Lynn Burkhead — Solitary quacks to finish off those January ducks


So there I was, hoping to find something new to say about an old subject.

That subject being the hunting of late season ducks here in Texomaland.

And then it came on Thursday afternoon into my e-mail “Inbox.”

It being the monthly newsletter from Ducks Unlimited (www.ducks.org), the best wildlife conservation organization on the planet.

As I perused the contents of the latest DU newsletter, one thing caught my attention: how to finish late season ducks off with single quacks.

After giving the Wade Bourne authored article a read, I knew I finally had the makings for some new late season duck hunting advice for this space.

Thanks to DU and Wade Bourne, of course.

So how can a Texomaland hunter seal the deal on ducks that are weary of migrating, weary of flying over decoy spreads, and weary of listening to every duck caller this side of Stuttgart?

Simple — by keeping the calling itself simple.

And at a minimum says Ryan Crew, a former Alabama state duck calling champ.

“If ducks are coming on their own, I’ll just be quiet and let them come,” said Crew in his interview with Bourne (www.ducks.org/hunting/duck-calling/finishing-ducks-with-single-quack-cal...).

“But if they show any hesitancy about working or if they start veering off or lighting wide, I’ll use a series of single quacks to steer them to the landing hole.”

Single quacks?

Yes indeed says the Pinson, Ala. caller.

“I may hit them with a quick little four- or five-note greeting call to regain their attention, then I’ll switch back to the single quacks to lead them in,” Crew said to Bourne.

“Now I’m not hammering them. Instead, I give them just enough persuasion to coax them in.”

Why not a feed chuckle? Crew said that isn’t natural outside of a true feeding area, especially later in the year.

But for a resting spot or open water — the same kind of spots that duck hunters often frequent here in North Texas — the veteran caller tells Bourne that a few single, well spaced quacks can be just the ticket.

Like a homing beacon leading incoming ducks to the center of a hunter’s spread.

“I just keep quacking until it’s time to drop the call and raise my shotgun,” said Crew.

At which point, few, if any duck hunters here in Texomaland will need any more advice dispensed.

Because all that’s left to do then is to drop the shotgun hammer on a flock of incoming late season ducks.

Followed by sending the Lab for a splashy retrieve, all while trying to remember the location of a favored duck recipe.

 

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