by Wade Bourne
Over the years, I've made a practice of naming my duck calls. The two I use most frequently are Dominator and Convincer. To me, they are more than inanimate instruments made of acrylic and wood. Instead, they have life and personality. They embody my hopes and help me (sometimes) fulfill my hunting dreams.
Other hunters probably don't go to such lengths in "bonding" with their calls, but I'd venture that most have favorites they value greatly, which is why picking out a new duck call is such an important exercise.
So what goes into the decision? How does a hunter sift through the myriad combinations of brands, materials, and styles to select the one call that's best for him or her? Many hunters subscribe to the "sounds good" method. They blow a new call at an outdoor store or sport show, and if it sounds good, they buy it on the spot. Others may like the way a friend's call sounds, so they order one like it.
Certainly, personal preference is important when buying a new call, but ultimately, hunters should make a selection based on what they need as well as what strikes their fancy.
"Hunters should select a duck call according to where and how they intend to use it," explains Rick Dunn of Echo Calls in Beebe, Arkansas. "Options that can affect a call's tone, range, and sharpness include high or low volume; ringing or mellow tone; single or double reed; and acrylic, wood, or polycarbonate construction."