Once mastered, whether for mallards, teal, geese, or shorebirds, in general bird calls are a great help when hunting waterfowl. Read on for our tips on how to get the most out of your bird call!
For waterfowl hunting, the main ones used are goose and mallard bird calls. For the latter, there are single or double hip types. The choice varies according to your experience.
If you are a beginner, prefer the double hip bird call: the double hip call enables you to produce a realistic sound quickly and to make distant bird calls without forcing your breath.
On the other hand, if you are more experienced, choose a single hip bird call instead. This will be more challenging to master, yet it produces a deeper, more authentic sound.
Wood gives a very realistic sound although it is not very powerful. It is therefore mostly recommended for close range calls. It also requires a bit more care as it is a fragile material. Nevertheless, if you treat it properly, it will last for a long time.
The material acrylic offers a clearer and louder sound. Acrylic bird calls are ideal when you are hunting on large bodies of water and wide open spaces. Generally speaking, they are also more expensive than wooden bird calls, but they last longer!
Finally, polycarbonate falls between acrylic and wood in terms of power and sound clarity. Bird calls made of polycarbonate are water resistant and reliable.
The best way to use a duck call is to place the insert between your thumb and forefinger. This will allow you to vary the tones by opening and closing your hand. Your wind should come from the diaphragm - the muscle that allows you to cough. There is no need to puff out your cheeks, as your wind comes from your chest.
Each bird's behaviour will differ. You must therefore adapt the bird call, as well as your breath, rhythm and tone, to the song of each bird. Place the bird call between your teeth, and all you have to do is practice. Have a look at our video at the bottom of this article. Clément explains how to use a bird call.
The first thing to do is to determine your level in order to choose between a single hip - experienced, or double hip - beginner call.
If you are in the first category of hunters and you hunt in a confined area, choose a single hip model, whose sound is less powerful but more realistic. However, if you are hunting in a more open area and the birds fly high, you will need a powerful call. Therefore, choose a double hip bird call.
HOW TO BEST USE A DUCK CALL
Be aware of the birds' reactions. Do not overuse your bird call or you risk being spotted.
Birds will often fly back and forth, but don't let that discourage you, sit tight and wait.
Listen to bird songs, watch videos, and practise reproducing them.
Clean and maintain your bird call regularly to keep it in good condition for as long as possible.