Running a goose call without understanding its inner workings is akin to playing an instrument without knowing whether you’re blowing into a trumpet or a saxophone. So we had John Taylor, call craftsman and goose-calling champion, and Anthony Foster, product engineer at Primos Hunting, cut their calls in half, explain the operations inside, and describe how to play each one.
Short-Reed and Long-Reed Calls
How they work: “There are three main components to any goose call,” says Taylor. “The barrel, the insert, and the gut assembly.” The insert holds the gut assembly, which includes the tone board, a mylar reed, and the wedge. “Like a car’s engine,” he says, “a call’s gut assembly is what makes it go.”
Air pushing the mylar reed against the tone board makes goose sounds. The natural bend of the reed is positioned upward to reduce stick. You must cup your hands over the call to create back pressure and vibrate the reed, which distorts the sound and creates a realistic hooonkkk.
Tuning is critical. “The length of the barrel, the length and taper of the reed, how the gut assembly is tuned —it all affects the sound,” says Taylor. A wedge closer to the front of the call allows less air to work against the reed, creating higher-pitched sounds. A wedge farther back allows more air…