Call advice

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Call advice

Postby nhbones » Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:29 pm

I have never spent more than 35-40 for a call, which is odd based on what we spend for guns, ammo, waders, on our dogs, etc.

up until recentlu old school guy with wooden Olts and just recently some mid range Buck Gardners

so wondering if it is really worth it to move up to the 125 +/- range for a call and if so what would you recommend based on:

most hunting wide is open water areas in southern or southwestern NH (ponds or wide rivers)
target species mallards and blacks
easy call to learn

hear good things about Zink ATM...

thoughts & advice,,,
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Re: Call advice

Postby Codfather » Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:38 pm

get an echo single reed! **** buck gardner and zinks. you can do twice as much with a single than a double reed and a double reed will stick more than a single. my advice is leave the call in your vehicle and play with it every day on the way to work. same as a dog, what ever you put into the dog for training is what youll get out of the dog as far as work. same goes on a call. buy a nice one and practice and it will pay off. you will the xlt by echo. that's what I use. you can get the soft notes when there close but you can be loud for when your on a pond or river.
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Re: Call advice

Postby HeritageHunter » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:17 pm

I prefer single reeds over double reeds for sure.

RNT and Echo are always safe bets.

Also do not be afraid to go with a smaller call maker. I have a bunch of calls from RM Custom, JA Kolter, and Addiction calls and all are top notch. Most of them can get you into a base model wood call for around $80 bucks. $125 would put you in their acrylic calls.

I can speak from experince that all three will guarantee their calls 100% and are great guys.
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Re: Call advice

Postby papageno » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:04 pm

Use a call that sounds good to the ducks, not to humans. A $15 Mallard Tone works today as it did 35 years ago. Any call works well early season, but birds run screaming from loud brash calls after hearing them all season long.

Also, you won't learn any duck in your car…. you'll learn it by going to your local pond and listening to and imitating ducks. In particular, listen to the calls (and there's only one) that the birds on the ground use when others are arriving. That greeting call and a feeding chuckle is all you need to know - that is the language of ducks, not calling judges.

If you want to invest in a helpful call, get a Faulks wood duck call. It is hard to learn, but worth the effort - listen to active undisturbed woodies. It's only available directly from Faulks and also costs about $15.
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Re: Call advice

Postby Codfather » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:28 pm

but going to a park bench and sounding like a Moron when your practicing must be tough. most of your free times usually on your way to work and such. learning your calls limitations is what I am getting at. you can only get so much out of a 10 dollar call anyways and there a dime a dozen get a nice call LEARN it and go from there. I like echos xlt again because it can be loud in high winds and over big water but if you LEARN you call you can get the real lowend when they get in your face.

these are from this season, maybe I am not the right person to be giving helpful tips.
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Re: Call advice

Postby papageno » Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:46 pm

Not trying to make this a contest. I've just found that most East Coast hunting is about being where the ducks want to be and not scaring them away.
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End of season afternoon and next morning one man limits same spot - didn't call at all.
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Re: Call advice

Postby JustinNH » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:23 am

I remember practicing the goose call in the truck a few years ago. Pretty sure someone called the police on me thinking Iwas smoking something...... :lol:
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Re: Call advice

Postby aunt betty » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:24 am

My opinion on high dollar calls...no.
I can call ducks to my gun with a cheap Zink Power Hen that I made into a single reed. Call makers HATE me for saying it but it's true.
The most important part on a duck call is the guy using it and what he has for brains.
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Re: Call advice

Postby papageno » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:41 am

My favorite oxymoron is 'Fiduciary Responsibility'.

In the midwest, where you are trying to attract huge flocks of mallards to your field spread in an endless ag field, high-end calls coupled with very skillful calling may help you.
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Re: Call advice

Postby NHDuckHunter » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:15 am

papageno wrote:listen to the calls (and there's only one) that the birds on the ground use when others are arriving. That greeting call and a feeding chuckle is all you need to know


Thats entirely not true. Ducks make tons of different vocalizations when on the water. You just mentioned two after saying they only make one.
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Re: Call advice

Postby NHDuckHunter » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:20 am

There is certainly a difference between high end calls and cheap calls. Thats not to say cheap calls don't, or won't work-in some cases, they may even work better.
IMO you really have to try calls to see what fits you and your calling style best. I think we can all agree RnT calls are some of the best and most popular calls out there, well for the life of me, the three or four different Rnt Calls I've used, I can't make sound like a duck.
If you want to spend money on high end calls, I'd suggest going someplace that sells them and trying as many as you can. there's a lot of difference in how different manufacturers calls blow, and sound.
For what its worth too, a lot of the smaller companies buy their inserts from the othe companies anyway. Someone mentioned an XLT, there's got to be 50 manufacturers of calls using XLT guts in their calls.
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Re: Call advice

Postby papageno » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:06 pm

They do make a lot of different calls while talking to other ducks that are also on the water. Why would you bother learning those? (or spend a lot of money on a call that makes them)
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Re: Call advice

Postby Rise and Shine Retrievers » Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:59 am

I've just found that most East Coast hunting is about being where the ducks want to be and not scaring them away.

X2

I'm not an expert caller by any means. My lanyard has 2 calls on it. Whatever I can find that I can make a decent greeting or comeback call with for a reasonable price. Right now that's a Tim Grounds Sweet Meat. And, a duck commander drake mallard call. Not many hunters know how to make that deep grunting quack of the drake mallard. This call makes it easy and is my "finisher" call. It also doubles as my wood duck call. Just blow it like a whistle, covering some of the holes.
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Re: Call advice

Postby NHDuckHunter » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:42 am

Rise and Shine Retrievers wrote:
I'm not an expert caller by any means. My lanyard has 2 calls on it. Whatever I can find that I can make a decent greeting or comeback call with for a reasonable price. Right now that's a Tim Grounds Sweet Meat. And, a duck commander drake mallard call. Not many hunters know how to make that deep grunting quack of the drake mallard. This call makes it easy and is my "finisher" call. It also doubles as my wood duck call. Just blow it like a whistle, covering some of the holes.

I change calls a lot throughout the year, but those two are nearly ALWAYS on my lanyard. Thats funny, because neither of those are very popular. I have an old Sweet Meat that was my first call over $10. It is so worn in its ridiculous. I love it though and I still think its the best sounding call I've ever heard. Its quiet, so its not good on big water or windy days, but its good in the woods and a good finishing call. I reserve the DC call for late in the year when there are more drakes around, the ducks are more call shy, and for when they are sitting on the water 75 yards away.
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Re: Call advice

Postby papageno » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:40 pm

NHDuckHunter wrote:There is certainly a difference between high end calls and cheap calls. Thats not to say cheap calls don't, or won't work-in some cases, they may even work better.
IMO you really have to try calls to see what fits you and your calling style best. I think we can all agree RnT calls are some of the best and most popular calls out there, well for the life of me, the three or four different Rnt Calls I've used, I can't make sound like a duck.
If you want to spend money on high end calls, I'd suggest going someplace that sells them and trying as many as you can. there's a lot of difference in how different manufacturers calls blow, and sound.
For what its worth too, a lot of the smaller companies buy their inserts from the othe companies anyway. Someone mentioned an XLT, there's got to be 50 manufacturers of calls using XLT guts in their calls.


I have a more expensive call that I swear sounds just like a duck when I tried it in the store.... Ducks hate it and late season birds flare the moment i start blowing it. (Probably because everyone else has a simlar one and they recognize it as dangerous)
I have a piece of crap Old Mallardtone that Even I think sounds like crap.... Ducks love it, stale birds circle five times and come in cupped to it on a regular basis.
Which one should I use?
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Re: Call advice

Postby Cajun1085 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:57 pm

nhbones wrote:I have never spent more than 35-40 for a call, which is odd based on what we spend for guns, ammo, waders, on our dogs, etc.

up until recentlu old school guy with wooden Olts and just recently some mid range Buck Gardners

so wondering if it is really worth it to move up to the 125 +/- range for a call and if so what would you recommend based on:

most hunting wide is open water areas in southern or southwestern NH (ponds or wide rivers)
target species mallards and blacks
easy call to learn

hear good things about Zink ATM...

thoughts & advice,,,


Take a look at Kwakman Calls. All acrylic calls without the high dollar price. I have a ATM and I use my Kwakman Flight Attendant more.
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Re: Call advice

Postby NHDuckHunter » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:52 pm

papageno wrote:
I have a more expensive call that I swear sounds just like a duck when I tried it in the store.... Ducks hate it and late season birds flare the moment i start blowing it. (Probably because everyone else has a simlar one and they recognize it as dangerous)
I have a piece of crap Old Mallardtone that Even I think sounds like crap.... Ducks love it, stale birds circle five times and come in cupped to it on a regular basis.
Which one should I use?

I hope you don't really think the ducks flare to a specific call because it sounds too much like a duck.

My God, sometimes I am scared to be in the woods with you people armed. :lol3:
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Re: Call advice

Postby Codfather » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:29 pm

NHDuckHunter wrote:
papageno wrote:
I have a more expensive call that I swear sounds just like a duck when I tried it in the store.... Ducks hate it and late season birds flare the moment i start blowing it. (Probably because everyone else has a simlar one and they recognize it as dangerous)
I have a piece of crap Old Mallardtone that Even I think sounds like crap.... Ducks love it, stale birds circle five times and come in cupped to it on a regular basis.
Which one should I use?

I hope you don't really think the ducks flare to a specific call because it sounds too much like a duck.

My God, sometimes I am scared to be in the woods with you people armed. :lol3:

agreed! maybe the other issue is those people that have ducks flare is because they all hut the powwow or great bay haha go do some scouting and find a spot by your self
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Re: Call advice

Postby papageno » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:07 pm

Feel as you may… I'll let the ducks decide what sounds right.
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Re: Call advice

Postby NHDuckHunter » Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:47 am

papageno wrote:Feel as you may… I'll let the ducks decide what sounds right.

Good idea.
Here's something though- maybe, just maybe, what the ducks think "sounds right" actually sounds like a duck, and what you think sounds like a duck and is causing the ducks to flare, sounds like a guy whaling on a call too hard?
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Re: Call advice

Postby papageno » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:48 am

I agree… I think they like the Mallardtone because it is very soft, subtle and low pitched.
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Re: Call advice

Postby HeritageHunter » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:55 am

Drake mallards do not really quack. They do more of a whistling or tweeed sound when they are on the water. This is a killer late season call. After the birds have had every duck call imaginable thrown at them I have had great luck with the drake whistle I have. Also great to give to someone who is not good at calling. If you have the chance listen to drakes during the spring when mating season is full bore. They whistle/tweeet a ton.

Wood ducks do more of shrill. As far as calling I am not sold yet that they really respind to this. They are not as vocal as mallards. The only exceptions are when they are on the water I have decent results calling them to me. And at first light when they are still in the trees. I have called back and forth with birds and had them come to me when they first fly down. Decoys and Spinners IMO are better at attracting woodies.

I will say that I have found more expensive calls are less forgiving. But once you learn they offer more flexibility to the caller. My laynard has one goose (Cold Front Short Reed or JA Kolter Long Reed), one mallard call ( RM Custom or Addiction), one Wood Duck Call (JA Kolter), and one whistle (Wingert). If I am hunting timber I usually drop the goose call and add wither a Betts Treeugger or Kolter Mallard call. If I am in the field I drop the wood duck call and add louder mallard call.
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Re: Call advice

Postby papageno » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:08 am

Thanks Heritage and Rise and Shine…. I'll try a drake mallard whistle late next season and listen to them in the marsh this spring.

Many years, the wood duck call doesn't even come out. This year, I used it successfully twice. The first time, a group of three buzzed our late season mallard spread and kept going - not seeing a woody amongst them. I hit the call quickly and they turned right around and came in. Last week, on a beaver pond, a lone drake came by calling and circling - he wanted in but was very wary. I 'weeped' gently to him several times (once on each pass). Then he locked up high and screamed on in.

I highly recommend the Faulks call as it produces the long 'we-e-eeep' of the relaxed birds. I can only reproduce the wood duck's panic call on many of the the plastic calls I've encountered.
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Re: Call advice

Postby cluckmeister » Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:06 pm

If youre having success with that old Olt call, why spend the extra bucks on a new one? An Olt 66 or d2 is hard to beat JMHO. I like wooden calls they sound better with age, they aren't as loud as the acrylic, and they don't cost 125 bucks. A NOS Olt can be had on ebay for 40 bucks.
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