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The primary necessity to be a successful duck hunter is to find ducks to shoot.
Setting up in a place they frequent is often not enough – sometimes you need find a way to call them in to your location. And for that, you need a duck call.
A duck call is a hollow cylinder, usually made out of plastic or wood, that is blown through to attract nearby ducks.
Duck calls can come in universal forms that allow you to call a wide range of ducks, or specific calls to focus in on a specific tone for a duck call.
It doesn’t matter whether you are hunting for Mallard ducks or Northern Pintail – there is a duck call to help you with your hunt.
Single reed duck calls are much easier to use for beginners, but can only produce a limited range of sound.
Two or three reed duck calls allow for a wider range of tone and pitch to allow you to attract your duck of choice easier, but may have a bit more of a learning curve to them.
Duck Commander Camo Max
Duck Commander, from the beloved television show Duck Dynasty—it’s actually the best of the best.
The Robertsons earned their fortune by simply making one of the best products out there for duck hunters.
Crafted out of high impact plastic, this is built to withstand drops in the mud, being slightly crushed in your hunting backpack, and other medium-grade hell that you can put it through.
Close-in duck calls are designed to keep the duck distracted while in close quarter range.
This finishing call allows you to keep the upper hand even when you zero in on their position, partially due to the real tree camouflage design that blends in with the woodland setting properly.
Last but not least, you can choose larger packs to either bolster your duck call stockade, or grab some for your fellow hunters as a discounted price.
Duck Commander Jase Robertson Pro Series
Duck calls used to be tough as nails to sound. It was like playing a clarinet that was clogged with something.
Duck Commander is known for innovating duck calls for the esteemed hunter, but in this situation, they’ve done something far better than simply make it easier to sound the call: they’ve made it look fantastic while you use it.
It’s true; you have to exert less breath to call ducks. That means you won’t look like such a tryhard while using it, but also, the tigerwood handle with Jase Robertson’s stamp of approval will be eye-catching enough to make you look like a professional.
Mix that with the clear plastic mouth piece, and you’ll have one of the easiest times ever while duck hunting.
There’s a reason that this made the #1 best seller list on Amazon; it’s so simple and fun to use.
Uncle Si Single Reed Duck Call
What kind of hunter are you? Have you been doing it for years, or are you new to the game? You know what?
It doesn’t matter. Not with Uncle Si’s single reed system.
It’s basically designed to bring the ducks straight in your direction thanks to the rapsy, low growl that it creates.
Don’t worry; it’s still loud enough for the ducks to hear.
This sends them over to you, so you can be in the right position to take them down. If things move a bit too quickly and you drop your duck call, don’t you worry.
It’s crafted out of high grade polycarbonate, so it’s not going to damage easily regardless of what you do. Poly will scratch, but not break or chip under normal circumstances.
That construction is why they can keep this so inexpensive. Out of all the Robertson Duck Commander duck calls out there, this is the most inexpensive for that very reason.
While it’s not as easy to blow as the Jase Robertson edition, it’s still far more simple to use than most dollar-store duck calls.
Buck Gardner The Finisher
So imagine this: it’s late season, and those raspier calls just aren’t cutting it.
When ducks are migrating, they need something a bit more attention-grabbing to really compel them to travel from their flight paths.
The Buck Gardner duck whistle, known as “The Finisher,” will help you out just when you thought they were gone for the season.
The high range will surprise those who’ve been using varied duck calls throughout their hunting career. This thing travels.
And it doesn’t just call your standard wood duck. Mallards, pintails, widgeons and other duck types will all listen to the call since it taps into their instincts.
If you’re heading late season, you can’t go in unarmed. You have to bring a strategy with you, and Buck Gardner is giving you one for half the cost of a Robertson call.
They each provide different benefits, so it might be worth it to bring one of each on your next duck hunting trip.
Primos Hunting 805 Duck Call
Last but not least, this is a great addition to have with your duck hunting gear.
If you’ve ever dropped your duck call in the mud or pulled it out of a wet pocket, then you’ve probably cursed the heavens above.
Primos works when wet, so you’ll still get 90-95% of the volume of your duck call without having to dry it off or worry.
Primos ended as our most inexpensive option for this whole list. That’s because they made it out of thin mylar, which isn’t the most durable material.
Unlike the Duck Commander lineup, you’re not going to be able to put this through hell and back.
We actually recommend getting a small protective case for it if you’re bringing it along for the ride, or have it in an external tactical pouch or backpack slot so you don’t accidentally break it.
So it’s more fragile than the others, but it’s your most cost-effective option. This call is loud.
Ducks will hear it, but you’ll even see your bloodhound and your buddy turn their heads toward you.
It has that “ducky” sound that you’ve traditionally heard in films (when they overlay it with stock duck sounds), and it works like a charm nearly every single time.
How Do Duck Calls Work?
Your average duck call Is a tube-like object which holds a reed that vibrates to produce the same frequency call as a duck.
Duck calls are different than a goose call, as they require a slight buzzing and vibrating noise that comes from a reeded design in order to help attract specific types of ducks.
Compared to some other calls on the market, duck calls do take a bit of time to perfect, and they’re also less durable and other calls due to the fickle design of the internal reed.
This means that you want to do your research when investing in a high-quality duck call to make sure that it will last for years to come.
Most duck calls are made to last a fairly long time in intense environments, such as out on the field during your hunting trip, but should be cared for properly to ensure that they perform at their top ability.
What Makes a Good Duck Call?
Here is a great YouTube video demonstrating how to properly use a duck call:
A good duck call will be easy to use, but also produce an accurate sound every time.
While part of the call sound produced by a duck call is up to the hunter, it is important that your duck call produce a consistent reed sound in order to ensure that you can always attract the right kind of duck.
Nothing is more frustrating than trying to operate a faulty duck call only to see your target fly away.
Both plastic and wooden duck calls have their advantages and disadvantages. While plastic duck calls are more durable, their sound can often have a bit of an odd quality to it, making them not necessarily ideal when it comes to mimicking a specific duck call.
On the other hand, wooden duck calls are on the fragile side, as they can be damaged by prolonged exposure to moisture as well as may end up having their main cylinder crack under pressure.
If you find yourself often hunting a very specific kind of duck, investing in a high-quality wooden duck call may be the best for you.
However, if you are looking for a more general, beginner duck call, plastic duck calls come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and intended ducks call sounds to allow you to practice without a large startup price.
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