Calling Tactics and Sounds?

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Bob Mc,
The "Killer call" is a good long range call alright. I just don't want folks to get the idea that I only push my own calls. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif Bob, I know that you have some good calling advice for us so how about sharing a little of it?
More from GC----
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.
Bob Mc,
The Killer Call" is a good long range call alright. I just don't want folks to get the idea that I only push my own calls. Bob, I know that you have some good calling advice for us so how about sharing a little of it?"

Rich, you don't push them enough! You make some great calls, but I guess the regulars here already know that.

I've just been reading the old posts by GC that you have copied and pasted here. Don't remember reading them before, but this is really good stuff. Don't know how I missed it before, but maybe I was away somewhere when it appeared the first time around. Or maybe I did see it and have forgotten (Old Timer's Disease).

We often have newcomers post here asking questions about calling cougars. I assume GC is primarily talking about coyotes, but go back and re-read these posts and think "cougar". This is basic COUGAR 101! Work those ridge tops, saddles, and side ridges. Get out of the truck and start walking. 90% of lion hunting is scouting. Check every saddle, and the places where side ridges join the main ridge for tracks and "lion markers"; the scratch marks the cats make to communicate with each other. If a cat left its sign there once, it will be back. Check and recheck, and see if there is a pattern. Call those places often.

You don't want just one place where you saw a cat track once. You want a bunch of them. The hardest part of calling in a lion is being there at the same time the lion is. The more places you have to call, where lions travel and leave their sign on a regular basis, the better your odds. It takes a lot of time and foot work, but every once in awhile it all comes together and that cat walks in like it ownes the place!
Bob Mc,
Those great posts by GC were originally made on the thread entitled (Rich, GC I need to pick your brain" by Jimmie from Kaintuck. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

If you want to know about calling cougars just butter up to Bob Mc a little. This man don't say much unless you ask him real nice, but he sure does know his cougar calling.
Steve M, There are only two companies that I know fo that make those calls. Burnham Bros mini squeal and Johnny Stewart close range call.

Mouth calls fall into several categories. The litel bite type like the mini squeal, Turkey diaphram calls, closed reeds, open reeds , and bite calls.

Personally I prefer the bite calls like the JS PC3 and the Sceery ap6. You can get raspy sounds liek a jackrabbit or the high pitched squeal fo the cottontail. Even puppy whines can be managed with practice. Volume with these calls can be anything you need at the time. Bite down hard and blow with short burst's an dyou get a fair mouse sqeek.If there are any must have calls these two are it.

Next would be the critter call pee wee model. I can't get eth volume from it but it's versatility is tremendous.Fawn bleats to coon squalls, great little calls.

Rich, I'm always ready to help with product developement /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif Jimmie
Thanks for doing that. As slow as I type it can be a real chore at times.

Bob Mc,
I am primarily talking of coyotes, but do call a bobcat occasionally. I usually look for slightly different areas here in the Missouri Ozarks for bobcats. I look for water in the form of ponds, lakes, creek, and spring drainages. Especially with some good rocky cliff, ledge, and boulder pile cover. Lots of brushy cover nearby is helpful. Good thermal cover in the form of evergreens, cedars and pines adds to a good cat stand. I think all this is as much for the prey of the cat, as for the cat itself. The same mice, chipmunks, rabbits, shrews, squirrels, turkeys, and fawns that the coyote uses, so do the cat's. Additionally I think bobcats in my neck of the woods use the little low nesting birds such as chickadee's for prey. And that's why the brushy cover is so important. I stay longer on stand, as much as an hour most often when specifically calling for bobcats. And I use "busier" higher pitched sounds for the most part.

I don't have any experience with cougers though about a mile from my deer stand a Conservation Agent took video tape of a couger on a deer kill. They're protected in Missouri right now and sightings are growing each year. It's now been documented that Missouri has a resident wild population of the big cats. Probably pretty small in number.

Same for black bears regarding a resident population. The bear population in the Ozarks has been estimated from as little as 400 to maybe 1,000 bears. The area that I call most often has quite a few bears in it. They've torn up turkey and deer hunters camps and the U.S. Forest Service has warnings in their Ozark campgrounds about camping in bear country. A non-resident turkey hunter killed one last year as it wandered into his turkey camp at night. He wasn't threatned by the bear so was fined heavily for shooting it. Missouri's Conservation Department has been trapping problem bears the last couple of years and moving them away from humans as much as possible. I heard a pretty reliable rumor that they actually killed one particular bear that just wouldn't go along with the program and continued to get more and more aggresive as he raided farms and such.

We also have a population of feral hogs that range in the woods in my favorite section of National Forest. I've cut hog sign several times and a friend has killed a couple of them. So sometimes I wonder just exactly what I might call on a stand!
Speaking of product development, I have something that I would like to send you to test during your hunt on the LBL. Send me your mailing address please. I'm glad that you mentioned the Stewart PC-3, as it was my favorite call for several years. I'm also glad that you mentioned that little Stewart close range call. I don't know what Stewart calls that little harmonica type bugger (I forgot) but I really like it better than the Burnham mini-squeal.
Called in my first two yotes of the season between 6 and 6:30pm today with my new Crit-R-Call std. Had the last hours of the day pegged as we have been discussing in populated areas. Worked a new area where a large ditch had been dug out during the summer to clean up for flow of water. Less than quarter mile from farmers house. One side clean other bushy. Dry for most part some water. As we have been talking, figured this to be a good travel area with cotton field on one side, small cotton strip field on other with fencerow and big levi. Very windy today, set-up on bushy side of ditch in bottom with wind just right. Expected yotes to travel through ditch 10ft deep. Great concealment and visibility for miles. Called 10 min looked up and yote bouncing along top of ditch between clean side and cotton strip out in the open looking for crazy rabbit. Could not believe I missed that perfect shot!!!

Second stand. Fairly open area, only moved about 500 yards into the wind down ditch. This time set up on clean side of ditch with back to short fence line. Can see well down ditch and treeline beside levi with small cattle opening to right. Better set-up for what had just happened?? 10 min into call,just stopped callin when heard something behind me. Slowly looked around and big male yote standing broadside 4 ft behind me on other side of short fence line looking for crazy rabbit. He took two steps more, got my wind, afterburners on!! He came down opposite side of fencerow which ran into my fence line. Therefore should turn yote and move right in front of me for shot. Wrong! Unknowing to me was a small opening in my fenceline allowing him to enter and get behind me! Oh well!!

Morale of story is this. Look for the type travel areas talked about above when scouting. They can be productive in farm country like mine. Don't think you have to be in the middle of no-where to call yotes either. One may not have to move as far between stands a some may say! No matter how good you think a stand set-up is, a yote can find a variable no matter how small to screw it up for you. Expect the un-expected!
I have an old PC1 JS with button bite but have never seen the ones you guys are talking about. This one is pretty good at squeaks. Will have to look on their website. Today was the first time I ever used a Crit-R-Call. It was pretty impressive on the shy yotes we have around here and I am not that good!!

That’s half the fascination of predator calling to me. You never know for sure what might show up!

Interesting that you have a building cougar population in Missouri. Not the place I would expect to find them, but I guess they are spreading more and more now that they are protected. I’ve also heard reports of them in North Carolina and Tennessee.

Cougar tend to feed more on deer when they are available, but they can also get by on rabbits and other small game if need be. You are right in that bobcats are found in the more rocky and brushy areas, hunting for small game like mice, rabbits and birds. In this country ground squirrels are a mainstay of all small predators, at least during the spring, summer, and fall. They hole up for the winter. I suspect that the bobcats also hang out near the thick stuff for protection from the coyotes.

Incidentally, a bobcat (and gray fox) will pass up a dozen rabbits for a quail. Cats love birds! Surprising to many people is how much lions love poultry. South of here, turkey farms have a problem with lions. They say the turkey farms apply for as many, or more, depredation permits for lion as the sheep ranchers.
Congrats Steve M. As I was reading your story I recognized the bugga boo in the second sentence before reading the results. A tip for using fencerows, find a place where you can stand concealed with a rest for the rifle. The rest is just to keep it at shoulder level to have it ready.Fence post or tree limb will do.Get in the fencerow itself. That is for the very reason you mentioned, they can come down either side and will most often come on the down wind side of it.If you can't find a tree big enough to conceal your silhoette use the honey suckle that always seems to be there.Make sure you have fair visibilty and decent shooting lanes with just a little movement of the rifle and your all set.

In choosing a howler there are a few things you need to think about. How will you use it? As a carry call or something in the truck for locating. The reason for this is that the better calls are made of natural materials such as wood or cow horn. Cow horn is light in weight but wood like mine has some weight and is a bit bulky, it is better suited for the truck. Carry calls need to be compact and light. Some plastics fit this bill nicely but just don't have the clear sound I like.

Open reed or closed? Open reeds are far more versatile than closed.The better closed reeds are the Lohman and Primos made of plastic. Fairly good sound but a bit raspy.They are limited to barks and howls unless you learn to take them apart quickly to use as an open reed. Open reeds come in a lot fo diferent materials from custom wood smodels to brass like the Burnham Bros howler.The versatility of open reeds is unmatched. Puppy whines,injured yelps, barks , growls and the standard howl sounds. Don't knock that Burnham Bros tin horn, thats the first howler I ever used and intend to have another as soon as I can gather the dough for it.It will tick off an old dog with the best of 'em. Jimmie
Hey Jimmie,
Thanks,I hear ya! I was set up in this fence row with my back to it. Reason being, (one)a dog could not get through the small fence I thought,and(two) nothing would come from behind on the other side because of the wind. It was a good plan except for the hole in the fence I did not know about. Just my luck! This hole let'em come down the line behind me instead of making him come down the line in front for a clear shot!! Oh well!! That is why they call it huntin!!

Lots of geat info on here so far hope it keeps coming and helps out!!
The biggest mistakes we all make are where we outsmart ourselves.Like Steve I made a bunch of those too. In choosing a call site we need to recognize all aproaches to the set up. That fencerow as Steve learned had two aproach lanes, one on each side /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif as well as the levie in front of him. No two coyote's are going to apraoch the same way. A pup will barrel in there like the first one Steve told about but that cagy older critter will use the back door if you let him. With time and a few dozen coyotes under your belts you'll learn which aproaches are teh most likely when you choose your site and which are possible but not probable. Until then your going to get to see a few rearends going over the hill /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif Jimmie
GC, Bob Mc. Thanks for the cat info. I have seen only enough animals to learn that they travel like all predators through the country but had no idea what they prefered to hunt in.With your info and that last seranading trip in the LBL I think I know just where to find that kitty I have been wanting for so long.A couple of little valley's up there with all the things you mentioned in them.They should hold a load of birds come winter with all the brush,weeds and scattered open strips for turkeys.Feed is the key to the prey and the prey is where to find the critters we hunt.Jimmie
I recall one of the old masters of predator calling (forgot who) saying that if he wanted a cat he would sow cracked shell corn on the ground where he was going to call for the bobcat at a week or two ahead of time. This would attract and hold those small prey birds to the area, thus keeping the cat around as well. Then when calling the area you could be fairly sure there would be one hanging around that area. I'd suspect that bird distress sounds would be the most likely to produce results. That's the type sound I make with a open reed or my Sceery AP-6 variable pitch. Though I have called bobcats with the standard raspy cottontail call. That was a hard, mean, winter with lots of snow.
I remember the crochity old rascal too GC. It would be nice to get him in on this thread if we could.The knowledge trapped in that mans skull could fill twenty volumes on predator hunting.

In choosing a call site I look for travel routes. How htey fit into the terrain helps make the choice. If the woods comes to a point in a saddle I will position myself where I can see down both sides. Coyotes use the edges formed by the brush there . If I can't get directly in the travel lane itself I choose a corner or fencerow.Making sure I can see aproaches to the stand.

Every once in a while a farmer leaves a single large tree in the middle of a field.Usually in a terrain feature that creates a travel lane. These are great spots to call from real early and late. There will be a little grass or weed cover around the base of the tree and it's usually big enough to hide the silohuette. That old critter will trot right up the nearest dip in the field to you.

Name your favorites guys Jimmie
I know there have got to be two dozen questions about specific things. What we've covered has been the basics so far. I still say there is no such thing as a stupid question. Even I still learn from all I can find or read. Learned a new stunt last night while reading an old magazine. How to let the tempo of your calling get you the right results. It made a lot of sense to me.The man said constant calling brings them running and slower tempos bring them slow and easy. Let your stand site determine which you use.If working a more open area bring them in hot with constant calling. Working the brush slow it down, call intermitantly, to bring them in slowly to give you a better oportunity for the shot.

CH1, Whenever you get back in here jump on the band wagon. I know you have a lot of experience in heavy cover yourself.These inquiring minds want to know. Jimmie
I think we could use some more help in here and really don't understand why we're not getting it. This thread was sparked by the desire to share tips, techniques, information, and questions. An online workshop so to speak. We all learn from each other. If a guy has some info or would like to change direction some, stomp right in here and lay it out! If a guy doesn't have info, then surely he has questions. Now wouldn't that make sense to ask specific pointed questions here now for the good of all? New opinions and experiences along with some new specific questions will generate new conversation and dialogue. We'll all grow from that as predator hunters. It doesn't reflect on a persons skill level or degrade them in any way to ask a question. I'm certainly no "expert" and learn new info to help me out all the time by listening and asking when I don't understand something. Or have the need or desire to gain new information regarding something I'm unsure about. That's part of the learning process. If I can pick up on something on this thread to make me a better predator caller (and there's lots of room for that!) you can bet I'll be all over it! I'd like to see this thread expand to about five pages or so, what do you guys think?
Here is an old trick that works many times on those call wise coyotes. Buy yourself one of those cheap hawk screamers and learn to imitate the hunting scream of a hawk. Now when you go back to the calling stand where you know the old call wise yote will here you, just give out two or three loud hawk screams and then quickly switch to a rabbit call that you have not used in that area before. Coyotes are ornery devils and just love taking rabbits away from hawks when they get a chance. Coyotes are used to hearing the hawk scream, followed by the sound of a screaming little critter that said hawk just sunk those talons in to. Make sense fellows?
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