ANATOMY OF A CALL

SHORT-REED, LONG-REED, OR FLUTE? DIG INTO THE GUTS OF A GOOSE CALL TO DE­CIDE WHICH ONE IS BEST FOR YOU

Outdoor Life - - HUNTING - BY TOM CAR­PEN­TER

Run­ning a goose call with­out un­der­stand­ing its in­ner work­ings is akin to play­ing an in­stru­ment with­out know­ing whether you’re blow­ing into a trum­pet or a sax­o­phone. So we had John Tay­lor, call crafts­man and goose-call­ing cham­pion (bay­coun­try calls.com), and An­thony Foster, prod­uct en­gi­neer at Pri­mos Hunt­ing (pri­mos.com), cut their calls in half, ex­plain the op­er­a­tions in­side, and de­scribe how to play each one.

SHORT-REED AND LONG-REED CALLS

How they work: “There are three main com­po­nents to any goose call,” says Tay­lor. “The bar­rel, the in­sert, and the gut as­sem­bly.” The in­sert holds the gut as­sem­bly, which in­cludes the tone board, a my­lar reed, and the wedge. “Like a car’s en­gine,” he says, “a call’s gut as­sem­bly is what makes it go.”

Air push­ing the my­lar reed against the tone board makes

goose sounds. The nat­u­ral bend of the reed is po­si­tioned up­ward to re­duce stick. You must cup your hands over the call to cre­ate back pres­sure and vi­brate the reed, which dis­torts the sound and cre­ates a re­al­is­tic hooonkkk.

Tun­ing is crit­i­cal. “The length of the bar­rel, the length and ta­per of the reed, how the gut as­sem­bly is tuned —it all af­fects the sound,” says Tay­lor. A wedge closer to the front of the call al­lows less air to work against the reed, cre­at­ing higher-pitched sounds. A wedge far­ther back al­lows more air to pass over the reed and makes for lower-pitched sounds. “The best calls are tuned in the mid­dle, to of­fer both high and low notes.”

Long-reeds are eas­ier to blow, and it takes less air to break into the two-tone sound of a goose. Shorter calls take more air and are harder to blow, but are louder and higher-toned.

When to run ’em: The short-reed’s high pitch is ideal for early sea­sons, when flocks ex­pect to hear young, ex­citable birds on the ground.

Long-reed calls shine later in the year, when flocks are led by ma­ture birds, and nat­u­ral goose sounds are lower and more gut­tural.

FLUTE CALLS

How they work: A flute call, also called a res­o­nant-cham­ber call, has an ex­tra cham­ber at the far end, so ap­ply­ing back pres­sure with your hands (like you would with a short­reed call) is less im­por­tant.

“Calls like Pri­mos’ Honky Tonk, Canada Goose Flute, and Big Easy give you that con­stric­tion to help make the breaks, which make re­al­is­tic sounds with­out your hav­ing to use cupped hands to do it,” says Foster. Flute calls also typ­i­cally don’t need tun­ing.

When to run ’em: This is the ev­ery­man’s (and woman’s) call. Flutes are rel­a­tively easy to blow and fool­proof. This is the call you want if you’re mainly a duck hunter but want to give pass­ing geese a try. Some­times the hol­low honks of a flute will get the job done when noth­ing else will, which is why even vet­eran call­ers carry a flute.

The sim­plic­ity of blow­ing a flute also makes it ideal for frigid­weather hunt­ing be­cause the call it­self takes care of back pres­sure, ver­sus hav­ing to muf­fle the sounds with gloved hands.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.