GUEYDAN, La. (KLFY)– As much as Gueydan’s Duck Festival celebrates the duck hunting culture and heritage in the duck capital, attendees got to look at the uniqueness of making duck calls.
Haiden Richard is one of the call makers for Riceland Custom Calls in Hayes. The manufacturing place is in Hayes, but Richard specializes in making the duck calls he receives better if possible at his home in Erath.
“A call marker is fun. It’s something that takes a lot of work,” Richard said. “It’s a lot of stress. People don’t realize that side of it, but there is a lot of thought into this, and it’s a lot of hard work and keeping up with the demands of the people and honestly, just being loyal to the state is a pretty cool thing for us.”
Richard said he has always been really good at blowing duck calls.
“The thought of the ideas that come to my mind does play a part in, most of the time, designing and redesigning, reshaping the call industry on our side,” Richard said.
“To blow a call, it really does come from your throat, like your voice,” he added. “Everything you do is like your voice. You can change the pitch of the call—how we make and design them. What you’re trying to do you can change the pitch of your voice, which gives you different calls.”
“Then, you use the influx of your hand. That changes everything, too,” he explains as he uses a duck call.
Bill Daniel, owner of Riceland Custom Calls, said they make duck calls that have generational value.
“We take a lot of pride in making calls that sound really good and have a really good quality call that you can pass on to your kids and grandkids,” Daniel said.
Daniel said his speck calls are some of the most sought-after speck calls in the United States. In addition, they have been designing them and working on them since 2010. Daniel said he had sent speck and duck calls to 17 different countries.
“Our main goal is always to have a realistic sound where they sound like the birds we’re trying to get, and we have been pretty successful at duplicating the sounds of all the calls we make,” Daniel said. “They all sound like the birds that we’re supposed to be hunting.”
They make the calls to hunt all the species of ducks in Louisiana. He told News 10 that the prominent animal people like to hunt is the specklebelly goose.
“It’s a really big thing in our culture down here,” Daniel said. “Everybody loves to hunt specklebelly, especially around the Gueydan area.”
Richard said he had won the Gueydan’s Duck Festival calling contest in the last four years while using the custom calls with Daniels.
“In 2015, I was still kind of competing, but I wasn’t taking that seriously,” Richard said. “In ‘17, winning the Louisiana state was a big jump for me, and emotionally, I was happy about it. It was kind of my push into the call industry, where I wanted to get better and try to advance myself to a national level.”
Richard thanked Gueydan and said it was his stepping stone and a turning point in his career and getting better nationwide. Although he will not compete this year, he will judge the calling contest on Sunday.