Calling Game

Calling game within range for an effective shot is almost a form of art. How to call and when to call are skills the experienced hunter practices and develops over the years. Many times one hunter will serve as the caller, while the other hunter is the shooter. Not only is this a productive way to hunt but it is a lot of fun to work as a team.

Hunters in blind using duck callsCalling Waterfowl is probably the first type of game calling that comes to mind. For duck hunting, a basic “quack” delivered multiple times in decreasing volume, mimics the natural rhythm you hear ducks make. Variations expand into a variety of specific calls such as: the Feeding Call, the Greeting Call, even one called the Bouncing Hen. Experienced duck callers do not simply blow through the call but utter words or guttural noises through call, such as “oat” or “hut,” sometimes a “tucka-tucka-tucka.” Some ducks like teal, pintails and widgeon make a whistling sound and there are special devices for this. Some hunters are skillful enough to use only their voice, without any artificial aids. Having two callers making different calls at the same time can be very effective with ducks.

Duck Call Duck Whistle Goose Call


Calling Turkeys

hunters in camo calling turkeySpring time is turkey calling time. This is mating season and gobblers can be lured in using a variety of calls, mostly mimicking hens. Here, too, hunters employ a variety of calls: the Round Up, the Cluck, and the Purr, just to name a few. A shotgun with a full choke is the firearm of choice. Special turkey loads are available, ammunition with a mixture of larger shot sizes. Many hunters dress in full camouflage, including face masks or make-up because turkeys have excellent eyesight. Being still is more important than camouflage because when turkeys detect motion they will become aware of your presence. It is a good idea to mark the spot you are hunting with hunter orange so other hunters can notice your position.

Box Call Slate Call
Mouth Call Gobble Call

One advantage of using the mouth call, or diaphragm, for turkeys is it doesn’t require the use of your hands.  If alone, this allows the hunter to be ready with his or her shotgun and also doesn’t generate any undo movement.

Rattling Bucks

Hunters rattling antlersRattling deer antlers together to simulate a fight between bucks can lure in bucks in the area. The opinions on the best way to rattle vary widely. Some hunters just tap the tips together a few times, others try to mimic all aspects of an actual clash of trophy titans, smashing and wrenching the antlers together, striking the ground, raking and breaking branches, grunting, etc. Rattling is most effective during a period called, “The Rut,” which is when deer breed. This period occurs at different times in different parts of the state. Find more information on the Rut in White-tailed Deer.

A pair of Rattling Antlers will have the brow points sawed off to give ample room to grip the bases. Antler tips are clipped to reduce sharp points. Any cuts, especially where the antlers were cut from the skull, are filed or sanded smooth to make the antlers comfortable and safe to handle. A hole is drilled in each base and then a line of thin rope or leather connects the two.