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Waterfowler's Notebook: The Neglected Highball

This classic long-range call is just as effective today as it was 50 years ago
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Highball calling tutorials:

Highball calling tutorial: part 1 (mp3) | Highball calling tutorial: part 2 (mp3)

Highball Basics

Waterfowl hunters should use the highball selectively—at certain times and in certain places. When a front has passed and new birds are moving into the area, a series of highballs can mesmerize migratory flocks looking for a safe place to rest. When ducks are returning from feeding to a resting area, a well-timed highball might convince them to short-stop at your spread. If ducks are trading over a marsh or lake at long distance, you may need to call a lot to be heard a little.

In all these cases, when one or more ducks show signs of listening—slowing their wingbeats and perhaps sliding out to the side of the flock—pour the calling on. If a single breaks off and cups its wings, others will probably do likewise.

Conversely, blowing a highball is not the best approach on warm, still, overcast days; in the close confines of flooded timber or small marshes; or for “local ducks” that have been educated by heavy hunting pressure.




 
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