Every goose caller practices simple sound sequences to coax geese towards them – these cadences.
Learning how to blow a goose call may take practice and patience, but with enough practice you will soon be creating sounds that attract geese to your spread.
Place Your Mouth
As a beginner in goose calling, your first task should be to properly position your call. Instead of bringing it close to your mouth as with a bugle call, place the goose call against the back of your lower lip like you would hold a drink bottle – this allows for easier airflow control and more natural sound production when breaking over goose calls. As with anything new you learn, practice will build muscle memory so when hunting season comes you won’t have to think about where exactly to place it when blowing.
At the core of learning to blow a goose call lies mastery of basic sound sequences and cadences. Experienced goose callers develop their own set of sounds they use to attract waterfowl into their decoy spread – such as honks, clucks and noises that resemble actual geese calls – making it easier for hunters to meet their hunting goals more quickly.
Once you understand how to create different sounds, you can experiment with various short reed goose calls to find one that meets your specific needs. Remember that success with short reed calls requires practice – don’t give up too quickly!
If you are new to goose calling, it may also be beneficial to seek guidance from an experienced hunter. Many hunters who have been hunting for years will gladly teach the ropes and help you become a more efficient caller; often this process is made much simpler when someone shows you. This is especially useful when beginning with short reed goose calls as investing some time and effort will result in successfully calling more geese!
Place Your Hands
Goose calls come in all styles and prices imaginable from different brands and manufacturers, from custom models to mass produced mass calls that may be more budget friendly. No matter which one you select, be sure it is easy for you to blow and produces the desired sound when hunting geese. Beginner or intermediate hunters should seek a shorter throated call which makes blowing easier without too much practice needed; longer throats might make blowing difficult without prior practice.
Once you have chosen your goose call, the next step is learning how to position it correctly in your mouth in order to produce an authentic sound. Unfortunately, this step can often prove challenging; one reason many struggle with goose calling is this difficult step. In general, placing the call between lips like when drinking out of a bottle will allow more airflow through it and create realistic honks from it.
One common error when performing calligraphy is placing it too high on one’s lips, leading to harsh or unnatural sounding tones. Instead, try placing your call closer to your gumline – this will not only help with volume and pitch but will also aid with volume control and pitch control for an enhanced calligraphic voice.
As well as strategically placing your hands, experienced hunters know how to control the amount of pressure applied to a call. While some may never need to apply any pressure at all to their call, others find that pushing harder brings greater results.
Skillful hunters also understand how to adapt the sound of their call depending on the situation they find themselves in. For instance, if moving a flock that has wandered too far from their decoy spread, they might use “to-it-ha” in a low voice to draw them back – this may not work as effectively but may still prove helpful in an emergency.
Place Your Fingers
Waterfowl hunters love hearing the distinctive call of Canada geese, but for novice callers learning to blow a goose call can be frustrating and demoralizing. Clucks and honks may sound more like party favor squawks than professional calls – leading some beginners to give up before ever truly getting started. Luckily, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of success as an beginning caller.
Beginner goose callers may find themselves confused on where to place their hands when blowing a goose call. A simple solution for beginners is folding your fingers together around the bottom of the call, as if holding it like a bottle; this will create an airtight seal and allow for easier control over air flow while producing various sounds.
Before using your call, position your thumb at the base to regulate how much pressure is applied and to change its tone and produce realistic-sounding honks and clucks.
Certain goose calls require more pressure than others, so it is important to find an approachable balance that works best for you. A too tight grip could strain fingers and lead to cramping while too loose will make controlling pressure difficult.
Once you’ve learned the fundamentals of goose calling, it’s time to explore different sounds and techniques in order to find what works best in your hunting situation. A three-note comeback call can be used to draw geese back when they stray away from your decoy spread – this can be accomplished by saying out loud “Goo-wit-wit Goo-wit” while simultaneously adjusting volume level for lower pitch calls.
Every goose caller must master an introductory sequence of honks. This series of single-note honks attract geese to your calling location and should be practiced until it can be performed consistently at the same speed.
Place Your Tongue
Waterfowl callers who excel in goose calling can produce the full spectrum of honks and clucks necessary to attract geese toward decoy spreads, yet for novice callers the process can be discouraging and dispiriting.
However, there are ways for novice callers to overcome common roadblocks that impede their efforts. According to experienced waterfowl guide and goose caller Steve Bierle, three of the most prevalent obstacles include not using proper mouth position, hand placement problems and having the incorrect tongue placement.
As soon as you begin using a goose call, place your tongue firmly against the bottom teeth in order to allow the tip of your reed to rest against the tone trough at the end of your call channel and create that signature goosey buzz.
Change the pitch and sound of your reed by moving your tongue in different positions as you make sounds on the call. Consistent tongue placement will result in better sounds; relax as much as possible before placing the call on it.
Once you master the fundamentals of goose calling, you can focus on developing sequences and cadences to entice geese into your decoy spread. Some basic sequences include greeting calls and lay down calls (composed of low honks and soft clucks used to convince geese to land in your field).
An important sequence in geese hunting is a comeback call, consisting of three single-note honks used to draw geese back toward your decoy spread should they stray. You may also use multiple honks as an indicator that it is time for shooting.
Goose callers should be able to produce these basic sequences, but mastering goose calling requires much more than knowing how to blow. Beginners should focus on positioning their hands to get maximum benefit from their call as well as proper mouth placement to create tone and volume for their sound. As more practice occurs with these techniques, successful goose calling should become much simpler this fall.