Blowing Short Reed Goose Calls
Blowing a short reed goose call is complicated and learning how can be easily discouraging to beginners. With modern goose calls, designs have changed and calling geese is easier than ever. There are two main styles of Canada goose calls and each style has its purpose. In addition to the short reed goose call, there are goose flute calls, which are long, easy to use calls that create good quality sounds and have a smaller learning curve.
The current go-to call for Canada geese is the short reed goose call. They are a fairly new design and create amazingly realistic goose sounds. With a quality short reed call and practice, you can create virtually every tempo and sound a honker or flock of Canada geese can make. The drawback to a short reed call is it requires some practice just to learn the basic operation.
Short reed goose calls are dependent on the use of both hands to limit air flow and create back pressure. One hand is used to hold the end of the call between your index finger and thumb with all of the fingers curled into a “C” shape. The other hand cups and covers the “C” – shaped opening. The hands essentially become a tonal chamber used to manipulate the sounds of the call.
As with duck calling, goose calling requires the use of your diaphragm to control air pressure. By squeezing and holding your stomach muscles tight, you build air pressure in your lungs allowing you to maintain a controllable air flow.
Along with hand manipulation and diaphragmatic air pressure, the basic operation of a short reed goose call relies on the use of your tongue to further manipulate the air flow through the call. The tone and volume are regulated by the amount of air and the pressure pushed through the call.
Now that you understand the basic operation of a short reed goose call, we will begin to work on making some goose sounds. A honk is a call that breaks from a low note to a high note. To make the honk, you can say a few different words, such as Goo-wit, Grr-it, or Too-it. To get the call to break the notes, start blowing into the call with a deep grunt to produce the lower note. As you are making the lower note, begin pushing your tongue upward constricting the opening in your mouth. As you constrict the opening, the pressure increases and the air moves faster over the reed, causing it to break into the higher note.
Continue practicing this technique until you can consistently control the break and dual tones. Once you can comfortably create a basic honk, you can begin to incorporate it into the various basic goose calls.
The Greeting Call
The greeting call is a series of basic honks used to grab the attention of geese approaching your position. To make the greeting call you blow “Goo-wit, Goo-wit, Goo-wit” in a loud, continuous string until the geese turn your direction. Once the geese turn in your direction, increase the cadence, or speed, and lower the volume as the geese get closer.
The cluck is a single note, fast, choppy version of a honk used to guide the flock into your decoy spread. To make the cluck you say “Gwit, Gwit, Gwit” in a fast and steady pace. Continue clucking at the same speed and decreasing the volume as the geese fly closer.
The Double Cluck
The double cluck is made by changing hand positions for each note. Your hands remain open for one cluck and closed for the next cluck.
The Comeback Call
The comeback call is a three note call used to draw the geese back if they drift away from your decoy spread. To make the comeback call you say “To-it-ha” holding the note for a second. Repeat the call until the flock turns back toward your position.
The Laydown call
The laydown call is a series of single note growls used to convince the geese to land. To make the laydown call you say “Grrr-Grrr-Grrr” in a low, deep voice. Continue repeating this call when the geese are on their final approach. To make the laydown call even more effective, you can mix in a few short, soft clucks.
With these basic calls, you have the ability to consistently draw the attention of geese and bring them into shot range. As your calling skills increase, you can begin expanding your arsenal of calls, such as the moan, feeding call, the buzz cluck, and the spit note. Every call offers a different message and may improve your hunting experience.