How To Use Duck Calls The Professional Way
I started out as a beginner in the duck call business as everyone else has. You need to start from the beginning in “How to use a Duck Call.” If you think you will just go and buy/make a duck call tool and master the call you are in for a big disappointment.
You have to take certain steps and practice these steps so you will become an effective duck caller. There is a certain technique to using the duck call properly to bring the ducks in. Let’s get started.
Tools For The Trade
- Proper Technique
- Double Reed Instrument
- Single Reed Instrument
- Wood Duck Call
- Acrylic Duck Call
- Polycarbonate/mixed materials call
- Strong Lungs and Diaphragm
- The Ability to Blow Instead of Whistle
- Proper Placement
- Mastering a Realistic-Sounding Duck Call
- Patience to Practice until The Duck Call sounds are Mastered
- An Expert Teacher Instructing you on How to make the Most Effective Duck Calls
- Buy the Duck Call you Want to Use
Plan B You Can Make Your Own Duck Call
This method involves drilling, lathing, and sanding. You need to get a blank and shape it into the duck call you want. You will need to drill a tone channel into the barrel of your duck call. The process is complicated and time-consuming.
You will need a lot of patience to make a duck call. The time needed to invest in the building process isn’t worth it. You will still have to learn to use the duck call once you are done making it.
I recommend that you go out and by a good duck call. Be sure to buy one that you are comfortable using. Not necessarily the most expensive one but one that you enjoy using. You really want one that will bring results as well.
Go To School To Learn How To Use the Duck Call
I had to learn what a duck call was before I could use one. A duck call is a reed instrument. There are two types of duck calls you need to be aware of.
They are single and double reeds. The single reed make more realistic duck noises and they have better sound control than double reeds do. The only drawback to using a single reed is they aren’t for beginners. They make beautiful duck sounds in the hands of the experienced hunter.
Beginners are better off using double reeds because they are easier to manipulate the sound with. They are a coarser sounding reed than the single reed. Another problem for beginners using the double reed is you have use more of your breath to make a duck sound through them. This is because they are quieter. I found having an experienced duck caller with me, on the hunt, helped to improve my duck calling skills immensely.
Duck Calls Are Made Of Different Materials Making For Different Sounds
Duck calls are manufactured from three basic materials: Wood, Acrylic and Polycarbonate / mixed. If you are an experienced duck caller than any of these duck calls will work very well for you. I was a novice at one time and didn’t have a lot of success using these types of duck calls. I found that there are some hidden but important differences between the various duck calls.
Wood duck calls make quieter sounds. If you don’t take care of them they will wear out fast. This can be expensive if you wear out a lot of them. Just taking care of them will help make them last a lot longer. The great thing about wood duck calls are the softer sounds they make are accurate. This will be beneficial when you are hunting in a blind or near duck decoys the ducks migrate to.
Acrylic duck calls will make very loud sounds and they last a long time. These are ideal for hunting on windy days or if you spot ducks a long distance from your location. Duck calls are only as good as the material they are made of. Also, the location will play a big factor in attracting ducks to your hunting spot. Some duck calls work better in certain situations/locations than others would.
Polycarbonate duck calls are in the middle as far as quality is concerned. They sound harder than wood duck calls but softer than acrylic ones. They are durable like acrylic ones.
Hold The Duck Call Like The Pros Do
There are two ways to grip a duck call. The method that works best for you is the one you should use. You can hold it by the sound chamber and then curve your ring finger and pinky around the hole. The other way is to use the two-handed approach. You can hold the call like you would a cigar and then use the palm of your other hand to control the sound.
Blow On The Duck Call. Don’t Pucker Your Lips And Try And Whistle Through It
I like to get enough air to blast my duck call loud and clear. I start the blowing from my diaphragm. I always pull up a bunch of air from my diaphragm through blowing not whistling. I cough more than whistle to get the proper duck call sound.
The Duck Calls Need To Be Limited And To The Point
Doing this part of the call is central to bringing ducks in; you have heard real duck calls before. You noticed that they were short and concise. You may want to follow the natural sound patterns that real ducks make. Make your duck calls short, concise and direct. Don’t make them long this will confuse the ducks and drive them away. I practice a lot to pull air up from my diaphragm to copy a chuffing noise. I barely open my lips to achieve this sound.
It Is Critical To Place The Duck Call In the Right Place In Your Mouth
You should learn to place the duck call in between your upper and lower teeth. This is necessary to release the full duck sound. The Q-U-A-C-K sound should include every part of the word. Every part of the word should be clearly audible if you are duck calling properly. Reach deep into your diaphragm to cut off the “ck” sound in quack. Doing this right will help you to hear the full sound of the word.
You should always be thinking to make short notes to achieve the correct sound. Don’t run your notes together but create them clearly and separately. You do this by using the same air force for multiple notes and keeping this force consistent. To chop the notes clearly, move your tongue to the top of your mouth than to the bottom.
Talk Like A Duck
Just like any country you visit you have to learn the language of the duck country. I have learned a few duck calls in my hunting experience:
- Standard Quack-Q-u-a-c-k
- Lonesome hen call "quianCK"
- Hello "kanc-kanc-kanc"
- Come and get the food "tikki-tukka-tikka"
Wrapping It Up
I have found that making realistic duck calling sounds have benefitted me greatly in the hunt. Once I learned and mastered the major duck calls, I brought a lot more game home for good eating. If you are just learning how to duck call take duck calling classes from the experts. They will teach you the proper way to make the duck calls and how to position the call correctly in your mouth. They will also demonstrate the proper breathing techniques.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article because I wanted to teach you the proper way to call ducks in when you go hunting. If you did like this article leave a comment and share it with all your duck hunting buddies!