Hunting is more than just going out to the woods with a gun or bow in your hand, and returning home with an animal strapped to the hood of your car. Strategies are always important as hunting is not as easy as one, two, three.
A hunting call or game call is a device or tool used to mimic animal noises in order to attract or drive animals to a hunter. These hunting calls are very similar to musical instruments since they require serious practice to master. Some types of calls are mass-produced, while some can be handcrafted. Some are like flutes and oboes that work when air is blown through them. While others are electronic and require to be clicked or pushed. There are also hunters who don’t use devices at all. Instead, they whistle or click with their own mouths.
Here are some well-known hunting call devices you need to learn.
Hand calls are devices that you either put in your mouth or such air in and out of to produce a sound. The five parts of these calls include:
- Stopper – this part of the hand call is the one usually held in the hand
- Tone board – this is the part of the call that makes the noise. A reed vibrates against this to produce the sound
- Reed – This works with the tone board to produce sound, and can either be curved or flat. It can also be one or more.
- Barrel – This is the hollow tube through which you blow air
- Wedge – The wedge is in charge of holding the reed in position on the tone board.
These parts produce sound when you blow in the mouthpiece. The reed, tone board, and wedge are collectively called the insert, and it is also called the call’s guts. They produce different kinds of sounds as reeds are cut in different shapes, which can be made of bamboo, wood, or even metal. Many hand calls are double-ended, with a whistle on one end. Hand calls are typically used for waterfowl, turkey, deer or coyotes.
Electronic calls store different sounds and work with just a push of a button. A champion caller usually records the sounds in a professional studio. Take note, however, that several states do not allow the use of electronic calls since they are considered unfair hunting practices, so check with your local game officials as always.
Also called the hand call, diaphragm calls can be interior or exterior. An exterior diaphragm call is a thin piece of latex stretched over a plastic tube which is used by holding the latex end, while an interior diaphragm call actually goes inside your mouth, so you don’t need to use your hands at all. The interior diaphragm call fits on the roof of your mouth, with the reeds facing forward. You need to blow it deeply enough through the mouthpiece with your jaw up and down.
Both interior and exterior calls can produce different sounds and attract turkey, hens, or elk.
A box call makes sounds when the pieces are rubbed together. They are usually made of cedar or walnut wood and are rectangular in shape. Box calls are hollow boxes with slightly arched sides that serve as sounding boards. The lid is called a paddle and is attached to the top by a hinge screw to move back and forth and be attached to its handle.
The box calls can produce clucks, yelps, gobbles, and other sounds if you scrape the paddle against the sides of the box. The quality of the sound depends on the shape of the box’s sides.
Push-up calls are suitable for beginners as they work similarly, except you need to push and pull a plunger instead of scraping the paddle.