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Thread: Calling techniques for canines vs. cats

  1. #1
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default Calling techniques for canines vs. cats

    I've had some degree of success with lynx these past two years, but ever since getting an e-caller I have not managed to call in a coyote or fox. I had some luck with coyotes with a mouth call, but nothing lately. This could be entirely due to chance and/or higher lynx populations versus those of canines, but perhaps not?

    The areas I call a few times each winter seem to be entering a period of low lynx abundance and higher coyote and fox abundance. Should I change up what I've been doing in light of the current population dynamic, or do you find that cats and dogs respond in a similar manner with regards to call sequence, etc? I know that scent is paramount with fox and coyotes, but other than that, are there things you change if you know you're more likely to be calling to canines?

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    I've never intentionally called for fox or yotes, but more than once I've been out in the yard with one or more unhappy and whining puppies, and I've had foxes come charging in so fast and focused that they would nearly run right into me standing right out in the the open. Do those fancy e-callers have a puppy call?
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    If I know for sure that I'm calling to a lynx and have fresh sign, I change it up a little bit. I'll try to use a louder, busier type sound and play it at full volume non-stop. Lynx seem to be in more of a "rush" to find the source of the sound if it sounds more distressed and louder from what I've seen. If I'm calling in a place that I'm not sure whether a canine or feline will respond, I'll just go with a distress sound playing for 12 to 18 minutes. It can either be non-stop or pause and play. At the end of stand, I'll usually throw out some coyote vocals and see if anything responds. Sometimes coyotes will stay quiet until they hear another coyote sound in their area. For fox, they seem to just be wherever for me. They'll sometimes show up in areas with coyote sign and sometimes just appear out of a thick wooded/brushy area. It does seem that fox never really seem to stop much once they're coming in for me. Lynx and coyotes always seem to stop plenty enough to get really good shots off, but fox just seem more nervous and move more.

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    Member joefish00000's Avatar
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    Here is some of my input.
    Ive been calling regularly for about 4 years now, and I have had some success. I have taken lynx, fox, and coyote. As far as changing up tactics I think that the best way to "target" k9s is to hunt rivers. From my predator hunting experience I would say that the areas with the highest k9 densities are large river systems. Most of the cats I've called in have been in what i call "transition areas" meaning areas in between drainages, weather it be spruce forest, alder thickets, willows..ect. But not right ON the river..
    But out of they few cats I have called in, ironically I have never had one come into a call on a river stand. This may just be coincidence but the sign on rivers leads me to believe that rivers are the main travel routs for k9s, especially in areas with large amounts of snow.
    As far as changing up the stand, I think that snowcamoman is right on saying that k9s seen to be more cautious and in less of a hurry to come to the call.. I've spotted and stalked coyotes on rivers and walked within 400 yards only to wait 10 min for the coyote to close the distance once I started calling.. For k9s make sure and stagger you calling sequence as apprised to calling non stop. Mix it up too, coyote and fox seem really apt to come into various other sounds then the typical rabbit distress. Find the sound that other hunters and coyotes have not heard yet hope this helps and good luck to all!
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    Brian, I do alot of calling up at the cabin and I do the same for both cats and K9's. A hare in distress on a recorder is all I use and I never know whats going to come in. I have actually called them both in at the same time a few times. Cats ALWAYS sleek or sneak in till they are farly close or untill they have figured what and where the noise is coming from. Once they tune in they either sit for a few minutes starring down(thats when I usually take them) or they trot right in and up to my speaker. The fox usually come in hot to within a certain distance and then same thing, they sit down and decide if it's safe to come on in or run off. My favorite time to call is the first week in Feb as the fox are pretty active getting ready to fight and mate. Oh and you ain't seen anything untill you seen two fox fight! Good luck!!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joefish00000 View Post
    As far as changing up tactics I think that the best way to "target" k9s is to hunt rivers. From my predator hunting experience I would say that the areas with the highest k9 densities are large river systems. Most of the cats I've called in have been in what i call "transition areas" meaning areas in between drainages, weather it be spruce forest, alder thickets, willows..ect. But not right ON the river..
    But out of they few cats I have called in, ironically I have never had one come into a call on a river stand.
    That's interesting to read about your experiences on rivers. ALL of the cats I have called in have been on rivers. Well...a couple have been on little creeks that are no more than 10' across, but every single one has been on a river. As for yotes, it's been about 50/50, and the fox that I have taken by chance (not by calling) haven't been on water.

    Anyhow, sounds like there's not much to change up - try different calls and sequences, but there's nothing that is canine-specific.

    Thanks, all! Good luck on a productive season!

  7. #7

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    I think canines like to run more than lynx. Dogs like to run open rivers and trails from what I've seen. Lynx will go out on trails and rivers, but typically are just crossing it, or working in and out of cover searching for food.

    Lynx during the daytime sneak in like crazy, using every little bit of cover possible. During darkness though, they tend to put that guard down a bit more and will stroll on in through larger openings.

    Brian,
    Nothing canine specific, unless you're using vocals, either coyote or wolf. With coyote vocals you can get either a coyote or wolf. With wolf vocals, chances are you're only going to hear or see wolves. The other canines know that wolves are the alpha dogs and are not going to try and come in to check it out.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Question on the coyote vocalizations: If I end a sequence of prey-in-distress with a coyote locator howl or some yipping and I hear some dogs respond, what then? Keep at the vocalizations off and on? Go back to the distress calls? I'm assuming I'd stick with the coyote calls until something shows, but I've yet to have anything respond to coyote calls.

  9. #9

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    Try to get the coyotes worked up. Vocalize with them and then, on one of their series of howls, if you can time it, cut them off with your caller on a challenge type call. Then, just sit tight for a little while and wait. Give it 4 to 7 minutes depending on how far away you think they are. After that, try playing a pup distress at maximum volume for about 15 seconds and then mute it. Keep watching and listening. Chances are they will be quiet on you and are moving in trying to go downwind as much as possible. Keep them from going downwind if you can and try to focus really hard on any area they could use to get downwind. Keep at it until you either see them or they just don't show. They won't always come in, but you can usually get their territorial side cued in with vocals and then get their stomach keyed in with a pup distress. Sometimes a quieter vole at the very end can be useful too if they aren't showing themselves. Hope that helps a bit.

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    Member joefish00000's Avatar
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    Great advise!! i have encountered this situation a few times myself amd have yet to howl them in.

    Question. What would you recomend in a situation where after a solid stand i let out a coyote vocal and get a response from what seems to be a pack of like 6 yotes? I have had this happen a few times ususlay in the months of jan and feb, but always end up walking away shaking my head.. I have succsessfully howled in single yotes but have never been able to howl in yotes when they are grouped up..
    What might i try diffrent to bring em in??



    Quote Originally Posted by snowcamoman View Post
    Try to get the coyotes worked up. Vocalize with them and then, on one of their series of howls, if you can time it, cut them off with your caller on a challenge type call. Then, just sit tight for a little while and wait. Give it 4 to 7 minutes depending on how far away you think they are. After that, try playing a pup distress at maximum volume for about 15 seconds and then mute it. Keep watching and listening. Chances are they will be quiet on you and are moving in trying to go downwind as much as possible. Keep them from going downwind if you can and try to focus really hard on any area they could use to get downwind. Keep at it until you either see them or they just don't show. They won't always come in, but you can usually get their territorial side cued in with vocals and then get their stomach keyed in with a pup distress. Sometimes a quieter vole at the very end can be useful too if they aren't showing themselves. Hope that helps a bit.
    “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)

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowcamoman View Post
    Try to get the coyotes worked up. Vocalize with them and then, on one of their series of howls, if you can time it, cut them off with your caller on a challenge type call. Then, just sit tight for a little while and wait. Give it 4 to 7 minutes depending on how far away you think they are. After that, try playing a pup distress at maximum volume for about 15 seconds and then mute it. Keep watching and listening. Chances are they will be quiet on you and are moving in trying to go downwind as much as possible. Keep them from going downwind if you can and try to focus really hard on any area they could use to get downwind. Keep at it until you either see them or they just don't show. They won't always come in, but you can usually get their territorial side cued in with vocals and then get their stomach keyed in with a pup distress. Sometimes a quieter vole at the very end can be useful too if they aren't showing themselves. Hope that helps a bit.
    Snowcamoman, when you use a pup distress call, are you referring to a juvenile coyote or fox? And why are you using that? Do they eat their own pups, is it a territorial response to other coyotes, or do they eat juvenile foxes? Sorry for all the questions.

  12. #12

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    Sometimes two or three coyotes can sound like a small pack of 6. It's amazing how a small number can sound like a lot. If you have some howlers at the end of the stand, try using a fairly non aggressive sounding yip howl. Make the pack think that there is a single intruder in their area. Afterwards, listen and see if they howl again or if they stop. If they stop, keep giving a couple howls every couple minuets and then go silent. If they stay silent completely after that, try the coyote pup distress. Coyotes will eat their own pups, but many times I believe they think that its another coyote getting a pup in their area and they want nothing to do with that. Either that, or the pup distress is simply another distress sound to them, which could even be a hare or cottontail.

  13. #13
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    This is all great advice. Im new to hunting predators and haven't had much success yet. My buddy and I have found a good place to hunt and are gonna try calling soon. I want to try using a regular hand call but is there a certain type or brand of call that is better? I've heard that open reed calls for coyotes is supposed to work really well, with some practice of course. I have a distress call, a coyote howler and my buddy gave me an estrus call. What time of the year is better for what kind of call?

  14. #14

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    I use a variety of distress calls, but tend to mostly use open reeds or the AP-6 model, since they don't freeze up easily. I have a couple of howlers that I use too. I've never used the estus call, but have seen it before. You can use your howlers to locate coyotes and then work closer to them if they aren't moving, or you could locate at night and come back in the morning early and try to get in closer to call them with a combination of howls and distress. I'd start off with distress once you locate them, just in case a fox is in the are or a curious lynx.

  15. #15

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    Good stuff. I'll add don't forget to bark, pup welp, or kiyi if they spook or you miss because you may get a quick second chance. I have had some luck finishing with the vole squeak to pull in a long range hung up coyote. Also some luck with house cat distress even though no none in the area...maybe just something different?? Keep the simple idea in mind that big stuff likes to eat small stuff with low risk of getting their arse kicked, and big stuff hates little punks in their turf. Sometimes you just gotta keep on movin' again...

  16. #16

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    Having that FoxBang feature on an e-caller is very handy for getting an animal to stop for a second look if you miss, or if there's a second animal. The caller instantly changes to whatever sound you want, in my case it's typically a Pup Distress, after I shoot the rifle. Hands free and works exceptionally well. Just be careful with the sensitivity on it, or if you bang it against something it will automatically turn on...lesson learned.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I've got the capability on my CS-24, but have yet to set up the FoxBang feature. Looks like I'll need to remedy that.

  18. #18

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    It's pretty simple Brian, just give me a shout if you need a hand. I recommend doing it outside and keep the speaker pointed away from your head or out of a car/truck. Mine has accidentally gone off in the truck when I toss the remote on the dash. Talk about a way to get you REALLY awake in a hurry.

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    Member OldSchool45's Avatar
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    Lots of good advice on here. A lot of the techniques mentioned I have used as well. So here is my scenario maybe you guys can help.
    I go out at least one day of every weekend. I hunt just about every type of terrain and topography. I make stands vary from 15-45 minutes. I got good all over camo. I use a decoy and a Foxpro Firestorm with a bunch of sounds ya'll have recommended and an assortment of hand calls. I sit so still I have had birds land on me. I don't have my snow machine running (yet) or an ATV so I usually snow shoe it away from the truck about 1/4 to 1 mile. I hunt of the few road systems within 100 miles of Fairbanks.
    In 2 1/2 years I have called in two fox. One was while bear hunting and didn't want to shoot it so early. The other showed up on private land. I have had coyotes howl or bark numerous times but not come in.


    Any suggestions as to what piece of the equasion I am missing?

  20. #20

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    Sounds like you're doing it all correctly. Location location location is all I can say. Sometimes some trips are boom, and others are bust. When I first started, I had some serious dry spells, so never give up is all I can say. Coyotes can try your patience for sure, but eventually you'll figure out a series of things to try that will (or won't) get them motivated to come in and present a shot for you. Watch the wind....that's another key piece of the equation to try and put in your favor. I will base many of my trips out and the direction I go on what the breeze is doing.

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