Kenny Anglin, owner of Kritter Getter Custom Game Calls, spends most of his duck season chasing wood ducks in sloughs and flooded creek bottoms in his home state of Georgia. During the last few years, Anglin has perfected a calling style, as well as a handmade call, to lure these birds into range.
Anglin says calling blind (when no birds are visible) can be amazingly effective on wood ducks. “When shooting light first comes, I always make three or four hen squeals,” he says. “If birds on the water start answering back, I’ll just call to them from time to time, but not too much. On opening morning last year, they were going crazy answering us back, and they started coming right in. We quickly shot our limit.”
In addition to hen wood duck squeals, Anglin imitates the whistles made by drakes, as well as the excited chatter of hen woodies on the water. He says the latter call is especially effective when wood ducks can be seen loafing on the water within 100 yards of the decoys. “It’s like a vibrating greeting call,” Anglin says. “If you use this call on a wood duck on the water, it’s probably going to swim toward you to check it out.”
Even with good calling, wood ducks are still wood ducks, and Anglin advises that scouting is the most important part of hunting them. He believes in using only a few wood duck decoys—never more than four and sometimes just one.
“When a wood duck is coming by, he’ll either land in your hole or fly on by,” Anglin says. “They rarely turn and come back. It’s pretty simple hunting, although it can be physically demanding.”