Waterfowl are moving with the cold December winds, and hunters throughout the country are preparing for the winter flights. The DU E-newsletter editorial team has selected four of the most time-tested dabbler hunting tips for you to focus on this season. Remembering these four essentials can help you improve your calling, decoys, concealment and shooting.
1. Finish Ducks with Contented Quacks
Rather than use a feed call when ducks are working close, three-time world-champion caller Mike McLemore of Huntingdon, Tenn., blows a continuous series of short, low quacks to steer ducks into gun range. "This works both in timber and fields," McLemore explains. "When a flight is making its final turn, when the ducks are getting ready to 'do it,' I'll blow a series of lonesome hen quacks to guide them in. It's sort of like being the pied piper. They'll lock onto those quacks and float right to the call."
McLemore emphasizes that these quacks are short instead of drawn out. They are low in pitch and volume, and they have approximately ½ to 1 second between notes. "I'll blow these calls until it's time to shoot. Ducks will just pick up on them and come right to you. In my opinion, this is a better way to land ducks than using a feed call."