The Heart of the Matter
As you have probably seen, there are many calls on the market. Mouth blown calls and Electronic calls dominate the market while there are calls that you shake, tap or rattle.
Until fall of 2008 I had only tried cassette tapes and the small hand held Cass Creek type call in the "electronics" arena. I had always felt like electronics took some of the sport out of it and the price of them was just not something I could justify.
I jumped in and bought a Johnny Stewart (distributed/owned by Hunter Specialties) PreyMaster 4 which is a wireless remote system. To date, it's the best money I have spent on predator hunting.
I have spent a good chunk of change on mouth blown calls over the years and here is the pile of them that I could round up for a picture.
Usually, I take 3 calls with me on trips to the field. I have to say this. Of all the calls I have tried over the years, the most productive call has been the original open reed Standard "Crit'R Call" from Rocky Mountain Wildlife Products. Carlton's Calls also makes a call like the Crit'R Call and it seems to work equally well.
The second most productive call has been the Government Hunter Cottontail from Haydel's Game Calls Inc. It is a fixed steel reed type call. Basically the same reed as many of the fixed reed calls use, however, I believe the thin plastic tube construction of the call changes the pitch and it has been more productive than any other fixed reed call I have used.
What I have come to believe is that it is not so much which call you use but Where, How and When you use it. That is the order of importance too.
Where you use it of course depends on what you have legal access to. However, just because you can hunt there doesn't mean there are coyotes waiting for your arrival. Pre-season scouting does include mushroom season, bluegill season, turkey season or any other time you happen to get the chance to check out the territory. Maybe you won't readily see any sign of coyotes but that does not mean they don't pass through the area. Talk to neighbors, see if they have spotted any coyotes in the area and if so where? What direction from your property? A call can bring a hungry coyote quite a distance and it helps if you know where they might come in from. If you hear of sightings be sure to ask what time of day. You might get an idea of a travel time frame for a local yote.
How to use a coyote call. I can and probably will include some actual sound files here but for now I will attempt to describe the method I have found productive.
There are basically 3 volumes that I work with.
Low Volume: This is simply exhaling your air through the call. Don't push it through, just breath hard enough to make a steady tone on the call. Too light and it fluctuates too hard and you have passed "Low Volume".
Medium Volume: Push your breath through harder to just below making an uneven or fluxuating tone. Practice and you will find the max pressure for each call. If it distorts the tone, you are pushing too hard. Your hand should be partially open and can close to taper off a squeal.
High Volume: You start with your hand partially open and come up with the pressure and open your hand all the way as you come up. Again, trying to stay below the distort range on the call, you can still get the volume using your hand as a shutter.
When I select a stand I get comfortable, wait a couple of minutes and start calling.
Start with the low volume. Start as if there is one looking at you from 20 feet away because there could well be. Blow 5 to 8 soft low squeals that last 2 seconds each.
Wait 30 to 60 seconds and do it again.
Wait 60 to 90 seconds and step up to medium volume.
Blow 5 to 8 squeals that last 2+ seconds each.
Wait 30 to 60 seconds and do it again.
Now each 2 second squeal can have fluctuation in it but this comes from you hand movement.
When is the best time to call predators can be alot like asking "what is the best rifle". While I typically call in the early morning hours from sunrise to 8 or 9AM, I have called them up till 10AM and I have called them in the late afternoon. I've been told they can be called all day long but I have not tried it. I do believe that the rabbit squeal "dinner bell" would get their attention anytime of day or night. A lame example is hearing the ice cream truck. You have to admit that even if you heard the truck at 9AM, you'd probably think about the prospects of having some ice cream.
I think more important than the time of day is the "current" weather conditions.
Last Modified: Sunday, May 24, 2009 11:01 PM