Keep Your Calls Warm

As the winter season approaches us, so does freezing temperatures that will cause our duck and goose call reeds to freeze.  Depending how the birds are working and if it is slow we tend to trying fixing it by taking the call apart and drying the reeds with our gloves or other pieces of clothing. Which is the best way to lose a reed or wedge.

There are a few inexpensive and effective methods and products for helping to keep your calls warm.  Below we have listed these suggestions for both new and experienced waterfowl hunters to take advantage of, if not already.

callcoozyCall Coozy – The Call Coozy, a lightweight fitted neoprene cover that fits over your duck and goose calls, not only prevents freezing but also protects you call/s.  The neoprene insulating properties work well in freezing conditions.  Once on, it also keeps your calls from falling apart and prevents any shiny bands from deterring the birds.  Price: $3.99 (Wing Supply)

 

rainxRainX – Now this one may seem far-fetched, but actually it has worked.  This is more of a personal suggestion that has worked in the past and I will continue to use it.  I tried this using the RainX 2-IN-1 Foam Glass Cleaner.  RainX being known for their windshield treatment has begun to be a useful tool at the beginning and ending of my season.  Just treat your reed/s and inside of your call/s at least a day before hunting.  This has worked so well, I presented the idea to market this and talked with their R&D dept.  Price: $4.99-$6.99 (Wal-Mart)

hothandsHotHands – By now if you have hunted in the cold you probably are already carrying these in your bag.  Wader Jacket pockets, wader pockets, hand-warmers or even just tucking them at the top of your waders.  These are just some ideas of using a HotHands warmer.  A great products that works great with this method is the Call Bridle.  Price: $1.97 (Wal-Mart)

Hot New 2013 Goose Calls

The early goose season is just around the corner for most hunters and we took the liberty of searching around for the newest and hottest goose calls that were released for the 2013-2014 season.  Listed below in no particular order:

 

  • Field Proven’s Raptor - (Price Range: $30.00)

Raptor Poly

 

 

 

 

Field Proven released their Polycarbon goose call – Raptor.  Available in either Pearl or Blue. Shop Wing Supply.

 

  • Addicted Goose Calls - (Price Range: $140.00)

Addicted Goose Calls

 

 

 

 

Kelly’s Kalls – A call maker known for his Woodie Kall (Wood Duck call) and other fine wood calls released his Acrylic Addicted Goose Call line.  Available in Black or Pearl with different colored engraved logos.  Shop here.

 

  • Goey Calls Trainwreck – (Price Range $139.99)

Goey Trainwreck

 

 

 

 

Goey Calls release a big call in a small package.  The Trainwreck, available in either Orange Pearl or Green Pearl packs some unexpected notes.  Shop here.

 

  • Hayes Calls Meat Hook – (Price Range $79.95)

Meat Hook

 

 

 

 

Hayes Calls, known for their Bad AZZ call line combined the barrel of  their Bad Azz Goose call with a straight bore version of their Chain Gang Goose Call.   A great call with a lot of low end murmur.   Shop here.

 

  • Toxic Calls Angel De Morte’ – (Price Range $99.99)

Angel De Morte

 

 

 

Toxic Calls brings out their customizable Angel De Morte’ (Angel Of Death) with the guts at the bottom of the call and the longer barrel, you get the hollow sound of a Flute Call with the easy of operation of a Short Reed.  Shop here.

 

  • Real Calls Goose Call – (Price Range $135.00)

green-goose-call

 

 

 

Real Calls has introduced an odd but an effective goose call.  Featuring a ball-shaped designed insert makes the calls feel and sound different.  Shop here.

 

How to Start Duck Hunting

Submitted by: Caleb Wilds

WARNING! Duck hunting can be highly addictive and may change the way you spend your time, money and energy!

If you want to learn the art of duck hunting there are a few basics you need to get started.  I’m not going to lie, it is possible to go to your local sporting goods store and buy a dozen duck decoys and go to your honey hole and have a good hunt. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. But what I am going to recommend is going to help you have more enjoyable, successful hunts.

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When someone asks me about duck hunting the first thing I say is once you start it is hard to stop. The second is I am serious. I have converted a lot of deer hunters into duck hunters. The third thing I tell them is before you go out and spend a lot of money on decoys, waders and other hunting accessories go on a couple hunts first and see if you really do like it. Even though I love it! It is not cut out for everyone.

Ask a buddy- Having a friend who knows what they are doing is a big asset to have when you first start out. Even if you don’t have waders, decoys or even a spot to go to they more than likely will. So you won’t have to worry about wading in the water to retrieve ducks and decoys or where to go. They might even have a pair of waders you can borrow. The other bright side is it gives you an opportunity to ask questions and learn about the do’s and don’ts. I can’t emphasize enough on asking questions. Because the more you know the better chance you will have of having a successful hunt when you go out on your own. A friend can also help you identify breeds of duck you are shooting and help make sure you are hunting within the regulations.

If you don’t have a friend to show you the ropes the second thing I recommend is go on a guided hunt or two. They are professionals and more than likely the reason they are guiding hunts is they know what they are doing and usually have a high success rate. Another good thing about being guided is the only thing you need to bring is you and your gun and it will give you a taste of the sport. Again ask a lot of questions. Learn as much as you can and they will usually have good pointers for beginners.

Places to Hunt- If you don’t have anywhere to go hunting go online and look for public hunting lands. You can usually find lakes that allow hunting to the public. But if you want a little less competition spend a little time and gas and drive around looking for waterfowl and once you found them ask the property owner for permission. You might get told no a few times. But you will never find a place unless you ask. Offer your services to help around the property doing work in exchange for permission to hunt will also help you get your foot in the door.

Decoys- A dozen decoys to start out should do. I will recommend getting mallard decoys as they are the most persistent breed of ducks in North America and most other breeds will land with mallards. Don’t forget a decoy bag. In a perfect world I always recommend setting up with the wind at your back and set the decoys in a U or hook with the biggest group closest to you. I know it is not always possible so you can set up with the wind coming from your side and never set up with the wind blowing in your face.

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Remember do your homework and scout ahead. You can have all the decoys in the world and the ducks still won’t come if you are not where they want to be. The only point of decoys is to get them to land where you want.

Concealment- You will never shoot any ducks if you stick out like a sore thumb. Use natural grasses and vegetation when you are building  a duck blind. Ducks have very good eye sight and can see color better than we do and depend on that to keep them safe. Also having a roof or some sort of cover over your head  will help hide you more and come  in handy later in season when the birds become more weary and fly around a couple of times before committing.

Shotguns and Shells- There are an assortment of shotguns and ammo to choose from and you really can’t go wrong with any. You don’t have the best of the best shotguns that are semi automatic and chamber three and half inch shells. A 12 gauge pump that chambers three inch shell will do just fine. In fact many hunters use a pump and brag about their dependability. It’s also important to pattern test your gun to see what shell and choke combination gives you the best result. If you have to choose one choke I recommend a modified for most beginners and many waterfowl hunters prefer them. Try and refrain from sky busting. Even if you are having a bad day, all that results in is wasted shells and injured birds that you will not retrieve. Remember no lead!

Waders- Wader’s one of the most important things to have when duck hunting. A pair of hip waders will get you around. But a good pair of chest waders will get you all most anywhere. Waders aren’t a thing to go cheap on either. Go ahead and spend the money and buy a good pair with at least 800 grams of insulation. The more insulation the better! If you don’t you will get cold and miserable and give up before you even get started.

wilds_studio5Calls- Buy a double reed and instructional CD. You will be able to learn while you drive around. Even if you are only able to give a quack it will help make your spread look more realistic. The number one mistake most novice callers make is they call too much and you are better off leaving it at home until you become a decent caller and understand how it should be used.

Conservation- Once you get hooked I recommend that you get involved in waterfowl conservation. They do a lot great things for the sport and make sure that great duck hunting will be here for years to come.

Hot New Gear

1.  Hard Core Decoy’s Elite Blind Bag

Elite Blind Bad by Hard Core Decoy

Elite Blind Bag by Hard Core Decoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new product for the 2013/2014 season, the Elite Blind Bag is a large sized bag for the long-staying waterfowler.  Check out some of the really cool features:

  • High-impact, waterproof bottom
  • Full featured, spacious design
  • Padded foam sides
  • External thermos or beverage pocket on the side
  • External accessory pocket with five loop choke tube holder
  • Zippered water-proof pocket
  • External clothes strap, great for rain jacket/poncho
  • External tool Velcro pocket, great for the Hardcore Loppers
  • Non-slip shoulder strap
  • Easy grip handle
  • Easy opening/closing zippers

Take a look by clicking HERE!

 

2.  Toxic Calls New Avicide Series

Avicide Duck Call by Toxic

Avicide Duck Call by Toxic Calls.

 ”The design isn’t the only “sick” thing about Toxic Calls” -Phil

The Avicide series by Toxic Calls. When flare and flash is not a term in your vocabulary. The AVICIDE series by Toxic is what your looking for. The guys over at Toxic have taken their Meat and Potatoes calls the NBD, NBD2 and the TBH. They produced them in a Black with White letters or White with Black letters and put a killer price on them. These calls are the exact same calls as their super popular custom calls, they just removed the flare. With a sounds that have been turning birds to their death, these calls have been labeled “AVICIDE”.

Buy yours now at Wing Supply – only retailer to have this call!

 

3.  Dakota Decoy’s X-Treme Mallards

Flock Headed Mallards by Dakota Decoys

Flock Headed Mallards by Dakota Decoys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dakota Decoys throws a game-changing mix into your spread!

  • Most life like, hand painted finish
  • Drakes go through a 24 step painting process, and the hens go through a 16 step painting process
  • 6 different head styles in each dozen
  • Multiple heads come attached , and will spin a full 360 degrees
  •  Slightly over-sized, measuring 16” in length
  •  They have a weighted keel designed with the hunter in mind
  • Added cleat to the front of each keel to lengthen or shorten lines to the desired depth
  • Packaged in dozen packs with 7 drakes with 4 unique head styles, and hens with 2 head styles

 

4.  Heavy Hauler’s Raft O Ducks

Raft O Ducks by Heavy Hauler Outdoor Gear

Raft O Ducks by Heavy Hauler Outdoor Gear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether hunting divers,  puddlers, or honkers always be on the X with The Raft O’ Ducks decoy anchor system.  Watch it by clicking HERE!

  • Set it in many different formations.
  • Easy to get ready as well as taking it down 
  • 2 built in 1.5 lb H-shaped anchor/line keepers
  • 18-30″ drop lines with 4” snaps and large swivel clips
  • Drop lines are made of tangle resistant 400 lb mono filament 
  • 150 feet of heavy braided mainline rope

Low Pressure Tactics for High Pressured Ducks

Submitted by: Michael Pendley

We’ve all been there. The scouting trip from the previous evening had pinpointed that perfect public land spot. The birds had poured in, the cover was thick enough to hide in and the wind was forecast to be perfect. Early the next morning you make the trek back to the spot, hopes high and spirits soaring with the promise of the high paced shooting to come. Then you see it, the tiny pinpoint beam of headlights in the distance that lets you know someone else had marked the spot as well. Or even worse, you get there and place your decoys, build your makeshift blind and hunker down to wait for shooting light only to watch someone come in and set up on top of you, ruining both your chances for a good hunt.

pond 2

Photo courtesy of B. Pendley

Or maybe you have had the spot mostly to yourself for a while now. Several good hunts have resulted and it has been a pretty spectacular season so far. But lately the ducks are shy, flaring farther and farther out and refusing to work. No amount of added decoys or pleading calls can coax the fowl into shooting range. It is clearly time to make a change.

pond ducks

Photo courtesy of B. Pendley

It’s time to make a move. Hang up the decoy bags and break out the maps. Downsizing the water you hunt and the equipment you use can be just the ticket this time of year. Follow these simple steps to get back on the ducks.

Internet scouting can work: No, I am not talking about scanning the forums for grip and grin photos of successful hunts then paylaking their spots. Instead, pull up your hunting area on Google Earth or Wikimapia.org. Can’t get good images of your spot? Pick up a good old fashioned topo map of the area. Think back to previous hunts and scouting trips in the area. What flight path did most of the birds use?  Check that area for smaller ponds and creeks away from the road. Keep an eye out for hardwood timber areas where beavers might have dammed a creek and flooded a section. Moving water can be particularly productive in the late season when standing water has locked up with ice.

Hang up the decoy bags: When you find a hot spot on small water, a half dozen decoys is more than enough spread to attract attention. To make up for the small number of decoys, run at least two of the six rigged as a jerk string. Ducks can pick up on the movement from remarkable distances as they fly over. Since you don’t need a lot of decoys, make the ones you do use the most lifelike available. As the birds make their fly overs, they will have time to check out each and every deke, make sure they pass inspection.

Leave the waders at home: I like a good pair of hip boots for small water hunting. To get away from high pressured public areas often requires one heck of a hike. Chest waders will wear you down in hurry. Most small waters are wade-able with hip or even knee boots. If you do find a deeper spot, pack your chest waders in a backpack and put them on when you get to your destination.

And keep the calls in your pocket: Well, not really, but tone your calling WAY down. High pressured birds have been hit with more highballs, feed chuckles and pleading comebacks than a contest judge in Stuttgart. Once the birds start to work, stick mainly with quiet chuckles and quacks. Throw in a drake call or two or mix things up with gadwall, pintail or wood duck calls to give the birds something they haven’t heard. When the birds are in range, take the shot. Wary birds over small water are hard to land. They might not make that extra pass either. Don’t pass a shot when you have it, you might not get another chance.

Next season, when the birds get shy and the crowds get thick, put these small water, low pressure tactics to work. The shooting might not be as hot and heavy as an open water blind with fresh birds, but it beats the heck out of sitting all day without picking up your gun.