There are a lot of different theories about calling birds. Here are mine and the guidelines I follow.
To me, calling ducks and geese are almost opposites.
As an example, I think the biggest error I see guys do with calling ducks is call too much. I try to only call to get the birds attention. When they are coming in I shut up or I risk that I screw up.
I will call if they go by me or if very high. But when they look like they are coming in… quite is the strategy.
With geese, I keep calling as long as I can hear them. Frequently I will employ a murmur all the way until the safety is coming off.
With ducks, I want to be loud. With geese, I want loud only when they are out a ways. Once they look like they are coming to the spread softer calling is in order.
The biggest mistake I think people make with geese is being too loud for too long. I frequently see guys who really know what they are doing …. you know guides …. use wooden calls more than the high priced acrylic.
I think it is because the wood produces a softer more mellow sound.
Don’t get me wrong, I always have an SDGC Mortal Sin or Shoal Creek Black Head acrylic on my lanyard, but I mostly use a Fowled Up Goose Cocobolo.
With ducks I use a lot of high ball when they are out there and simple quacks when they are on the corners.
Now for the disclaimer, I hunt open fields and water and not in the closed in timber.
When it comes to geese, I do use the old “Toooo-it” greeting but clucks and moans get it done.
I know it sounds really cool to be out there double and triple clucking the geese. But my experience teaches me that it is simple clucks and moaning that will get the geese down best.
Some of those I have hunted with, my brother being one, call with the same strategy at both ducks and geese, he enjoys the sound he makes more than the ducks and geese do…most of the time.
Develop your strategy based on how the ducks and geese react to your calling and your own experiences. Thinking of them as distinctly different may help you get more webbed feet down in your decoys.
Until I see you in the field, Be Safe, Be Good, and BE LUCKY!