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What Are Goose Calls?

By T. Carrier
Updated May 23, 2024
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Goose calls are artificial devices that mimic the sounds produced by different varieties of geese or similar birds. They are primarily used by hunters to attract potential prey. Manufacturers offer two basic types of goose calls: the flute call and the short-reed call.

The goose is a type of bird that may be found on land or in water. Females of this type bear the actual name of geese, while males are known as ganders. They are primarily found in North America and include many subtypes, like Canadian geese.

Generally, goose calls come in two varieties. One type is long and thin. A goose caller simply holds this structure by the fingers and blows on one end. Due to its composition and the manner in which it is used, this variety of goose call is known as a flute call.

The other primary goose call type, the short-reed call, has the shape of a small, compact barrel. Individuals may hold this device in the palm while blowing on it. Like the flute call, this goose call may be created from wood, metal, or plastic.

Parts like wedges and reeds create the simulated sounds characteristic of goose calls. In some brands, these parts are shaved, which is alleged to result in a more realistic sound. The reed and a portion known as the gut is usually secured inside a small hole that creates pressure. Pitches, tones, and distance ranges will vary on different products.

A quality goose call should recreate a number of unique bird sounds. Geese cluck, moan, and growl, so a goose call should produce these sounds in turn. The devices will usually also reproduce the screams of these animals. The most efficient goose calls can mime the sounds of many different species. Produced sounds should be as naturalistic as possible.

A number of hunting hobbies employ goose calls, including goose hunting, duck hunting, and waterfowl hunting. In order to effectively use a goose call, a hunter should study the habits and calls of the desired bird. Geese, for example, tend to land when they believe they have found a good feeding area. Initial calls, therefore, should replicate the normal chatter of geese as they feed. Noise should be slow, clear, and not too loud to gain a flock's attention.

For full effectiveness, hunters may wish to use goose calls in tandem with other techniques. Many hunters, for example, place decoy animals around an area to further trick the potential prey. Directing a call toward the leader of a flock may also prove effective. Further, a hunter should usually raise the volume of calls when geese are landing. Experimentation with the call device can help the user master the needed modulations.

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