As a beginner duck hunter, learning how to properly use a duck call can feel intimidating. Mastering the art of duck calling takes plenty of practice, patience, and having the right gear. Choosing the best duck call to match your skill level is key to building confidence and setting yourself up for success out in the field or on the water.
The good news is that there are plenty of best duck calls for beginners on the market designed specifically for newcomers to the sport. These calls are crafted to make sounding like a real duck easy even if you’ve never blown a call before. Many feature easy-to-use single and double reed setups, polycarbonate or wooden barrels, non-stick inserts, and other beginner-friendly aspects to help any novice mimic authentic hen, drake, and flock calls.
In this blog post, I’ll save you hours of research by breaking down the top 5 best duck calls for beginners in 2024.
What is a Duck Call?
Before jumping into the best beginner duck calls, it helps to understand exactly what a duck call is and how it works. Duck calls are mouth-blown devices that mimic the sound of actual ducks by passing air over reeds to produce realistic quacks, feeds calls, hails, comeback calls and more.
Most duck calls contain the following components:
Barrel – Usually made of polycarbonate, wood, or acrylic. It’s the body of the call that the hunter blows into.
Insert – The inside part fitted in the barrel that holds the reed(s). Usually made of plastic or acrylic.
Reed(s) – Thin pieces of material (like mylar) that vibrate when air passes over them to create duck sounds. Singles reeds are more common for beginners.
Tone Board – A ridged piece the reed vibrates against to change tone/pitch.
Wedge – Secures reed components in position inside the duck call.
When blown properly, the reeds replicate hen, drake, fledgling or flock calls that can attract ducks during hunting season. Calls come in various shapes/sizes but the basic components above are standard.
Why Use a Duck Call?
Duck calling is an essential skill every waterfowl hunter must learn. Ducks rely heavily on vocalizations to communicate, especially when traveling in flocks during migration season. Using calls that sound exactly like real ducks is key to their survival.
Hunters exploit ducks’ reliance on calling to reel in birds to their location. Calling masks hunter sounds while convincing ducks it’s safe to land nearby. The best duck call in the hands of an experienced caller can single-handedly attract entire flocks of ducks directly into the hunting spread.
Even novice hunters should invest in a duck call to begin honing abilities. With the right beginner-friendly call, new hunters can bag ducks while developing vital calling skills that improve season after season.
1. Flextone Game Calls Buck Gardner Double Nasty
Easiest Double Reed Duck Call
The Buck Gardner Double Nasty flute-style duck call is ideal for beginners thanks to its easy-blowing double reed design. The polycarbonate barrel produces reliable, raspy hen calls ranging from quiet to super loud without sticking. The double reeds allow consistent sound no matter how you blow into it.
2. Duck Commander Jase Robertson Pro Series Duck Call
Great Single Reed Call for Beginners
From the famous Duck Dynasty clan, this Jase Robertson signature series call has a sleek walnut barrel with custom acrylic insert making it one of the best sounding and looking duck calls. The single reed device produces clear hail calls, feeds, comeback calls and more without overblowing.
3. Primos Straight Meat Honker Call
Simple & Affordable Single Reed
As one of the most affordable go-to duck calls on the market, Primos’ Straight Meat Honker features a classic setup with single thin reed in a polycarbonate barrel. It’s easy for beginners to use right out of the box to sound like a real mallard hen and bring ducks back to your spread.
4. Haydel’s DRT Short Cut Beginner Call
Short Barrel Design Easy to Grip
The Haydel’s DRT has a short barrel crafted from the company’s signature poly resin material with a raised diamond knurling pattern, making it very easy to grip and blow. The molded in single reed inserts provides quality realistic duck sounds with little practice required.
5. Duck Commander Willie Robertson Triple Threat
3 Reed Polycarbonate Call
This triple reed call from Duck Commander was designed for fast learning and allows beginners to mimicDrake, hen or baby duck sounds by altering air pressure. The injection molded polycarbonate barrel is virtually indestructible yet creates soft, raspy tones that brings ducks in close.
How To Duck Call
Learning how to duck call properly takes practice but isn’t as complicated as it may seem at first. Follow these basic steps to begin sounding like a real duck:
1. Purchase an Easy-Blowing Beginner Call – First things first, start with a quality beginner call like the options featured earlier. More advanced calls require strong airflow.
2. Master Your Grip – Hold the call between your thumb and index finger, keeping your fingers near the end of the barrel without covering the sound holes.
3. Focus on Airflow First – Purse your lips slightly inside the opening of the call. Blow steady streams of air into it without trying to create duck sounds at first. This allows you to get a feel for the airflow needed.
4. Work the Air Over the Reeds – Once you can produce smooth streams of air, flutter your tongue while blowing to break up the air and pass it over the reed area. Doing this properly should produce raspy duck-like sounds.
5. Alter Air Pressure – Increase and decrease airflow to change the pitch from higher hen calls to deeper sounding drake calls.
6. Use as Needed – In the field, only use calling to initially draw ducks in or reel stray birds back into your spread once they lose interest. Avoid constantly calling.
It takes regular practice, but follow these tips, and you’ll be calling like a pro in no time! Having the best beginner duck call makes learning much easier. Stick with it, and calling can become your strongest waterfowling skill.
After reviewing the top 5 beginner duck calls on the market in 2024, finding the right entry-level call for your skill set and budget should feel much less intimidating. Having the proper gear, especially a duck call that matches your experience level, can make or break your success out in the field during duck season.
The duck calls featured in this roundup represent some of the easiest options for beginners to master thanks to simple single and double reed devices, easy-grip short barrel constructions, non-stick inserts, affordable prices, and most importantly – the ability to produce extremely lifelike duck sounds.
Hopefully this guide gives every new duck hunter a trusted short list to choose from when purchasing your first call. Thanks for reading and good luck this upcoming season! Be sure to practice the tips outlined here because mastering calling skills takes both patience and the right gear designed for beginners.