Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Duck Commander Drake Whistle

This is Cutter looking over his shoulder as I'm trying to take a picture of him...he was watching a mallard as it flew by us from behind me...
I thought it was the last weekend for ducks and next weekend was the late season for geese. As it turns out, ducks will be open next weekend as well. Who knows what the weather will do but this storm has brought a ton of ducks to the river.
It's been a weird season for sure. Early on we had a cold snap and the river was packed full of ducks but over Christmas, the temps rose into the forties and some of the small water opened back up. The ducks left but they didn't go far. Even some of the early ducks stuck it out. In fact, I've shot two gadwalls in the past couple days and missed a chance at a pintail. But that's up in Wolf Creek and further south, it would appear that everything was locked up and the birds were already gone. Not so much...
Late in the season, ducks get pretty fricken smart and they don't want to come to a call and if your decs have any snow on them or if they're sitting still in stagnant water forget it; they'll flare before they get anywhere near shotgun range.
We have a running joke out here that involves the Duck Commander drake whistle. We pull it out when nothing's happening or when we can't get a duck to even take a look and blow it and say, "All right, get ready. Something's going to happen..." Then if anything comes in, in the next hour we attribute it to the whistle. We owe that to John Arnold because a few years ago he said it was the only call you needed and once we bought one we would throw every other call out. The truth is, I've never called a duck in with it and I thought John was full of crap until tonight.
I winged a drake early this afternoon and Cutter chased it across the river. As he swam after it, the drake kept quacking but it was more of a whistle than a quack. It was a short note that carried a very long ways. Whenever I've heard the Duck Commander whistle, it was done with a long "dureeeeeeb," type of sound starting low and opening up at the end. In fact, if you read the directions on the package, that's how they tell you to use it. So I started making really short whistles staying with the same kind of attack but more like, "dreep, dreep, dreep...." I switched back and forth to my traditional call but much quieter and very sparingly.
HUGE difference. I never did get a duck to actually land in the decs but they were definitely taking plenty of looks and giving me plenty of opportunities. Some actually landed just behind me or just down river if I didn't get a shot, which ended up allowing me to put the sneak on them and jump them.
Cutter and I wound up getting five tonight and we never did get the one he had chased across the river. He gave it his best but that drake's webbed feet were a little better this time than Cutter's. It's the first duck he hasn't been able to retrieve all season and given the fact that he's retrieved a number of cripples that floated down river from other hunters, plus the few that have dove on him that he waits out and eventually gets, I'd say that he's done an amazing job being only 2 years old.
I also missed PLENTY this evening as usual so I would say the action was pretty stellar. I probably won't be throwing all my calls away but I definitely have a better appreciation for the whistle.
Keep 'em where they live...

1 comment:

  1. I just read this post...sounds like a third grader wrote it. I should do a better job proof reading.