Kenny Anglin knows wood ducks. A Georgia native, he grew up hunting woodies in southern swamps, and his company, Kritter Getter Game Calls, makes one of the most popular woodduck calls on the market. He recently sat down with Will Brantley to share some of his secrets for hunting these beautiful and elusive birds.
You're a wood duck specialist. Why is that?
To me, a wood duck drake is the prettiest duck there is. And the swampy areas where they live are fascinating to me. Plus, there are so many of them around my home in Georgia.We don't get too many mallards or other ducks in this area.
Scouting is always important in duck hunting. What is your favorite place to find wood ducks?
I do most of my hunting on flooded creeks, small lakes and beaver sloughs. Beaver sloughs are definitely my favorite places to hunt wood ducks, especially if they have some aquatic vegetation in them.
How many decoys do you need to hunt wood ducks?
If I'm hunting on a beaver slough, I don't use many decoys at all. Even if there are a bunch of wood ducks in the area, they rarely sit together in large groups, so throwing out a large decoy spread will look unnatural to them. If I'm hunting a larger body of water, like a shallow area on a lake where they're gathering with other ducks to feed, I'll throw out a dozen or so.
Are wood ducks easier or harder to call than other ducks? What kinds of calls do you make?
Under the right circumstances, a wood duck will come right to a call just like a mallard. Most of the time, I do a lot of hen welcome calls, which is just a high-pitched squeal.And a chuckling call, like wood ducks do when they flush, can turn them in flight. Lone drakes on the water can be easy to call with soft hen calls. They'll rarely swim across open water, but they'll frequently swim along the shoreline toward your setup. It's kind of like calling up a turkey.
Tell me about your wood duck call. Why is it so popular?
I wanted to design a call that's easy to use and will allow a hunter to make all kinds of hen and drake calls. We made about 50 or 60 of them to start with for people to try and got a great response. Now we're shipping them all over the United States.
What shotgun and load do you like to use for wood ducks?
I shoot a Benelli Nova 12-gauge. I like a 3-inch load of No. 4s for wood ducks, and I usually use a modified choke. One thing I'd definitely advise people to do when shooting wood ducks is to watch them closely when they fall and be ready for a follow-up shot. They're notorious for diving, and once they get down in the vegetation, they're virtually impossible to recover.
For more information on Kenny Anglin's wood duck calls, go to krittergettercustomgamecalls.com.