Expensive vs. cheap!

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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby Rick Hall » Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:29 am

cluckmeister wrote:
Rick Hall wrote:
cluckmeister wrote:.A ducks eye sight is better that his hearing and chances are hes seeing your decoys long before he hears either a 40 dollar call or a 150 dollar call.


If that's so, it doesn't seem to keep an awful lot of them from blowing on by even huge spreads until a good call in good hands turns them.


Id say its more like those huge spreads aren't set up where the ducks want to land more than the calling. A bird's eyesight is its most critical sense and the one it relies on the most. It doesn't matter how many dekes you have or how priced the call or even how good the caller is, with in reason of course. Ducks land in the most unpredictable places and land where and when they want to.

You may have the best decoys, the best call and be a great duck caller and have the best open area on the marsh and they will pass you by and land 150 yards away in a puddle that's 10 yards by 10 yards. Why ? Simple answer because theyre ducks. Heck geese are even worse.LOL


And I'd say that if you can hide even half well where the birds want to land, you can leave the decoys and calls at home. The rub being that most of the time most of us can't. Changing the birds' intent is where tools like decoys and calls come into play, and given competent operators, better tools can produce better results. And the best tools usually draw a price premium.
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby cluckmeister » Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:56 am

Rick, Id say youre right in most cases and if you think that 120 dollar call gives you an edge that's great. But as Franks says a call is like a musical instrument and if youre proficient in using it , youll call ducks in no matter the price. The worse caller in the world might being using a high dollar call and be unsuccessful at getting the ducks in and a guy that's a good caller might have ducks land in his face using a cheap call. Id say youre a good caller and probably could get within a 5 percent difference the same amount of ducks into the dekes using either call. BTW if I had to choose between adding to a decoy spread or buying a higher dollar call, Id buy the dekes.. Why. I hunt in Kansas and unlike you southern boys our marshes freeze up about half way thru the season. We then go to the big reservoirs where the ducks fly up and down the middle of the lake all day long and the dang wind blows you in the face at 20 MPH. It doesn't make any difference how much that call costs, with wind like that the call cant be heard beyond about 75 yards and certainly not out in the middle of the lake, but you can bet those decoys can be seen.
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby MNGunner » Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:36 am

I'd say the order of importance for success:

1. Be where the birds want to land (NOT always possible--e.g. might not have permission, spot taken, etc.)
2. Decoy spread
3. Calling
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby Rick Hall » Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:14 pm

cluckmeister wrote:Rick, Id say youre right in most cases and if you think that 120 dollar call gives you an edge that's great. But as Franks says a call is like a musical instrument and if youre proficient in using it , youll call ducks in no matter the price.


I'd not argue with that analogy, only that a good musician will get more out of a good, and consequently more expensive instrument, than a cheap one.
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby Rick Hall » Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:26 pm

MNGunner wrote:I'd say the order of importance for success:

1. Be where the birds want to land (NOT always possible--e.g. might not have permission, spot taken, etc.)
2. Decoy spread
3. Calling


Assuming we're speaking of puddlers, I believe a fellow who works at his calling can generally reverse those last two and save himself some work. Lord knows I'm more anal than most about decoys, so I'm not knocking attention to them. But I've also called ducks (mottleds in this case) to within easy gunshot of a gray-headed man in jeans and a blue t-shirt standing on a grass road next to a Chesapeake dog, while his decoys were at home in the shed, as recently as this morning.

My decoy spreads, or lack there of in some cases, are intended to help finish wary ducks and geese, rather than attract them, with teal, which I use spinners for, being the only puddler exception. Haven't set a spread to "attract" birds since I quit doing big white spreads for geese. Instead, my spreads are generally quite small, and I count most heavily on calling to pull distant game.

Works fo' me.
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby Trevor Shannahan » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:25 pm

Rick Hall wrote:
MNGunner wrote:I'd say the order of importance for success:

1. Be where the birds want to land (NOT always possible--e.g. might not have permission, spot taken, etc.)
2. Decoy spread
3. Calling


Assuming we're speaking of puddlers, I believe a fellow who works at his calling can generally reverse those last two and save himself some work. Lord knows I'm more anal than most about decoys, so I'm not knocking attention to them. But I've also called ducks (mottleds in this case) to within easy gunshot of a gray-headed man in jeans and a blue t-shirt standing on a grass road next to a Chesapeake dog, while his decoys were at home in the shed, as recently as this morning.

My decoy spreads, or lack there of in some cases, are intended to help finish wary ducks and geese, rather than attract them, with teal, which I use spinners for, being the only puddler exception. Haven't set a spread to "attract" birds since I quit doing big white spreads for geese. Instead, my spreads are generally quite small, and I count most heavily on calling to pull distant game.

Works fo' me.


Amen... 90% of my hunting is done with 1 Doz Avian X floaters. I use my decoys simply to make the birds try to land where I want them
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby cluckmeister » Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:40 pm

Assuming we're speaking of puddlers, I believe a fellow who works at his calling can generally reverse those last two and save himself some work. Rick I agree a 100 percent with you on that IF youre hunting a marsh, but, as I said in a earlier post if youre hunting a big lake with a 20 MPH Kansas wind blowing you in the face those decoys are more important because those calls simply cannot be heard beyond about 75 yards and certainly not a half mile away where they are flying up and down the lake. As for marsh hunting, we have pretty much cut down our calling and simply use a whistle. Why, because theres who knows how many other guys out there blowing their guts out trying to talk the ducks in. With the overcrowding of the marshes we have the ducks get call shy real fast. Speaking of whistles ,I just received a new one from Aaron Wingert and I cant wait till teal season to see how it works.
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby Frank Lopez » Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:46 pm

Rick Hall wrote:
cluckmeister wrote:Rick, Id say youre right in most cases and if you think that 120 dollar call gives you an edge that's great. But as Franks says a call is like a musical instrument and if youre proficient in using it , youll call ducks in no matter the price.


I'd not argue with that analogy, only that a good musician will get more out of a good, and consequently more expensive instrument, than a cheap one.


The caveat here is that only the most trained ear can tell the difference. Unfortunately, the judges in this case just ain't that discerning. Sit in any marsh an hour before sunrise a week or so before opening day and just listen and see how many different ducks with different tones you can count. Their voices are as distinct as that of humans. Plus, sound changes over distance and with other atmospheric conditions. The old PS Olt has killed more ducks than all the high priced calls put together. Same can be said of the Duck Commander and a few others of that ilk.

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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby berganser » Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:58 pm

Since I see guys say that a Whistle is important, I guess you could say that a 6-n-1for $8, prolly has killed more ducks then a Custom Whistle for $25-50? I think I paid like $20 for the Whistle I have.
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby MNGunner » Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:44 pm

Rick Hall wrote:
MNGunner wrote:I'd say the order of importance for success:

1. Be where the birds want to land (NOT always possible--e.g. might not have permission, spot taken, etc.)
2. Decoy spread
3. Calling


Assuming we're speaking of puddlers, I believe a fellow who works at his calling can generally reverse those last two and save himself some work. Lord knows I'm more anal than most about decoys, so I'm not knocking attention to them. But I've also called ducks (mottleds in this case) to within easy gunshot of a gray-headed man in jeans and a blue t-shirt standing on a grass road next to a Chesapeake dog, while his decoys were at home in the shed, as recently as this morning.

My decoy spreads, or lack there of in some cases, are intended to help finish wary ducks and geese, rather than attract them, with teal, which I use spinners for, being the only puddler exception. Haven't set a spread to "attract" birds since I quit doing big white spreads for geese. Instead, my spreads are generally quite small, and I count most heavily on calling to pull distant game.

Works fo' me.


I did the same thing last weekend. Screwing around with a call on my duck and dropped a mallard right net to me while I was wearing a white t-shirt and shorts.

Main reason I put them in that order is I can't count how many times ducks drop into my decoys when I'm looking the other way, taking a piss, eating or drinking something, before shooting hours still setting blind, etc. All without a call. I'm sure everyone on here has had the same experience.
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby Rick Hall » Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:48 pm

Frank Lopez wrote:
Rick Hall wrote:
cluckmeister wrote:Rick, Id say youre right in most cases and if you think that 120 dollar call gives you an edge that's great. But as Franks says a call is like a musical instrument and if youre proficient in using it , youll call ducks in no matter the price.


I'd not argue with that analogy, only that a good musician will get more out of a good, and consequently more expensive instrument, than a cheap one.


The caveat here is that only the most trained ear can tell the difference. Unfortunately, the judges in this case just ain't that discerning. Sit in any marsh an hour before sunrise a week or so before opening day and just listen and see how many different ducks with different tones you can count. Their voices are as distinct as that of humans. Plus, sound changes over distance and with other atmospheric conditions. The old PS Olt has killed more ducks than all the high priced calls put together. Same can be said of the Duck Commander and a few others of that ilk.

Frank


My money's on the DR-85 having helped killed more birds than any other, but I know from experience that I can kill more with a MVP than I could with an Olt, Duck Commander, DR-85 or anything else I've run to date. In part because I can get more of those "voices" out of it than they.
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby clampdaddy » Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:17 pm

Rick Hall wrote:
Frank Lopez wrote:
Rick Hall wrote:
cluckmeister wrote:Rick, Id say youre right in most cases and if you think that 120 dollar call gives you an edge that's great. But as Franks says a call is like a musical instrument and if youre proficient in using it , youll call ducks in no matter the price.


I'd not argue with that analogy, only that a good musician will get more out of a good, and consequently more expensive instrument, than a cheap one.


The caveat here is that only the most trained ear can tell the difference. Unfortunately, the judges in this case just ain't that discerning. Sit in any marsh an hour before sunrise a week or so before opening day and just listen and see how many different ducks with different tones you can count. Their voices are as distinct as that of humans. Plus, sound changes over distance and with other atmospheric conditions. The old PS Olt has killed more ducks than all the high priced calls put together. Same can be said of the Duck Commander and a few others of that ilk.

Frank


My money's on the DR-85 having helped killed more birds than any other, but I know from experience that I can kill more with a MVP than I could with an Olt, Duck Commander, DR-85 or anything else I've run to date. In part because I can get more of those "voices" out of it than they.

Maybe it's a regional thing but back when I was a Greenwing the Faulks WA-33 was the call you saw on most lanyards around here.
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby cluckmeister » Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:42 pm

clampdaddy wrote:
Rick Hall wrote:
Frank Lopez wrote:
Rick Hall wrote:
cluckmeister wrote:Rick, Id say youre right in most cases and if you think that 120 dollar call gives you an edge that's great. But as Franks says a call is like a musical instrument and if youre proficient in using it , youll call ducks in no matter the price.


I'd not argue with that analogy, only that a good musician will get more out of a good, and consequently more expensive instrument, than a cheap one.


The caveat here is that only the most trained ear can tell the difference. Unfortunately, the judges in this case just ain't that discerning. Sit in any marsh an hour before sunrise a week or so before opening day and just listen and see how many different ducks with different tones you can count. Their voices are as distinct as that of humans. Plus, sound changes over distance and with other atmospheric conditions. The old PS Olt has killed more ducks than all the high priced calls put together. Same can be said of the Duck Commander and a few others of that ilk.

Frank


My money's on the DR-85 having helped killed more birds than any other, but I know from experience that I can kill more with a MVP than I could with an Olt, Duck Commander, DR-85 or anything else I've run to date. In part because I can get more of those "voices" out of it than they.

Maybe it's a regional thing but back when I was a Greenwing the Faulks WA-33 was the call you saw on most lanyards around here.


way back when, I had a double lanyard, it had a Olt 66 and Faulks WA-33 on it. I had many a good duck dinner because of those two calls.
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby Rick Hall » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:07 pm

I suspect those Faulks are most remembered for the giant version. I'm within an hour of their shop but only see the occasional cane "guide's calls" Mr. Dud passed to some in the field.
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby KyMike » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:53 pm

I hunted Reelfoot a number of years ago. There are huge blinds in every direction. Each blind has 500+ decoys and 4+ spinning wings. Even with all those decoys to attract birds, loud, hard and constant calling is what put birds in the decoys. And believe me we had wind. It was a constant 20+ mph with gusts in the 40's. Got ran off the lake on the second day by a tornado.

Even with those winds the low ducks still worked. We could break them from well over 150 yards. We were using acrylic open water style calls and full lung power staying on them to the shot. DR-85 is a great call but it wouldn't have cut it out there. With the thousands of decoys to chose from most low ducks we saw ended up in our spread because of these expensive calls.
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby cluckmeister » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:51 pm

KyMike wrote:I hunted Reelfoot a number of years ago. There are huge blinds in every direction. Each blind has 500+ decoys and 4+ spinning wings. Even with all those decoys to attract birds, loud, hard and constant calling is what put birds in the decoys. And believe me we had wind. It was a constant 20+ mph with gusts in the 40's. Got ran off the lake on the second day by a tornado.

Even with those winds the low ducks still worked. We could break them from well over 150 yards. We were using acrylic open water style calls and full lung power staying on them to the shot. DR-85 is a great call but it wouldn't have cut it out there. With the thousands of decoys to chose from most low ducks we saw ended up in our spread because of these expensive calls.

I bet those birds were 150 yards down wind also that's why they heard those calls. On the lake we hunt, if the winds blowing in our face at 20 + and the ducks are in front of us more than 100 yards, we don't even waste out time calling , heck with the wave actions noise hitting the shore line, its hard enough to hear your partner sitting next to you talk unless hes talks very loudly
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby Rick Hall » Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:00 am

Seems there was some mileage left in this old, dead thread after all.
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby KyMike » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:11 am

Certainly some started down wind but definitely not all of the birds.. Something that might have helped was when you were standing in the blind you were almost 10' in the air. In the end it was the ability of the callers using calls that had abilities most cheap calls don't. With as much as you pay to duck hunt, the $100 difference in a cheap call and a custom call with more abilities is a cheap investment for a lifetime of use.

This was discussed when expensive calls were $20 and will continue to the point the cheap calls cost $100. If I could always hunt on the X then about any call would do me. But I don't usually have that option. So, I'm calling against other hunters and real ducks. So I'll take every advantage I can get.
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby cluckmeister » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:50 am

Everybody has their favorite calls, be it a cheaper or more expensive call. The one thing that a lot of the guys posting on this thread are talking about is calling, aggressively and loud, and out calling a lot of other hunters. that may work in the areas that have a big population of ducks and also have a big influx of ducks moving into the areas they hunt. But where we hunt - marshes early in the season before freeze up- , the ducks get call shy real fast. Lots of mornings we don't even hit a high ball as all it does is scare them away. It doesn't matter whether its a cheap call or expensive call theyre both useless LOL
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby Rick Hall » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:58 am

cluckmeister wrote:The one thing that a lot of the guys posting on this thread are talking about is calling, aggressively and loud, and out calling a lot of other hunters. that may work in the areas that have a big population of ducks and also have a big influx of ducks moving into the areas they hunt. But where we hunt - marshes early in the season before freeze up- , the ducks get call shy real fast. Lots of mornings we don't even hit a high ball as all it does is scare them away. It doesn't matter whether its a cheap call or expensive call theyre both useless LOL


Hard to imagine a call more useless than one ducks either can't hear at all or that lacks the teeth to garner reflex response from those that require it.
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby cluckmeister » Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:46 pm

Rick do the birds get call shy in Louisiana? I've never hunted down that way. And If they do get call shy what do you do? The area we hunt before freeze up is around 5000 acres with several wetland areas. Average population of ducks at one time is around 5,000 and the area gets pounded by hunters every week end thus the birds get wise real quick to lots of high balls etc. We normally hunt on a Wednesday hoping the birds have settled down a bit from the weekend pressure. This year to due to the birds being so call shy we switched to using whistles 85 percent of the time and we had great success.
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby 11-87 Va » Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:33 pm

Y'all know tons more about calls and calling than I will ever know and I was just curious as to what is considered a cheap call price wise. Not asking to name the calls or anything like that, just a cut off point. Is $30-$40 considered cheap?

And speaking of whistles, will they work when only mallards are present?
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby Rick Hall » Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:54 pm

cluckmeister wrote:Rick do the birds get call shy in Louisiana? I've never hunted down that way. And If they do get call shy what do you do? The area we hunt before freeze up is around 5000 acres with several wetland areas. Average population of ducks at one time is around 5,000 and the area gets pounded by hunters every week end thus the birds get wise real quick to lots of high balls etc. We normally hunt on a Wednesday hoping the birds have settled down a bit from the weekend pressure. This year to due to the birds being so call shy we switched to using whistles 85 percent of the time and we had great success.


We don't see the migration we once did, particularly of mallards, but the pressure here is intense, and birds get shy of whatever they associate with the last however many places that blew up on them. That includes calling but doesn't necessarily preclude aggressive calling. To the contrary, most seasons my logs indicate periods when I've hurt us by being too conservative and broke out of the slump by becoming more assertive.

Unless it's popular in an area, whistling may be a good contrarian approach for birds that want to be nearby, anyway, and I'm inclined to use it on "locals" that know a blind but expect it to quack, but I've not seen it afford the reflex response type leverage a crisp mallard call can with birds bound for points elsewhere.
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby clampdaddy » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:49 pm

11-87 Va wrote: ......And speaking of whistles, will they work when only mallards are present?


One time on a slow day at the refuge I watched an old timer walk in late, set up across the pond with his whistle and 1 pair of sprig blocks, and sucked in birds that wanted no part of what anybody else was doing.
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Re: Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby finsnfeathershunter » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:21 pm

:smile:
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