Newbie here looking for calling advice

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Newbie here looking for calling advice

Postby ballyhu » Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:45 am

Hey guys, I have just started hunting Lake Okeechobee from a go devil boat and motor I purchased a few months ago. I've hunted a couple days so far this season and really enjoy the whole deal. It's a beautiful area and there seem to be plenty of ducks when conditions are right. I grew up duck hunting in California's San Joaquin Valley 40 years ago and am having to learn the ropes all over again. My question relates to calling ducks. I'm aware that if you can't call properly you will do more harm than good. Fortunately my house is about a half mile away from an urban lake near West Palm Beach and I get a good steady stream of ducks flying right over the house early and late. I figure that if I get a couple of calls and practice on them I'm not going to do any damage since you can't shoot them anyway. I have a big pool and often have to shoo ducks out of it so a few decoys in it probably won't do any harm. So, the question is what type of call should I get and is there a CD or tape that I could purchase in order to learn how to call. I've got all the cabelas and prairie wings catalouges but haven't any idea where to start. I'd apreciate some advice. Thanks.
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Re: Newbie here looking for calling advice

Postby Maysport » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:34 am

Newbie,

You'll find that 95% of the calls sold are mallard calls ('quack'), while 99%+ of the ducks in Florida have a variation of a whistle - think teal, wood duck, pintail.

Very little calling at all is needed, and there is a lot of problem in public areas with people calling too much with a mallard call.

If you want to try some calls, I'd suggest picking up maybe a teal call, a combination whistle call, and maybe a wood duck call. There are plenty of videos on the net you can Google and listen to. Cornell University has recorded a lot of duck sounds that you can find here: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/browse_tax/6/
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Re: Newbie here looking for calling advice

Postby ballyhu » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:10 am

Good stuff...thanks
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Re: Newbie here looking for calling advice

Postby dogyak » Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:25 pm

Maysport gave you good info . I don't even use a call . The most important thing for you is having the right decoys and placement of them . I bet you have a lot of coots there . So you should have more coots than your target ducks that your after for one . Like for lake George , I'll use 8 coots , 2 ringers , 2 bluewing , and one mottled duck . It works for me , last Monday morning I got 2 ringers , 3 bluebills , and 1 can . Hope that helps , learn what ducks use your hunting grounds !
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Re: Newbie here looking for calling advice

Postby ballyhu » Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:07 am

Coots are everywhere. I hunted last tuesday and within a half hour of setting up we had coots swimming all around us. Right now we have ring necks, blue bills and a few wood ducks. I have a dozen teal and 18 blue bill decoys. Maybe I'm overdoing it.
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Re: Newbie here looking for calling advice

Postby cpoplayer » Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:29 pm

I have had some luck with ringnecks responding to a mallard call. But I don't high ball at them like I am trying to rescue them.from a collision with a 747. I just flutter my tongue against the roof of my mouth while saying "hut hut". I have seen them turn and come in like they were in a string and I have had them completely ignore it. It doesn't hurt to try. I also use a wood duck call, a pintail/teal/widgeon whistle, and a BWT call. Shovelers love that BWT call. As for the decoys, after Christmas I either use a dozen coots and half a dozen ringnecks or I overwhelm them with numbers and put out 6 or 7 dozen mixed species. It must depends on the area and what the ducks are doing when I scout them.
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Re: Newbie here looking for calling advice

Postby zack and drake » Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:22 pm

You should call like your in a Arkansas Timber Hole like everyone else. Just High ball and feeder calls also break out the goose call and double cluck and moan they love it.
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Re: Newbie here looking for calling advice

Postby ballyhu » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:52 am

I'm well aware that many guys overdo it. There's post after post of complaints on this forum. I'm trying to get it right and believe I have been given some good advice. I took maysport's thoughts to heart and got a combination whistle call and watched several utube videos. I have a few flocks flying over my house from a nearby lake in the evenings and have taken to working them a little bit. My neighbor thinks I'm nuts, but I'm actually starting to move the birds some. A week ago I didn't know how to call my dog. I'll take it as progress.
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Re: Newbie here looking for calling advice

Postby Doodlejr. » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:43 pm

95% of my calling consists of teal peeps, and teal quacks. If I see blue bills and ringers ill throw em a diver growl from the teal he. Call. Wood duck is also a great one to have as we have a lot of woodies in Florida. Visual aids are far more inportant than audible aids. Decoys will bring more birds in than calling. Invest in a jerk rig. Learn how to use it better than any call you have
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Re: Newbie here looking for calling advice

Postby bamagrad1992 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:15 pm

please no hail calling mallards on the big O. i am military and just moved out of southern california. for all the loud high balling, quacks, and feed you do in the pacific, none of it works on the O. occasionally i use a soft chatter quack. mottles are not very noisy. chattery, not noisy. lots of peeps on the whistle and screeches on the teal call. overall, i call less than 5% of the time that i called when hunting california. one can always tell the non "O" hunters when out on the lake. had a few set up close over the opener.

heading back to the O this weekend for three weeks of hunting bliss. and thank my boss for approving my leaveā€¦

be safe all!

b
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Re: Newbie here looking for calling advice

Postby whaknstak » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:18 pm

When in doubt, put it in your pocket....
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Re: Newbie here looking for calling advice

Postby ballyhu » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:21 am

I got a pretty good lesson in what not to do a couple days ago. A friend took me out to the big O for an afternoon hunt. He put a lot of effort into his decoys and hiding the boat. We had pretty solid action for an hour and a half. The birds were not decoying at all so my buddy was blowing the dickens out of his calls, especially a mallard. I never saw an instance where the calls did anything positive. We just happened to be in the right spot and it was pretty much pass shooting with enough birds flying to end up with a couple of limits on ringers and a couple of teal. I credit our location, decoy spread, and a well hidden boat for our success, and don't think the calling was a positive influence. I woke up the next morning dreaming about ducks....think I'm hooked!!
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Re: Newbie here looking for calling advice

Postby aunt betty » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:47 am

How you call is not nearly as important as when and when not to call.
If ducks fly at you, don't call til they go by and get a short way out. Never call when they are overhead.
Call at wingtips and tails but not in their face.
When you call is telling them to turn. Stop calling and they stop turning. This is why when you call continuously, they just circle.
Get the timing down. Work with the wind and the ducks momentum to steer them right in.
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Re: Newbie here looking for calling advice

Postby aunt betty » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:00 am

Imagecrude but gives you the idea of WHEN to call.
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Re: Newbie here looking for calling advice

Postby QuacknStrut » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:01 pm

I thought the limit was 2 bluebills this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :clapping:
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Re: Newbie here looking for calling advice

Postby quackhunter99 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:46 pm

aunt betty wrote:Imagecrude but gives you the idea of WHEN to call.

Hate to brake it to ya bud. But a highball will do more harm than good in most situations. You shouldn't highball in a blind.
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Re: Newbie here looking for calling advice

Postby ballyhu » Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:54 pm

Thanks for the advice. I just moved my travel trailer from my deer hunting camp to the big O today so I'm all set up and looking forward to the next month.Now we just need some cooler weather...I was swattin skeeters on a deer stand last night!
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