It is very possible to call ducks in off the water. Ducks often raft into a spread " hunting the call ".
Hey, I am not an expert and more times than not ducks flying over keep flying when I call but I have a knack for rafting ducks in.
The key is to sound like a duck on the water and the only way you can accomplish that is to listen to a large amount of ducks on the water who are under no pressure making conversation.
Ideally, a week or two after the season ends is a good time to do this.
Mallard Drake call ---- they love it.
Relaxed quack ---- spaced out but very faint, short and soft
Pleading Greeting every 30 minutes or so ---- " BAAAAHHHH...bah.bah "
Annoyance Clucks - Often called feed clucks. Hens do this when they are in allot of food or have a drake they want and they do not desire to have other ducks around. Ducks are gregarious and curious. They cannot stand to miss out and will come to it if they hear it. Most have heard a Hen doing this but don't recognize it. Again---soft and relaxed.
DO NOT make a string of quacks close to each other ----- "quackquackquackquack" is the mallard hen distress or warning signal. Listen to what the hens say when you spook em off the water and don't say it!!!
DO NOT hail and high ball and make long drawn out note sequences. You are a relaxed, dominant hen mallard. You are very happy and your craw is full. Life is good.
DO NOT call constantly----ducks don't say much when they are relaxed; you shouldn't either.
This year, the Good Lord has been generous and I have been lucky. We had a windy day where Mallards landed into the spread and would not get up so we could shoot. They rafted off and I called them back into the spread. Ducks can be called on the water, don't ever think they cannot.
I have had Mallard, Teal and Wood Ducks come in hunting the call.
" Never show up as a guest on a hunt with your dog. Never take the best shooting spot. Leave the call in your pocket. Never ask to come back. Keep your mouth shut after the hunt. Always bring gifts. "