John's Journal...

Secrets of the Duck-Hunting Pros

Barnie Calef

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: EveryClick to enlarge day of duck season professional duck guides have to produce ducks for their clients because hunters who have paid their money expect to have ducks in the decoys to take. We’ve interviewed guides from several points of the United States and Canada to learn their secrets. Barnie Calef of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a former World Duck Calling Champion who guides on the Missouri River and is a member of Hunter’s Specialties’ Pro Team, tells his secrets to bagging ducks every day of duck season.

Switch Your Hunting Site:
Calef observes that on some days ducks just won’t work. “No matter what you do, you can’t seem to get them to come into your blind. So, I change my position. Instead of huntingwith the wind to my back, I’ll move to the side of my decoy spread to a place where there’s acrosswind downwind of the decoys. Then when the ducks start to swing out past the decoys, I’ll be ready totake them.”

Belly-Shoot Ducks: Click to enlarge
“However, my very last-ditch secret tactic whenClick to enlarge I have to produce ducks for my hunters and the ducks won’t work is covering my duck boat up with grass and moving my boat,” Calef comments. “We’ll go  60 – 70 yards down from the decoys to the last point the birds will come to before they’ll flare. Then we’ll pass-shoot the ducks as they come to my decoys. I won’t call or even try to work the ducks with calls. I just let my decoys do the work. Then my hunters can shoot the ducks when they come into range. This duck-hunting scenario is about as bad as duck hunting can get. I call this secret strategy belly-shooting birds, and it works for me.”

Tomorrow: Chad Belding and Bob “Rip” Clark

Check back each day this week for more about "Secrets of the Duck-Hunting Pros"

Day 1: Jeff Poe of Lake Charles, Louisiana
Day 2: Billy Blakely
Day 3: Barnie Calef
Day 4: Chad Belding and Bob “Rip” Clark
Day 5: Snake River Secrets with Thayne Barrie


Entry 488, Day 3