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Barnie Calef’s Boat, Blind and Dog

provided by John E. Phillips 

Mossy Oak Waterfowl Pro Barnie Calef from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is a leading authority on waterfowl hunting and has won three World Duck Calling Championships. Calef travels the nation teaching waterfowling seminars for many of the nation’s leading outdoor companies. “I can’t remember when I didn’t wear Mossy Oak camouflage,” Calef says. “I believe in it, and that’s why I wear it.” Calef masterfully calls ducks with his Calef Calls Inc. brand. The migration has about ended, and we wanted to know how Calef finds, calls, decoys and takes ducks in his home state of Iowa.

Barnie Calef

I have an Alweld 20-foot long and 72-inch wide boat that I bought from SW Marine in Palo, Iowa, and have a SW Marine blind on it. Back when I was making duck-hunting DVDs, SW Marine Inc., gave me a boat, motor, trailer and blind to use when I did my videos. Then at the end of 3 years, I was to sell it, and they’d give me another one. After the first 3 years, I had a buyer for my boat and blind, but SW Marine Inc. was so busy building boats and blinds they weren’t able to provide me with another boat. So, I just bought the boat I had then, and I’ve been using it ever since. 

This boat and blind are built like a tank - very solid and stable. The boat is all aluminum and welded. The wires for my electronics run through a conduit welded to the side of the blind. Although, this boat and blind are fairly expensive, you’ll never have to buy another duck boat blind once you purchase this one. I put 4x4 hemp grass mats - on the blind. Too, since most of my hunting is along the Missouri River, we attach tumbleweeds to the grass mats, and that blind is almost totally invisible. Although I can carry six people in the boat, I’ve got it set up to take four comfortably. Then, we always have more room to move around and to stand up and shoot. If we take a dog, I have a dog ladder that I can put over the side of my boat.

The people I’m hunting with determine whether I take a dog or not. Many times, the fellows I hunt with will want to bring their dogs, and often I don’t have a dog. With my travel schedule and being a single guy, I don’t have any way to take care of a dog when I’m hunting and doing seminars. Having said that, I’m not traveling as much as I once did. I’ve been watching a buddy of mine work his dog and enjoying that. So more than likely, before long, I’ll have a dog. I’ve been really fortunate in my lifetime to hunt in Canada and most of the United States from the East Coast to the West Coast and from Canada to Texas and Louisiana. I hunt mostly the Mississippi Flyway and the Central Flyway.

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