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Bird Hunting

The nunber two reason hunters walk out of the duck woods empty handed.

Uploaded on April 21, 2009

The main reason duck hunters come home empty handed is location or lack thereof. If you are not where the birds want to be in the first place, you have one hand tied behind your back from the get/go.

Falling not far behind in the hierarchy of would of, could of and should of can be found at the end of the lanyard hanging from many Waterfowler's necks. Take heart and be of good cheer. This is nothing to beat yourself up about. After all no where is the art of the gimmick and marketing so focused and so enticing than with duck calls. You have your open water call. You have your timber call. You have your marsh call. You have your competition call. You have spit-proof calls. You have calls in the color of your favorite college football team. You have calls in every color combination known to mankind. You even have calls designated for newborns these days.

Couple the well done advertising campaign with any of several available duck hunting videos or television episodes dealing with duck hunting and before a person knows it, they can be caught up in a calling frenzy. After all, look at how they do it on tape. A few skilled callers are wailing to beat sixty to the top of their lungs and ducks are just falling from the sky.

Take a deep breath, hit the rewind button and take another long look at this picture. For starters, it is hard to compare your hunt to an outing on private land that might not have been hunted for several days before filming or a shoot on public land where "blockers" have a perimeter set up to hold off the masses before and during the shoot.

Next, look closer at the birds in the air versus what actually ends up on the duck strap. How many times do we see copious amounts of waterfowl overhead only to witness precious few landing in the decoys before the cameras pan to the anxious shooters?

Notice I mentioned ducks on the stool----birds on the water. If pass shooting is what you are after, stop reading now. I am wasting your time. If you love to gun on the rise, please hang on.

Stop and consider the total picture. Most of us are average callers and shooters. We do not have access to pristine digs nor are we world championship callers. We must factor in that the world has changed. The prior availability of easy credit has seen to it that every kid of driving age and his twice removed third cousin had access to a $15,000 duck rig and a $50,000 four wheel drive pick up. The fast and loose finances before 2009 made it easy to tote a $1,500.00 shotgun and blow a $150.00 duck call. Technological advances have empowered anyone who can charge a battery to have a life like decoy spread via the spinning wing decoy. Simply put, puddle ducks now have PhD's in survival.

There is a reason you see all those whistling wings in the sky but a fraction of that number on in the drink when the moment of truth presents itself with much of the footage out there these days. There is a reason that ducks take a close gander at your blocks but don't commit even when you are well hidden and you know you are set up where they are dying to be. Often that reason is dangling from your neck. More times than not, if that call was kept where it belongs, in the pocket, you would be seeing more feathers floating on your T.V. or at least some plumage drifting on the water in front of your set up.

I did not start seriously calling until 15 years ago at age 33. I was privileged to hunt with some magnificent duck callers in the flooded timber of Arkansas. Some of these individuals have called for U.S. Senators and guided in $800.00 a day lodges. Their skills, to put it mildly,are incredible. That said, these hunters to a man have one thing in common: they call sparingly using very simple routines. Sure, these sportsmen can do anything on a duck caller that can be done and do it well every time but they understand we are now hunting in a new era. Less is more.

I challenge you never to make a hunt without a shirt that has a front pocket if not two. That pocket will give you the tools to put more birds on the grill or in the gumbo if you keep your call where it needs to be most of the time. I challenge you this season to know a few calls but know them well. Forget about trying to impress Mr. Jones and key in on Mr. Green. In fact, I have learned you can convince Puddlers to deploy their parachutes with nothing more than a three to four note greeting call----no hails, no rolling feed call, no quacks. I challenge you to resist the urge to continue the time-honored ritual of wailing on a confounded duck call right at legal shooting hours. See what happens first before you put that caller to your mouth. You will be surprised to know that ducks will land in the decoys at the start of the day with no calling whatsoever.

Ducks don't say much these days. Spend a few hunts sans the shotgun. Go out, get hidden and chunk out a decoy or three then just observe. Countless times I have studied birds swimming in close proximity to me that would not utter a word in their language for two to three hours. The undisciplined caller does nothing more than give interested parties a reason not to drop in. Don't take my words for it. Put what I am telling you to the test this season. Save all that money you spend on calls and videos for a rainy day. It will come in handy in these times. At the very least, use it to buy something nice for that significant other that puts up with the crazy lifestyle of a Waterfowler. Anyone who endures 2:30 A.M. alarms, muddy dogs and one thousand yard stares at Dinner time all season deserves it. Good hunting!

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All Replies
from Letmland wrote 4 years 52 weeks ago

My apologies for misspelling the word "number" in the title.

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from streack wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

This is a good piece, a lot of this information can be translated over to geese, at least in my experience. It was amazing to me how many more geese I was able to bring in using just a few honks and clucks versus throwing in moans, buzz clucks, feeding calls, and finishing calls. I just use the call to grab their attention and let the decoys do the rest.

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from Letmland wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

I spent ten years learning to make all the sounds on a duck call that conventional wisdom deems as "must know". That effort should have been expended on clay targets.

If a person can make the quack sound on a duck call. I can teach them how to kill ducks with a duck call. Mind you I said kill ducks not blow a duck call. That may sound easy but it is not. Too much time is spent these days teaching people how to do the rolling feed call, the chatter (there is a difference) and the come back call among others. A well done quack is enough to make birds decoy. Not many take the time to fully master the quack so it is perfect every time.

Let me make it clear quacks should NEVER be done in a string. A close sequence of quacks is the hen mallard distress signal. Go by your local golf course pond or park lake and spook some mallards up and listen to what the hen does as she is high tailing it out of Dodge. I don't care what you may see on television or a video. Remember: many times the filming is done on pristine locations where no one has hunted for days.

The perfect quack is a function of four things working simultaneously: lip formation, vocalization,hand movement and diaphragm manipulation. The call is put to the mouth just as if a person is drinking from one of the little "ole-timey" 8-ounce glass coke bottles. This ensures proper lip position. The word "quit" is uttered into the call---"qwa----itttt". The holding hand is cupped around the bottom of the call at the insert and opened as the word quit is said into the call. The air comes from the "gut" or diaphragm. You do not blow into the call as you would when you extinguish a birthday cake candle. You should feel your stomach move when you are starting out.

One the quack is perfected, the greeting call can be made by dragging the quack out. Three to five notes make the greeting call----nothing more. Begin working on the greeting slowly. As you become more proficient, you may speed it up a little.

If ducks hear your greeting and start to come in but then drift away, hit them with one quack and then back off. Be careful! Ducks these days often make very big circles before they come into the decoys. What is often perceived as drifting can be their final "swoop" into the blocks. If you quack, you may scare them off. When ducks are far off, wail at them as loudly as you can. When they get close, learn to blow that greeting softly. This is achieved by tightening the gut and the lips. You are still blowing into the call as hard as you would when you are calling loudly but you are constricting the amount of air over the reed/reeds as the case may be.

The quack can be done more than one way. You can make a relaxed quack---"qwaaaaaa---ittttt" or you can make the excited, I am glad to see you we have tons of food down hear quack---"qwaiittt" blown forcefully. Always put three to five seconds between quacks---always. I never do the excited quack more than once in a calling sequence but that is my take on it.

The most important aspect of choosing a duck call is the quack. Volume has nothing to do with it. If you are using a duck call correctly, you can manipulate the call to be blow loud or soft. There is no reason in the world why someone should need more than one call to put ducks in the decoys. For this reason, I keep one hen mallard call on my lanyard. I do keep a back up on the blind bag for Mr. Murphy. There is no need to confuse the issue. Focus on using one call and using it well. When and what you say in a duck call is more important than the volume. I am not telling you to shower down on the call as they are landing. I am asking you to listen to ducks in the wild. The usually call loudly. Double or single reed makes no difference. It is all about your being able to make good quacks and greeting calls and your being able to regulate the volume at will.

I cannot say enough about being careful not to flare the ducks. I would be very cautious about that single quack to "hold their attention" before they land. Using the quack when the ducks get close in as purely trial and error and something I won't even consider until I have had one or two bunches of ducks stray off without getting a shot off.

The quack is your sit, stay and heel of duck calling. Just as you go back to the basics when problems crop up with your duck dog, the quack is your initial point of reference with your call.

Streack said it best: "Use the call to grab their attention and let the decoys do the rest."

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from Letmland wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

The cupping of the hand and then releasing during the quack or greeting call needs more attention. The purpose for this as many Goose callers will tell you is to utilize the back pressure.

Streack or another goose caller can explain that better than I can. All I can tell you is once you are doing this, you will understand why it is a critical element of the proper use of a duck call.

Goose calling is "a whole 'nuther world". I have the utmost respect for the accomplished Goose caller.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steven9253 wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

Man you gave a lot of really good information. This is my first year hunting and with this advice I feel more confident about my odds! My first couple days turkey hunting I carried in a lot of gear, some I didn't even know how to use affectively, then I took a minimalist approach and walked out with my first turkey in my first year. Thank you again because I have become a big believer in less is more except I make sure I have plenty of ammo

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from Letmland wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

Steven9253:

All the credit goes to the men who mentored me. Now that I have been a chaser of ducks for a few years, I understand now the amount of time, effort and sacrifices they made to allow me to tag along. They placed a lot of trust in me by taking me to their favorite spots. Find mentors to hunt with and thank them in deeds. Fuel their boat and pick up on your dime. Clean their decoys and their ducks without being asked to do so. Carry their blocks into the hole and tote their birds out. Above all, stay mum on there particulars about your trips with them. You will find you learn more just by watching them intently than you do playing 64 questions.

What I am telling you is nothing new. The old timers from the days of Nash Buckingham knew this. I believe reason some of the older style duck calls like the Yentzen Double reeds, the Olts and Faulks seem harder to run and have less range than their newer prodigy rests in the philosophy that a duck call was meant to be carried a lot and used a little. The aforementioned calls are coarse, gruff and LOUD but they work.

There are a lot of great younger callers out there who know their stuff. There are some well made modern calls to boot. I am not speaking to the expert in the woods. There are some who are good enough to literally drive ducks into the water most of the time. I am speaking to the average person out there just trying to scratch out a few birds for the gumbo pot.

I will say this, nine times out of ten, less is more in most scenarios if your aim is to land the ducks on the water. I can honestly tell you I get more pleasure out of coaxing mallards onto the stool for others to shoot than I do from pass shooting a limit by myself. Never forget, a good meat caller never has a problem finding venues and hunting partners.

The only thing more thrilling to me than feeling the breeze of the wing beat in my face as ducks land all around the spread is watching a Labrador retriever utilize what God gave them to do they love. When ducks come in so close that you must bear hug your four legged hunting buddy to preclude breaking, you will never forget it. I have seen precious few duck hounds that can hold when a duck lands five yards from them try as they may!

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from Steven9253 wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

How many decoys do you generally use? And when I am out hunting with a group I will deffinatelly follow that advice, I think I will be on my own most of the time though

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from Letmland wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

Steven9235:

I prefer to hunt in places many others prefer not to hunt in even when hunting in a duck camp. That means I usually have a hike ahead of me before the day starts and the walk usually involves some sort of thicket to cross. Most of the time I carry in three to five blocks. Two or three will be mallard decoys and the remainder will be wood ducks or green wing teal. I always kick water at the ducks flanks and rear ends just as you do when you call ducks---to the flanks and the rear.

I hunted in the flooded timber in Arkansas one week this past season and had great luck with nothing more than a wonder duck (swimming decoy) and a Robo Duck (spinning wing decoy)on a 12' tall poll. I was the guest of other hunters and this was their preferred method. It worked well. I do not own an automated decoy. They sure worked on this trip but I like traveling light.

Ultimately, it is up to trial and error. If a few decoys don't work, by all means chunk two or three dozen out and see what happens. I keep three dozen at all times ready to go at all times if need be.

Make sure your decoys are placed at least 5 to 8 feet apart from each other. Birds bunch up closely when they are nervous and ready to bolt. Make sure some of your blocks have the decoy cord tied at the rear of the keel not all in the front. If they are all tied at the front of the keel, all of the decoys will always be facing in the wind which is not natural. If there is no hole to tie the decoys at the rear of the keel, make one with a power drill. Obviously, I am not a fan of rigging decoys with weed eater line or with one of the store bought rigs where you only have to hurl the whole wad out at one time. You put decoys where you don't want the ducks to land. Always leave plenty of runway for a bird to land on and take off from.

Some like to play it safe with decoys. I am not one who does. You must be willing to experiment at the cost of not getting any shots off during your time afield.

Some say scout the area you hunt. If you see a lot of birds, bring a lot of decoys on your hunt and vice-versa. I say every day is a new day and a wad of ducks might think it's odd to see a large spread or they might think it is odd to see a small spread. If first you don't succeed; try something different the next hunt.

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from jerry k wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

do you have any tips for hunting rivers?

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from deltabuck wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Great advice. I am guilty myself of getting call happy. Ducks will come if they want to be there. Concentrate on the basics such as decoy placement and hiding yourself. Waterfowling is really an art. As for hunting a river, find slow water off the main channel if possible, or a big curve. I hunt the MS river in AR and MS, and the backwaters and oxbows provide great feeding and staging grounds for the ducks. Not trying to steal your thread Letmland. You made some points we can all learn from. Thats my two cents tho

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Yep, less is often more. Even when goose hunting. If they decide to have a look, keep the calling to a minimum. Sure seen a lot of guys scare them away making too much noise. I use an old Olt flute (yes, that's it, just one call) and though it is tricky to master, I have found it works fine. Cupping the hands is critical for a hail but not clucking. The hardest thing I have found with a flute is getting that first sound out of it perfectly. Takes just the right amount of wind and tongue use. Most guys I know give up on the things. They are not a particularly loud call but I find that flutes produce the best sound.

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from FlyandFowlGA wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Great piece! Having grown up hunting woodies on beaver swamps, I cannot fully express my disdain for "callers" (especially those stupid enough to spend $10 on a wood duck call). On big water, every year it's the same script: hearing my best buddy exclaim, "I've been practicing all summer. Y'ALL LISTEN TO THIS!!" I sit back and watch as the ducks fly right over without a waver in course as my buddy plays "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" on his $150 call. Color me cynical, but 90% of the time calling is more about the ego of the caller and less about killing ducks.
I will say that I do go up to Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee every year and there is a young man up there that speaks the language. It is a thrill to watch him work ducks. In that environment, a good caller can make a huge difference. I gladly pay him for his expertise and go home with a mess of birds everytime.

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from hengst wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Wow nicely put. Sounds good I can only do greeting calls anyway everything else sounds like a sick rhino So this comforts me. I get to test it tomorrow hopefully I can post a pic

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Ninety percent of the time, calling works best when it is simply used to call attention to your decoys. When the geese shut up, you should too. They're ready to have a closer look. Don't give anything away with a fakey call. I'll put out a couple of clucks if they're circling, mostly because those are simple sounds and less likely to reveal that they're made artificially. I use a small spread - less than two dozen - and, as noted above, you rarely hear a family group or two feeding in the fields that makes much noise unless they're ready to move. Several hundred birds together is a different matter. They can be real noisy. But if you have that many decoys you probably don't need to call anyway. The advice above about placement of deeks is invaluable. Thanks.

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from streack wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

This is a good piece, a lot of this information can be translated over to geese, at least in my experience. It was amazing to me how many more geese I was able to bring in using just a few honks and clucks versus throwing in moans, buzz clucks, feeding calls, and finishing calls. I just use the call to grab their attention and let the decoys do the rest.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Letmland wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

I spent ten years learning to make all the sounds on a duck call that conventional wisdom deems as "must know". That effort should have been expended on clay targets.

If a person can make the quack sound on a duck call. I can teach them how to kill ducks with a duck call. Mind you I said kill ducks not blow a duck call. That may sound easy but it is not. Too much time is spent these days teaching people how to do the rolling feed call, the chatter (there is a difference) and the come back call among others. A well done quack is enough to make birds decoy. Not many take the time to fully master the quack so it is perfect every time.

Let me make it clear quacks should NEVER be done in a string. A close sequence of quacks is the hen mallard distress signal. Go by your local golf course pond or park lake and spook some mallards up and listen to what the hen does as she is high tailing it out of Dodge. I don't care what you may see on television or a video. Remember: many times the filming is done on pristine locations where no one has hunted for days.

The perfect quack is a function of four things working simultaneously: lip formation, vocalization,hand movement and diaphragm manipulation. The call is put to the mouth just as if a person is drinking from one of the little "ole-timey" 8-ounce glass coke bottles. This ensures proper lip position. The word "quit" is uttered into the call---"qwa----itttt". The holding hand is cupped around the bottom of the call at the insert and opened as the word quit is said into the call. The air comes from the "gut" or diaphragm. You do not blow into the call as you would when you extinguish a birthday cake candle. You should feel your stomach move when you are starting out.

One the quack is perfected, the greeting call can be made by dragging the quack out. Three to five notes make the greeting call----nothing more. Begin working on the greeting slowly. As you become more proficient, you may speed it up a little.

If ducks hear your greeting and start to come in but then drift away, hit them with one quack and then back off. Be careful! Ducks these days often make very big circles before they come into the decoys. What is often perceived as drifting can be their final "swoop" into the blocks. If you quack, you may scare them off. When ducks are far off, wail at them as loudly as you can. When they get close, learn to blow that greeting softly. This is achieved by tightening the gut and the lips. You are still blowing into the call as hard as you would when you are calling loudly but you are constricting the amount of air over the reed/reeds as the case may be.

The quack can be done more than one way. You can make a relaxed quack---"qwaaaaaa---ittttt" or you can make the excited, I am glad to see you we have tons of food down hear quack---"qwaiittt" blown forcefully. Always put three to five seconds between quacks---always. I never do the excited quack more than once in a calling sequence but that is my take on it.

The most important aspect of choosing a duck call is the quack. Volume has nothing to do with it. If you are using a duck call correctly, you can manipulate the call to be blow loud or soft. There is no reason in the world why someone should need more than one call to put ducks in the decoys. For this reason, I keep one hen mallard call on my lanyard. I do keep a back up on the blind bag for Mr. Murphy. There is no need to confuse the issue. Focus on using one call and using it well. When and what you say in a duck call is more important than the volume. I am not telling you to shower down on the call as they are landing. I am asking you to listen to ducks in the wild. The usually call loudly. Double or single reed makes no difference. It is all about your being able to make good quacks and greeting calls and your being able to regulate the volume at will.

I cannot say enough about being careful not to flare the ducks. I would be very cautious about that single quack to "hold their attention" before they land. Using the quack when the ducks get close in as purely trial and error and something I won't even consider until I have had one or two bunches of ducks stray off without getting a shot off.

The quack is your sit, stay and heel of duck calling. Just as you go back to the basics when problems crop up with your duck dog, the quack is your initial point of reference with your call.

Streack said it best: "Use the call to grab their attention and let the decoys do the rest."

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Letmland wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

The cupping of the hand and then releasing during the quack or greeting call needs more attention. The purpose for this as many Goose callers will tell you is to utilize the back pressure.

Streack or another goose caller can explain that better than I can. All I can tell you is once you are doing this, you will understand why it is a critical element of the proper use of a duck call.

Goose calling is "a whole 'nuther world". I have the utmost respect for the accomplished Goose caller.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Letmland wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

Steven9253:

All the credit goes to the men who mentored me. Now that I have been a chaser of ducks for a few years, I understand now the amount of time, effort and sacrifices they made to allow me to tag along. They placed a lot of trust in me by taking me to their favorite spots. Find mentors to hunt with and thank them in deeds. Fuel their boat and pick up on your dime. Clean their decoys and their ducks without being asked to do so. Carry their blocks into the hole and tote their birds out. Above all, stay mum on there particulars about your trips with them. You will find you learn more just by watching them intently than you do playing 64 questions.

What I am telling you is nothing new. The old timers from the days of Nash Buckingham knew this. I believe reason some of the older style duck calls like the Yentzen Double reeds, the Olts and Faulks seem harder to run and have less range than their newer prodigy rests in the philosophy that a duck call was meant to be carried a lot and used a little. The aforementioned calls are coarse, gruff and LOUD but they work.

There are a lot of great younger callers out there who know their stuff. There are some well made modern calls to boot. I am not speaking to the expert in the woods. There are some who are good enough to literally drive ducks into the water most of the time. I am speaking to the average person out there just trying to scratch out a few birds for the gumbo pot.

I will say this, nine times out of ten, less is more in most scenarios if your aim is to land the ducks on the water. I can honestly tell you I get more pleasure out of coaxing mallards onto the stool for others to shoot than I do from pass shooting a limit by myself. Never forget, a good meat caller never has a problem finding venues and hunting partners.

The only thing more thrilling to me than feeling the breeze of the wing beat in my face as ducks land all around the spread is watching a Labrador retriever utilize what God gave them to do they love. When ducks come in so close that you must bear hug your four legged hunting buddy to preclude breaking, you will never forget it. I have seen precious few duck hounds that can hold when a duck lands five yards from them try as they may!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Letmland wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

Steven9235:

I prefer to hunt in places many others prefer not to hunt in even when hunting in a duck camp. That means I usually have a hike ahead of me before the day starts and the walk usually involves some sort of thicket to cross. Most of the time I carry in three to five blocks. Two or three will be mallard decoys and the remainder will be wood ducks or green wing teal. I always kick water at the ducks flanks and rear ends just as you do when you call ducks---to the flanks and the rear.

I hunted in the flooded timber in Arkansas one week this past season and had great luck with nothing more than a wonder duck (swimming decoy) and a Robo Duck (spinning wing decoy)on a 12' tall poll. I was the guest of other hunters and this was their preferred method. It worked well. I do not own an automated decoy. They sure worked on this trip but I like traveling light.

Ultimately, it is up to trial and error. If a few decoys don't work, by all means chunk two or three dozen out and see what happens. I keep three dozen at all times ready to go at all times if need be.

Make sure your decoys are placed at least 5 to 8 feet apart from each other. Birds bunch up closely when they are nervous and ready to bolt. Make sure some of your blocks have the decoy cord tied at the rear of the keel not all in the front. If they are all tied at the front of the keel, all of the decoys will always be facing in the wind which is not natural. If there is no hole to tie the decoys at the rear of the keel, make one with a power drill. Obviously, I am not a fan of rigging decoys with weed eater line or with one of the store bought rigs where you only have to hurl the whole wad out at one time. You put decoys where you don't want the ducks to land. Always leave plenty of runway for a bird to land on and take off from.

Some like to play it safe with decoys. I am not one who does. You must be willing to experiment at the cost of not getting any shots off during your time afield.

Some say scout the area you hunt. If you see a lot of birds, bring a lot of decoys on your hunt and vice-versa. I say every day is a new day and a wad of ducks might think it's odd to see a large spread or they might think it is odd to see a small spread. If first you don't succeed; try something different the next hunt.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Ninety percent of the time, calling works best when it is simply used to call attention to your decoys. When the geese shut up, you should too. They're ready to have a closer look. Don't give anything away with a fakey call. I'll put out a couple of clucks if they're circling, mostly because those are simple sounds and less likely to reveal that they're made artificially. I use a small spread - less than two dozen - and, as noted above, you rarely hear a family group or two feeding in the fields that makes much noise unless they're ready to move. Several hundred birds together is a different matter. They can be real noisy. But if you have that many decoys you probably don't need to call anyway. The advice above about placement of deeks is invaluable. Thanks.

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from Letmland wrote 4 years 52 weeks ago

My apologies for misspelling the word "number" in the title.

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from Steven9253 wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

Man you gave a lot of really good information. This is my first year hunting and with this advice I feel more confident about my odds! My first couple days turkey hunting I carried in a lot of gear, some I didn't even know how to use affectively, then I took a minimalist approach and walked out with my first turkey in my first year. Thank you again because I have become a big believer in less is more except I make sure I have plenty of ammo

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from Steven9253 wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

How many decoys do you generally use? And when I am out hunting with a group I will deffinatelly follow that advice, I think I will be on my own most of the time though

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from jerry k wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

do you have any tips for hunting rivers?

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from deltabuck wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Great advice. I am guilty myself of getting call happy. Ducks will come if they want to be there. Concentrate on the basics such as decoy placement and hiding yourself. Waterfowling is really an art. As for hunting a river, find slow water off the main channel if possible, or a big curve. I hunt the MS river in AR and MS, and the backwaters and oxbows provide great feeding and staging grounds for the ducks. Not trying to steal your thread Letmland. You made some points we can all learn from. Thats my two cents tho

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Yep, less is often more. Even when goose hunting. If they decide to have a look, keep the calling to a minimum. Sure seen a lot of guys scare them away making too much noise. I use an old Olt flute (yes, that's it, just one call) and though it is tricky to master, I have found it works fine. Cupping the hands is critical for a hail but not clucking. The hardest thing I have found with a flute is getting that first sound out of it perfectly. Takes just the right amount of wind and tongue use. Most guys I know give up on the things. They are not a particularly loud call but I find that flutes produce the best sound.

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from FlyandFowlGA wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Great piece! Having grown up hunting woodies on beaver swamps, I cannot fully express my disdain for "callers" (especially those stupid enough to spend $10 on a wood duck call). On big water, every year it's the same script: hearing my best buddy exclaim, "I've been practicing all summer. Y'ALL LISTEN TO THIS!!" I sit back and watch as the ducks fly right over without a waver in course as my buddy plays "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" on his $150 call. Color me cynical, but 90% of the time calling is more about the ego of the caller and less about killing ducks.
I will say that I do go up to Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee every year and there is a young man up there that speaks the language. It is a thrill to watch him work ducks. In that environment, a good caller can make a huge difference. I gladly pay him for his expertise and go home with a mess of birds everytime.

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from hengst wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Wow nicely put. Sounds good I can only do greeting calls anyway everything else sounds like a sick rhino So this comforts me. I get to test it tomorrow hopefully I can post a pic

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