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Up to date Jan 17, 2023 6:27 PM

With regard to geese, duck callers, and duck calling, Nash Buckingham is quoted saying, “A duck name within the palms of the unskilled is conservation’s best asset.” 

And Mister Buckingham could also be spot on with regards to poor duck calling being chargeable for saving the lives of numerous mallards over the past 100 years or so. However poor duck calling isn’t something new; some ’fowlers are good, and a few…effectively, usually are not.

However not-so-good duck calling, whereas maybe having any variety of root causes, can’t be blamed on the calls themselves. No, sir. At the moment, duck hunters are blessed with an nearly infinite number of name choices—single reeds, double reeds, triple reeds, mylar, metallic, Previous College true cork wedges, wooden, acrylic, polycarbonate, hybrids. You title it, and it’s on the market. 

Which brings to the forefront—How does the brand new duck caller begin down the highway to choosing their first name? Or for that matter, what may the veteran check out when she or he decides it’s time for one more…which, by the best way, it at all times is! Right here is an in-depth have a look at one of the best duck calls in the marketplace at the moment.

How I Picked The Finest Duck Calls

Whereas I wouldn’t think about myself a duck name “nerd,” I’ve through the years grown fairly explicit about these I pack on my working (discipline) lanyard. Over the previous three many years, I’ve had the chance to strive dozens upon dozens of various calls—singles, doubles, even a triple reed. I’ve used wooden, polycarbonate, acrylic, and one-of-a-kind customized designs. Throughout that point, I’ve discovered this: Each caller is totally different, and a one-size-fits-all sort of duck name doesn’t exist. 

That stated, what standards did I take advantage of when arriving on the selections above? What’s essential to me with regards to figuring out whether or not a name makes the listing or performs second fiddle to a different?


Plain and easy, a name has to sound good. It has to sound like an actual stay duck. Fairly, whereas good, doesn’t kill geese; pure duck sounds are what I’m on the lookout for. It doesn’t matter if it prices $20 or $200. Doesn’t matter if it is available in a coloration that may be seen from house, and is emblazoned with skulls, dragons, or mermaids. Don’t care. At the start, a name has to make actual duck sounds. After which the individual blowing it wants the flexibility, by way of observe, to make these sounds.


Once more, easy—Can I afford it? If the right name, per se, have been to exist, however was exterior my value vary…effectively, then it’s not the right duck name.


I can’t maintain a candle to the likes of four-time Tennessee State calling champion, Invoice Cooksey. Or ’95 World Duck Calling Champion of Champions, Buck Gardner. Or Wealthy ‘n Tone proprietor, John Stephens, one of the gifted and well-respected names within the business. However, I do like a customized name as a result of I take pleasure in choosing up the telephone and speaking with the man/gal who made it. Ask them questions. Recommendation. Or, if want be, focus on alternative elements. Simply decide their mind. I’ve by no means met a call-maker who isn’t joyful to speak together with his clients. It’s a pleasant bonus.


Like many ’fowlers, I handle my searching gear, however I don’t child it. The duck searching setting is usually a not-nice place on account of issues like mud, sand, rain, snow, bitter chilly, warmth, grime, muck, mayhem, and basic corruption, all of which have however one objective in thoughts—to damage my duck name. So I would like one thing that may deal with the abuse, get cleaned up, which can imply getting rinsed off in swamp water, and maintain proper on operating.

The Finest Duck Calls: Opinions & Suggestions

Finest General: Invoice Saunders EZ7

Finest General

Invoice Saunders EZ7 Invoice Saunders Calls

Why It Made The Minimize: Simple, as in EZ. The Saunders title. The Saunders status. And the actual fact Invoice makes a top-notch name, be it duck or goose.

Key options

  • Acrylic composite
  • Single reed
  • Distinctive customer support
  • Good ($70) value level


  • Backed by among the best within the enterprise
  • Versatile single, however blows like a double
  • Hand-tuned
  • Rugged acrylic design
  • Glorious highs and lows


  • Little little bit of a studying curve (however not a lot)

I like Saunders for a number of causes. He’s initially from Wisconsin—I’m a Buckeye State native—which makes him a talented and avid walleye fisherman. He hunts geese, geese, and turkeys, is a devoted household man, and makes one hell of a duck name. And goose name, for that matter. And, what’s extra, I’ve the poor man on pace dial, so I can pester him with questions just about any time I like.

That stated, his EZ7 is one other in an extended listing, seven to be precise, of fantastic duck calls to come back out of Saunders’ workshop. The title comes from the truth that, with this name, it’s EZ to kill Washington state’s restrict of seven (7) mallards. It’s each bit nearly as good, if not a little bit higher, than his earlier Fox, Clutch, and Refuge Sequence instruments. A single reed, the EZ7 has a various repertoire, but might be performed—and effectively—right away if a caller spends the time with it. The acrylic composite is hard, and may there be a difficulty, Saunders is however a telephone name away and is joyful to make issues proper.

Most Versatile: Buck Gardner 6-in-1 whistle

Most Versatile


Buck Gardner 6-in-1 whistle Buck Gardner

Why It Made The Minimize: Each duck hunter wants Buck’s elemental 6-in-1 whistle on his/her lanyard. Indisputably, one of the best $7 you’ll ever spend on ’fowling gear.

Key options

  • Constructed of robust arduous plastic
  • No transferring elements
  • Pea-less design
  • Cheap 
  • Multi-lingual 


  • Ridiculously straightforward to make use of
  • Good quantity
  • Not a heartbreaker if damaged, misplaced, eaten by canine, or stolen by buddy
  • Vast number of sounds
  • Can be utilized as a canine whistle in a pinch


The Buck Gardner 6-in-1 I’ve on my working lanyard is over 20 years outdated. In truth, it was initially marketed as a “Hawk Name,” a whistle used to breed the scream of a red-tailed hawk and, hopefully, persuade a wild turkey to gobble. It does that, and extra, which is wonderful whenever you suppose that is however certainly one of seven wild sounds the 6-in-1 does—and does effectively. Let me put it this manner: It’s like conjuring up Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony from a barely used Zip-Lock bag. Yeah, it’s that cool.

For the ’fowler, the 6-in-1 can duplicate the sounds of a drake mallard’s lispy dweek; the trill of a drake pintail; the drake widgeon’s breathy woo-WHIT-woo; the high-pitched peep…peep of the green-wing teal; and the eerie squeal of each the drake and hen wooden duck. Too, this little pea-less whistle does a rattling effective job with the bobwhite quail, in addition to the aforementioned red-tailed hawk. All for $7, and also you’re not going to slide right into a deep darkish melancholy if/when it will get broke. I at all times, at all times, at all times have one on my Coyote Leather-based; you need to, too.

Finest Single Reed: Subject Confirmed Single Shot

Finest Single Reed


Subject Confirmed Single Shot cabelas

Why It Made The Minimize: Subject Hudnall’s Single Shot actually, actually, (actually) seems like a duck, and that’s what you’re on the lookout for out of a duck name.

Key options

  • Consumer-friendly single reed
  • Over-bored mouthpiece for management ease
  • Sturdy but good-looking
  • Three totally different value factors; similar nice name


  • Accessible as a polycarbonate, hybrid, and acrylic model
  • High-notch service after the sale
  • Hybrid (wooden/poly) choice
  • Hand-tuned


  • Acrylic model is a bit dear

Since 2000, Subject Hudnall—one-half of Subject Confirmed Calls, the opposite half being his brother, Clay—has competed in 107 calling competitions, each geese and geese, and has positioned within the high 5 (5) in 97 of these. Ninety-seven! So I’m going to say the younger Kentuckian is aware of a little bit bit about calling issues, together with making calls.

Hudnall’s flagship Single Shot single reed is about as user-friendly as a single reed will get, but permits a brand new caller to develop into the decision, per se, as his/her expertise stage and abilities improve. For my part, it’s a very handsome name—rugged and hard—however, and also you’ll hear this once more, fairly don’t kill geese. That’s the place Hudnall’s expertise with a lathe, trimming instruments, and his ear for what sounds proper comes into play. And he stands behind his work 100%. You will have an issue; he’ll repair it.

The Single Shot is obtainable in polycarbonate, full acrylic, and a poly/hedge wooden hybrid, and at three totally different value factors from $40 to $130, placing it in rattling close to everybody’s pocketbook.

Finest Double Reed: Slayer Calls’ Drake Slayer

Finest Double Reed


Slayer Calls’ Drake Slayer Slayer Duck Calls

Why It Made The Minimize: This one’s pushing the Previous College envelope. Nothing fancy right here; only a high quality double reed that sounds ducky. Actual ducky.

Key options

  • Rugged and crowd pleasing acrylic development
  • Engraved (SLAYER) silver band
  • Double mylar reeds
  • Powerful rubber wedge
  • Made within the US of A


  • Ballpark priced ($135) for a full acrylic name
  • Consumer-friendly double reed
  • Good quantity management
  • Environmentally versatile, i.e. open water, timber, marsh


  • Could also be thought-about dear for some budgets 

Headquartered in Eagle, Idaho, Slayer Calls is likely one of the proverbial new children on the ’fowling block, having simply opened their doorways—electronically, that’s—in 2021. There wasn’t a hell of loads of fanfare at first, till individuals acquired their palms on Invoice Ayer’s, CEO and Slayer founder, duck calls. Then issues modified, and calls like the corporate’s flagship Drake Slayer (DS) not solely started to get observed, however constructed up a superb head ‘o steam. At the moment, Ayer’s outfit makes not solely ’fowl calls, however elk and turkey calls as effectively, and is on the quick monitor to turning into a serious participant.

The Drake Slayer comes throughout as a high-end customized name at a most cheap acrylic value. Each Slayer duck name is completed and hand-tuned by Mr. Ayers himself. Nothing goes out the door that he hasn’t had a hand, actually, in and on. I discover the DS fairly user-friendly, not liable to saliva-induced lock-up. It’s mild—a full ounce lighter than both the Subject Confirmed or ZINK calls I carry—however not so mild as to not be ‘bouncy’ or really feel unsubstantial. And I like that the DS is what I name ‘environmentally versatile,’ serving as effectively over in-close shallow sheetwater because it does in a wide-open tidal marsh.

Finest Wooden: Primos Traditional Wooden Duck

Finest Wooden Duck Name


Primos Traditional Wooden Duck Primos Looking

Why It Made The Minimize: Primos have earned their status with turkey and elk calls, however they’re no slouch with regards to making a superb manufacturing duck name.

Key options

  • Lovely Diamond Wooden (Willow) construct
  • Easy user-friendly quick reed design
  • Accessible in ‘smoke’ polycarbonate


  • Mimics wooden geese on the water, in addition to flying
  • Can double as a ‘peacock’ turkey locator name
  • Excessive pitch carries effectively in buckbrush and flooded timber
  • Smoke poly, $10; Diamond Wooden, $25


  • Restricted applicability
  • Debate as as to if or not wooden geese reply to calls

As talked about underneath the cons part, the controversy continues as as to if or not Aix sponsa pays any consideration to calls in any respect. I’ve personally seen them work, and I’ve seen them ignored. Some ’fowlers swear by ‘em, although, and blowing a wooden duck name at a wooden duck makes extra sense (to me) than blowing a mallard name at a wooden duck.

Primos’ Traditional Wooden Duck Name is a fairly little factor in Diamond Wooden; reasonably Plain Jane in its smoke polycarbonate type. Each sport what I’ll name a brief reed-esque insert, with a slender tone channel and smallish dog-eared mylar reed, all of which work in synch to supply the high-pitched whines, squeals, and peeps of wooden geese both at relaxation on the water, or flying overhead. Do you want a wooden duck name? When you’re within the Atlantic or Mississippi flyways, the place Aix sponsa is most quite a few, I reckon it couldn’t damage.

Finest Finances: Huge Lake Calls Duck Popper Hunter’s Pack

Finest on a finances


Huge Lake Calls Duck Popper Hunter’s Pack Huge Lake Outside Merchandise

Why It Made The Minimize: A unbelievable combo package deal, whether or not you ‘present’ it to your self or purchase it for that up-and-coming duck hunter you’re mentoring this fall.

Key options

  • Pack consists of mallard name, wooden duck name, and conventional lanyard
  • Polycarbonate double reed mallard, with mylar and metallic reeds
  • Camo polycarbonate “Good Woodie” wooden duck name
  • Spherical lanyard, with 4 (4) units of double loops


  • Nice starter equipment for the brand new ’fowler
  • Glorious ($55) value level
  • Makes a unbelievable present 
  • “Good Timber” double reed is user-friendly/versatile


  • Western U.S. ’fowlers may discover a pintail or widgeon name extra helpful

This one’s really a no brainer. Take two glorious calls—one a succesful double reed mallard name, and the opposite a fairly little wooden duck—set ‘em on a standard spherical lanyard with greater than sufficient droppers, package deal ‘em collectively, and put a price ticket of $55 on it. You need champagne style on a beer finances? Nicely, there you go, my good friend.

Huge Lake’s Duck Popper Hunter’s Pack begins with a proper good polycarbonate “Good Timber” double reed, full with each mylar and metallic reeds, and throws within the “Good Woodie”—Hey, Sigmund Freud—wooden duck name. No, they’re not leading edge. No, they’re nothing tremendously fancy. They’re good-sounding meat calls on a lanyard that, with observe, can idiot any mallard—and possibly a wooden duck or two—that flies North to South within the fall. And for simply $55.

Plus, I’ve been advised there’s a excessive likelihood Huge Lake can be providing the Duck Popper Hunter’s Pack with their Widgeon Magnet name in lieu of the Good Woodie for ’fowlers within the Central and Pacific flyways this fall.

Most Consumer-Pleasant: Buck Gardner Double Nasty

Most user-friendly


Buck Gardner Double Nasty Buck Gardner

Why It Made The Minimize: Two causes—One, rattling close to anybody can sound good on this double reed. And two, Buck is a real gentleman, and stands behind his calls like none different.

Key options 

  • Double reed design
  • Spit –Tech Expertise
  • Acrylic, polycarbonate, and hybrid development
  • Full vary; good highs and lows
  • Hand-tuned


  • Spit-Tech Expertise blows when moist
  • Three totally different materials variations
  • Three totally different value factors
  • Versatile double reed
  • Exceptionally user-friendly
  • Nice service after the sale


I had the consideration of assembly Buck Gardner simply 4 years after he received the World Duck Calling Championships in Stuttgart, Arkansas, in ’94, and to say I used to be impressed could be the understatement of the century. Gardner walks the stroll and really talks the discuss; the southern gentleman simply is aware of geese, and what’s extra, he is aware of the way to construct a great-sounding duck name and make it obtainable to the Frequent Man. 

Heralded because the “cornerstone” of the corporate’s duck name line, the Double Nasty (DN) is as easy-blowing as they arrive. Sporting Gardner’s revolutionary Spit-Tech Expertise, the DN might be blown moist; reasonably, it doesn’t lock up—assured—when the tone board will get soaked, be it from saliva, condensation, or swamp water after an unintended dunking. She’s inexpensive, too, starting from a $30 polycarbonate model to an acrylic/burnt hedge hybrid that may set you again a C-Be aware ($100 for you younger people). In between, Mister Buck affords a full acrylic 25th Anniversary model of the DN for $97, so take your decide.

Issues to Contemplate Earlier than Shopping for The Finest Duck Calls

Bear with me right here after I say: Selecting a duck name isn’t all that totally different from selecting a brand new automobile. You do your analysis, uncover what’s obtainable when it comes to base fashions and choices, overlay that availability onto your explicit driving fashion and necessities, think about the worth tag, and, as soon as all that’s stated and finished, you make the acquisition. Similar story right here, with that listing of variables and issues together with the next.


I’d go as far as to say a name that reproduces the QUACK of a hen mallard in all its variations is common. That’s, in case you can QUACK, you’re going to be fairly well-set to “discuss duck” all through any of the 4 flyways, these being the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central, and Pacific. There are species-specific calls obtainable—teal, wooden geese, pintails, widgeon, gadwall, and divers—however you’ll work your approach into these quickly sufficient.


At the moment, the commonest reed materials is mylar, a sort of robust plastic, with both one (single) or two (double) reed(s). Nevertheless, metallic reeds do exist, as do duck calls with three (triple) reeds. For many callers, a mylar reed(s) is the go-to. As for what number of, a single reed is extraordinarily versatile, however has a steeper studying curve than does the maybe extra user-friendly double reed. Both can work effectively.

Development Supplies

There are three major selections when it comes to the fabric used to create the duck name physique—wooden, polycarbonate (poly), a robust plastic materials, and acrylic, aka Plexiglas, one other sturdy plastic. Picket calls look and sound nice, however require care and upkeep as a result of…effectively, they’re wooden. Poly calls are cheaper than acrylic calls, however the latter is extra engaging, if that issues. A superb middle-of-the-road? Polycarbonate.

Customized v.s. Manufacturing Calls

Hundreds of geese are fooled annually by ’fowlers blowing manufacturing (mass-produced) calls. These devices are cheaper than customized calls. Nevertheless, with these mass-produced instruments, one-on-one customer support, e.g. name tuning or questions, is usually a problem. Customized calls are, by nature, dearer than manufacturing calls, however a purchaser normally has entry to the person making the decision, and may ask questions or focus on after-the-purchase companies like tuning or elements (reeds and wedges/corks) alternative.


Duck name value varies significantly, with a name on the market that may match everybody’s finances. Single or double-reed manufacturing calls may cost lower than $15. Nevertheless, higher-end customized acrylic calls in specialty colours, patterns, with/with out engraving, additional reeds, arduous instances, and backed by one-on-one customer support could push or exceed $200. It’s clever to buy round.


Q: What’s simpler—single reed, or double reed?

Single reed duck calls are extraordinarily versatile within the sounds they’ll make; nonetheless, they’ll show a bit more difficult for the novice to grasp because of the management (air supply/strain) wanted to correctly manipulate that single reed. Conversely, double reed calls are extra forgiving and maybe “simpler” for the newbie to supply the right sounds, however standard knowledge says that double reeds—triple reeds, too—will output a smaller vary of true duck sounds.

Q: Are wood duck calls any good?

Picket duck calls are undeniably stunning, and the richness of wooden produces, many imagine, essentially the most practical of duck sounds. Not like an artificial materials, e.g. polycarbonate or acrylic, wood duck calls do require an uptick in care and upkeep, as elements similar to extended moisture, excessive warmth, or freezing temperatures can adversely have an effect on their bodily being. Too, wood calls will broaden and contract over time, thus altering tone (sound) to some extent.

Q: Are acrylic duck calls higher than polycarbonate or wooden?

Higher? That basically relies upon. If all three sound precisely alike, then the choice rests on three elements: Value, as acrylic goes to be dearer than both polycarbonate or wooden; Visible look, as acrylic is, to some, way more engaging than the others; and Utilization, or how cautious you need to be along with your name. Acrylic is hard and stands as much as abuse, very similar to polycarbonate; nonetheless, wooden goes to be a bit extra “fragile,” per se, than the opposite two. The underside line is that wooden versus polycarbonate versus acrylic is, for essentially the most half, a matter of private desire.

Remaining Ideas on the Finest Duck Calls

Confused now? Nicely, you shouldn’t be. Selecting a duck name isn’t actually all that robust when you’ve selected how a lot you’d wish to spend. Decide a value vary—say—$40 to $90—and work out the way you’re going to deal with that decision, i.e. child gloves (wooden) or Satan could care (polycarbonate or acrylic), and go from there.

What do I do know, with out query, about shopping for duck calls? Nobody, myself very a lot included, stops at one. By no means. There’s at all times room for one more duck name.

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