I thought I would take a few minutes to talk about some of the success I've been having with my new home made e-caller. I've been using the e-caller almost exclusively since I put it together.
What I have found is that it is a most valued tool. Since I've been using it I am seeing critters on about half of my stands. I've been using my e-caller like I would a calling partner. This is cool because there is no discussion on where to sit and who is going to do what and when. Just set it down and turn it on! How ever, there seems to be just as much thought that goes in to stand set up as there would be with two callers.
What I have been doing is, looking at the area I am calling.
#1 Determine wind direction (so far every single critter I have called has come in from down wind)
#2 Make an educated guess on where I would come to the call if I was a critter coming from down wind. (Yesterday I made a stand in a pretty tight wooded area with high ground over looking a well traveled rabbit trail. I determined that if I was a critter coming in form down wind to the call, that would be where I would come from.)
#3 Find the best possible shooting lane along the trail. (I have been trying to find a spot to shoot from that not only has a clear shooting lane, but also provides enough cover for the critter to feel safe while making the approach. Ive also tried to set up where I can see the critter coming for a little ways so I can get ready for the shot. Keep in mind that when I say "get ready for the shot" this is more of a mental get ready, not a physical movement get ready. I screwed up on this part yesterday and it cost me a fox. It is very hard for me to not get excited when I have one on the hook, and just sit there until he is fully in the shooting lane.
#4 Figure out where to place the caller to give myself the greatest advantage. (I have been setting the caller up wind from where I am sitting. This has been working great for me how ever I don't think I have been setting up far enough away from the call. The idea is to get the critter to come in from down wind in between you and the caller, thus not being winded and having all of the critters attention on the source of the sound. It's amazing to me how much a guy can learn on one stand, especially if it's a blown stand. Usually you know exactly what you did wrong to blow the stand. The trick is to apply the newly learned experience to you're next stand. This is easier said than done because each stand is so much different from the last. ie, wind direction, terrain, cover.
These are four things that I am trying to concentrate on when choosing a place to make a stand. I think if I can master these aspects of set up, my success rates are going to go way up. Just a few thoughts on what I have learned in the last few weeks since putting my caller together. Every ones thoughts and ideas on this one are more than welcome!