A quality that will land birds.
So if you are new to duck and goose hunting or know someone who is, let them know that although nice, you don’t need to spend $100 to $200 for a duck or goose call. Thirty bucks will get you a call that with practice will kill birds.
Until I see you in the field or water, remember, be Safe, be Good and BE LUCKY!