Goose Calls: What Type of Call Should I Use?

No other bird can make the sounds of a Canadian goose. They have an amazing vocal range that can very intimidating to emulate using a goose call. Luckily today hunters have a wide variety of goose calls they can choose from that are much easier to use than the old style call. The three primary goose calls I will cover in this article are short reed goose calls, flute calls, and double reed goose calls.

Every goose call consists of a few standard parts: barrel (mouthpiece), insert, wedge, tone board and the reed. Each part has an integral role in the effectiveness of a goose call. The barrel is where a hunter blows into the call. The insert is the part of the call that holds the other pieces such that the call can create the sounds of a Canadian goose. The tone board is what allows the goose call to create vibrations and sound; the wedge is what holds the reed and the tone board in place inside the insert. Finally the insert with all of the other pieces attached fits tight into the barrel.

What creates the sound of a goose call? The reed, tone board, and wedge are placed into the insert and when the call is put together sit inside the barrel. A hunter begins to blow into the call with air from the diaphragm which moves the reed in the chamber. This is followed by a short burst of air that snaps the reed open creating the distinct HONK of a goose.

Having covered the basic parts of a goose call, I will discuss the three types of goose calls used today:

1) The Double Reed Call

The double reed call has the same parts as the single reed call but employs a second reed in the call. One reed vibrates on exhale and the other on inhale. These are very easy to call, but have limited versatility. You are really limited to simple honks, but should be able to blow them fairly easily. These are great calls for absolute beginners and kids to use. Blowing a single note effectively is much better than blowing a whole bunch of notes horribly!

2) The Goose Flute

The goose flute was originally invented in the late 1950’s and was modified and improved in the late 1970’s. The goose flute has a very distinct and elongated insert section of the call. Having this long end of the call makes it easy for a hunter to create sounds with minimal air. Most goose flutes are made out of wood which allows for a more raspy sound when blowing the call. A great example of the goose flute is the Sean Mann express goose call.

The goose flute is a very useful call when over water, since it allows the hunter to lower pitched goose sounds with minimal effort. The goose flute is a fairly versatile goose call; it allows the hunter to make all of the sounds of the Canada goose. Two main advantages of the goose flute are the ease of which you can blow the call and the minimal air pressure a hunter has to blow the goose call. The main disadvantage of a goose flute is flexibility. The flute is hard to make lots of different sounds in rapid fashion.

3) Short Reed Goose Call

The short reed call is a relatively new product that was first introduced in the mid 1980’s. The short reed goose call is very versatile. It can make the low feeding sounds of the goose, high pitched clucks and of course honks. This type of goose call allows the hunter to create very loud sounds and many different sounds. The short reed goose calls are made out of either acrylic material or wood. Great examples of these types of calls are Tim grounds Super Mag, Zink Paralyzer and the Foiles Strait Meat goose call.

What makes this a short reed call? Unlike the goose flutes and double reed calls, this call has a very thin flexible reed which is dramatically shortened from a goose flute creating the short reed goose call. Also this call is often different than the other calls in that the pieces are held into place with a simple wedge and friction.

Without a doubt the short reed call is the most versatile goose call on the market today. They can create the largest variety of sounds and pitches. The drawback is that they can be relatively hard to blow if you have never blow a call before.

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