While a daunting task too many new hunters, the art of calling ducks can be learned much quicker and with less frustration when breaking it down to the three steps. Follow these steps and you will become a competent caller with a competitive advantage over most others, especially when hunting mallards.
Regardless of the level of skill you currently possess or you will possess, you will never sound any better than what the call is capable of that you are using. Whether hunting mallards, pintail, teal, gadwall, or woodies the sound produced must be real. A quality instrument will allow you to produce the full range of sounds that a hen mallard can produce. It will also allow you to produce these sounds time after time and year after year. Don't cheat yourself on this very important step. For more information be sure to read Choose The Best Duck Call.
Even a $130 duck call will sound like $9.99 without the proper knowledge and skills to make it sound like the real deal. There’s nothing easy about learning this elusive skill, but with determination, practice, and the proper guidance one can learn how to operate hen mallard, drake mallard, and whistle calls for pintail, widgeon, woodies, and drake teal. While the whistles are fairly simple to learn, the hen mallard call is toughest. This step can not be purchased, only learned.
All great athletes have two things in common. They have a mastery of the fundamentals of their sport and they are constantly practicing and improving their skills. Your goal should be no different. Step one is to start with the basics and master them first before you go any further. The basic sounds and the foundation for every other sound is the quack and the feed chuckle. For how to instruction be sure to reference Duck Call Instruction And Practice Sounds. Don’t expect to purchase a few duck calls a few weeks or even months before duck hunting season begins, this purchase needs to happen 3 to 6 months before season.
After learning how to sound like a real mallard, pintail, teal, or gadwall the final step what to say, referred to many as reading the birds. In addition learning how to adjust your calling style to the situation or type of birds being hunted is important as what worked yesterday may not work today. Learning this skill takes a lot of experience as well as listening and observing real ducks on the water.
To get started read the tips in our Duck Calling Tips section as well as any other information you can find. Then when you take to the field pay close attention to how the birds respond as well as noting the conditions and type of birds your hunting such as migrators, newer, early season ducks, or educated. These variables are most important when working mallards.
Once mastered, the art of calling ducks the pay-off in the field will be huge and will allow you to make almost any hunting situation better! Don’t give up, have patience and remember to experiment and take mental notes. Tip: Spring is an excellent time to head out to a local wildlife management area that is holding a bunch of ducks migrating back north and practice your skills. In the past I would even bring a bag of decoys along.