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You’ll get an argument from duck hunters everywhere, but when you start talking about the best duck calls, you’ll have to understand that we all have our favorite. The game calls we use for the realistic sounds of waterfowl are arguably the most critical call in the hunting game.
From single reed to double reed and even triple reed duck calls, duck callers can get a little overwhelmed by all the possibilities of different calls. From the high-ball and chuckle to the peeps and whistles of smaller puddle ducks, every call is unique in its ability to fool and even calm wary waterfowl. It’s all about getting them to believe that our spread isn’t the only thing giving them a good reason to land.
There are different reasons to choose between wood, acrylic, and even plastic calls. There are plenty of good reasons to choose or not to select other calls with multiple reeds.
Whether you’re hunting timber or big open water, you may want to be heard loud and clear or give off the swamp’s softer, more melodic tones. Do you want a raspy sound or a clean and clear one?
Whether you want to make a quack, a feed call, or a hail call, you’re not going to do it with your lips. You had better have something readymade on your lanyard. Even better, it should have the versatility to make a wide range of sounds for when it is right to fool some waterfowl.
Buck Gardner Double Nasty Wood Duck Call
Buck Gardner Double Nasty Wood Duck Call – Amazon, $29.99
The Buck Gardner Double Nasty series offers several choices, from the mallard hen to the hen wood duck. Yes, it’s a significant attractor of the venerable woodie. But this call is also a good confidence call for warier ducks who’ve seen and heard it all before. Buck Gardner makes it from durable polycarbonate, which is quite common.
2. Rich-n-Tone RNT Macrohen Double Reed
Rich-n-Tone RNT Macrohen Double Reed – Field Supply, $109.99
The RNT Macrohen is a double reed call that’s acrylic and rocks the high-end sounds needed for reaching those sky-high, determined-to-go-somewhere-else birds. At $119.99, it may not be for everyone’s taste, but that didn’t stop you from buying that much in new duck gear a year ago.
3. Faulk’s Professional Duck Call
Faulk’s Professional Duck Call – Amazon, $29.56
Walnut is the wood of choice for Faulk’s with this tasty-sounding call referred to as the Professional. Wood calls are superior at withstanding subzero temperatures that can freeze up poly calls. Since there’s nothing better than shooting mallards with a bit of snow on their backs, the smooth-sounding tones are what you need for a limit of ducks.
4. Haydel’s Double Reed Mallard
Haydel’s Double Reed Mallard – Amazon, $20.98
The old-school XL from Haydel’s Game Calls was the first duck call that I ever bought. Trying to entice mallards off Lake Ontario in January is hard enough. Still, with a steady northwest wind in your face, you need a call that gets the word out. I always loved its raspy high-ball and the see-through shell. Calling ducks became more manageable once I saw how anyone could apply a tool like this.
5. Duck Commander 6-in-1 Whistle
Duck Commander 6-in-1 Whistle – Amazon, $10.19
On Amazon Prime, this call is a steal. Tweets for pintail and widgeon aside, the simple “dweek” that makes drake mallards stop in their tracks is one of the best confidence calls in duck hunting. This call is great to hand over to the youngster in your life and be patient while they do laps around the house making their favorite call sounds.
6. Duck Commander Triple Threat
Duck Commander Triple Threat – Amazon, $31.56
Arguably the best all-around call out there, the Triple Threat has everything that you want in a call: it’s affordable, easy to learn on, and tough as nails. Veterans and beginners alike will take to this call with pleasure. Don’t let its nondescript look fool you; the best duck calls make duck calling easy, and the Robertsons make one of the best.
There are excellent and outstanding calls from Iowa to Arkansas, where they shoot steel shots at waterfowl. Call makers everywhere would like to think theirs is better than the rest, but you should decide for yourself what a high-quality duck call is.
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This article was originally published on September 18, 2021.