Fooling Wily Webfoots

From  one of my outdoor writer friends and the Williamson County Tourism Bureau....

FOOLING WILY WEBFOOTS

In the world of waterfowl hunters, the Mississippi Flyway is the home of great waterfowl callers and hunters.  Becoming one of them takes time and patience.

Southern Illinois callers' winning ways in competitive calling contests and in the waterfowl blind recommends them to all who pursue the wily webfoot.

When asked what is most important in goose hunting, they often respond by saying, "You have to fool 'em."  Southern Illinois callers have been "fooling 'em" for many years.

Their recommendation is to learn early on to make clucks and moans to perfection. These two calls are the most important in both the hunting and contest setting.  Hunters need to keep a record of what calls work best under what conditions.  One must change game plans from time to time as birds become "educated."  The same presentation does not always work.

More than one Williamson County caller reports learning from the birds of the nearby Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge.  Once one has learned the mechanics of calling, it is important to try out your technique on the "real thing."  There is no substitute for wild waterfowl.

Another secret is to practice a lot.  Begin in late summer calling to geese on the refuge in order to find the best pitch and tone.  Different birds will respond to different tones and pitches.  A good path to success is to locate a bird flying alone, apparently without his mate.  Then vary the pitch and tone until you find one that to which he will respond.  Then call it into hunting range.

Almost all of the better known goose callers prefer the flute type of call.  It is more difficult to master but gives more volume under both hunting and competition situations.  Duck callers prefer double reed calls.

Regardless how one comes to waterfowl calling, it is easy to get into it.  There are numerous video and audio instruction tapes on the market.  It is possible to get instruction, via the tapes, from the very best callers in the world.  These tapes and calls are available in sporting goods stores as well as through mail order from the makers or catalog stores.

Once the basics have been mastered it is time to go out and try those wild birds.  Observe the actions and reactions of the birds.  Learn from observation, what techniques produce the best results.

There is a satisfaction in "fooling 'em" that is unmatched other types of hunting.  Developing the skills to imitate the sounds of waterfowl is a rewarding experience, both in personal satisfaction or in competetition.

For more information about waterfowl hunting in Williamson County and the surrounding area, contact Williamson County Tourism Bureau.  They have a free full color brochure with all the detailed information needed.  Ask for the "Hunting Guide 2010-2011."

Free information regarding motel accommodations and points of interest is also available from Williamson County Tourism Bureau, 1602 Sioux Drive, Marion, Illinois 62959 or by calling 1-800-GEESE-99.  Information is also available online at: visitsi.com, the Williamson County Tourism Bureau website.  Their e-mail address is: sjohnson@visitsi.com

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