The 10 Best Duck Calls

Updated April 28, 2017 by Chase Brush

10 Best Duck Calls
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 35 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Whether you're a seasoned hunter in it for the thrill of the chase, or you're a nature photographer looking to get a close-up of their colorful plumage, the duck calls on this list are designed to produce a variety of sounds that will lure your subject closer to your hunting blind or position. They're made of many different materials, from wood to plastic, and are priced to meet anyone's budget. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best duck call on Amazon.

10. Buck Gardner 6-in-1 Whistle

For a multi-purpose noisemaker capable of calling in several different species of waterfowl, check out the Buck Gardner 6-in-1 Whistle. Once mastered, it can help attract everything from mallard and pintail drakes to wood ducks and widgeons, all using this one little tool.
  • includes easy to follow instructions
  • very affordably priced
  • can be difficult to hold in mouth
Brand Buck Gardner
Model PT-01
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Primos Feedin' Mallard

If you can't quite get the technique down for a traditional call, there's still hope. The Primos Feedin' Mallard requires only that you shake it by hand, upon which it emits extremely loud noises to mimic, as its name suggests, the chatter of feeding ducks.
  • tuning hole mimics multiple ducks
  • works great as a backup call
  • doesn't sound as realistic as others
Brand Primos Hunting Calls
Model 829
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Duck Commander Wood

You can't get much simpler than the Duck Commander Wood, a best-selling and versatile option that can accurately reproduce the sounds of sitting or flying waterfowl. The name is a little misleading, since it refers to the type of duck it attracts and not its material.
  • good value for price
  • mimics carolina or wood ducks best
  • takes a while to learn how to use
Brand Duck Commander
Model DCCALLWD
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Cass Creek Ergo Electronic

The Cass Creek Ergo Electronic operates on just three AAA batteries, but is powerful enough to summon ducks from far and wide with its multiple preprogrammed calls. It's not quite as natural-sounding as other models, but it will help you save your breath for the hunt.
  • features authentic recordings
  • convenient belt clip
  • battery life could be longer
Brand Cass Creek
Model 1003306
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Flextone Team Realtree

The Flextone Team Realtree boasts a detailed camo finish that will ensure this whistle blends in with the rest of your gear and surroundings. But it also utilizes a unique soft-bodied and flexible design, giving you greater control over how you manipulate your calls.
  • mississippi-style tone board
  • good for flooded timber and sloughs
  • can be difficult to tune
Brand Flextone
Model FG-DUCK-00002
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

5. Primos Pro Mallard

The Primos Pro Mallard features a single 0.01-inch Mylar reed, which, when used correctly, can reproduce anything from low, raspy quacks to clear, high-pitched cries. A special tuning hole in the bell allows it to sound like it's making the noises of more than one duck.
  • sounds great over open water
  • blows wet or dry
  • affordable but not very high quality
Brand Primos Hunting Calls
Model 804
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Faulk's Game Deluxe

While plastic may offer greater versatility, only wood can produce the smooth, rich tones loved by hunters and their prey alike -- which is what the Faulk's Game Deluxe gets right. This old-school call is made of quality walnut, giving it a nice, natural sound.
  • double-reed design
  • will last for a long time
  • tuned and tested by hand
Brand Faulk's Game Calls
Model WA-33
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

3. Duck Commander Uncle Si

The single-reed Duck Commander Uncle Si is a no-frills call that novices should have no problem mastering. Its one-piece body is constructed of durable polycarbonate, so it doesn't need any coddling and should stand up to plenty of abuse.
  • raspy yet easy to blow
  • great affordable gift idea
  • hard to misplace bright green color
Brand Buck Commander
Model DC-CALL-2013
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

2. Echo Calls Diamonwood Timbers

The Echo Calls Diamonwood Timbers combines a variety of materials, from plastics to aluminum, to create a high-quality call that looks as handsome as it sounds. It's a bit higher priced than other models, but it's built to last and is easy to use even when it's wet.
  • designed for close-in calling
  • produces a deep rich tone
  • polished brass band
Brand Echo Calls
Model 77754
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Buck Gardner Double Nasty

Whether you're an expert caller or are new to the sport, you shouldn't have any trouble getting realistic sounds out of the Buck Gardner Double Nasty. That's thanks in part to its special spit technology, which allows the instrument to work even when it's full of saliva.
  • raspy bottom-end calls
  • made from strong acrylic material
  • hand-sanded tone board
Brand Buck Gardner
Model DNP-CG
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

How A Duck Call Works

Duck calls work similarly to a clarinet; the person using them blows air through a mouthpiece, and that air makes a thin piece of material called a reed begin to vibrate. The vibration of the reed creates the desired sound. In the case of a duck call, that sound mimics a real duck. Duck hunters use these to attract their prey. Each duck call, no matter the model, will have a tone board, a barrel, an insert, a wedge and the aforementioned reed. One can think of the barrel like the main body of a whistle because it's the area through which wind blows. The insert is just a small piece of material that holds the tone board, which then holds the reed. The insert is held in place by a wedge.

While there are around eight main duck calls that most hunters should know, there are nearly countless sounds the animal can make, so there are several varieties of the tool. The length of the reed directly affects the call's pitch because it determines how far the vibration has to move. A longer reed creates a lower sound, and a shorter reed creates a higher one. The thickness of the reed affects the volume of the sound. Thicker reeds produce more volume, and thin ones create a smaller sound.

Thicker barrels tend to create a lower, warmer sound because the reed's vibrations cannot escape as easily as they do in a thin barrel. Reversely, thin barrels will result in high-pitched calls. Some duck calls contain two reeds and can produce far more complex sounds. The user also plays a large role in the type of duck sound produced. Experienced duck hunters know just where to cup the tool, how hard to blow, and a number of other tricks that can perfectly manipulate the resulting sound.

The History Of Duck Calls

Hunters have been using duck sounds to attract their prey since the late 1600s. Originally, hunters would use actual ducks to attract even more fowl. They would trap a group of ducks in one place, and the animals' calls would lure in more prey. The first mechanical duck call didn't come about until the 1850s. A man named Elam Fisher patented the first duck call in 1870.

In the late 1880s, a company called P.S. Olt sold duck calls in mail order catalogs for between twenty cents and two dollars a piece. Olt became well known for their hard rubber duck calls that were not only water resistant but also allowed the user to adjust the tone of the tool. Before these rubber varieties, most manufacturers used walnut, cedar or rosewood which, while elegant in appearance, would quickly become warped from any moisture. Today plastic and acrylic are popular materials because they have properties that make them ideal for hunting, but some duck callers still prefer the classic look of a wooden model.

Throughout the early 1900s, more manufacturers and individuals started improving the duck call. In the 1920s, a man named Charles Ditto developed the Eureka model that had a brass reed, and by the 1930s, father and son duo Clarence and Dudley Faulk made some of the first plastic varieties. The Faulks produced their product at just the right time, because in 1935, the United States banned the use of live ducks to attract prey and artificial duck calls became increasingly popular.

Tips For Duck Hunters

Camouflage-style clothing is essential for any duck hunter to conceal their presence from their prey, but people can go one step further by using real vegetation. Whether hunting in a boat, or on the ground, one can string up some rope around them and cover it with leaves and bundles of shrubbery. Timing is important, too. Migrating flocks tend to stop for a break around late morning, so hunters can benefit by waiting in the blind (this is where a hunter hides while they wait for their prey) after most people have left.

It's important that one regularly cleans their duck call, too, since any dirt or debris can affect the sound it produces. To clean a duck call, one can simply remove the stopper from the barrel and soak both of these in a bit of water and soap for a half an hour. Any remaining particles can be removed with dental floss. Hunters should also know how to best use a decoy. If a hunter is working in an open area where fowl can easily get a good look at their decoy, they should skip using one altogether.

Duck hunters should always know the direction of the wind, as there are techniques they can take to improve their odds of hunting in an unfavorable wind. If they stand with their weapons pointing in the same direction that the wind is moving, this can put them at a disadvantage. This positioning means that they're shooting ducks that are already moving in the same direction as the wind. If their prey becomes aware of them, the wind will help them fly away even faster. Hunters should position themselves such that ducks would have to fly against the wind to escape since this will slow them down.



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Last updated on April 28, 2017 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.


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