I am by no means a great duck caller. If you’ve ever heard my name anywhere, it’s not been because you follow any professional calling circuit, frequent the street corners of Stuttgart, or subscribe to a “who’s who” of duck calling royalty. Nope, not me.
In fact, I am among those that believe quite firmly that the best duck call is the one that spends the least amount of time in your mouth. While calling is, at times, necessary, I’ve always believed it exposes the hunter and opens the door to error. Whereas if you don’t call, well, then you can’t screw it up and say the wrong thing to those cautious, wheeling mallards, right?
Of course, that being said, there is a time and a place, and when you are at such crossroads, you need to know you can count on – and be comfortable with – that piece of wood, polymer, acrylic, or whatever interesting material you have dangling around your neck.
For me, that has been the same couple of calls for quite a few years now. And like most hunters, the gear – our “tools of the trade” – whether calls, decoys, apparel, our cartridges – is a big part of our individual hunting story. And we all like shiny new toys, don’t we?
I first laid eyes on these calls on Instagram. Gorgeous calls. And a neat back story, with the “Siren” of mythological lore, luring sailors (or ducks, in this case!) to their demise, as their brand identity. Being a marketing guy when I am not outside chasing the wind, I liked the product these guys out of Farr West, Utah were putting out there – but can it sing as beautifully as it looks? It would be fun to find out.
A few conversations with the folks out there at Siren Duck Calls and I had my order in place to find an answer to my question.
Unfortunately, our Kansas duck season was nearing its end. My calls came with literally a couple days left on our late split. I wasted no time working them onto one of the brand new modSTRAP Lanyards that I had ordered along with the calls and let the music-making commence. With both a single-reed and their double reed offerings in hand it was time to test and tune and ready for some weekend action.
The website description lists the basics; acrylic barrels and inserts, angled tone boards, hand tuned and polished, and more. What really jumped out at me was how well tuned they were right out of the unique tubular packaging. These were basically ready to blow. I guess a lot of nice calls come that way these days, but I always feel like I need to tweak something a bit here or there. These were absolutely dead on, right out of the box.
Where singles are sometimes a little tricky if you aren’t used to them, my SR in Phoenix Red Pearl was immediately comfortable. It really did not take much effort at all – especially compared to other SRs I’ve blown – to get control of your voice and start to explore some of the additional sound variety and range you can get from an SR vs a DR. And – as SRs are supposed to be – it was plenty loud enough, but able to bring it back down and soften it to some degree. As an SR fan, I absolutely love the range and scale of this call.
Now, about that second Mythology – the double reed – in all of its Obsidian Black glory – hanging on the other side of my modSTRAP…
So the DR is definitely a raspy little dude. Great sound, but out of the box took a little more air to get down and ducky. I didn’t have to do as much with that air though, and was able to be as aggressive as I wanted. I don’t think this is unusual or unexpected from a DR, but for someone not used to carrying both, it will take getting used to. I prefer having both handy to be able to respond to a variety of situations. If you are strictly a DR blower, I think this call gives you more than enough – even with the limited scale that DRs sometimes force you into – to produce the sounds you are going to need for most of your hunting situations. I definitely did not feel like this DR was a “beginner’s” call, as some DRs are designed to be – but better yet a call that offers a good caller an opportunity to adapt in the right situations, but that is also easy to get raspy and ducky with for a beginner.
And then there’s the value proposition. I am definitely of the opinion that if anything, these calls were under-priced. An excellent value at the price-point of $95, these calls were consistent – from sound to craftsmanship to durability – with some of the big-name brands that you are paying $125-$150+ for. More than just an entry point into a high-end acrylic call… this is more of a “steal” in terms of value.
One thing I did not get to really put to the test that I think is important is how well the calls stand up in really nasty weather. I’ll definitely look forward to reporting back on that next season.
Here’s a quick share from the Siren YouTube page. This is 3x Utah State Duck Calling Champion Bret Wonnacott demonstrating a little work with the Mythology…
While my opportunities to blow at real ducks were fairly short with the season coming to a quick close, I definitely felt immediately comfortable with both calls, adding them to permanent positions on my new modSTRAP lanyard. And I did actually get to take a few mallards over them, for good measure. Regardless of your situation – big/open water, timber, ponds, fields, etc. – having these two calls hanging from your lanyard should give you plenty to throw out there when those birds aren’t sucking right in and need a little talking-to.
I am absolutely looking forward to having these around my neck next season – and can’t wait to see what these guys from Utah come up with next. (Hint, GOOSE CALLS, Siren!)
And… so, by the way, yes -They do blow as good as they look.
For a few more shots of these calls, check out my earlier post HERE.