Some duck hunters employ duck calls as a hobby or competition while others call to harvest ducks. We can go on with this topic, but our purpose is to inform those interested in duck hunting in Mid-America Hunting Association on what type of duck calls may be effective on species in our region.
Puddle & Divers
We have a variety of both puddle and diver ducks to choose from. Puddle ducks most sought after. Mallards being popular. Other puddle ducks include Teal, Widgeon, Gadwall, Pintail, Wood Duck, Shoveler, Black Duck.
A mixed bag of puddle ducks including Wood Duck, Teal, Gadwall, Mallard.
Common species of diver ducks using our wetlands include Canvasbacks, Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Goldeneyes, Buffleheads, Scaups, Ruddy Ducks.
Another mixed bag (right) including a Widgeon, 2 Red Head drakes, a Wood Duck, 2 Scaups.
Older Waterfowl Hunters
If on our wetlands listening to regular hunters, you will notice 80% use mallard duck calls then secondary a variety of whistle calls to bring in Divers, Pintails, Teal, Gadwalls, Widgeons.
A long time Association waterfowl hunter who has been in his Association since 1980. He’s using a Yentzen. It has been one of his favorites from the beginning seeing plenty of action.
A majority of our managed wetland duck hunting is in Missouri on the Mississippi flyway, although we do have a number of lakes, ponds on crop stubble fields in Kansas on the Central Flyway. In our area difference between these two flyways is blurred as they merge.
Duck Calls – Type
Single reed or double reed have been two different types of calls most employed. Single reeds useful on larger volume situations when hunters wants to produce larger sounds to entice birds from far distances (open water, fields, lakes, large marshes).
A large open water flooded soybean field. Larger volume duck call would be most effective on this wetland. Decoys piled on shore resulted from winds greater than anchor holding power.
Double reed calls useful to produce duck sounds at lower volumes so ducks do not get spooked by loud sounds (timber hunting, sloughs, or any situation were the ducks come in close).
A small timbered pot-hole on a flood plains. Low volume calling would be good at this spot.
Tranquility Vice Competition
Both single or double reed calls made out of either wood or acrylic have found a home.
Wood calls produce a smoother, less loud sound.
Acrylic calls have been typically been successful in competition calling. Acrylic calls allow hunters to be more versatile creating large or high pitches.
Basic Midwest Duck Calls & Methods
Methods collected from others.
Quack – a one note call mallards use. Once a caller is able to master a quack they use it to create several other duck sounds.
Hail Call – to entice ducks at large distances away. A heavily disputed call that is typically used greatly during competition calling. Some hunters believe effective. Some do not.
Greeting Call – common duck sound produced by hunters and mallard hens. A five note call that greets ducks into your spread. If over called it may scare ducks, but if called properly will increase success.
Feeding Call – a sound waterfowl make when eating. A heavily debated call as well. Some believe effective. Some do not. When mixed with a quack or greeting call it has a very realistic sounding.
Comeback Call – opposite of a greeting call. When mallards fly away wanting them to come back to your spread. Effective when called at different volumes.
Long term, duck calls and duck calling techniques play a huge role in ducks harvested, but quality private land having food and water as above is just as important..