How to Choose a Duck Call

So you have went on your first duck hunt and now your hooked. You watched the guide sweet talk those birds down out of the big sky to give you that opportunity to harvest your ducks. Now you would like to be a part of that. You want to be able to call ducks in also. With so many choices in the market how do you pick out a call?

There are several major duck call makers and they all make a good call. There are also a lot of individuals that make there own calls. Some of those are really good and some not so much. I would recommend starting out with a call from a reputable call maker. Echo, RNT, Hobo, Refuge, Elite are just a few proven duck calls on the market, although there are many more that are well known calls too.

The next question is do I want a single reed or double? A double reed is fairly easy to use. You can still get some realistic duck sounds with a double reed. This is a good call for beginners. A single reed is a little more difficult to obtain good tone. Once a caller can master a single reed, the caller will be able to make a larger range of duck sounds and be more versatile in their calling.

Now what material do I want my call made out of? The three typical choices for this is acrylic, wood and polycarbonate. A few factors go into choosing the material. One factor maybe your pocket book. Acrylic calls are usually the most expensive, wood calls coming in second in price and polycarbonate at the bottom of the price range.

The second factor is what kind of sound do you want from your call. Do you want volume or do you want a soft low sound? An acrylic call is typically going to produce a louder and sharper sound. Wood calls are softer and more mellow. A polycarbonate call falls in between. There are acrylic calls that are made to get the soft mellow sound that you can get from a wood call. The type of sound that you want is also determined in the terrain that you will be hunting. Will you be hunting in big open water or in the close quarters of timber? If you are hunting open water you will probably want a call that has volume. In close quarters you will want a call that can get soft.

The third factor is how well are you going to care for your call? An acrylic call is very durable and they hold up well to moisture. A wood call is going to absorb moisture and will swell. If you don’t keep up with your calls well or you going to be really rough on a call and have to replace it often, you may want to consider going with a polycarbonate. I highly recommend after every hunt you should remove your insert from your barrel and let it air dry no matter which material you use, but this is especially important with a wood call. No matter which call you pick out, there is all kinds of choices in colors. This will be your personal preference. You can even go to most call makers and they can create you, your own color combination to customize it and most will do personalized engraving as well. I recommend trying different calls. Whether you try some of your friends calls or try them out at the counter at the store. If you don’t like they way it feels on your lips, its too hard to blow or you simply do not like the way it sounds, keep trying calls until you find one that will fit you.



Everyone has heard the saying “if there is a will there is a way”.  There is so much truth to that statement, especially for me in the way I started my hunting journey.

I came from a farming family.  Both of my grandparents were row crop and cattle farmers.  My dad followed suit in his younger days until he gave up row crop farming for pipeline work.   So being in the outdoors was always in my blood, but not so much from a hunting standpoint.  One of my grandpa’s was a hunter and the other grandpa loved to fish.  I believe that is why hunting was in my blood even though I did not grow up doing that.   I always had a love for nature and the outdoors, but it wasn’t until later in life that my desire to become a hunter was fulfilled.

When I was a teenager the flame for hunting began flickering for me.  My brother was fortunate enough to have his friend’s dad’s take him under their wings and teach him hunting skills.  I did not have that mentorship and me being a girl made it more difficult.  I continued on through high school playing sports, horseback riding and being active in other outdoor activities.   I eventually married my high school sweetheart.  He is very passionate about athletic sports, but never had a passion for hunting or the outdoors.  My desire to become a hunter and fisherman still was there.  That never went away for me.  It wasn’t until I lost my mom to a long battle with breast cancer did my attitude towards life really change.  I saw that life is too short and there where things that I wanted to do in this life and hunting & fishing was one of them.

I was 36 or 37, I had no girlfriends that hunted, but I was determined to find away to fill my desire to become a hunter.  I found a “Becoming an Outdoor Woman” seminar in my home state that was sponsered by the Game and Fish Commission.  I loved it.  I had a good  friend that let me start deer hunting on her property.   That began my passion for deer hunting.  I learned to deer hunt by making a lot of my own mistakes.  I also sought advice from friends that are experienced hunters.  I started out hunting with a rifle.   That eventually lead to my passion for bow hunting, which is still my passion and favorite type of hunting today.

I became a trap coach for my son and his friends.  I had coached or helped coach youth athletic teams in the past.  I have always loved working with youth.  I was still learning about shotguns myself, but it was a great oppurinity for me to learn as well.  I coached Jr. High and High School trap for 7 years.   It was a great experience.

Then I started researching online for forums and other avenues to connect to other outdoor women.  I found a forum called “Woman Hunter”.  That eventually lead me to “Babes, Bullets and Broadheads”.   It was with Babes, Bullets and Broadheads that has really shaped me into the hunter and outdoors woman that I have become.  I went on my first duck hunt and turkey hunt with this amazing group of women.  It was so refreshing to finally connect with women that just loved being in the outdoors.   They are wives and mom’s just like me who just happen to love hunting.   I have made lifelong friendships with these amazing women and I hope to make more friendships in the future.

I went on a several duck hunts with BBB.  I really enjoyed the hunts, but I wanted to be more involved in the hunt by learning how to call.  That has sent me on another journey in my hunting.  I started taking calling classes in the summers at Echo calls.  Echo calls is a duck call company based in Arkansas.  I eventually decided to start competition calling and that has really opended doors for me in the duck hunting world.  I work very hard and do a lot of practicing and it has paid off in a short amount of time.  I have only competed for three years and the last two years I was first runner-up in the Women’s World Duck calling competition.  My goal is to win the women’s world someday and to eventually qualify for the men’s world.  I also have got to work at a guide service as a guide for four years.  I have also made great friends in the duck hunting world which has allowed me to go on hunts that I would have never had the oppurtunity to do any other way.

I have also found that I have a passion for turkey hunting too.  I have been fortunate enough to learn how to call well enough to call my own turkey in.  Although there is a lot of room for improvement on my calling.  I still have a lot of goals to reach in turkey hunting.  One day I would like to complete a grand slam.

I grew up fishing ponds with my grandpa.  Now I have set my sights on learning how to bass fish.  I have a long ways to go on learning how to fish for the sporting fish, but I love every oppurtunity I get to be on the water.

I still have goals that I want to reach in my hunting and outdoor journey.   Hunting and fishing is a never ending learning experience.  I may not reach all my goals, but fullfing my desire to become an outdoors woman is the best thing I could do for myself.  The connection with nature is fuel for my soul.  I hope that I can inspire people to follow their dreams and passion.   Don’t let your lack of knowledge or skeptics keep you from getting where you want to go.  “If there is a will there is a way”.


A Life Lesson – From Follower to leader, to follower and back to a leader, and I will never go back!

I grew up in a family full of hunters, and hunting and fishing, and the outdoors.  I wish I would have learned to appreciate all of the experiences in front of me before now.  I guess that is why they call this a life lesson.  You learn from things in your previous years, hope to not make the same mistake and then pass these lessons on to others.   I have great memories of my childhood, hunting into my forties and the journey in between that has brought me to my passion in life.

A Follower:
From early on I followed others on this journey into the outdoors.  I used the equipment they told me to use, wore the clothes they told me to wear. I did exactly what they told me to do.  I didn’t actually know it at the time, but I was learning.  I was learning what I liked, what I didn’t like, and figuring out what hunting actually meant to me and what I wanted my adventures to be.  I don’t know how long the following actually took me to have enough confidence to jump in with both feet and try something I have never tried but wanted to do so badly.   Archery Antelope hunting was something I dreamed about and had no idea what to do. And so I decided to lead myself on an adventure.

A Leader:
I set up blinds, I sat countless hours in the blinds watching, waiting, patterning, learning everything I could about the antelope.  It lead to many years of very successful hunting trips for myself.  After every hunt I had a great story to tell even when I did not harvest anything.  This is when I realized what hunting was about.  It is about your story.  Not what you killed, not how big it was, but the adventure and the lessons.  I desperately wanted all of my friends and family to have this same feeling, so I began making them go with me.  Sitting in blinds, making our stories, teaching them everything I knew.  The stories we created were outstanding.  I learned sharing this passion with others was what I was meant to do.

A Follower:
Through hunting I have met amazing people.  I became a part of BBB.  Followed along with their dreams and it was through their amazing leadership that led me once again back into wanting to create opportunities to teach others about what hunting meant to me.

A Leader:
For many years these ladies joined me on antelope hunts and I was able to create friendships and make memories that others can only dream about.  I taught the ladies everything I knew about antelope, about antelope hunting, about Wyoming.  Watching their dreams come to life through this adventure I created for them.

A Follower:
I had a dream and a passion.  I was also a business owner with certain “priorities “, and I let that stop me for many years in pursuing my dreams. It was hard to figure out how to make hunting my career.  I tried.  It was hard. I quit.  I tried again, and I quit again.  It wasn’t until our economy took a dive, my business was failing, and there was not one part of me that wanted to continue down that path.  I dug deep, swallowed my pride, asked for advice, and asked for help.  My BBB girls came through in creating an opportunity for me to pursue career in hunting.  I listened to what they told me, I followed their wisdom and encouragement, I made the phone call.  This landed me my first job as a lady guide for Boulder Basin Outfitters.

Three months ago I received my Wyoming Professional Guide License.  I began booking hunts and meeting new people.  I am completely booked up in my first year and I can’t wait for hunting season to get here.

A Leader:

I did not get here alone.  I will not finish this alone.  I have countless people to thank for what I have today and I will be forever grateful to them.  I will never forgot how this started.  I will continue to share the lessons I have learned on my journey.

“A life Lesson”

Knowing when to follow and when to lead.

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