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COURTESY OF MIKE BAALMAN AKA SPRIGS

Sprigs' Duck Calling 101

Learn not how to call like a professional duck caller, but how to call ducks like a professional.


If you're here to learn how to duck call like the above aforementioned you're on the wrong site. If you'd like to listen to my attempt at impersonating Mrs. Mallard, have fun and be kind.


The HALE CALL or as we refer to it here in Missouri as the HIGH BALL, is a call I use to get attention.  It is a very loud high pitched call that is used to get the attention of ducks way off in a distance. The High Ball does not necessarily sound like a real duck, but keep in mind that the flock your calling to is a long ways away and they may hear only two or three of the notes you belt out.  Some say that it is not necessary to taper the end notes of a High Ball but I do for the sake of aesthetics.


The GREETING CALL is an intermediate distance call and is another call that I use to also get attention, but also to welcome and invite the unsuspecting 'fowl into the dekes.  This call consist of 2-3 series of 5-7 gradually tapered notes, the tone of each series should vary to create the illusion of multiple calling ducks.  This should sound as ducky as possible.  Variations of this call can be effective from 300 to 20 yards, loud and harsh at 300 yds., soft and precise at 20.  I mix the Greeting Call throughout my routine but especially when I feel the ducks need to be assured that those dekes are real.


Ok, lets assume everything to this point has gone smoothly.  You've gotten their attention, you've welcomed them to your party, they're 70 yards out, wings set, coming right in, but are too far away for a shot.  Now what?.....  Its time to start with the FEEDING CALL or the CHUCKLE.  This call is commonly referred to as the Comfort Call and is a good call to use as a finisher.  It helps reassure the ducks that everything is cop esthetic and that your dekes are kissin' cousins.  The Chuckle consist of rapidly repeated short notes of: tic-it, tic-it, tic-it.....tuk-it, tuk-it, tuk-it.....or tak-it, tuk-it, tic-it.  I'll spare you on the intricacies but just let you know that it will come with practice.  I use many variations of this call and occasionally mix in a greeting call or couple of quacks from time to time.  Also remember to vary the volume and tone depending on range:  loud and crisp at 60 yds., soft and muted at 15 yds.


Now lets assume that things are not going as planned.  You've gotten their attention, you have out the fine china and linens, but they're 60 yards out, floatin' around, loosin' interest and possibly leaving.  Oh no, now what?  I'll tell you what!  Don't wait another moment!  HIT 'EM!....  Hit 'em with a COMEBACK CALL!  My Comeback Call is loud and excited and demands that duck to come down, sit and visit with me.  I've seen this call work consistently and it turns those ducks around on a dime like a knee jerk reaction.  To me there is nothing prettier than seeing that lead Hen Mallard snap her head back over her wing and bring the whole flock into the blocks after a little comeback talk.  When and if those ducks turn around, begin tuning them into some more Feed Chuckle and Greetings.


This concludes the Sprigs' seminar on deceiving Green Heads.  There are many other calls out there including:  the HEN CALL, the DRAKE CALL, the PINTAIL CALL, the BARN YARD TALK, and even the REEL-FOOT YANK, but I feel that these are only secondary to the calls described above.



One more thing, try to get you and your compatriots to call together and mix it up, nothing sounds better than hearing a blind full of hunters who can call well and put all of the sounds together at the right time.


Good Luck and Let 'em Work,  Sprigs


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