Duck Sounds: How to Speak the Language


Communicating with a duck isn’t too difficult if you know what you’re talking to, what you’re saying, and you arm yourself with the right instrument

By M.D. Johnson / Field & Stream

I grew up in northeast Ohio in the 1970s, which meant, as a duck hunter, I grew up hearing duck sounds from mallards and black ducks, both of which quack. My father and I didn’t attempt to call wood ducks, for as he often said, “they’re either coming here or they’re not.” Teal? Same story; no calling. Divers? Never hunted them because, and to quote my old man again, “they taste bad and they’re not mallards or black ducks.”

Then in 1993, I moved to Washington State and introduced my soon-to-be wife, Julia, to duck hunting. I quickly learned, though, that Washington had more to offer in terms of waterfowl species than did Ohio. It quickly felt like I’d moved to a foreign country, as the birds seemingly spoke another language. And, it soon became apparent that if I were to become proficient in calling these new ducks, I’d have to learn a new way. Truthfully, speaking these second languages isn’t difficult, if you know what you’re talking to, what you’re saying, and you arm yourself with the right instrument. CONTINUE READING ARTICLE

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