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We always called them English Calling Hens.


Be careful what you wish for THEY NEVER SHUT UP regards
 

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I did the same thing. Thought they might be something like our old "Suzies" which were outlawed in the US a hundred years ago.
Why were they outlawed? Do you mean they were outlawed to use as live decoys?
 

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Call ducks were originally bred as live decoys. They were bred to be small (fit in a coat pocket) and to be extremely vocal. Call ducks are extremely popular in the exhibition poultry community, and aren't that difficult to locate. Try a poultry swap or livestock sale and you should be in luck.
 

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There is a fellow, Cody Ballinger, down in New Orleans that has them. I will see if I can find his contact information.
 

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My friend breeds them. I have thought about using them for training, but am unsure of the legality of this. They are not a hunted waterfowl species so should be okay to use as training birds without having a clipped toe, am I correct?
 

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Our local poultry auction often has them. Too expensive to use as training birds! They are popular as hobby birds because they're tamer than a lot of duck breeds and they're small, so they don't take up as much space as Muscovy and some of the larger domestic breeds.
 

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Why were they outlawed? Do you mean they were outlawed to use as live decoys?
To save me a lot of writing I copied the following from an old waterfowl site...


Marketing Hunting Methods
Market hunters used many methods and tools to kill ducks. A hunter would get up before dawn and work until dusk. The tools and methods he developed allowed him to kill the largest quantity of ducks possible. As years went by and more regulations came into place to protect future populations of ducks, more of these methods became illegal or were restricted.
Punt Guns
Market hunters wanted to kill the most ducks possible in the shortest amount of time, so they devised several ways of accomplishing this. The least sporting method was the use of the punt gun to kill diving ducks. The punt gun was a huge single- or multi-barreled shotgun about ten feet long that could carry up to two pounds of shot or scrap iron and five ounces of powder.(Ted Jamison audio on punt gun) It was too heavy to carry, so after loading it, the hunter positioned it on a sneak boat, its stock cradled with a cushion of pine needles against the back of the boat, the barrel lying down pointed slightly above the bow. Often the boat and gun were both painted white as a camouflage against casting a silhouette in the moonlight. The hunter pushed the boat silently and slowly through the water until it reached a raft of ducks sleeping on the water. He fired, killing 30 to 100 ducks at once, then paddled around picking up the catch, which was packed in ice and shipped in boxes via train to Chicago, St. Louis, Boston, Philadelphia, or New York.

Ambush
Another method along the Illinois, described by Joseph Long in 1874, was "bushwhacking." A hunter sneaked up on an unsuspecting flock of resting birds and fired both barrels, killing a dozen or more ducks. In 1887 Illinois had only three game wardens. There were no limits on birds until 1909.



Baiting field

Baiting
The punt gun was not the only method of duck hunting that was outlawed as the duck population decreased. From about 1900 to 1920, hunters had success in using grains such as wheat, corn, and barley in fields as a substitute for the natural food sources lost along the Illinois River when the Lake Michigan diversion caused high water levels. Before being outlawed in 1935, baiting of ducks was a successful technique to attract ducks. Baiting was temporarily restricted in 1909, when the bag limit was further lowered to fifteen. After baiting was outlawed, some decoy carvers made decoy ears of corn as an experiment to attract ducks.

Live Decoys
Another ploy used since before 1800 was to set live decoys, English Callers or Mallards, on tethers in front of a blind. Passing ducks would be attracted to the hunter's flock and land nearby. Some hunters kept a trained 'flier' to lure birds within range.

The tether usually had a six-foot cord attached to a lead weight that was anchored in shallow water. At the other end were two leads that fit around the duck's feet or neck. Each lead swiveled so the duck could swim or fly in any direction without getting tangled. An advertisement in a hunting magazine advised hunters to attach live decoys by the neck so as not to injure their feet.

Live decoys were usually raised from ducklings or purchased for the purpose. The loudest specimens were chosen for the job. Two or three females were set out on the pond or lake out of sight of one another and would begin to call to each other and any ducks flying overhead. A 1932 federal law limited the number of live decoys a hunter could put out to 25, and three years later live decoys and baiting were made illegal.
 

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We shot some pre national training and those sucker were the best flyers I have ever seen. I would like to get some for pets they are cool. Look like mallards just smaller and fly like rockets.
 

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I'm lucky enough to have a friend who raises them for the ornamental market and gets what I think crazy money for the smallest, most round headed ones, but has given me culls when I've wanted them. The trick if you're wanting to keep them around people is to only have males, as the hens' calling gets old quick.
 

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Call ducks are $$$. I doubt anyone shoots actual call ducks for fliers.

Check Craigslist. Usually, local bird clubs sell culls. The lowest price I've come across probably 5 months ago was $25 for an immature bird.
 

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Well we shot the snot out of them pre national training 2003. I am not sure where Mark got them he kept some for awhile. I thought they were too cute to shoot. I would like to get a few just to have I don't think I could shoot them. I had to listen to them every morning while doing yard work. They did fly better than any mallard I have seen yet to date.
 

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The fellow I know in New Orleans uses them for flyers/training ducks. The hens never shut up.
 

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To save me a lot of writing I copied the following from an old waterfowl site...


Marketing Hunting Methods
Market hunters used many methods and tools to kill ducks. A hunter would get up before dawn and work until dusk. The tools and methods he developed allowed him to kill the largest quantity of ducks possible. As years went by and more regulations came into place to protect future populations of ducks, more of these methods became illegal or were restricted.
Punt Guns
Market hunters wanted to kill the most ducks possible in the shortest amount of time, so they devised several ways of accomplishing this. The least sporting method was the use of the punt gun to kill diving ducks. The punt gun was a huge single- or multi-barreled shotgun about ten feet long that could carry up to two pounds of shot or scrap iron and five ounces of powder.(Ted Jamison audio on punt gun) It was too heavy to carry, so after loading it, the hunter positioned it on a sneak boat, its stock cradled with a cushion of pine needles against the back of the boat, the barrel lying down pointed slightly above the bow. Often the boat and gun were both painted white as a camouflage against casting a silhouette in the moonlight. The hunter pushed the boat silently and slowly through the water until it reached a raft of ducks sleeping on the water. He fired, killing 30 to 100 ducks at once, then paddled around picking up the catch, which was packed in ice and shipped in boxes via train to Chicago, St. Louis, Boston, Philadelphia, or New York.

Ambush
Another method along the Illinois, described by Joseph Long in 1874, was "bushwhacking." A hunter sneaked up on an unsuspecting flock of resting birds and fired both barrels, killing a dozen or more ducks. In 1887 Illinois had only three game wardens. There were no limits on birds until 1909.



Baiting field

Baiting
The punt gun was not the only method of duck hunting that was outlawed as the duck population decreased. From about 1900 to 1920, hunters had success in using grains such as wheat, corn, and barley in fields as a substitute for the natural food sources lost along the Illinois River when the Lake Michigan diversion caused high water levels. Before being outlawed in 1935, baiting of ducks was a successful technique to attract ducks. Baiting was temporarily restricted in 1909, when the bag limit was further lowered to fifteen. After baiting was outlawed, some decoy carvers made decoy ears of corn as an experiment to attract ducks.

Live Decoys
Another ploy used since before 1800 was to set live decoys, English Callers or Mallards, on tethers in front of a blind. Passing ducks would be attracted to the hunter's flock and land nearby. Some hunters kept a trained 'flier' to lure birds within range.

The tether usually had a six-foot cord attached to a lead weight that was anchored in shallow water. At the other end were two leads that fit around the duck's feet or neck. Each lead swiveled so the duck could swim or fly in any direction without getting tangled. An advertisement in a hunting magazine advised hunters to attach live decoys by the neck so as not to injure their feet.

Live decoys were usually raised from ducklings or purchased for the purpose. The loudest specimens were chosen for the job. Two or three females were set out on the pond or lake out of sight of one another and would begin to call to each other and any ducks flying overhead. A 1932 federal law limited the number of live decoys a hunter could put out to 25, and three years later live decoys and baiting were made illegal.
yep.... understand that. but your original post

I did the same thing. Thought they might be something like our old "Suzies" which were outlawed in the US a hundred years ago.
Implies they have been outlawed... they are outlawed to use as live decoys but not to own.
 

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Sorry I didn't mean that, I should have been more specific. It didn't occur to me that anyone would want them for anything other than hunting. Learn something new everyday.

John
 
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