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Banding Together for Waterfowl

Call in the Wood Ducks

A professional's take on drawing in these fast-flying squealers
  • photo by David Borges
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Story at a Glance
  • Wood ducks are sometimes the only duck that waterfowlers have access to in their local areas.
  • The proper techniques of calling them can open up a whole new way of hunting woodies.
  • The WW-90 is a very soft call that cannot be heard at a great distance and it simulates a locating sound that the ducks make, usually after they land.

by Rod Haydel

"Can you really call in wood ducks?" I wish I had a dime for every time I've been asked that question. Doing seminars all across the country, I've found that hunters seem to stand firm in their beliefs that wood ducks can not be decoyed in with calls.

Wood ducks, or squealers as they are often called, are very widespread throughout the United States. As a matter of fact, they sometimes are the only duck hunting that waterfowlers have access to in their local areas. Wood ducks tend to migrate about the same time that most states observe their yearly teal seasons.

This is not just a coincidence, but rather planned intentionally so that waterfowlers have more opportunity to hunt wood ducks. Often hunters will elect to "jump shoot" them on creeks, or even "hunt the roost." However, I would like to suggest a method in which you can hunt the entire season rather than shooting the roost, since that often lasts only a few days at most. This method involves hunting near a roost (not in the middle of it) and then calling the birds in to you. Here's how it works.

Set up in their flight pattern by scouting out an area both early and late. Wood ducks have certain travel routes they take day after day which take them between their roosting and feeding areas. Roosting sites should remain safe areas so the birds will consistently keep using them day after day.


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