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Thread: Detailed Predator Calling Setups

  1. #1

    Default Detailed Predator Calling Setups

    I'm really curious as to how other guys are calling predators up here and what's working. I'm not by any means a veteran predator caller, but have been spending the past 4-5 winters trying my hand at it. Here are some questions that I'm always interested to hear from other callers. I'll put my answers by the questions so maybe we can all get a learning/brainstorming session going here.

    -What type of terrain do you have the most success in calling?
    I have had the best luck in the evenings in large clearings and during the daylight hours in thicker areas with small openings near trails.

    -What type of callers (mouth, electronic), details on sequence/sounds?
    I use both, but when it's cold, I go with the electronic callers (FoxPro, Minaska, and WT), depending on the day. I prefer to make up my own 15 minute sound sequences starting with about 30 seconds of dying rabbit followed by 40 seconds of silence...so and and so forth. It's nice having a long sequence because I only have to push the remote once and then just sit back and watch for incoming animals. I like to run the caller at 3/4 to full volume typically. Once in a while on cold -30 days in the open, I'll go quieter because that sound really seems to travel. Or if I'm in a valley where the sound starts to echo off the hills, I'll tune it down a bit.

    -Do you use decoys?
    I use them on most stands with the electronic callers. With the minaska caller, it has a built in decoy that can be controlled from the remote. For the FoxPro, I have a custom decoy I built that can be run from the caller/remote as well. If I'm using a mouth call, I'll sometimes put out a decoy, depending on the terrain and how the wind is blowing.

    -Do you sit or stand while calling?
    When I'm on a hill overlooking anything, I'll sit on an insulated seat. If I'm in thick wooded areas, I'll stand and scan around more often.

    - Do you use any Coyote/Wolf howl vocalizations?
    I almost strictly start off with dying rabbits or bird. If nothing is happening, I'll sometimes end the stand with some yote vocals to see if anything responds. I try to not start off with Yote vocals in case a Fox is in the area and I spook him.

    -Do you typically see trap lines in the areas you call?
    I see lots of trap lines in some of the areas I've called, but have still seen animals. I try to get "away" from any lines that I see as I have this overall thought that those traps are working 24-7 and my 15 minutes of calling probably won't produce much.

    - What caliber rifles/shotguns do you typically use?
    I like the AR-15, but am going to start with a 12gauge in the thicker areas because the AR is tearing up fur at close range. I have a 17HMR, but have yet to kill anything with it.

    - Do you wear snowcamo clothing or just "whatever"?
    I wear all snowcamo: suit, bunny boots, gaitors, gloves, mask.

    -Do you snow camo your rifles?
    I have one that's all white and another that's going to get a new paintjob soon.

    - How far are you willing to travel to call?
    I'll drive 150-200 miles if need be in a single day to try new areas. I would like to do some longer 2-3 day trips this spring when we have more daylight.

    - Would you be interested in having a "local" predator calling group of some sorts?
    I'd be interested to meet other guys in the area interested in calling to share stories, gear, ideas with. I wouldn't want to show up and have everybody want to know the "honeyholes" though...lol...

    - Have many of you called animals in the lower 48? If so, how does it compare to the calling here in Alaska?
    I've never called anywhere besides Alaska. From all I can read, it sounds like it's a lot tougher (daylight, weather, access, animal density) than the lower 48. I see and read all of these things about guys in Texas or the Southwest killing 15-20 animals in a weekend and think to myself "I'd like them to come up here and show me that trick"....lol...

    - Do you hunt solo or with a partner?
    I typically hunt solo, but have been out with a hunting partner too. On partner stands, it's common for us to take turns on mouth calls if we're facing different directions.

    - What do you typically take while out calling (gear in truck or snowmachine)?
    I have a bag that I carry: Ammo, Flashlight, Batteries, Snacks, Insulated Seat, Extra Gloves/Mitts, Extra facemask, Handwarmers, para cord, duct tape, lighter/flares, decoy, mouthcalls, lanyard, knife, camera, range finder, binoculars.

    -Do you use a bipod?
    I don't use them. I have a couple, but find them to be a pain to use in the snow. I prefer to use my leg to steady the shot while seated and just shoot offhand while standing.

    - Do you look for tracks or just make cold stands?
    I'll do both. If I'm on the snowmachine, I'll look for fresh sign and call where I find it if it's not black spruce land. I'll make cold stands though in areas that look like they might produce.

    - Do you have a limit on the temperature?
    My cutoff is -32F, road hunt or snowmachine. I can sit for about 15 minutes at that temperature and do alright for quite a few stands on the snowmachine.

    Any other ideas or general info to add to this would be great, I love reading and listening to how other people are calling animals.

  2. #2

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    Great post snowcamoman!!!!!

    Maybe I can add to this thread.

    -What type of terrain do you have the most success in calling?
    Frozen creeks and wide open fields diced by hardpacked trails are my go to terrain.

    -What type of callers (mouth, electronic), details on sequence/sounds?
    I prefer to use my FX3 when possible, but some trips I leave it at home when I'm trying to stay light or I'm already overloaded. I tend to overexcite myself when I'm using handcalls and it becomes tough to blow out a decent and delicious sound. Using the ecaller allows me to settle down and focus on the terrain.

    -Do you sit or stand while calling?
    I almost always sit, I find I am more patient when I'm comfortable in the long run. Standing I tend to become figity.

    - Do you use any Coyote/Wolf howl vocalizations?
    I will in after the first of the year. Sometimes I'll try a locator howl to see if I have any coyotes in the area. Otherwise I'll try to throw out a few howls at the end of a set if I'm ready to up and move.

    - What caliber rifles/shotguns do you typically use?
    223 Rem 55grn FMJ out of a Stevens 200

    - Do you wear snowcamo clothing or just "whatever"?
    I always wear some kind of camo but I believe it's not essential for success. Sitting still on a stand and a silent entry are more important. I do have winter camo coverups but I tend to leave them at home unless I need the extra layers.

    -Do you snow camo your rifles?
    Negative, but I would like to camo my Stevens after buying an AR-15. I have used the winter camo wrap and find it more of a PITA than anything.

    - Would you be interested in having a "local" predator calling group of some sorts?
    Sounds like fun.

    - What do you typically take while out calling (gear in truck or snowmachine)?
    Gun, ammo, ecaller, warm clothes, hand warmers, rope, knife, stone, food, water, camera, electrical tape, and surgical gloves. I tend to pack light.

    - Do you hunt solo or with a partner?
    I prefer solo but I'm more motivated with a hunting partner.

    -Do you use a bipod?
    No, my moto is less is better.

    - Do you look for tracks or just make cold stands?
    In new areas I'll set up cold stands otherwise if I am familiar with the area I will setup in areas I've seen concentrated tracks.

    - Do you have a limit on the temperature?
    I try not to let the weather keep me at home, after all I can't call from the couch. My coldest trip was -30*F and I enjoyed every minute of it even though I couldn't feel my hands for a couple of hours after I got back to the truck.

  3. #3
    Member WaterWolf's Avatar
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    You both put more effort into this post then I do a stand anymore.

    I remember when I was new, read everything, watched everything, listened to everything, and then tried to apply it all. I wasn't very successful until I got ticked at nothing coming in and went in to, I don't care mode, which perty much brought me down to the basics.

    I'll take the shotgun and the rifle, look out of my truck to see if its thick or open, grab the appropriate smoke pole and get out.

    I prefer tracks in the area but will try sometimes where they are not.

    I take hand calls and sometimes a E-caller (No commercials here)

    Perty much, no noise, wind direction (Which I thinks a crock anymore, but I still use the basic principles) gun, sit and call.

    Now alls I need to do is, get off my internet Lazyboy and get out there.

    Some real good info guys. If I had to pick one tip or advice it would be "sign", call where theres "sign" (AKA tracks, scat and plent-o food source)

  4. #4
    Member arrowslinger's Avatar
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    I call on my trap line. If I don't wait them out, they'll come in later and investigate and I get them either way. (Or so my thinking goes) Seem to have better catches when I return after calling. Small ponds and clearings with sign, always call with my son which leads me to carrying the shotgun and he packs his 22-250. Snow Camo, hand calls and my homemade e-caller. We don't mess with wind direction too much. I have never been able to pick which direction they'll come from. We sit. If it's deep snow you can plop down just right and get the lazy boy thing going in the snow. We bring hand warmers, granola bars, bottle of water each, batteries and hand calls in the caller bag. Use bird and rabbits, until the end of a stand and then throw out some coyote stuff and wait a few mins. to see if something pipes up. We call at any time depends when we get out to the line. I like the colder days, keeps me from having to deal with overflow on the ponds since it coincides with trap checking. I also got used to calling around Fairbanks so temps. around here are never an issue for me. No snow camo on the guns, both are all black. Don't have a bi-pod or decoy. But have thought about getting each (bi-pod for the rifle of course). Called in Tennessee, got allot of critters. Allot more coyotes there also. Never went calling there and not get at least three to come in at dusk. But there were so many we never pushed that hard or stayed out as long as I do here. We shot them while waiting on deer stands, calling turkeys, bailing hay (they would come out and stand in the tree line waiting to see if we ran over any fawns, or other small critters). While turkey or deer hunting, you had to weigh whether it was worth messing up the rest of your morning or evening hunt. But they ate the baby turkeys, so I always opted for the coyote. The limit on deer in our county was so generous and the season so long, you just come back later or the next day. If you played your cards right and hunted every season (bow, gun, muzzle loader, extended doe permits) you could get over 20 deer, now it's three bucks a year and 3 does a day , if you follow all the seasons with bow beginning in Sept. through grand finale all weapons in January. Lots of opportunity for coyotes, I liked hunting deer but didn't always want to clean one. Waited 'til the meat from one ran out and go get another. I still went deer hunting, but just watched allot. So I spent all that time learning allot about coyotes that were used to farmlands, which does me no good up here. There was nothing to fear but people down there and there were enough coyotes that they seemed a little braver to try and compete for food. Up here they are not so easy for me and that gets me frustrated. I got into a pattern of always seeing something that now I become impatient quickly.
    A predator calling group would be interesting, maybe I'd figure out the Alaska coyotes. Have had the best luck with lynx up here.

  5. #5
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quick question on snowmachines.

    In open areas, what do you guys do in regard to your sleds. Do you have to hide them from view before you start calling. Do you walk quite a ways away from them before setting up to call/glass?

  6. #6
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    How much time do you guys spend on each stand? 15 minutes? 30? an hour? I'm beginning to think I need to just sit longer, but I hear lots of guys saying if nothing comes in within 30 minutes, pack up and move.

    Thoughts?
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  7. #7
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKmud View Post
    How much time do you guys spend on each stand? 15 minutes? 30? an hour? I'm beginning to think I need to just sit longer, but I hear lots of guys saying if nothing comes in within 30 minutes, pack up and move.

    Thoughts?
    Another quick one. By "stand", are you actually referring to a ground blind or something? Or do you just mean a particular location where you are sitting?

  8. #8
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    "How much time do you guys spend on each stand? 15 minutes? 30? an hour? I'm beginning to think I need to just sit longer, but I hear lots of guys saying if nothing comes in within 30 minutes, pack up and move.

    Thoughts?"


    I'm relatively new at this but, I've had fox, wolf, and coyote come into my calls, and all came running within 30 minutes of my first sequence. Because of my experiences I usually wait 30-45 minutes tops.

  9. #9

    Default Snowmachines & Stand

    I try to park the snowmachine back into the woods or out of view if possible. Same goes for the truck when road hunting, unless you're in thicker cover and then I've just stood 20 yards in front of the truck and killed em'. By the term "stand", I'm just referring to the time that I get out and "stand" or sit in one spot while calling. I don't mess around with an actual blind or stand for predators. If I can use a downed tree or branches to my advantage though I will. My stands are typically 15 minutes long and then I'm heading to the next stand. All but 1 of the predators I've seen come in have done so at about the 8 to 10 minute mark. I keep calling even after a kill in case there are multiples in the area. Like I mentioned, I make up 15 minute calling sequences and just let it run once I start the stand. At the end of each calling sequence, I have an Owl hooting, so I know when to pack it up and move.

  10. #10

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    hunt_ak if I know the area and have a spot already in mind I will park my atv up to a half mile away. If I'm new the area and eye a spot I want to try I will just stash it behind some brush or in the woods, or I'll wait until my next trip and park the machine farther away and walk to where I want to sit.

    By stand or set I mean that is the spot I plump my rumb to start calling. Also I will try to always lean my back against some kind of cover. This way I'm not obviously sitting in the open and none of them fury critters will sneak up behind me and attack. I'm sure the odds of that are low but when I'm calling at night I try to keep instances where the wife can give me the "I TOLD YOU SO" lecture to a minimum.

    Lately I've been calling for about 30 minutes and then up and move. If I hear howls, see fresh sign, have seen plenty of sign in the past, or just have a good feeling about that spot I'll sit longer. I try to hit as many spots throughout the night, morning, and day so I try not to spend most of my time in one spot.

  11. #11
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    The full moon is coming fast so as soon as this wind stops I am going out for some night calling. I hope to put some of these tips to good use!

  12. #12

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    I agree with Water_Gremlin on leaning against something if possible, especially at night. Here's another question for you guys. When you're out calling, do you ever see other people out calling predators? I've only seen 1 other person out calling in the past 4-5 years. I've had people drive by me and not know I was there, which is pretty funny.

  13. #13
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    I'm looking forward to the upcoming full moon too! Hopefully the wife will give me a pass...

    My buddy and I heard another caller in the distance a couple of weeks ago, but I have yet to actually find someone actually calling when I've been out in the last 5-6 years.
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I'm also hoping to make a go of it this weekend by moonlight. I don't have much time to spare, but could probably get out for a few hours.

  15. #15
    Member WaterWolf's Avatar
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    I usually try to hide the machine out of the way, and walk in a ways or in a big loop (I might snow shoe several miles doing this).

    It has been my experience up here that 30-45 minutes is my normal. There have been exceptions, like one coyote with in 2 minutes of my calling, and a few fox in and around the 10-15 minute mark, but man it just seems they are slow coming in.

    I have had a few folks tell me that anything past 15-20 minutes, and I should be moving on, but that just hasn't been the case with me.

  16. #16

    Default Stand Times

    That's really interesting that some are having good luck with 30 plus minute stands. I wonder how it all factors in for the area of the state you're calling? I'm in the interior and like I said 15 minutes and I'm on the move. I figure, it's a numbers game and the more stands I can get in, the higher my chances. Last Saturday I made between 15 to 18 stands. I was checking out new areas and anything that looked decent, I called. I didn't see anything, but had some Yotes sound off way in the distance. I stick around longer if there's a response, but not typically. Are you guys typically getting Yotes after 30 minutes? How quick are your Lynx coming in on average? All of the Lynx I've ever seen while calling were probably all 10 minute or under. Coyotes average 8 minutes. No luck on Wolves or Wolverines, so I can't say anything about them, other than I'd like see some.

  17. #17

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    Last weekends wolf and lynx both took over 30 minutes to come in. Have had fox on Kodiak take a long time too. My new stand limit is 45min.

  18. #18
    Member aksnowshoe's Avatar
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    Default Calling last night

    I took my brandy new home made e-caller out last night and made four stands with it. Wow, that thing is cool. I used a fox kind of barking and growling for about a minute and then about five minutes of wood pecker distress. I had the player set on loop so it played the eight second sequence over until I stopped it. Two of the stands that I made I had fox coming in to the call after about 10 minutes. The first fox was out on the river and it was too dark to see him in my scope, By the time I switched to the shot gun he ran across the slew and winded me and was gone. The second fox was a perfect shot but hung up right in front of a house so I could not shoot! Bummer!! BUT,now at least I know my caller works!!

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by aksnowshoe View Post
    I took my brandy new home made e-caller out last night and made four stands with it. Wow, that thing is cool. I used a fox kind of barking and growling for about a minute and then about five minutes of wood pecker distress. I had the player set on loop so it played the eight second sequence over until I stopped it. Two of the stands that I made I had fox coming in to the call after about 10 minutes. The first fox was out on the river and it was too dark to see him in my scope, By the time I switched to the shot gun he ran across the slew and winded me and was gone. The second fox was a perfect shot but hung up right in front of a house so I could not shoot! Bummer!! BUT,now at least I know my caller works!!
    Nice job on the home made caller, You'll get em next time.

  20. #20
    Member arrowslinger's Avatar
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    Glad to here that thing worked for you. Now just get all the sounds set up to be user friendly, make some 15 minute sequences so you don't have to fiddle with a thing sit back and start gunning. I'll help you if you ever need it with mixing sounds and putting sequences together. I have all the sounds (300 or so but most we will never use here) and silence sections so let me know what you want and we'll see if I can send it back through e-mail. I have sent one 6 min sequence before and it was a 10 meg e-mail. Never tried to send a longer one as a zip file. Man I am glad that thing worked, I was wondering if you were gonna let me know how it worked that first day.

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