8 Duck Calls Every Duck Hunter Should Master

Picture of Ducks FlyingIf you want to go duck hunting, then you are going to need to master the art of the call. It does not matter what you do while you are out on that hunt, if you do not know how to call properly, then you are going to be able to nail the bare minimum number of birds. In facts, chances are you will not be able to net yourself a single bird. On this page, we are going to talk about duck calls that every hunter should master. Eight of them. Before that, though, we just want to share a few tips which should make your life a little bit easier when it comes to calling.

Top Tips for Successful Duck Calling

We have put together more extensive guides elsewhere on this website about duck calling. We suggest that you check them out. The main purpose of this section is just to give you a brief overview of a few of the things that you need to think about:

  • Make sure that you choose the right call! There are plenty of them on the market. What may be right for one person may not necessarily be right for somebody else. It is important that you choose a call that works for your mouth. Finding the right one is going to be very much ‘trial and error’. It is worth the effort, though. Remember; just because a call is expensive, it does not necessarily mean that it is going to be good.
  • Practice your duck calls in advance. We recommend watching YouTube videos and trying to mimic the style. You will not get it exact, particularly since many of the YouTube videos have been put together by experienced duck callers, but you should be able to get close. You will then be able to build upon your knowledge.
  • It is important that you choose the right duck call for each situation. As you go through this list of eight duck calls, you will get a feel for what works and when.
  • Record some ducks. They are the best teachers. One thing that many hunters fail to get right is the rhythm of the call. Only by listening to the way in which ducks communicate with one another will you be able to get that right.

So, without further ado, let’s jump into the duck calls that you really need to master if you want to become a successful hunter.

Picture of Duck Coming in to Land

Basic Quack

This is the simplest of all duck calls, but it is one that many people out there never even attempt to master. If you can learn the quack, then you will have ducks flocking to you in most cases. This is because it is a very versatile call.

In many cases, a single quack is enough to get some birds to land near you, if they have been circling. You can use multiple quacks in a row, but we have a word of warning. Well, a couple of words. If you are going to use multiple quacks, then you need to make sure that you change up the tone of it. If you use the same tone repeatedly, then you are really communicating danger. No bird in their right mind is going to land.

Greeting Call

If you see ducks flying at a distance, then you will be able to lure them in with a greeting call. This is just 5 notes (or up to 7), said at a steady rhythm. You change the tone as you go through. You want the tone to get slightly lower with each ‘sound’ you make. This sound should be ‘kanc’. This is a great method for luring those ducks in who may be a bit suspicious of a location.

Feed CallPicture of Ducks Feeding

Only use this call if the area you are hunting in is one that the ducks can feed in. Remember; ducks tend to feed in deeper waters, so if you are in shallow water, the ducks are going to think “what is going on here?” and just not bother to come in.

The sound is “tikkitukkatikka”. The volume needs to change throughout. Many experienced duck callers are not a massive fan of the feed call as it is very situational. However, you may find that it works for you, so check it out if nothing else seems to be working.

Hail Call

If the ducks are close by, never use this one. The ducks should be at least 100 yards away. Your best bet is to keep an eye out for when the ducks are just about to hit the water. Then you let out the call. It pulls them in. This is not something that is going to work if the ducks already seem to be descending upon your location.

Comeback Call

This call is going to just call the ducks back. Nothing drastic. This is something hens do when they see ducks fly over their location. They just lure them back with the comeback call. It is about 7 notes, fast and hard. Basically, this call has a sense of urgency to it.

Lonesome HenPicture of Male and Female Duck

This is similar to the standard quack. The main difference is that the quacks are going to be spaced out. At least a few seconds between each of the quacks. This gives the illusion that there is a lost duck in the area. It is important to note that an overuse of this quack has the potential to scare the ducks, so do not do that!

Pleading Call

This is for ducks who are flying above you at a large distance. Again, you are going to be using your quacks. They are dragged out quacks. This is what you are going to want to use if the ducks are not landing and nothing else seems to be working.

Whistling Call

How you whistle will be dependent on the duck. You do not even need to use a call here, just a whistle. There is little chance that something can go wrong. There are different whistles for each type of duck. So, if you are mainly hunting mallards, then get a mallard whistle.

So there you have it – those are the eight duck calls every duck hunter’s gotta know to be successful out in the field. Let us know in the comments if we missed anything!

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