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Thread: Predator Calling Tips

  1. #1
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    Default Predator Calling Tips

    Hey folks,
    I'm new to this style of hunting and could use some helpful advice. I'm not asking for anyone to reveal their spots, just some help with calling techniques. I've been using a Foxpro Wildfire with the snowshoe #1 and snowshoe hp sounds, but no luck so far. I'd like to get some feedback on how long to let the call do it's thing. I've seen online that some people leave theirs on for up to 30 minutes and others say to call for 30 seconds followed by 10 minutes of quiet. What works best in the interior around Fairbanks? I could also use some help picking a good spotlight for night hunting.

    If there's anyone in the Fairbanks area that's looking for someone to do some calling with, let me know. Work is slow this time of year and I've got plenty of time to get some fur!

  2. #2
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    I'm in the same boat you are. Got the same call for Christmas and took it out to Lake Louise yesterday for the first go around. I used both sounds as well and tried short and long calls. No luck yet. I think next time, I will try it from a tree stand if I can find a big enough tree to set up on. I'm anxious to see how a Lynx, Coyote, Fox comes into it. Hope someone chimes in with their expertise. Good Luck in the mean time.

  3. #3
    Member Ak_Predator's Avatar
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    Default Predator Calling Tips

    When calling I usually let the day dictate how long I call. Its all about the numbers game to me. If I've got all day and an endless number of places to call, I'll do 12-15 min sets. This allows me to hit multiple stands through out the day. If I'm pressed for time and only have a few locations in mind, I'll let the stand push out to 30 mins or so. Most of the time, if they're coming in, it's usually within 20 mins though. I've done both strategies of calling with breaks and without, never really seen too much of a difference. If you can minimize how much you have to move to get a pause in your sound, that's what's important if you ask me. Volume is also important as you don't want to blow your animal out of the area. Try a low volume at first and steadily increase. Towards the end of the stand I'll also start to lower the volume again to try to coax em in. Decoys are great to place out and away from you with your e-caller to have them focused on something other than you to get fixed on em for the shot.

    Some pretty basic principles to follow but I've been watching this post and no one else wants to chime in. Figured I'd throw you a bone.

  4. #4
    Member AKRecurveAssassin's Avatar
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    I have tired both styles and so far this year all ive called in is a fox and a coyote, but niether of them wanted to come close enough for a shot.... so i dunnoh which is the best style of calling, but from what Ive read, it all works.

  5. #5

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    I'd double exactly what AK Predator said for strategies and tactics. One thing I'll add though is to try different sounds. I think there are a LOT of people calling predators around the area and that the predators are getting pretty accustomed to hearing all of the common sounds. Many spots that I've called for years are starting to this year show signs of other callers.

  6. #6
    Member cod's Avatar
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    I've got a fox pro wildfire w jacka attack attachment. I been out maybe 20-25 times this yr. I've tried lots of the snoshoe hair calling, some coyote howls, mice and shrew squeals, bird calls and all manner of combos of. Loud calls. Long calls. Short periods between. Pretty much everything stated above. Dont misconstrue, I'm not discouraged. I know it will happen. So far Ive been answered by a pack of yotes once. Last eve I believe I heard something creeping in on my backside but I was in a position that I couldnt turn around to see what it was. I woulda been busted. It snuck out. I know there was some yotes nearby as I had come across some real fresh tracks before calling. One thing i have found out tho, it sure is nice to find a GOOD spot to call from, as opposed to just any spot. I've been on a few hills overlooking the river bottoms that offer a great view from above. It surely will help spot them coming in and having the calls and jack attack well below on the river should keep them from seeing me so easy. I have a hunch a few have come around but I never even saw them. One question I would pose (w/o stealing the thread) is the effect of the snowmachine noise. Anyone care to comment on snowmachine use and how it affects your approach? I usually try and walk a bit away and also use ridges, hills, groves of trees and such to hopefully squelch the approach noise. One other thing I noticed is that the success rate seems to be better by the folks who move often. Maybe I should not stay in one place so much as I often go to one spot and stay for 2 hrs till dark. Thanks all for sharing as we learn from our failures as well as your successes.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

  7. #7
    Member Ak_Predator's Avatar
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    Default Predator Calling Tips

    I've had predators come barreling in to 20 yards with my truck running. I've also had them spook out of Dodge at the mere sight of my snowmachine or truck. There are so many variables to each situation that it's hard to dictate what to do. My recommendation: keep at it and don't give up. Too many people give up after never seeing anything. I use to slay coyotes down in Washington and my first year up here I never saw an animal. My tactics have changed drastically over the pas few years. Find a routine or method that works for you and stick with it. That being said, be dynamic! I just missed my first opportunity at a wolverine and I'm kicking myself. I attribute that to not thinking before acting. (and a little help from the guy who I was with, who didn't listen to my instructions)

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    Quote Originally Posted by cod View Post
    One question I would pose (w/o stealing the thread) is the effect of the snowmachine noise. Anyone care to comment on snowmachine use and how it affects your approach?
    It not only the snowmobile that scares the animals/birds it any sound they feel is a threat.

    This is going to sound odd to some hunter because they don't listen to their surrounding. It may be they never stop talking or have poor hearing. What ever the reason each time a car drive down a road that does not have heavy traffic the birds stop talking and after a few minutes they continue the conversation. I wonder if there saying the danger has passed lets eat.

    If you want to make the birds and animal think the danger is gone just be very quiet for a few minutes before you start calling, they will think you left the area.

  9. #9
    Member cod's Avatar
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    Since this thread was started by some new guys (like me) I'll try to post some 'experiences' of different sorts (and hope others will too) so that we all learn a bit more how others are doing things. Tonite I had semi success. That is, I did call in a yote tonite. No shot at him, but hey, You gotta start somewhere. I did change up my routine. I went a wee bit further than normal from home. Snowmachined across a swamp/meadow and ditched the machine just below a 20 foot incline overlooking the swamp, which was surrounded by tamarak spruce. Normally I use my Foxpro but decided to try my rabbit distress hand call. I always take a seat and let things quiet down for a few minutes, like MacGyver above suggests. I left the Foxpro at the snomachine. Where I sat I could hear easily the sounds from the main rds around, some chain sawing occasionally, and other manmade noises. The valley I hunt is like a giant echo chamber. You can hear voices sometimes that are a mile away. Anyhow, I blew the rabbit call for about 30-45 seconds every five minutes for maybe 4 times- So 20 minutes or so. Then I took out a small squeeker from my pocket and blew in it the same sequence as the rabbit call was done. (The squeeker is out of a childs or doggie toy that I had my wife by. She bought 2 diff toys and I removed both squeekers out of them. They resemble something in distress when blown thru. Its also nice cuz u just keep it in your mouth and blow when needed w NO movement.) After about 4-5 rounds with the squeeker, lo and behold- I witness the ghost shape yote for about 1.5 seconds straight across the meadow along the tree line. Just where I anticipated/hoped one would come from. It was right at dusk. He quickly melded into treeline. I waited another 15 min or so and tried to squeek him in some more but darkness overtook me. In retrospect, I can think of a couple of things I should done......If I woulda walked across the hill about 100 ft I woulda been more on a pt that sticks out and woulda gave me a better view of the end of the meadow area that he had headed. Had I done that, I would have had a clear view of where he was headed. I was lazy. ...Second, I shoulda took out my foxpro and set it up below the hill I was on. Then when I spotted him I coulda turned on the mouse call or something semi quiet down below the hill from me and even had a visual for the yote w the remote 'jack attack' attachment. At any rate, I consider tonite a success of sorts and am realizing things like how important the spot is u pick to call from.
    Last nite the wife and I went for a walk in the neighborhood about 8 pm and heard some coyotes howling in the neighbor hood not too far away. It shouldnt be long now!
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

  10. #10
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    Default Predator Calling Tips

    What kind of pressure is there in the areas you are hunting?
    It gets said a lot, but walk silently one mile into the woods beyond any human structure and then start.
    You could use a foxpro, bait, and a spotlight on a highway and never see anything. Or get out where the animals are and a mouth distress will make you run out of ammunition.
    For years I road hunted and ran the sled on trails etc. and zero kills. I started walking in where I'd never seen another person go... And I started having to carry 30 rnd clips.
    If your set on using a foxpro just make sure your selecting something natural. For example if there are houses then blow a domestic. If its a bad hare year, don't blow hare distress. Howl during mating season, pup cries in the summer. Bird sounds only if there are birds around. Etc.
    I sure love hearing electric calls in the woods though. Makes it that much easier to leave mine at home.

  11. #11
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing the your experiences. I can't wait to get out and try it again when I get a chance.

  12. #12
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    Post Saftey tips..

    while the goal of a predator hunt is to get a critter, its always nice to come home safe..
    aside from the standard safty tips for hunting with guns and stuff, i have found some other tips especialy useful while predator hunting.
    1# WATCH OUT FOR ICE!
    in alaska we have the privilage of a long cold hunting season! Along with this we get ice! Iced over rivers, sloughs, ponds, and even four wheeeler trails! just watch out guys.. nobody likes falling through and getting cold and drenched, and it can be life threataning. just watch out for any open water or iced over moving water sources. When i step back and look at things, I honestly beliave that getting wet (faling through the ice), and driving to and from hunting spots are the easyest ways to die while out hunting for preds.
    2# if your gonna call at night, KNOW WHERE YOU ARE!!
    I have made this mistake and i know im not the only one. night hunting generaly is not the time to be exploring. with the exception of clear sky bright moon nights i wouldnt advise hunting unfamiliar spots at night.

    my personal story about these two rules happend to me this season. I decided it would be a good idea to drive up to the valley (on a school night) and do some night calling! not the brightest idea.. It was about -16 and cold and clear. i arived at my spots, made a couple stads with no luck. then i walked to a spot on swamp where i trapp rats in the spring. the previous weekend i hade walked right up the slough, over the beaver ponds and to that spot. this time i thought i would do the same thing. on my way back to my truck i was walking over the beaver pond and fell through! gun in hand, headlamp running. i fell in to my shoulders, and never hit bottom. this hunt just got serious. i squirmed out of the hole and made it back to my truck, and had now lost feeling in my feet.
    let me tell you driving a manual transmision in in hunting boots and not being able to feel your feet is very difficult!
    long story shorter, i made it home saftley but the next morning when i woke up for school my feet were extreamly swollen and hurt. yea, i survived and it probly wont be the last incidint, but if that would have happend in a more remote area it could have been bad.
    just be safe out there guys!
    good luck!
    “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” - (Aldo Leopold)

  13. #13
    Member Ak_Predator's Avatar
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    Default Predator Calling Tips

    Quote Originally Posted by onlybears View Post
    What kind of pressure is there in the areas you are hunting?
    It gets said a lot, but walk silently one mile into the woods beyond any human structure and then start.
    You could use a foxpro, bait, and a spotlight on a highway and never see anything. Or get out where the animals are and a mouth distress will make you run out of ammunition.
    For years I road hunted and ran the sled on trails etc. and zero kills. I started walking in where I'd never seen another person go... And I started having to carry 30 rnd clips.
    If your set on using a foxpro just make sure your selecting something natural. For example if there are houses then blow a domestic. If its a bad hare year, don't blow hare distress. Howl during mating season, pup cries in the summer. Bird sounds only if there are birds around. Etc.
    I sure love hearing electric calls in the woods though. Makes it that much easier to leave mine at home.
    Those are some interesting tactics. I'm curious about how many stands a day you can get in. How many animals are you seeing/taking that requires a 30 round clip. I've taken 4 reds, a coyote & a lynx this year. Missed two crosses and another red and have gone through only 11 rounds. Also, where abouts are you calling? Forested or open country? When I read your tactics it makes me think about rivers, or open tundra lands.

    Always eager to learn some new tips/tricks, guess that's where all the questions come from...

  14. #14
    Member joefish00000's Avatar
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    ak predator,

    trust me its possible, i shot 11 rounds on my last coyote!
    “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” - (Aldo Leopold)

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    Default Predator Calling Tips

    To be honest I won't make that many stands a day. Not like a lot of guys that set up 10-20 times a day. I'll spend days/weeks finding a high animal traffic/low human pressure area and hit it once or twice with my best shot. I'll take the time to find animals and pattern behavior before I ever try and call. And I stay out of wide open areas. Most animals are smart enough to know their visible in the tundra or on a river bed. I have no easy advice for this state. Just get far far far away from everyone else.

  16. #16
    Member Ak_Predator's Avatar
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    Default Predator Calling Tips

    Joefish,

    Oh I've been there! Trust me! I've emptied a magazine once or twice in my time. I dropped about 14 rounds on a fox once. Plugged the thing 5 times before I put it down. That was also in some open country and some serious stalking.

    I take it you got your yote? Always good to collect the fur when you invest that much brass and lead into one critter!

    &

    Onlybears,

    How do you pattern your animals that far off? Do you use a plane or snowmachine to travel? What type of behavior do you look for before going in to set up?

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by onlybears View Post
    What kind of pressure is there in the areas you are hunting?
    It gets said a lot, but walk silently one mile into the woods beyond any human structure and then start.
    You could use a foxpro, bait, and a spotlight on a highway and never see anything. Or get out where the animals are and a mouth distress will make you run out of ammunition.
    For years I road hunted and ran the sled on trails etc. and zero kills. I started walking in where I'd never seen another person go... And I started having to carry 30 rnd clips.
    If your set on using a foxpro just make sure your selecting something natural. For example if there are houses then blow a domestic. If its a bad hare year, don't blow hare distress. Howl during mating season, pup cries in the summer. Bird sounds only if there are birds around. Etc.
    I sure love hearing electric calls in the woods though. Makes it that much easier to leave mine at home.
    30 round clip? You must be somewhere other than Alaska. Even in the the states with the densest predator population that would be a lot of ammo.

  18. #18
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    Default Predator Calling Tips

    No ill keep a 20 or 30 on in Alaska. I'll run out of clips if I'm down in the states. And a 30 clip into a 1/2 minute ar and I don't miss much.

  19. #19
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    Default Predator Calling Tips

    Dogs are easy to pattern, just track to find them and watch. Cats are a lot less predictable. They are more methodical in pursuit so you have to base behavior on opportunities. I actually stopped trying to stop patterning cats in this state. Ive come across some really stupid lynx, throws the whole game off. And no planes. I can do 10 miles on snowshoes with gear a day.

  20. #20
    Member Ak_Predator's Avatar
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    Default Predator Calling Tips

    So let me get this straight, you hike 10 miles with out calling, only to scout? That seems like a lot of useless work for a predator hunter. Hiking 10 miles and scouting seems like you should be carrying some metal with you and throwing out some snares or traps. What type of animals do you usually take? Have any pictures to post?

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