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Mike Miller Waterfowl Hunting Tips

Mike Miller

Mossy Oak ProStaff

Waterfowl Regional Manager (Central Flyway)

Q: What is a good call for beginners?
A: A short reed polycarbonate goose call will work for a beginner. That’s what you can use to practice how to hold a call and deliver the proper air pressure into the call and make a sound. Many different call makers such as Buck Gardner calls (Honker Hammer), Zink calls (power clucker pc-1) make polycarbonate calls making it inexpensive for the beginner. For duck calls I would do the same, starting off by finding an inexpensive call to the callers liking and practice, practice, practice.

Q: How can I learn how and when to call?
A: You can learn to call by attending waterfowl events put on by stores such as Cabela’s, Bass Pro, Sportsman’s Warehouse, etc. Find out when there are seminars, and if there are any call makers or company representatives. Ask questions and listen. There are also many different calling CDs by either call makers and past champion callers for both duck and goose calling. You can usually buy a duck or goose call combo with instructional CDs at stores.

Q: What is the best way to set up if I only have a limited number of decoys?

A: Scouting - getting to know the area and where and how many ducks or geese are hitting a certain hole/field. You don’t need a ton of decoys if you are in the right spot. Try to keep the sun at your back.

Q: What is your favorite way to hunt ducks?
A: I love to hunt ducks on river bottoms either out of a boat on or near a sand bar. Also love to hunt ducks in corn fields.

Q: What do you do if ducks or geese are “short stopping” your decoy spread?

A: The first thing I would look at is the wind - did it change direction? I would make adjustments by moving the blinds and or decoy spread. After that I would start looking at the hide/blinds - are ducks or geese seeing me? Is someone not getting down in their blinds or moving too much? Is the dog jumping? Then I would look at decoy placement once again - am I closing off the hole where I want them to finish?

Q: What is the best call to use for pressured or “call shy” ducks?
A: Usually later on in the season this happens. I simply cut back on calling or sometimes don’t call at all. Make a read on what ducks are doing when you call to them. If they like what they hear, most likely they will make a turn and give you a look. Call shy ducks can also mean pressure. If you are on a public hunting spot, look what hunters around you are doing. Are they using motion in their decoy spread, how many decoys are they using, are they killing ducks? Remember to scout. Especially later in the season, their patterns will change when pressured or during full moon phases and tend to feed at night.
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