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The Duck Hunting Journal - Xtreme Flyways


The other day I was catching a flight on a small plane to another airport to board another. Now, the redneck in me should have named this airline "Backwoods Air." I say this because as I boarded this commercial airliner, the seats looked like them old fabric lawn chairs that grandma used to sit in on the fourth of July. You know you're on a small plane when the pilot looks back at you mid flight and says, "hope you don't mind us spraying a few fields on the way." That's when the thought hit me...I wish I had the money to buy this plane. HA! I'm just kidding. I was so nervous I didn't know whether to scratch my watch or wind my butt.

Filming duck huntsDuck season is right around the corner and we are busy filming new episodes of Xtreme Flyways. This month we will be chasing blue-winged teal, trying to lay down great footage of our hunts (with a few tips and techniques along the way). Filming a duck hunt takes a good amount of patience, which is something that I'm missing. When the season is in, I'm wound up tighter than a jock strap on a preacher. I just can't slow down. But once we get a few hunts under our belt, things seem to run smoother.

The weather has been cool all summer.  Now all of the sudden, right here at the beginning of teal season, it wants to get hotter than two hamsters farting in a wool sock. I tell ya, if a cool front doesn't come through up north pretty soon it's going to be tough. But we are so dedicated that we never give up or give in. If the teal won't come to us, we'll go to them. Sometimes you have to press the envelope a little to be a successful duck hunter. A wise man once told me, "Adam, if there is a mountain to be climbed than damn-it, start climbing." I have no idea what he meant by that, but it made me think of all those tough duck hunts that I've had and how great they turned out. If I would have stayed home in the bed on those hot days in September I would not be where I am today.

It's during this time of year that we basically fine tune everything from dogs working, communication in the blind, shotgun techniques to how to cook bacon and eggs while hunting. We do all of this before regular duck season hits so that our mistakes are minimal. Teal only fly for a few hours in the morning so its not so hard to beat most of the heat. Don't stay home. This is the perfect time of year to Adam Brassfieldtake your family and kids to the duck blind and enjoy duck hunting. Us duck hunters where born for such a time as this. We will prevail and we will succeed.

Over the next several months I'll use this blog to give updates or journal entries on Xtreme Flyways, where we are hunting, and how things are going. Our Beretta shotguns will be doing most of the talking, but every now and then we'll let you in on how our team is doing in the blind. Until then I hope your season starts well and, for crying out loud, if you are killin' ducks and I ain't, then email me where you are hunting!

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Duck Calling Techniques

By Brad Wilson - Guest Contributor

So we have talked about what to look for in a duck call, now it's time to figure out how to make this thing work!  Follow along for the very basic techniques that you need in order to be a better caller and in turn increase your chances of bringing the ducks into shooting range.

The very first thing I like to tell people that are wanting to learn how to blow a call is you need to understand how to hold your hands.  I put the middle of the call where the barrel and insert meet right in the "Y" of my pointer finger and thumb and then wrap those 2 fingers around the call.  I can then use my other 3 fingers and my other hand and fingers to control the back pressure that is needed when calling.  Back pressure can actually change the depth of the sound.

The next thing to understand is that you NEVER, EVER, EVER use the air in your cheeks to blow the call.  The air should come from deep down in your diaphragm.  If your cheeks are poking out like a blow fish when you are blowing a call then you are doing it WRONG!  Learn how to control the volume of air coming from your diaphragm and you can control how loud or soft the tone you produce is.  This is critical when you are trying to get birds to finish.

The last thing you need to know is sometimes it is better to just PUT THE CALLS DOWN!  Sometimes calling can actually deter ducks from committing.  This normally happens later in the season especially in heavily hunted areas.

4 calls you absolutely must know are the hail call, the feed call, a basic quack, and a whistle.  The whistle is something every duck hunter should carry in his bag.  I personally believe that a whistle can be more effective than a duck call in quite a few situations.  Some people say "tick" others say "cat".  I personally like "tank" when I am calling.
  1. Hail Call -  The hail call is something that should be used VERY sparingly.  The only time I will use a hail call is to initially get the attention of some birds that are passing in the distance.  My rule of thumb is if the birds look like they don't want anything to do with you then a hail call could work.  Do not use the hail call if the birds are within 1-200 yards or coming straight at you.  The call should be loud and long and then taper off in length and volume.  Example: taaaaaaaaaaaank, taaaaaaaank, taaaank, taaank, taank, tank, tank, tank.  I will do this once or twice and if the birds don't turn then I am wasting my time and chalk it up to the birds being on a mission that doesn't involve being shot by my Beretta A400 Xtreme.
  2. Feed Call - I use this quite a bit.  When birds are working I will use a combination of feed calls and quacks.  I use "taka, taka, taka" when I am running a feed call. I will increase and decrease the volume of air I put out as well as the back pressure I control with my hands. Example: takatakatakatakatakaTAKATAKATAKATAKATAKAtakatakataka.
  3. Basic Quack - These are just basic "tank..........tank....tank tank....tank" and used when birds seem to be committed.  If the birds are very committed I will do an occasional quack that is very faint just to keep them confident in the spread.  Again, using the basic quack in conjunction with the feed call can be hypnotic and deadly to unsuspecting birds.
  4. Whistle - A whistle can really seal the deal when you have birds working.  Mallards, pintail, teal, widgeon, and wood ducks can all be replicated with a simple duck whistle.  A good caller can even get a gadwall sound with a whistle.  Gadwall are very nasally though and this should be one of the advanced calls you should master after you have all the basics down.  When it comes to different whistle styles for different species your best bet is to search the web for sound clips of the different species.
These are the basics that I use in the blind along with some advanced calling that we will go over in the future.  If you can get these basics down then your chances of getting ducks to finish will multiply 10 fold on your next trip out to the blind.  If you have any questions feel free to comment or contact me at one of the links below.

Brad Wilson is an avid outdoorsman targeting waterfowl and saltwater fish and is a guest contributor for the Beretta Blog.  He can be reached on Twitter or YouTube.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not represent those of Beretta.

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube


This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

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