A good duck call is one of the many things that are imperative to own when
enjoying the sport of duck hunting. Many hunters will have several that they
carry around their necks on what is called a lanyard. The basic premise behind
the duck call is to imitate a duck quacking and get it to come within close
range for a high quality shot. Duck calls are made of many different
materials. A good duck caller can make ducks appear to be on a string as they
fly towards the hunters.
Duck Call Materials
Duck calls are mostly made from three key materials, wood, poly carbonate and
acrylic. Each of these materials has different properties and advantages. It
is not uncommon for a duck hunter to have two different calls that are made
from two different materials in order to mimic a particular sound.
The most commonly found duck call material, wood actually can be of several
different varieties. The main thing to remember is that wood is generally
known to emit a soft and realistic sound. This is the main advantage it has
(in addition to many woods being of relatively inexpensive material). While
this is the main advantage, varying temperatures and humidity levels can wreak
havoc on the sound of the call and therefore can produce varying results
depending on the weather. Unfortunately, this can be a bear as the weather is
a necessary evil in the duck hunting world.
The least expensive duck calls are made from poly carbonate. You will find
them as the bargain basement carbon copies of much more expensive calls. The
problem with poly calls is they do not often produce a quality sound. Plus
they are susceptible to changes in the environment.
The most expensive of the duck calls are made from acrylic. Acrylic has a high
quality sound and can produce a wide range of sounds. Unfortunately, their price
can be restrictive as they are often north of $100. In addition it is often hard
to produce a soft sound with an acrylic call. They really shine in open places
where a loud call is a must such as a large lake or reservoir.
Duck calls come in one of two varieties in terms of their reeds, single reed
and double reed. The reed is what produces the quack sound you hear out of
the other end of the call. When you blow into the call it causes the reed to
vibrate up and down producing the sound.
The choice of most professionals and high end duck callers, the single reed
duck call is great in terms of the sounds it can make. The range is quite
impressive. You are also able to tune the reed to export the sound you
desire. A simple change to the reed position can cause a lower or higher
pitch, depending on what you are looking for. Unfortunately for the middle to
lower end duck caller the adjustment is a tricky one to get used to and
producing a quality sound out of a single reed can be a bit of a chore for
those not accustomed to them.
As opposed to the single reed, the double reed does give up some range in
terms of the sounds it can make. However, what it gives up in terms of range
it gains back in spades in terms of ease of use. It is much easier to produce
a quality quack out of a double reed call and that is the key reason so many
people carry one on their lanyard.