The Best Way to Use a Duck Call


Unlike turkey calls, which have a wide variety of designs and techniques for use, all duck calls share a similar construction and function. Once you’ve mastered one, you’ve pretty much mastered them all. 


So, here’s the best way to use a duck call.


First, place the call in the webbing (insert webbed feet joke here) between your thumb and index finger, and close your index finger around the call. You don’t need a firm grip, so keep your hand relaxed. 


The next step is to place the call to your lips, like the musical instrument that it in fact is. Speaking of musical instruments, air quality is when using a duck call is crucial. Air that goes through the call needs to come from deep in your torso, pushed up with your diaphragm. Pretend you’re blowing hot air onto a mirror. If you blow into your duck call without using your diaphragm, the call may sound more like a kazoo, and you won’t make convincing call sounds. 


Once you’ve got good, hot air going into your call, the next step is to practice the various types of sounds a duck caller needs to know. All sounds are variations of the quack, and deviate from the quack by either amount of repetition, variation in pitch, and/or modulation of the sound with the tongue and throat. See our post on Understanding the Different Types of Duck Calls to read a more in-depth description of each. 


As with any calls, the secret to using a duck call is to follow the example of what good hunters have done since the beginning of time. Listen carefully to the sounds animals make, paying special attention to what behaviors result from what sounds, and then practice mimicking them. Soon, you’ll be a master of the duck call. 


Written by Frank Erwin