Calling All Ducks by John E. Phillips with Eli Haydel
Day 1: Knowing How to Make the Ducks Sit Down Right in Front of You with Eli Haydel
Editor’s Note: While chasing webfoots though the marshes and wetlands of southwest Louisiana for the last 50+ years, Eli Haydel, the founder of Haydel Game Calls and one of the nation’s leading duck callers, has learned how to read ducks as well as a postal worker reads dogs and knows which will bite.
Hiding in a pit barely above the water level, I peeked through the thickness that covered the top of the blind at a flight of incoming mallards. Eli Haydel of Bossier City, Louisiana, squatted next to me. While chasing webfoots though the marshes and wetlands of southwest Louisiana for the last 50 years, Haydel has learned how to read ducks as well as a postal worker reads dogs and knows which will bite. "There's no point in calling to those ducks because it won't work," Haydel announces. "We'll wait until we see some working ducks. Then I'll show you how to make them sit down right in front of us. The most-important factor in bagging ducks is not the hunter's skill in calling, but rather the hunter's ability to be where a duck wants to go and to have a realistic-looking decoy spread where the duck wants to light. If a sportsman is in a flyway where ducks normally feed, loaf or roost, he can take his limit of webfoots without ever blowing a call."
However, even if a hunter has a well-designed decoy spread positioned along a major flyway, a call can bring in birds that may not come just to the decoys alone. To successfully call ducks, you must know which ducks will and which ducks won't respond to a call. Haydel calls birds that will come to calls “working ducks.”
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About the Author
John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.