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8 Duck Calls Every Duck Hunter Must Master

Listen and learn these basic calls

5. Comeback call

Listen to this duck call"The comeback call is used when ducks don't respond to your greeting or you want an immediate response, such as in timber. It's more urgent sounding and faster, like Kanckanc, Kanc, Kanc, Kanc," says Haydel. "Also, I have found live hens only call to others after they have flown over the pond or passed their location. Usually she'll give them only one comeback call." Olt adds, "Just remember that a comeback call is fast and hard, with about 5 to 7 notes. Don't overcomplicate it."

6. Lonesome hen

Listen to this duck callThe lonesome hen is an often overlooked call that can be very effective, especially when ducks are call-shy. The call is nothing more than widely spaced, irregular, nasal, drawn-out Quaaaaink quacks. Some callers have used it to pull birds sitting on the water for long distances. "You can derive your lonesome hen call from your basic quack. Learn to quack correctly and the rest will come from that," says Jim Olt. "Your lonesome call should be spaced out, and quick, with several seconds between. If the quacks are too close together it scares the ducks. And keep in mind that the lonesome hen is somewhat low and throaty."

7. Pleading call

Listen to this duck call"The pleading or begging hail call is used to get the attention of ducks flying 75 to 200 yards above you," says champion caller Greg Brinkley. "This call is a series of 5 t o 6 quacks that are really dragged out to sound like you are begging the ducks to land. A pleading call is a Kaaanc, Kanc, Kanc, Kanc sound, and its first note is usually held a little longer. The pleading call is a drawn-out, slightly faster variation of the comeback. Many callers save the pleading call for stubborn ducks that refuse to come in. It's the caller's way of literally pleading with the ducks to come into or return to the spread.

8. Whistling – Mallard, pintail or wigeon

Mallard drake whistle Mallard whistle
Pintail whistle Pintail whistle
Wigeon whistle Wigeon whistle

Whistling works! Rod Haydel swears by a whistle. "Most of our most successful hunts last year were late in the season using whistles in conjunction with our mallard calls. We try to identify the ducks before we call to them so that we can speak their language," he says. "Whistles are also a great way to get youngsters involved in hunting, because there's no way they can mess it up."


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