People far removed from the Duck hunting culture may have no idea that duck call competitions even exist. But for some hunters, they are a serious sport.  

What is a Duck Call?

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For the more novice hunter, the concept may be confusing. A duck call is a piece of equipment duck hunters use to lure ducks into the area they are hunting. The duck call mimics the sound ducks make in the wild. This tricks the ducks into believing there are others like them in the area. Many Duck Dynasty fans assume you simply blow into one of their famous Duck Calls, and the ducks come flying! However, it takes skill and experience to use a duck call to its best ability.  

Choosing a Duck Call

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The Duck Dynasty cast would tell you that the Duck Commander duck calls are the best in the business. Their success is surely a good indicator. However, Rick Dunno of “Echo Calls” told Ducks.org that buyers needed to consider many different factors. He stated, “Options that can affect a call’s tone, range, and sharpness include high or low volume; ringing or mellow tone; single or double reed; and acrylic, wood, or polycarbonate construction.”

So What Happens at a Duck Call Competition?

Well, you might assume that a duck call competition judges the number of ducks lured into the area. However, a duck call contest is more of a music competition. The competitors spend years perfecting different sounds and pitches. No hunting actually occurs during the event. The sounds made at duck call competitions also do not closely model a typical duck’s sound. They are exaggerations of practices used in hunting.  

It’s An Art Form

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Competition contestants put together routines. Each routine has to have a certain number of calls. The calls are primarily used as instruments. Judges decide based on control and use of the device. Butch Rickenback, an honorable mayor of Stuttgard, Arkansas told Ducks.org “A contest is not about actually calling ducks. What contest calling is all about is having total control of the duck call, being able to do anything you want with that call when you want to do it.” Duck callers must go up and down a scale of pitches and tones.

So What do the Duck Dynasty Cast Members Think of Competitions?

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Well, they’ve certainly been to them. John Godwin, a recurring cast member of Duck Dynasty, has said that he met Phil Robertson at a duck call competition as a child. His father asked him if he would be using his Duck Commander duck call in the contest. Godwin told his father the duck call wasn’t the best. Phil Robertson happened to be sitting in front of them turned around an introduced himself. He even helped Godwin tune the call, and eventually win the contest!

 

However, They think Hunting is a Better Judge

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Jase Robertson told Real Tree that he believes a call’s best judge is how many ducks it’ll bring in. He said the difference between Duck Commander and its competitors is that other companies want to win World Championships. “Well, our judges have wings,” he explained.  “When I see them respond, I don’t get off that call.”