Okie dokie Steve. We can probably run this one a looooong time. The sounds we use are really simple to do for the most part. I'll start it with one of the basic sounds.
Lip squeeks are just that. You pucker up and suck air in between your lips.A kissing sound. Every body has a pair of lips and often this is all you need to call in a predator. This is a soft quiet sound for close work. Liek when you first sit down after slipping into an area you know predators are using to bed down. It mimics mice, a favorite food source.
What I call hand squeeks fall in this category as well. To do this you lick the back of the hand and kiss it. Wiggling the hand around adds volume and character to it.The harder you suck on the hand the louder it is. You can really make it sound like a rat or squirrel in trouble.This one can be heard as far as two hundred yards clearly by all predators.This one can really turn a coyote's crank. Most of the time they will charge this one.
I slipped up on a pair of fox pups earlier this week and had a ball using just these two sounds on them.I got as close as thirty yards and sat still while they were washing for nap time. Started with the lip squeek. It got their attention but didn't get them up. They would look for a while but not come to me. Changed to the hand squeek and one got up and came within thirty feet looking for the rat. I had to freeze and remain motionless . I was wearing just jeans and a black t-shirt standing in a cattle path. After a while of not hearing or seeing the rat the pup went back and laid down. I played with these two like this for thirty minutes or so before telling them hello. For some reason they got a fire under their butts after that /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif Jimmie
Jimmie is exactly right about the old lip squeak/hand squeak sounds. Murry and Winston Burnhams father "Morton" Burnham used the lip squeak almost exclusively. The number of foxes squeaked up in one day of calling by Morton Burton was an almost unbelievable figure. I can't remember exactly but it seems that it was somewhere around 200 foxes rhat old Morton squeaked up in one day.
The next call I would like to talk about is the old split sticks type of call with strip of plastic film streched between them. Burnham bros. has one they call the mini-squeal which is almost perfect. These little calls work "hands free", and the raspy high pitch sound it emits can be heard for considerable distance by any predator on a calm day. These little "harmonica" type calls are not mentioned much these days, but still remain one of the best medium and close range mouth calls in existence.
Most of the terrain here in western Iowa consists of corn or soybean fields tucked in to the valleys and hillsides. The farms are small 200-400 acre parcels (approx.), so a caller needs permission on a lot of dofferent farms in order to expect to call many coyotes. The hills that are too steep to farm are covered with trees and brush, which is where I concentrate most of my calling efforts. Calling must wait until the crops are harvested because you just can't see a coyote through all of that cover. Oh sure, you CAN lure a coyote out of a cornfield and in to a rather small pasture or small clearing now and then but I like to kill the coyotes that I call.
Coyotes that live in area's where there are a lot of public roads and have a lot of folks shooting at them all the time, well they become very spooky.
They have to become spooky, their life depends on it. These animals are more easily called at night, because they become more bold at that time. Problem is that we can't use lights for night hunting here in Iowa so that leaves night hunting for moonlight nights over snow cover. I like calling my coyotes in daytime, and have found that first hour or two of light in the morning, and last hour before dark are best times to fool these spooky coyotes.
A little history lesson is in order. That call Rich mentions was the first developed by the Burnham Bros.It's effect on predators became legendary in the late forties and early fifties bringing about this sport we all love.These gentlemen are known as the fathers of this sport.Jimmie
Terrain features where you live are very important to you as a caller. Here farms are even smaller than where Rich lives, 25 to 250 acres.Crop fields are also smaller with more timber and thickets in hollows and on hill sides.
How these farms are connected can become as important as the terrain itself. Fencerows can be the only thing linking one piece of cover to another for several miles. They provide cover and a travel route for all animals.
These same fencerows can be your best friend. They also provide cover for you. They can be used as an aid to cheat the predators nose.I use them as an aproach to cover and for calling sites. By taking a possition that allows the wind to blow over open ground I have forced the predator to follow the fencerow and woods edge to me.Jimmie
Kaintuck is sounding more like Iowa all of the time now Jimmie. Allowing your scent to blow out over open country (a harvested field maybe) is an important point to remember in caling these so called "Eastern" coyotes. OUR coyotes simply hate to cross open ground in daytime when coming to a call. They will almost always take advantage of any available cover. This is why a lot of my daytime stands find me with an open field at my back, and I am calling to the timber & brush area. I do have to pick a spot where the brush is not too thick to see em coming.
Readers have probably noticed by now that we are talking about simple "basics" of predator calling right now. It is important to remember that the so called "basics" are just as important to highly experienced callers as they are to a beginner. Being real quiet as we exit our truck, being careful not to slam doors, keeping the breeze in our face while walking to pre-chosen stand---These things are even more important than the calling sounds we make once we get on stand.
Ah, the eastern coyote. There is no such critter! It has simply adapted to the almost constant pressence of man, that simple. And that is why it uses ALL available cover. The available cover can be almost anything. It's a place they feel comfortable traveling in or bedding in. It can be a weed choked irrigation ditch or a grass covered levie.They will even travel along the breakline formed by Kudzu and the woods edge. Use these things as part of your set up when you can. They give the animal a way to come in that allows it to feel comfortable. Give them the cover to aproach, keep the open fields behind you, and you don't have to worry so much about the wind.
Remember that wind and water both flow alike. Each moves over the land in a given manner. The hills and valleys are obstacles the wind has to flow through and over.You can use this trait to cheat the nose of all animals. Scent can be controlled even in bad places for set up if you pay attention to the way it's moving through.A hill forces the wind upward just like a rock in a stream forces water upward and around.Your scent will dump back to earth somewhere else when you set up just below the crest of a ridge.Jimmie
I believe that most callers tend to worry too much about whether they can make a sound exactly like a screaming rabbit, bird, puppy or some other little critter. The exact tone or pitch of the sound is really not that important when calling coyotes. Remember that little animals have small lungs and their screams will be shorter and there will be less time between the screams. If you can make your call sound like something in distress, the predators will come. I call a lot while on stand. I try to use a cadence that can't be patterned easily. Maybe three quick screams short pause, five quick screams, short pause two screams and etc. My time on each stand for coyotes is probably about ten minutes. Twenty would probably be better if you have limited territory to call.
Rich, is there a way to cut and paste some of that stuff from Jimmie's post about calling the LBL's and heavy cover addressed to the two of us? I wrote extensively abbout calling heavy timber and brush in that thread. Man I don't want to retype all that. But our discussion mentioned some real good points about heavy cover calling. If it could be placed in here when and where appropriate it could help some I think.
Which call to use can be a real head scratcher. I would recommend starting out with one good enclosed reed call, like maybe a young jackrabbit call from Fred Cronk or a Burnham WF-4. You will also want a good open reed call, like maybe a Crit'r call standard. You should have a good medium to close range call also, and the Burnham mini-squeal is one good choice. This little call can be used for your primary call on calm days when calling the thick brushy area's. Most important of all, you need to learn the lip squeak or hand squeak. That is one call that you will not run off and leave in the truck.
An important lesson was in Rich's last post.If you read these post carefully you'll find that all our tactics and methods differ. That isn't to say one is right and another wrong. They all work! The coyote isn't that particular when you ring the dinner bell. It can learn the sequence and cadence of electronic callers by escaping once or twice. That's why we learn and use many different sounds. Never call the same place twice with the same call or sound, this goes for mouth calls as well.Just a call with a diferent pitch will make a diference even using the bunny blues. In other words , if you used a sceery jack rabbit there last use a circe cottontail the next time to sing the blues. Or if using e-callers use the rabbit once then woodpecker the next. Mix it up, it keeps you on your toes and them from getting educated.
Let the weather conditions choose the sound that day. On one of those mornings when your breath just seems to hang in the air start with a low volume sound. Hand squeeks for a few minutes then switch to another call for more volume.If the wind is doing fifteen miles an hour then open up with the big guns. Start with a high volume call. If you've collected as many calls as some of us have you will soon know which ones are capable of producing the high volume you need in high winds.
Thanks for letting folks know about the other thread GC. That one contains several lessons by itself.Jump in here any time friend.Jimmie
I hear what ya are saying. My area here in Ark.is farmland city. Fence rows, treelines, ditches, levi's,corn soybeans,rice,cotton,small wood lots and standing timber. Farms are from 40 to 500 acre plots. The only difference here is flat land! Tough to hunt until they get some of the crops out. Corn is kinda new here but the rice fields and I am sure the corn too are rodent heaven for feeding yotes.
Here wind plays a big part of where to hunt. On the ditches, I find it better to have a central starting point and work into the wind which ever direction it sends me instead of having to drive many miles to get down wind to work up. This cuts fuel costs and down time driving. Yotes den up in the levi type banks of the ditches to escape high water when it runs through here.
Rich and Jimmie, you had a great idea for a thread on this one!! I for one think this info is really good. Lots of learning here!! Ramble on!! I have noticed several new callers asking questions on some of the other pages. Will try to direct them over here when I see one. Shame they can't see this on the other pages as well. How many of those squealer calls are out there. Most of the ones that I have seen are too loud with not enough squeak! Can they do the lip squeak sounds on a slightly louder volume?
Here is a post by GC that I copied and pasted from a diferent thread. Same methods can apply in similar terrain almost anywhere you hunt.
Personally, without knowing much about the territory, that main ridge would be my jumping off spot. Everything I did would be based off that main ridge. Something that prominent in the terrain has to eventually have coyotes coming across it, or working along it's side terrain features. I'd drive or walk that ridge scouting and using either a siren or howler to locate. Here most of my hunting land is walk-in only and that ridge would have an old logging trail or dirt trail along the length of it. Tracks, scat, dirt scratchings, pee post in the snow, and occasionally even a kill site can be found by legging out these old trails in my neck of the woods. A saddle up high here with suitable cover on top of, or either of the sides, connecting one side to the other as a cross over, can certainly be a hotspot. In fact, that's one of my ideal calling locations. Especially if that saddle leads down into an area that contains something special, such as a cove of a lake, stream corridor, clearcut, boulder piles, field, ect... Calling up here means that the wind is more predictable and easier to play. Sound carries better than down in a hollow. I can usually place the critter at a disadvantage by utilizing the travel lanes to funnel the critter along to the gun. Much of that depends upon the cover. Ridge tops here most often tend to be narrow and "razorbacked" and the saddles aren't terribly wide. That means that even though this is heavy timber I can usually cover the entire area pretty effectively and predictibly with the gun. That causes the animals to travel in a more defined area with less roaming around space. And if everything is right with the world you can have the sun at your back to make it more difficult for the approaching animal to pick you out. And last but not least, this can be more efficient hunting and easier because you're hunting horizontally in otherwise vertical terrain. So it's faster to get to the next stand site walking along the top, than up and down the side ridges. That can wear you out, especially in a snow. You know I love this terrain talk! I've always felt it's as big a piece of the puzzle as any other component, maybe more so.
MORE TIPS FROM OUR FRIEND GC
Two lane highway!!! Yuck. Yeah, you'll need to work the spur ridges and their adjacent terrain features. In the big timber the same basic things will apply for travel corridors. I call my area of the Ozarks a "HARDWOOD DESERT" because of the rolling mile upon mile of unbroken forest cover. Fields are few and far between, fence row? What's a fence? Subtle things are key here. Ridge tops with old logging trails, or without, but the trail helps. Saddles, funnels, bottlenecks, side hill benches, flats on the ridge top, hollows, bluffs, stream corridors, ect... As important will be differences in vegatation, LOOK FOR EDGES. For instance, the ridge tops here are often covered in pine trees, with the slopes oaks and various other hardwoods. That transition zone between the two types of trees can often be a travel lane and hunting area for coyotes. An old clearcut is a heck of a good edge, the small prey species such as rabbits, mice, chipmunks, birds, are holed up in those brush piles and downed tops. So are the deer, especially fawns early on. The thicker cover in some of those creek bottoms also has the same promise. That old trail on top of the ridge is an excellent place for grasshoppers in the early fall and that provides super hunting for pups as you well know. A honeysuckle patch on a side hill bench, a pod of boulders or a bluff edge, ect... Most folks walk around in the big timber and don't have a clue, it all looks the same to them. It's not, I know you are a detail oriented person, look for those subtle breaks and be a thinker. This is tough hunting, but it's very rewarding.
One thing I didn't mention in my post above is altitude. I really don't like to be in the deep bottom of a drainage, hollow, or stream corridor. It's very hard to see when seated on the ground in heavy cover and a critter can be right on top of you without offering a shot opportunity. Also, if the called predator is coming down from a higher elevation I've always felt he stood a better chance of picking me out as he held the high ground and a visability advantage.
I like to work the side hill points and spur ridges above that heavy cover and draw the critters out of the really heavy brush and into the edge of the more open hardwoods. In my experience all predators seem to respond fine up hill or on an equal level with them. They seem to hang up and pick apart the cover when coming downhill. Just like a smart old turkey gobbler.
Our friend GC is just full of good information. Here is some more of it----
Concerning the calling distance. Often you hear someone give the advise to move one mile between stands. I'm sure that is great advise in the more open parts of the country, but in the heavy cover, up and down, twisting terrain of the big woods I seldom go over 1/4 mile between stands. If I have the wind in my face and am traveling down a ridge top I may call off each side of the ridge into the hollows, first on one side, then the other. In a bottom as I travel along the side hills and points I may well do the same thing alternating sides going as little sometimes as 250 yards between stands. If I'm calling into a big hollow or ridge complex I'm convinced the sound doesn't carry out of that particular area and across a ridge or into a different hollow very far. I've called 30 minutes into an area, flipped sides of the ridge and started again, or moved that 250 yards and set-up again, and called critters, both coyotes and bobcats. Just my experience with distance and sound carry in the really big timber and rougher terrain.