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The 6 Best Goose Calls for Waterfowl Hunters

  • April 5, 2017 /

6 Best Goose CallsIf waterfowl hunting is as much a part of your life as breathing, sleeping and eating, you care about the quality of your goose call and likely own more than one. It’s easy to understand why: Luring birds can be tricky business and hunters need all the help they can get to return from hunting trip overloaded with water game. We’d like to help you choose a goose call that works so well, you bring back geese rather than stories about the ones that got away.

Your history lesson

When you’re out in a blind with time to pass, show fellow hunters that you’re more than a good sportsman by sharing some history about calls. The first designs were hand-made, rudimentary woodwind instruments that emitted waterfowl calls, but with time came innovation, like the ability to adjust volume and tone. After all, every bird has a unique “voice.” How far back to bird callers go? The answer could surprise you: they were commonplace in the Far East as early as 1678.

The first patent was awarded to a dude named Elam Fisher in 1870, despite the fact that another sportsman named Fred Allen beat him to the punch and invented his design 20 years earlier. Fisher’s biggest contribution to the hunting community are Tongue Pincher Duck Calls, but sadly, these required many refinements before they came into common use because the metal embellishments froze to hunter’s lips. So much for that idea!

Duck, Duck; Goose Goose!

Whether it was just more convenient to give his product the name duck caller or people were so happy to be able to purchase Tongue Pinchers, nobody complained that there was no comparable product on the market for the goose crowd, that all changed when David Fuller applied for a goose call patent in 1885.

It didn’t take Einstein to come up with the clever change necessary to attract geese over ducks: A single screw was removed from the barrel of duck callers, and voila! Calling all geese. From 1900 to 1910, the number of new calls on the market exploded. Manufacturers and crafters experimented with rubber, altered shapes and developed sophisticated groove and cork locking systems.

Wood vs. Plastic

When plastic came onto the scene, hunters realized that this material delivered louder calls that carried further than calls made of wood, so despite complaints about the price of some acrylic models, each found its place in the scheme of things. Many hunters develop a preference for one or the other based on performance and experience.

Acrylic calls are ideal for large, open areas, while wood performs better in a swamp or forest. Wood remains a nostalgic favorite and offers more variety than does plastic. Cedar, cherry, oak, persimmon and other exotic woods are used to make calls produced by crafters, hunters and sporting goods companies alike. Some are affordable. Others? Not so much. Variety? It doesn’t get any better!

The 6 Best Goose Call Products on the Market

We don’t have to tell you that shopping is a subjective activity, right? You have your own standards, expectations, needs and budget, so there is no “one size fits all” in this product area. Culling opinions from goose hunters who do more than hunt occasionally, we’ve unearthed a group of picks, one of which may be perfect for you. But if you happen to crave more than one, we want you to know that we get it!

1) Eastern Shoreman Canada by Sean Mann

You may wish to sit down before ordering the Cadillac of Goose Calls for two reasons: the price tag is steep and because this product is hand-crafted, getting your hands on one can be hard since they sell out fast, despite the cost. But what attracts hunters to this call consistently (despite the price) is quality of performance waterfowl hunters experience when they invest in this Sean Mann design. Innovative technology stands behind this call’s success. Don’t expect a traditional “flute-style” call; instead, you enjoy a variety of pitches that range from “snappy highs” to “throaty lows.”

This luxury goose caller is fashioned of exotic Bocote wood and comes in various colors. If you’ve had occasion to research opinions on goose calls, the name Eastern Shoreman Canada by Sean Mann will look familiar because this product is consistently rated at or near the top of preference lists for all the right reasons: durability, material, performance and the most important element of all: the success sporting folks enjoy when they compare this goose call to all others. Ready to take out your checkbook? You won’t mind it once you see how amazing this call happens to be.

2) Adrenaline by Field Proven Calls

Does the brand name look familiar? It should. Field Proven Calls has been around for 16 years. The company belongs to Field Hudnall and his designs have won international competitions, placing in the top 5 for 76 of 84 different contests. As host for Ducks Unlimited Television, he’s been around the block—make that blind—and demands perfection. You may find it too by making the Adrenaline your favorite goose caller.

While not inexpensive, the Adrenaline is fabricated of ivory-colored acrylic material so it has a smooth, polished appearance and feel. Lightweight and nearly impossible to break, this product has one feature you won’t find in the Eastern Shoreman: The Mark 2 Semi-worn gut system that delivers some of the most realistic goose calls on the planet. Designed for a variety of conditions that include field and water hunting, high wind days and times when you need optimal performance (including contest calling), this call wasn’t given the name Adrenalin on a whim.

3) Rich-N-Tone Goozilla Call

The fun name alone is sure to call out to you when you shop but it’s the affordable price that is likely to get you to take out the plastic. The Goozilla is part of the company’s Quackhead line of products that is immodestly touted as the only caller you need to bring “monster geese into shotgun range.” In fact, this product makes the perfect call for hunters just getting into the sport because it performs nicely and does so on a shoestring.

This medium-range call satisfies newbies who have yet to master the art of volume control but it also delights hunters who have trained themselves to moderate their breathing and can therefore maximize the impact of a single breath. Crafted of polymers known for temperature and weather tolerance, this clear call broadcasts best in the early morning hours when it’s quiet and just growing light. Keep it in your pocket, backpack or follow the advice of seasoned geese hunters and stick it into a shotgun shell holder so it’s always handy.

4) Bushnell Performance Optics 866 Honky Tonk Goose Call

Get style, brand excellence and low price in one popular caller package when you add the 866 Honky Tonk to your hunting gear. The Bushnell library is well-known to those who seek high-quality engineering and design that performs in the worst weather. As a matter of fact, when temperatures drop, even if things get frigid and you find yourself asking, “What the Hooded Duck am I doing crouched in the woods?” this call will keep performing while answering that question.

This sleek black caller is a short reed model that delivers a variety of tones, yet you won’t hyperventilate to sound them. Reliable and easy to disassemble for cleaning, the patented design will call out to you if style is important, but it’s your ability to transition from low moans to high honks that will delight you the most when you’re out in the blind. The brand is reliable. The cleaning is a breeze. And you don’t have to empty your bank account to purchase this handy call either.

5) Buck Gardner Canada Hammer

If just the mention of Canada attracts you to a goose call brand, Buck Gardner is likely already on your radar. The name of this call pays tribute to flyways along which geese migrate from Canada during hunting season. Brand fans like this goose call because it promises to “hammer away at geese all day long,” while not taking up much room in your pocket or vest. Nor does it weigh much if you wear your call around your neck. Known as one of the best goose calls for the price, you can perform calls, clucks and hails effortlessly from the get-go.

Fitted with a hand-shaved reed, devotees take pride in the fact that this is one of the rare hand-carved products on today’s market, so if this is your criteria, having an inexpensive price tag might just seal the deal for you. A weather-resistant brass strip wraps around the unit like a cigar band. It’s extra touches like this one that will make fellow duck hunters suspect that you spent more bucks on this call than you’re willing to admit.

6) Flambeau Max 4 Long Honker Goose Flute

If you love the idea of owning an Eastern Shoreman Canada by Sean Mann but you’d have to move out of your house after informing your wife about the amount of your purchase, split the difference and invest in a Flambeau Max 4 Long Honker Goose Flute. Once upon a time, flutes were the only goose calls on the market so if you love tradition, this may be your new best friend in the field. Capable of emitting long, deep, bellowing calls plus honks, moans and murmurs, the Max 4 broadcasts across fields, marsh, lakes and other terrain.

Made from a polycarbonate, the Max 4 Goose Flute may look like the brand’s original walnut model, but long after wood shows its age, this plastic call will keep going. Due to the length of this call, you can’t always tuck it into your pocket, but you can stuff it into a backpack or wear it on a cord around your neck. For price, weight and performance, don’t be surprised if you charm geese right out of the skies with this mellow-toned goose caller.