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GREETINGS FROM Varmint Al.... I am a Life member of the National Rifle Association. I like to hunt, fish, play with the computer, and operate ham radio. I go deer hunting, coyote hunting, squirrel hunting, and trout fishing every chance I get. I have 2 Black Labs, Bart & Tide and one Chocolate Lab named SusieQ. During pheasant season we hunt most every day.
Relentless 365 California's Premiere Hunting Magazine.
Coyote Sunrise by Heath Ward
Struggling Varmint Video Download.
by Dick Wendell
MY CALLING.... Since I started calling for coyotes near Antioch, CA on three large cattle ranches, not a single cow or calf has been lost to the type of predation seen here. My deer and coyote rifle is the 243 Win on a 42+ year old Sako Forester action with a Shilen stainless steel barrel and a "tight neck" chamber, shown below. The scope is a Tasco TR 4-16xAO mounted with Warne rings directly to the grooves on the action. This is as solid a scope mount as I have seen. As you can see below, the rifle and scope are painted camo. There is more about camo painting your rifle on this page.
Varmintus maxus camois
Coyote Calling Techniques with Sounds
The sounds are computer quality
FREE COYOTE CALLING SOUND DOWNLOADS.... These following sound files are free with no strings attached. Use them any way you like. I made them for your predator calling enjoyment and to promote the Second Amendment. Each new coyote hunter who learns hunting and buys a gun will more than likely be another supporter of the Second Amendment. These sounds are not the very best quality, but as good as I could do on a computer. Each single sound file lasts about 60 seconds. The sequence sound files are longer duration. If you burn the sound on your own CD, or MP3 player, I would suggest 2 minutes of silence before any sound starts and 1 or 2 minutes of silence between each calling sound. You can also burn the first sequence at a lower volume so as not to spook any close coyotes. Right click on the file name and select "Save Target As". Let me know how you like them.
ONE BIG ZIP FILE.... All of the calls below, including the 16-min and 20-min Sequence files have been zipped into one large file. Download here: allcalls.zip (35.929Mb) and save the file to a new folder. Unzip the file to a folder of your choice.
These sound files have been recently (2/12/6) re-mastered with the volumes normalized and converted to MP3 in FM quality. Each sound file lasts about 60 seconds.
HAVING TROUBLE DOWNLOADING?.... Assume you want to download Group
Howl (group2.mp3). Here is what I suggest you try:
1. Right Click on the hot link (the underlined name of Group Howl below) of the file you want to download.
2. When the menu appears select "Save Target as..."
3. A Window will appear "Save As" and the default location is "My Documents". If you Click on the "Save" tab the sound file named group2.mp3 will be downloaded to your My Documents folder. Your hard drive now contains the file.
4. To play the downloaded file, open your My Documents folder and Double Click on the file named group2.mp3.
5. To copy the file to the clipboard, you Right Click on the file name group2.mp3 and select copy.
6. To copy the file over to your MP3 player you need to plug the cable from your MP3 player into the USB port of the computer. If you are running Windows XP a window will open and you select "Open folder to view files" and Click on OK. Put the mouse pointer inside the MP3 player's folder and Right Click. Select paste from the menu. The group2.mp3 file should then be written to Secure Digital card in your MP3 player.
(excruciator-16-min.mp3) A 16 minute sequence of Chris Butcher's
Excruciator call. Starts with 1 minute of silence. 15.1Mb Note: I removes some
of the clicks that I had overlooked in the recording.
Tiny-Dogs-Chicken (tiny-dogs-chicken.mp3) Two Chihuahuas chasing a chicken. Added the chicken squawking. Sounds good.
Tiny-Dogs-Barking (tiny-dogs3.mp3) Two Chihuahuas barking scared at Bart & Tide with Tide moaning 1.023Mb Its not a standard sound, but its worth a try. Coyotes should at least be interested and come for a look at the commotion. Tiny dogs in urban areas are a favorite food of coyotes.
Read-Head-Woodpecker (red-head-woodpecker.mp3) Coon Skinner recorded it from a live bird and emailed it to me. Thanks Coon Skinner.
Bird Squeaker (bird-squeaker.mp3) Made with the squeaker out of one of Tide's squeaky toys 970KB
Rodent Squeaker (rodent-squeaker.mp3) Made with Tide's squeaky toy - different cadence 875KB
Group Howl (group2.mp3) group coyote howl with 3 different calls mixed with the new software 944KB
Group Howl (group3.mp3) group coyote howl with 4 different calls mixed with the new software 944KB
Chicken Distress Call (chicken.mp3) with the Haydel call 656KB
Woodpecker Distress Call (mybird2.mp3) with a Lohman Quail Call #115W BIRD 1.316MB
Coyote Challenge Bark (challenge.mp3) with the Dan Thompson Red Desert coyote howler 645KB
Coyote Greeting Howls (dthowl.mp3) with the Dan Thompson Red Desert coyote howler 646KB
Coyote Greeting Howls (dthowl2.mp3) with the Dan Thompson Red Desert coyote howler with more chatter 944KB
Coyote Hurt Pup Distress Call (hurtpup2.mp3) with a diaphragm call 660KB
Jackrabbit Distress Call (jackrabbit.mp3) 657KB
Cottontail Distress Call (weems.mp3) with a knockoff Weems call 659KB
Cottontail Distress Call (weems2.mp3) with a knockoff Weems call 906KB
Jackrabbit (jrpc1.mp3) with the Johnny Stewart PC-1 Call 896KB
Jackrabbit (jrpc1lv.mp3) Low-Volume with the Johnny Stewart PC-1 Call 896KB
High Pitched Squeal (highpc1.mp3) with the Johnny Stewart PC-1 Call 920KB
High Pitched Squeal (highpc1lv.mp3) Low-Volume with the Johnny Stewart PC-1 Call 920KB
Hurt Coyote Pup (hurtpc1.mp3) with the Johnny Stewart PC-1 Call 931KB
Utah Jackrabbit (lmuj1.mp3) imitation with the L&M Howler call 672KB
Coyote Challenge Bark (lhhcallenge.mp3) with the Loess Hills Howler 694KB
Coyote Howl (lhhowler.mp3) with the Loess Hills Howler 648KB
Coyote Howl (wileyoneh.mp3) with the Wiley One Howler 671KB
Hurt Coyote Pup (wileyonehp.mp3) with the Wiley One Howler 666KB
2-Minutes of Silence (2-min-silence.mp3) 941KB
1-Minutes of Silence (1-min-silence.mp3) 469KB
Coyote Greeting Howl (elkpowerhowl.mp3) E.L.K. Power Howler for a single howl somewhere in a sequence.
Coyote Chatter Howl (elkchatterhowl.mp3) E.L.K. Power Howler for a single howl somewhere in a sequence.
Locater (locater1.mp3) 635KB Clear tone siren courtesy of Howard Drummond, Fire Crew Capitan.
Locater (locater2.mp3) 720KB Crank tone siren courtesy of Howard Drummond, Fire Crew Captain.
Note. The siren locater sound will not call in coyotes but is used to locate the coyotes. A siren sounds will often cause coyotes to howl back. You can then tell where the coyotes are located and come back 30 min or so later and make a calling stand near where you heard the coyotes howling back at the siren.
ANOTHER PAGE.... There is more info on how I used three of the calling sounds on a couple of coyote calling sessions: Coyote Stand with Pictures and Sounds.
MAKE YOUR OWN CALLING SEQUENCES.... You can rename the calling sounds and the silence files and load them to your MP3 player in the order you want them to play. It is like making a play list. Or you can download Audacity a free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. Here is a link on how Audacity could be used to create your own sequence.
20 MINUTE SAMPLE CALLING SEQUENCE....
Copy the silence sound, 2-min-silence.mp3, into s1.mp3, s2.mp3,
s3.mp3 and s4.mp3 etc. Write the sounds to your MP3 player in the
order you want. I was able to put this sequence into one file using the Magix
sound software. Once you start the sequence, you will have 2 minutes to walk
away from the player before the calling starts. Then it will play the sequence
and you can concentrate on any approaching coyotes without fiddling around with
Download 20-min-sequence.mp3. 10.563MB 20:34 Min:Sec
17 MINUTE SEQUENCE.... This sequence starts with 2 minutes of silence
then the chicken distress. After 1 minute of silence it then has the chicken
distress with the tiny dogs barking. The sequence continues alternating and
finally ends with the coyote chatter howl. This should be good for call wise
Download tiny-dog-chicken-sequence.mp3 16.5 MB.
16 MINUTE CALLING SEQUENCE.... This sequence starts at half-volume
with the first sound. I really like this sound sequence.
Download 16-min-sequence.mp3. 10.779 MB 17:13 Min:Sec
1-Minute of Silence
1-Minute of Silence
1-Minute of Silence
2-Minutes of Silence
1-Minute of Silence
1-Minute of Silence
EL-CHEAPO ELECTRONIC CALLER.... I have tried this combination and it plays the MP3 sound files with good quality and plenty of volume. The little mini-amp can easily drive the PowerHorn type speaker with good volume. You will want to mark the volume setting so that there will be no distortion. The two minutes of silence is just about right to walk about 80 to 100 yards away from the caller. A 512Mb Secure Digital card will hold plenty of sound files. All MP3 players are NOT the same. Some of them will not play the MP3 files as they were. I have now converted them over to FM quality and they should work with all MP3 players. The TRIO MP3 Player works fine and runs on one AAA battery. The Mini Audio Amplifier runs on one 9V battery. I have used the same set of batteries for about 6 stands of 30 minutes each and the batteries are still working. As far as I can tell, the TRIO MP3 Player has been discontinued. But there are numerous other MP3 players available. Check the first item listed below.
Note: The almost identical setup is listed on the Predator Masters Tech Section. It is called The Homemade E-Caller. I was not aware of it when I put the info together for the El-Cheapo.
Here is an even cheaper build for the E-Caller. See the video here: Wild Enough to Shoot At
Here is a list of the parts: The links keep changing. I have no control over that.
MP3 PLAYER W/ 1Gb MICRO SD CARD AND READER (While they last)
UP-DATE.... MP3 Player with 2 Gb built in memory plus it will also record your own sounds with the built-in recorder.
Mini Audio Amplifier
4x6" 50-Watt Indoor/Outdoor PowerHorn
12-Inch Shielded Stereo Audio Cable The cable between the Mini Amp and the MP3 Player. I have heard that the mono cable into the MP3 player sometimes has problems by shorting out one channel and distorting the sound in the channel being used.
All Electronics Corp. Catalog No. PMP - MONO PLASTIC 3.5 MM PLUG. The connector will need to be soldered to the PowerHorn's cable. You can get this connector at Radio Shack when you get the Mini Amp here abut at a higher price.
Note: Above are the places where the hardware is still available. There are many other places where the items may be purchases. Also, the 1GB Secure Digital cards now cost about as much as the 512MB SD cards were priced a few months ago and the 1GB SD card has twice the storage size.
Al, you are completely free to use my pictures and technique for building this for your website. Your generosity is extended back to you my friend.
Note: The reason the action is random is that the tail hits either
the ground or the lower bar. It really makes an erratic action.
Here is an easy to construct variation on the Dick Wendell's Weasel Ball decoy. The random action occurs because the tail hits
the bent bar and then appears to jump around instead of just swing around like a fan.
Instructions on how to build it are here.
Lee put these videos up on YouTube showing how it works. Good job Lee Chastain.
More instructions on building this version of the decoy.
The Wobble Weasel by Scott Pierce.
Click on the link above to view the video and instructions on how it works and how to build it. This looks good and appears to be very easy to build. Some thin rod, a spring and hot glue. Varmint hunters are a very ingenious bunch.
The Hammock Decoy
My wife Valinda came up with the ideal to use a Weasel Ball toy for a decoy. I bought one for about $7.00 at a local toy store. The problem with it was on un-level ground it didn't roll well and you couldn't see it over the brush. So when I got home I went to work on it. I unscrewed the cap off the ball to access the motor this is what I came up with.
1.) Disconnect the tail/Weasel from the ball unscrew ball halves (discard top half of the ball keeping motor half). Motor turns/spins inside ball half.
2.) Take the three screws out of the weight retaining cover on the electric motor and remove the weights (a little pressure with screw driver helps achieve this). This gives the motor more speed yet still allows it to wobble when finished.
3.) Drill tiny hole 1/16 into side of weight retaining cover then screw back to motor.
4.) Drill 1/16 - 1/8 hole in bottom of ball half and glue in a 1/16 - 1/8 steel rod approx 1 - 2 foot long also take a hammer and flatten out about 4 inches of end of rod that goes into the ground to keep rod from spinning (the ball wants to spin the rod so by flattening what's stuck in the ground it keeps the rod from spinning so motor is all that spins) Rod and ball half doesn't spin only motor.
5.) Spray paint the assembly dull gray.
6.) Reinsert tail/Weasel into hole on motor weight cover.
7.) Push steel rod into ground and turn on, it spins the tail and wobbles as well.
Total cost around $10.00 and gives motion as well and uses 1 AA battery.
Please e-mail me back and let me know what you think of it.
EL-CHEAPO WORKS.... I took the El-Cheapo out for a test run. The roads are finally open and not mud slides anymore so I could get to my hunting area. I made two stands with no success. On the second stand, a ground squirrel was standing up chirping at me. He was about 100 yards out near the El-Cheapo. After I concluded that there were going to be no coyote takers, it was time to check the zero on my rifle. The scolding ground squirrel confirmed the zero on the old Sako Forester was right on out of a cold clean barrel. Off to the third stand. Less than 5 minutes into the third stand here comes a coyote. I saw him at about 400 yards way down the hill coming through the tall grass. He quickly went behind a rise heading my way and I was able to setup in the direction where I thought he would next appear. I was using the 16 minute sequence and it was only in the second sound (lmuj1.mp3) when I first saw the coyote.
ON A BEE LINE.... After the one minute of silence between the sounds, the third sound (jrpc1.mp3) starts up and here comes the coyote. He was on a Bee-line heading straight to the call and wasn't looking in my direction at all. At 22 steps from the El-Cheapo, he stopped, broadside, for the fatal 2 seconds at about 80 yards. The 95 gr 243 Nosler Ballistic Tip caught him right behind the front shoulder. I saw him roll once in the tall grass. I let the calling continue for the full 16 minutes hoping for a double, but no other coyote showed. It was interesting to watch a doe and her fawn at about 300 yards. They were my forward spotters and really picked up their ears for each new sound. At one point, they were both looking to the side and I thought there might be another coyote incoming but no show. About 10 minutes into the calling both the doe and fawn stiff stepped out of sight. The coyote was crawling with ticks. It looks like it is going to be a bad tick year. I used Velcro to mount the amp and MP3 player onto the power horn. It works OK.
Here is a 10X zoom of Mt Diablo to the West from where I got the coyote. There is a little haze in the hot air coming from all those liberals in the San Francisco area. My eyes were starting to itch. It is either hay fever or I am allergic to liberals. Probably both.
EL-CHEAPO SCORES AGAIN.... I tried a different location. This is the place where the old house WAS. It is no more. I will post a picture of it on the Hunting Stories Page. I setup just south of the old burned out house. I was sitting under an oak tree up against the trunk and it dark shade. I had the El-Cheapo out about 75 yards upwind away from me pointed south. I had just about given up that no coyote would show. The 16 minute sequence was into the hurt pup call and about done. I was ready to give up. I glassed the far hillside one more time. This dry female was at about 250 yards sitting looking in the direction of the caller. The advantage of having the coyote not looking directly at you like they do when you use hand calls is really important. Anyhow, I cranked the old Tasco up to 16X and dialed in 250 yards. I held about 4 inches into the wind on her chest. Bang! I see her rolling down the hill. That old Sako sure is a reliable rifle with the first shot out of a cold barrel being right where I aim. This coyote also had numerous ticks on it. It is going to be a bad tick season this year. No sign of mange.
Hi Al! Just wanted to write to you about my first coyote hunt of the year! The weather has been unseasonably warm here, but I couldn't wait any longer to put "El Cheapo" and the weasel ball decoy to their first test of the fall on October 31, 2008.
I made a trip to an area that was great last year, but while walking to the first stand I was disappointed in the amount of sign around. The first stand yielded nothing so I was off to make another. I had just finished turning on the call and returned to my seat when I looked about 200yds to the right to see a coyote before the call had even started to run. Well, I figured I'd just get prone and shoot him. After the shot, all I saw was the coyote running off unscathed. That's when I decided to sight the gun in at 100 yds, not 300yds. Most of my shooting while calling is at that distance...I won't make that mistake anymore!
The next stand is in a spot that I just love and have had success before. It is on top of a juniper-treed mesa with a windmill nearby. There is a large area on top that has no trees, just some low cover and sagebrush. I found a dead tree to hang the call on about 30yds from where I wanted to sit with my back to a juniper. I put the weasel ball decoy in the ground and turned them both on and made my way back to the seat. Just after I adjusted my bipod for the correct height, the call began running the 16 minute sequence I downloaded from your site. The two minutes of silence is just the right amount of time to get back and get set-up. Upon the second sound on the sequence, jackrabbit, I saw a flash off to the right and up the hill. It was a coyote running in to the call. She was coming fast and I had to turn a little to the right in case she decided to stop. I waited until a tree obscured her view so as not to let her see me move. She kept coming trying to circle out and downwind of the calling. Coyotes are smart. Before she could get downwind I lip-squeaked to stop her. She looked right up toward me and saw the weasel ball. That was all the time I needed to settle the crosshairs of my Browning A-bolt Varmint Stalker in .243 wssm behind her shoulder and touch it off. "El-Cheapo" scores again! The first of the season.
Thanks Al! I love your site and appreciate your willingness to share your knowledge. Rick Camuglia, Albuquerque, New Mexico
NOTE: If you want to make a calling series out of these files or the files on my Coyote Calling Page, here is an important MP3 file. 2-Minutes of Silence with no call at all, not even white noise. I made the file by shorting out he microphone. You can start a calling sequence with silence. This will give you time to get back to your stand and get ready. Also, you can put the silence file in between each of the calling MP3 files one or more times so that the calling is not continuous. I have found that when you burn a CD, you might want to copy the files and rename each file like Afile1.mp3, Bfile2.mp3, Cfile3.mp3 etc. so they will be in the correct order. Some CD burning programs seem to have a mind of their own on the order of files it writes.
Caution: These MP3 sound files could cost you serious money. I take no responsibility for any rifles, scopes, ammo, reloading gear, hand calls, electronic callers, and camo gear you might need if you get hooked on coyote hunting. You are on your own so proceed with caution.
I received this email. As you can see, it is already costing him money.
I am just learning and beginning to hunt coyotes. Your website is very helpful. I am 21 years old and from Kentucky. Our family farms so I have access to a lot of good land. I downloaded your calls and made a CD and actually brought in 6 coyotes with it on 3 different stands but I couldn't get any of them close enough for a good shot. But I am hooked!
I have purchased three calls- Circe P1 and P2 (jackrabbit and cottontail) and a Circe Howler #285. I have a few questions as I am trying to learn to use them. I have been reading a lot about coyotes and I think I understand how to set up in a stand but I am not confident in my calling since I have yet to call in a coyote. How can I practice and know my rabbit sounds are realistic? Do you have a longer example of how the Circe calls can and should sound? Does it make sense to use a jackrabbit call since there are no jackrabbits here? The howler is really hard to blow, is this normal or is there a better howler I should buy? Thanks a lot for your time and all the info on your website.
Here is another email:
Just writing to say thanks for the free sounds. My son and I tried them the first time here in Nova Scotia and the Big male coyote actually hit the CD player "twice" on the attack. He was directly under our stand and wanted that screaming rabbit sound but he got the 12 gauge instead. Lots of coyotes around here now. Thanks again and here is a picture of him. Andrew
Hi Al, just thought I would enclose a pic of my first coyote. I used the info on your page and built my el cheapo call. Down loaded some files from your page and took to the field. First time out was yesterday afternoon. The call (16-min-sequence.mp3) wasn't even through it's first 3 minutes and this coyote showed up at 328 yds. A 50 gr. Hornady V-Max from my .223 Rem. put her down in her tracks. Thanks for the info!
I want to thank you for all your advice and the work you put into your website! It has been a great tool and guide for me since I got into fox/coyote calling just a year ago. I live in northwestern Wisconsin. I decided to make the El-Cheapo caller and take it out for a test trial. I made my own calling sequence due to the fact that in our area a fox, coyote, or the rare bobcat around this area may be within calling range. On my very first stand I used a series of three Chicken distress calls with a minute of silence between the distress calls. On the third distress call this beautiful gray fox came bounding out of the woods and on a straight line for my setup. He stopped at this fence line just 65 yards away. My 218 B took the animal humanly and quickly with very minimal pelt damage. Thank you again for all of you hard work and support for all of us out there! Keep it coming! A grateful supporter, Justin Pendleton
Just wanted to write you a quick "Thank You" note for the call sounds I've downloaded from your site. They work better than I could have ever imagined. You have put up such a great site with so much helpful info that I have not even been able to read it all yet, but I will.
I have to tell about my first coyote hunt. I live in Central Ohio and do quite a bit of hunting. Mostly Turkey, Deer and small game such as Rabbit and Squirrel. I've been noticing more and more Coyote and signs of Coyote the past few years so I decided I'd put some time into shooting some of the little Rabbit eating suckers. It's March here now and nothing else is in season so it seemed like a good time to try something new.
Anyway, my neighbor and hunting buddy Bryan and I went out this past Sunday morning for our first try. Bryan owns a Sporting goods/Bait and Tackle store here in town and has some of the store-bought type electronic calls that can be bought. I've downloaded the sequenced sounds and a few of the others from your site. I've made myself a version (slightly different) of the electronic call you have pictured. After playing around with his calls and my homemade one with your sounds we both decided that mine sounded better and was much louder, so we used it on the first hunt.
WOW! That's the best way to describe the action this thing made happen. We got out to a friends 150 acre farm just before daylight. Setup near the middle of the property next to large tree that was big enough to conceal both of our outlines and turned on the call. We had only been there about fifteen minutes when a Coyote came trotting up from a small creek area straight in to my scope view. One shot straight into the chest from the 22-250 at about 80 yards and you can imagine this old male dog didn't do anything but fall on the ground.
I have never hunted anything and had it all happen this quick and easy. What a blast. If it weren't 7:00am I would have been ready for a beer. We sat and called for another hour or so but didn't see anything else. I'm guessing there are more Coyotes in the area but the shot at first one might have spooked them away. I'm going to include a couple of the pictures we took that day. I'm the bigger guy in the picture. I can't say it enough times. THANKS! Wayne Stephens
A year ago I did not know how to call a coyote, and thanks to your info
I just killed my 43rd coyote. Thanks for all your help my deer and
hogs might make a comeback. Regards, Eric Dicke
Another Email showing the sound files work:
Just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate your tips, sounds, and advice on your website. We entered into a Coyote Calling Contest and look at the results. Check the attachments. I’m a huge fan. Keep doing what you’re doing buddy. You’re awesome. Please feel free to do what you want with these pictures.
We used your calls that were on the website. Specifically the ones that we used were Jackrabbit Distress 1 and Jackrabbit Distress 2. We entered into a coyote calling contest on the 19th of December. The hunt was from Sun up to Sun down. The limits were a 100 mile radius of El Paso, TX. We could have had a two or three person team. James Wagner and Steven Holden set a team together the night before the competition started and hunted in Sierra Blanca, TX about 90 miles from El Paso.
Out here in the desert there are PLENTY of coyotes to kill. I really think that they are probably one of the most over populated critters around. They will come to just about anything. We downloaded your sounds onto my Foxpro and let them rip man. We had coyotes on our position in 3 minutes or less on 3 different set ups. We even called in a double on a coyote and bobcat. Unfortunately we only got the coyote on that hunt because we didn’t see the bobcat until we got up to pick up the dog. It was an awesome hunt man, and we ended up with a tie for 1st place in the competition. Hope all is well with you Varmint Al. Thanks for your website buddy. We couldn’t have done it without you. Keep calling those yotes.
Steve and James
Note: I made all of the calling sounds on this page myself and recorded them with a microphone and my computer. They are MP3 files. You are welcome to download them, copy them, and use them any way you wish. I made the sounds to promote hunting and just for the fun of doing it. My reward is having more people enjoying hunting and quite likely supporting the Second Amendment. Good Hunting... from Varmint Al
Short free sound files that are less than 5 seconds long:
greeting howl E.L.K. Power Howler
Coyote chatter howl E.L.K. Power Howler
Coyote greeting howl #2 Dan Thompson Red Desert Howler
Coyote greeting howl #3 Dan Thompson Red Desert Howler
Coyote greeting howl Dennis Kirk Howler
Jackrabbit with Woods Wise with Vari-pitched howler
Circe Jackrabbit call
Circe Cotton Tail call
Dan Thompson PC-2 rabbit screams
Fawn Bleat with a single reed diaphragm
Challenge Bark with the Dan Thompson coyote howler call
Hurt pup with the Johnny Stewart PC-1 vari-pitched call
THE CALL.... My favorite call was the Woods Wise Vari-pitched howler, but the mouthpiece broke. Not sure they are still selling them. You can get one from Wing Supply Model No. WW060 or the latest RedHead catalog. You can't make a decent coyote howl like this with it, but you can make the most varied hurt jackrabbit to cotton tail calls with it. Just by biting down on the two halves of the mouthpiece you can vary the pitch. [Note. The Wood Wise call finally broke and I can't find another one. I have switched to the Johnny Stewart PC-1 Variable call and it works just as well if not better.] Opening and closing your hand around the end of the call is almost as important as the air pressure on the mouth end. If you do it correctly, you can almost feel the bobcat's teeth as he is biting down on the back of the cotton tail. It can be loud or soft and with the most emotion of any call I have used. A real winner. It does have one problem. After about 30 minutes of use, the reed travels down the mouthpiece toward the exit of the call. Then it gets difficult to make the soft whimpering sounds and takes about twice the air to use. Just take the mouthpiece out and pry open from the exit end and slide the reed to the front. I use the back of a pocket knife blade (while it is closed) between the front of the two plastic pieces that you bite on. This leverages it so you can move the reed forward. It is hard to explain with words, but once you have the call in your hand and see that the reed has moved, you will figure out a way to move it forward.
|The various calls I carry in my fanny pack are:
RABBIT SCREAMS.... My second favorite is a pair of calls and they are the Circe Jackrabbit and Circe Cottontail calls. The jackrabbit call is loud! It can be raspy and have lots of emotion. The cottontail call is not quite so loud, but I have brought in coyotes from a mile away with it. Be sure to use your hand around the end of the call, causing back-pressure and then releasing the pressure. Opening and closing your hand around the end of the call is almost as important as the air pressure on the mouth end.
The Johnny Stewart's PC-1 vari-pitched call is very good. It has a rubber button that you can bite down on and a tiny teat of rubber that clamps the metal reed. You can make all of the jackrabbit and cottontail pleading sounds with it. It is very good there, but you can make it sound like a hurt coyote pup. That is where it shines. You can duplicate the ki-yi high-pitched sounds of a pup being trounced by a big invading male coyote. This call is great in the springtime or early summer when the pups are still young and haven't left the home range.
COYOTE HOWL.... The Dan Thompson coyote howler call is the best howler I have used. I can talk a pretty good "hurt rabbit", but when I talk "coyote", I am not sure I am always using the correct message. I am improving with howling, and on several occasions, it has worked very well. A regular greeting howl sometimes works. Repeat it three times, then wait a few minutes and then repeat the series. They will seldom answer. When they come in, it will usually be a slow and quiet approach. They fear you might be a much bigger coyote than they are! They come in with caution, but not always. I once saw 4 coyotes running across a flat area about a mile away. I tried the Circe Jackrabbit call on them and there was absolutely no effect. I gave three greeting howls and they turned on a dime and started trotting my way. I made no more calls and they continued toward me. There were some bushes in front of me (bad situation). Well, they never did stop. When the scope was full of fur, I missed one and never got another shot. It happens that way some times! There were four of them, and maybe that is why they came in so fast.
MAKING THE COYOTE HOWL.... It is difficult to explain in words how to make a greeting howl, but I will give it a try. The greeting howl is 2 or 3 barks followed a 2 to 3 second high pitched howl. It takes a lot of practice to get it right. To make the two or three barks at the start you put about 80% of the Dan Thompson Red Desert mouthpiece in your mouth (with the reed up) and do a sharp fast "huff" into the call and at the same time you pull the mouthpiece out of your mouth about a quarter of an inch. The long howl at the end starts like a bark, but you pull the mouthpiece out of your mouth about half way and squeeze on the reed to make the pitch go higher. The challenge bark has the 2 or 3 barks followed by a high pitched howl for about 1 second. During the short howl, the pressure is varied to make the variable pitch during the howl. It will take a lot of practice. VarmintCaller.com Good Calling Sequences and Custom Calls.
HOW YOUR HOWL SOUNDS TO THE COYOTE.... One thing to remember is that the howl that you are making is going to be heard way out there, maybe 400 yards or more. It does not sound to the coyote like it does to you as you make the howl. It might sound raspy or not perfect to you, but at that distance the coyote merely hears a "howl". All of the detail that you can hear as you are blowing the howl is lost as the sound travels 400 yards or more. The higher frequency sound details are attenuated more traveling through the air than lower frequencies. If the coyote was sitting right next to you he would know that the howl is fake, but at a distance he can't tell the difference. Coyote howling works. Get a howler and give it a try. It is easy to talk the coyote with practice.
COYOTE TALK WITH A HOWLER.... I took Steve,
a young kid (22 years old), out calling with me. We setup on each side of a pond
on the hillsides about 250 yards apart. I could watch the hillside in back of
Steve and he could see anything coming into the call above and behind me. Well
about 3 minutes into the rabbit cries with a Dan Thompson PC-3 here comes a
coyote off to my right at a fast run. At about 30 yards, I tried to swivel to
the right (difficult for a right handed shooter) and the coyote spotted the
movement and reversed directions and went up the hill behind me and out of sight
and also out of sight to Steve. Thinking there might be another coyote in the
area, I continued with the rabbit screams and the coyote started a warning bark.
I used the Dan Thompson Red Desert Howler and answered with a challenge bark.
The coyote answered back with a challenge bark. I continued to talk to him for
about 15 minutes. I was hoping he would move to a location where Steve could get
a shot. Later Steve told me he was seeing glimpses of him, but he would only
stay still for a second or two and then move out of sight again. Finally, I
switched back to the rabbit screams and here comes two more coyotes at a dead
run off to the right. Again I had to swivel to the right and I was just ready to
line up on one as he stopped and he dropped. Steve got him from across the
canyon. The other one ran off and the first coyote quit barking.
It was one exciting stand and Steve came across the canyon telling me all of the things he had seen. I have a calling partner for sure. I called in 3 more coyotes at different stands later in the day and Steve got another one that was just a young pup. It was a good day and the howler made the difference between success and failure on that first stand. Don't give up when they start barking at you. Remember that ALL the coyotes in the area will be listening and even if you can't get the one who has spotted you and is barking at you to come in, the others might come in like they are on a leash. Also it is very good calling practice to learn coyote talk when you answer each one of his barks and switch it over to a challenge bark.
MORE COYOTE TALK WITH HOWLERS.... I was up on a camping/hunting trip in the High Sierras and camped on Baltic Ridge. The coyotes in the area must have been call wise. I tried a number of stands with rabbit scream calls. I didn't bring in a single coyote. I did see some bear tracks and was cautiously watching my backside during the calling.
The second morning, I got to a good overhanging rock with an excellent view of any approaching coyote and decided to try calling with a howler. I have the Dan Thompson Red Desert Howler and a Songdog Howler. The Dan Thompson is a bit on the high pitch side (young coyote) and the Songdog howler is even higher pitched (very young coyote). Here is how it went:
SIMULATING A FIGHT.... I sounded two greeting calls with the Dan
Thompson Red Desert Howler. I heard an answer from a couple of coyotes more than
a mile away. I answered with a couple more greeting calls. I waited about a
minute and then sounded about six challenge barks with the Dan Thompson Red
Desert Howler. Then I answered these with a series of challenge barks from the
Songdog howler. I waited about 3 minutes and then started a series of three hurt
pup calls with the Songdog howler. That was it. I quit calling. During all of
this calling, there were no answers from the distant coyotes. About 10 minutes
later a large male coyote came trotting up the hill and made a fatal stop at
about 100 yards in clear view.
During the complete series of calls, no rabbit screams were used at all. I was trying to create a series of calls that would simulate a fight between two young coyotes. The idea was that the coyotes in the area would then want to run both of them out of their territory. Well, it worked.
DENNIS KIRK HOWLER.... I received my new Dennis Kirk Howler in the mail yesterday. It sounds pretty good. It is a little larger in diameter than the Dan Thompson Red Desert Howler, but not too much. It will still fit in my fanny pack. I have played with it a little and here is a pretty respectable greeting howl on it. I will try it in the field and report here on how well it works.
SD COYOTE HOWLER.... I received the SD Coyote Howler by Steve W. Thompson in the mail. I tried it out here in the computer room and the dogs went wild. It is very easy to blow and sounds pretty good to me. It does not sound like a big male coyote, more like a young male or a female. I will try it in the field in a few days. Saturday is the first day of pheasant season and I have to do my duty and walk the dog, but next week I will test it in the field. Here is a greeting howl with it. One pro caller said I am holding the howl a bit too long. I will try to shorten things up a bit in the future. Here is a challenge bark that sounds pretty good. And finally here is a hurt pup being chewed up by a big alpha male and calling for his mother, while he is trying to get away. I think Steve has a pretty good call here. Email Steve if you want to talk to him about calls.
Crotalus viridis viridis
RATTLESNAKES.... Steve not only makes a good coyote call. He also has a web site with a wealth of information about Rattlesnakes plus the distinctive rattling sound.
CHEAP DIAPHRAGM CALL.... I have been using a new call for coyotes that is working very well. It takes a while to learn how to use it, but it is time well spent. It is an H.S. STRUT Mag 3.5 Diaphragm Wild Turkey Call. The call has 3 reeds closely spaced and one reed spaced back halfway up the opening. I got it from Wing Supply at 800-388-9464 Model No. 9900832 for $1.99. That price is hard to beat. The call is placed on the roof of your mouth with the open end of the "U" pointing out and the short reed facing down toward your tongue. I am not good at making turkey sounds, but here is the call imitating a hen turkey. By using more pressure and longer sounds, the same call will make good raspy sounding hurt jackrabbit screams. Turn the call over and it behaves like a single reed call without the raspy sound. Here is a fairly good fawn bleat. Add some pressure with sharp bursts and you have a coyote hurt pup call. That is quite a variety of sounds for one call. Using the call, your hands are free and you can be looking through the scope and still calling. When they stop at 200 yards and you want to coach them a bit closer, try blowing softly and make rabbit whimper sounds. This sounds like the rabbit is just about dead and brings them right in. This is really a very soft sound, but it sounds loud on the computer system.
OTHER COYOTE SOUNDS.... Here is the challenge bark. Repeat this in a series of threes or fours, for about a minute. I believe this tells any coyote around (in the California dialect) that you're new in the territory and you're going to take over. This is an invitation to fight. You won't bring in many females or young males with this call.
Finally, the mouth diaphragm calls are very good. They take the most work of all. You really have to use air pressure and lots of diaphragm control to make them sound correctly. I used to play a bassoon in the 8th Army Band in Seoul, Korea and it is as hard as playing the bassoon to get the most out of them. Again, the standard predator diaphragms will make the jackrabbit and cottontail sounds. If you get a standard hen turkey call, you can make a great hurt coyote pup call. The hurt pup call works, even in areas where lots of calling has been done and there are no virgin ears around.
CALLING WITH EMOTION.... I like to start the calling with a medium volume. While calling, picture in your mind's eye a cottontail just being caught by a bobcat. The cat takes a bite on its shoulders. The cottontail is surprised and suddenly starts urgent screams. After a few screams, the cat relaxes a bit and the urgency decreases to a whimper. The whimpers have a quivering, crying, pleading sound. Then another bite and it hurts. Urgency again and the rabbit is getting weaker. Then the cat starts biting off chunks and the urgency is there, but the strength is going and more quivering. If the coyote out there doesn't get here pretty fast, there will be nothing left to eat! Now the screams are slower and weaker, almost like moaning. Visualize your calling this way. It makes for much more believable sounds. The same thing applies if you are doing the hurt coyote pup call. Watch that big male coyote take a bite and the pup cowers and screams and whimpers.
NEW CALLING SEQUENCE.... I have recently been using a new calling sequence that has brought in 4 coyotes in the last two outings. Here is how it works. I start with the medium sized Dan Thompson PC-2 rabbit call and blow a series of rabbit screams for about 2-3 minutes. I wait for about 3-4 minutes and then blow two greeting howls with the Dan Thompson Red Desert Howler. I try to make the howls on the anemic side representing a young coyote. I didn't get an answer and don't expect an answer to the howl. You are in the coyote's home territory and he will come to run you off for eating one of his its rabbits. The anemic howl has told him that you are weak and a pushover. At least, that is the theory.
CALLING DURATION.... My calling sequences take about 2-3 minutes until the rabbit is just about dead. Then I wait about 3-5 minutes and repeat. If it is a really good location, I will revive the rabbit for another 2-3 minute sequence. Then I sit there for at least another 15 minutes. I have had some "walk-in" coyotes. They know where the sound was coming from, but they were in no hurry. When you finally feel nothing is coming and are ready to quit, stand up at the alert. A coyote could be sitting where you can't see him and then he will show himself. Do a complete 360° scan before you leave.
OLD DOG LEARNING NEW TRICKS.... I was on a recent hunting/fishing trip into the Sweetwater Mountains of California and I successfully called in a couple of coyotes. The new trick I learned is how to make the rabbit squeal sound raspy without humming into the call. I was using the Dan Thompson PC-3 call that produces rabbit screams and it is very good. I had been using it by blowing into it and using my hand opening and closing the end of the call to make the sounds. PC-3 plain is how it sounds when I blow it this way. This is a very productive sound and does bring in coyotes. But, I have heard that humming into the call works better. I don't think so. PC-3 hum is how it sounds when I hum into the call as I am blowing. This does not sound right to me.
MAKING THE RASPY SOUND.... Here is the new trick. I played an Alto Horn and Trumpet when I was in the Marching Band in Korea. (I played a bassoon in the concert band). I was sitting there calling coyotes and nothing was coming in and I got to looking at the mouthpiece of the call and it looks like a trumpet mouthpiece! I am sure that Dan Thompson made it that way on purpose. So, I thought I would try the call while blowing it like a trumpet. WOW! What a sound it makes when you blow the call that way. It has a raspy ness that just reeks of a coyote chewing apart a rabbit while the rabbit is choking on its own blood. PC-3 Raspy is how it sounds when you use the call like a trumpet mouthpiece. I make a light raspberry sound with my lips like blowing a trumpet as I am calling. If you have a call with a mouthpiece like this, give it a try. It takes a little practice, but is very easy to do.
Thompson Game Calls
Red Desert Howler &
PC-3 Coyote Calls
You may reach Dan at:
A CALLING SEQUENCE THAT WORKS.... Here is the calling sequence I was using that was working very well. I would start with two or three coyote howls using the Dan Thompson Red Desert Howler. In the photo above, the calls are sitting on top of a floppy disk so you can get an idea of their size. DT Howl 1 and DT Howl 2 are what the howler sounds like. Note that the pitch is high and squeaky. I am not trying to imitate an alpha male coyote that has a low pitched howl. I am trying to imitate a young coyote who doesn't know what he is doing. This weak and immature call invites the local coyote pack to come and run the intruder out of their territory. After the howls, I wait about two-three minutes. If any coyotes are close, they might come in quietly. I have not had any coyotes answer the howls. (Twice, after writing this, I have had answers, but it is very unusual.) Then I start with the PC-3 Raspy 1 using a low volume. I make that call for 20 or 30 seconds and then quit. In another two or three minutes, I switch to a louder PC-3 Raspy for another 30 seconds or so. After about 10 minutes or 3 series of this and if nothing shows, I do the PC-3 Flutter in case a coyote is hanging up out of sight. If you have a call with a mouthpiece shaped like a trumpet mouthpiece, give this technique a try. If I have only a few places where I can make stands, I repeat the whole series again from start to finish. I usually just sit quietly after I finish calling for about 10 or 15 minutes. I have had "walk in" coyotes that leisurely come in to investigate. Note: In the new Lock, Stock & Barrel Catalog, I notice the they carry the Dan Thompson line of calls.
anemic greeting howl #1 Dan Thompson Red Desert Howler
Coyote anemic greeting howl #2 Dan Thompson Red Desert Howler
Rabbit scream Dan Thompson PC-3 plain
Rabbit scream Dan Thompson PC-3 humming
Rabbit scream Dan Thompson PC-3 raspy playing trumpet
Rabbit scream Dan Thompson PC-3 raspy flutter
ELECTRONIC CALLS.... I have tried an electronic call. It is a "Trucall 1.1" and looks like a bullhorn. It has 10 electronic sounds. I got it about 3 years ago from Wing Supply, but they don't list it anymore. Note that the numbering on the list was probably done by the programmer who wrote the software for the chips. To a programmer, a zero is a perfectly good number in a list! ;-)
0. Bark Howl Coyote (really a greeting howl)
1. Course Cottontail
2. Distress Jackrabbit
3. Distress Fawn
4. Squeaker Rodent
5. Grey Fox Pup (I like this one the best)
6. Distress Woodpecker
7. Raccoon Squaller
8. Fighting Crow-Owl
9. Multiple Baby Crow
I have used it about 30+ times, in some really good locations and have called in only 2 coyotes. My success rate is much better with hand calls. The sound quality has a lot of "white noise" along with the sounds. It is loud when you turn up the volume! It runs on 8 AA batteries and only weighs about 3 lb. The sounds are generated on a chip and are repeated about every 30 seconds. Same series over and over. It is still in my truck, but it is gathering dust. I like the hand calls and diaphragm calls a lot better and they are more effective for me.
I have another old electronic call that is merely a tape player with a gel cell battery in a tool box. I have tried it about 20+ times and have NEVER brought in a coyote with it. I gave up on it altogether. The sound quality was not good.
FAWN CAUGHT IN A FENCE.... If you are in deer country where there are barbed wire fences, here is a trick you can try. One time or another, every coyote out there has probably caught a meal that has been entangled in a fence. Make your stand next to the fence midway between the posts where you can see well and try this. Make the fawn in distress call like this (see the section on deer calls). While you make the call, take a stick or your hand and hit the wire of the fence simulating a fawn struggling on the fence wire. The wire sound will travel a long way down the fence line.
FAWN BLEAT.... A few weeks ago, there was a TV news story about a fawn trapped in a sewer drain. The police roped the fawn and pulled it out of the hole. While the guy was holding the fawn, it was bleating. I got out a call and tried to imitate the sound. Here is the Fawn Bleat with an old single reed diaphragm call. It works too. Yesterday, I went to one of my coyote hunting places and tried it out. These coyotes are smart and they have heard everything I have to offer. I setup where I had a good view of the hillside around a small pond. I started with the fawn bleat using a tube call. After 5 minutes, nothing. Then I switched to a diaphragm call (it sounds better with the diaphragm call) and after 5 minutes more, there was a new object up on the hillside. It was a big male coyote sitting looking at me at 300 yards. With the 243 Sako, I dialed in 275 yards on the scope and setup on my Bi-Fur-Pod and touched one off. Bang -- Whoop! He tumbled over like a sack of flour.
When I climbed up to him, I could see his track in the grass and he had headed from up-wind to get down-wind of my position. I noticed a lot of coyote scat in the area and it was solid black/dark brown hair from cows and calves. The farmer will be happy to find out about one less coyote. Give the fawn bleat a try. Sound out about 6 or 7 bleats then wait a minute or so and then repeat.
More on the fawn bleat two days later. I went to a different section and tried the fawn bleat call again. I gave out a series of 6 calls and quit and waited. About 30 seconds later here comes a critter from up wind about 350 yards out at a hard run straight toward me. It was a doe! She continued the hard run until she was about 100 yards out and stopped. Well, I was still trying to bring in a coyote, so I ignored her and gave out another series of fawn bleats. The doe charged toward me and stopped about 40 ft from me. I was getting a bit nervous that I should stand up and let her know what I was. She started making the doe warning cough at me and began to move around me to a down wind position. After a standoff of about five minutes, she had moved enough to get a whiff of me and she took off and stopped about 200 yards out. Well, I continued to call and now had a live decoy out there coughing at me at regular intervals. It was interesting, but all I called in was the doe. I must have the sound of the fawn bleat down pretty well!
WATCH THE TRAILS.... Where is the coyote going to come from? Coyotes like a quiet approach. Using the trails is easiest and makes the least noise. Busting through the brush or tall grass makes the most noise. Look for them to come in on a trail or an old road. They will most often use the line of least resistance. I hunted near a large lake a couple of years ago. Up each drainage into the lake, I would check the dry wash for a trail. If there was a well-established trail with coyote tracks, it was easy. I would make a stand where I could see about 100 to 200 yards of the trail. Start calling up the canyon and watch the trail. Got two coyotes at that lake coming down the trails. I called in a third one to within 20 feet of me on the inlet streambed and never got a chance for a shot. I didn't follow my own 100-200 yard recommendation!
INDICATORS.... Watch and listen for indicators that a coyote is approaching. Out here in the west, one of the best indicators is the ground squirrel.
When they first see a coyote, they will give a warning burst of chirps and then continue with single chirps about every 2 seconds. If you can see the squirrel that is chirping, the way he is standing will be an indication of the direction of the coyote. The squirrel will be positioned so either the right or left profile will be facing the coyote. Remember, "eyes to the sides" is prey and "eyes facing forward" is predator. Squirrels eyes are designed for 360° viewing.
DEER AS AN INDICATOR.... Another good indicator is deer. I was once calling when a spike buck stepped out in the open about 250 yards up wind. He watched me call for about 5 minutes, then turned his head to the side for a few seconds and then quickly bolted out of sight. From behind the direction he ran, two coyotes appeared. I got one, and almost got the second. Just wasn't fast enough with the bolt. Cattle also make good indicators. While you are calling, they should be looking at you. If they start looking in a different direction, there is probably a coyote coming in from that direction. I was calling from under an oak tree and there were about a dozen cows watching me on the far hillside at 200 yards. All of a sudden, the cows spooked and sure enough there was a coyote on the hillside in the thick trees. I played peek a boo with that coyote for about 15 minutes. The cows had stopped and were looking in his direction. I could tell about where he was, but he wouldn't show himself, and wouldn't leave. I was using the hurt pup call and giving the ki-yi's at about 2 minute intervals. I could catch glimpses of him between the trees. Finally he stopped for about 3 seconds in a 2 foot clearing. That's all it took. It was a big male.
Listen for birds too. Birds in the tree tops will often harass a moving coyote. If you see a bunch of birds fly off all of a sudden, that is an indicator. Often crows will circle you while you are calling. Watch to see if they circle another area. There could be a coyote there.
GETTING CLOSER.... You are calling and you see a coyote coming in, what do you do? This is a tough one. If I am actually blowing on the call and I see a coyote on a fast approach, I have a tendency to stop calling in mid scream and drop the call in the dirt and move the rifle toward him. Most of those times that reaction didn't work very well. The coyote saw me, too! On my cooler moments, I whimper off the calling (rather quickly), then sit still while the coyote is still coming in. Remember that, while he is getting closer, your chances are getting better. Also, it takes about a minute to really get fully pumped up with adrenaline and to make it practically impossible to hold the rifle steady! ;-) Try to wait until the approaching coyote goes behind something or is watching where he is running. Then, get your rifle lined up. Taking a standing shot at 250 yards is much easier for me than a 50 yard running shot at 45° quartering away. Try to wait for a standing shot. When they stop closer than about 75 yards out and look at you, you will usually have about 1-2 seconds to do the deed. Practice the fast trigger squeeze on some of the closer ground hogs or ground squirrels.
THE STAND.... Walk into the wind to set up your stand if possible. Sit in front of some object to break up your outline and sit in the shade if possible. I have had coyotes come very close, even when I am out in the open with no camo or backdrop. Coyotes see things, but they are not sure what they are looking at. But when coyotes smell you, they know instantly and exactly that you are danger and vacate fast! Pick a location where you can see out 100 yards or more in front of you and to the sides, if possible. If you call where there is no clear view of the coyote's approach, they will come in behind cover and you won't see a thing. You will only have made another wise coyote! That coyote will probably never come to your call again. Next time, his refusal to come to the call will also alert any other coyote with him to avoid your call. If there is some cover or bush right in front of you, any coyote that comes in will use that cover and stay behind it where it can't be seen. Sit in front of the bush to avoid this, if possible.
HAVE THE RIFLE READY.... I have the rifle ready for action before I start calling. I setup my Bi-Fur-Pod sticks and put the rifle on them with the buttstock to my shoulder in the shooting position. I check to make sure the scope is on low power (4X on the Tasco) and set the objective to 200 yards. The parallax will not be a problem for close shots and I won't have to make an adjustment for a longer shot. If a coyote hangs up at 250-300 yards I will have time to increase the scope power, but when a coyote appears close, I will not be able to move or have time to adjust the scope. It gets exciting looking at a coyote at 10-20 yards!
HUNTING PARTNER.... Place your hunting partner to the left or right, where he can see behind you (down wind). If you are near the bottom of a canyon, you can call from up one side and your partner can sit on the other side where he can see above you. The idea is to pick a place where your partner can watch the coyotes approach you, even if you can't see them. I have done most of my hunting solo. You can do a very good job by yourself, but there will be some coyotes that will circle and sneak up on you from downwind and then leave and you won't have any idea that they are there.
HUNTING WEATHER & TIME OF DAY.... This is easy. Go hunting every chance you get. You will have a difficult time calling when the wind is much stronger than 10 MPH. You can't be heard very far up wind, and downwind has your scent splattered all over the place. I haven't tried much calling in the rain. I will leave that for the more hardy and dedicated hunters to discuss. The best time of day to hunt is early morning before sunup. Get to your stand and wait until you can clearly see any approaching coyotes. Start calling softly. The coyotes will be active and on the move between first light and sunup. You can hunt all day long. I have called in many coyotes right in the middle of the day. Around sunset, the coyotes will be on the move again and it is also a very good time to call, but when it gets so dark you can't see an approaching coyote, you might call one in and spook it so it will be wise to the call.
NO NIGHT HUNTING FOR ME.... I don't hunt at night and have no experience with hunting at night with lights. I hunt on mostly private land with cattle and other livestock. I often make a stand very near the cattle. The ranchers don't want to hear shots on their land at night and I can't blame them. I want to be very sure it is a coyote before I shoot and I can't do that in the dark. I also need to be sure of what is behind the coyote before I take the shot.
There is now a separate page for making a Bi-Fur-Pod Rifle Support.
Click to go to the Bi-Fur-Pod Rifle Support Page.
Wiley One Howler
I recently received a Wiley One Howler. It makes a very good
coyote howl and an excellent hurt pup sound. Here are some example of the
Coyote Howl with the Wiley One Howler 976KB
Hurt Coyote Pup with the Wiley One Howler 963KB
Long Valley Predator Call
PO Box 304
Antlers, OK 74523
LONG VALLEY PREDATOR CALL.... I have been using the Long Valley Predator Call lately. Is is in open reed call. The mouthpiece is not inserted, but machined as and integral part of the call body. The call is very easy to blow and control. It makes a very good young coyote howl and a wicked hurt jackrabbit scream. On the very first outing I called in a young coyote. I had Tide with me, on his second coyote hunt, and Tide bolted at the sight of the coyote, about 30 yards. The coyote took off over a rise and was into full afterburner by the time I saw him again and I performed a perfect miss! Brett does not have a web page for his calls. If you are interested in a well made custom call, give Brett a ring.
MARSH CREEK.... Tried coyote calling on Marsh Creek today
(5/24/05). I started with the Johnny Stewart PC-1 at the first 3 stands and no
takers. I got to the place where I made the very first stand with the rancher 15
years ago, and he missed a coyote. At a later stand back then we got a big male
that came into a diaphragm call. The rancher was impressed and gave the keys to
all of his gates.
FAST MOVING CATTLE.... I moved a little farther to the east that old stand and started with the Long Valley Predator call. It is very easy to blow and I was doing a Jackrabbit scream. The first thing that happened was that about 50 cows that I hadn’t seen started running toward me. They came in to about 40 yards and stopped. I stayed seated and gave another series of Jackrabbit. The cows took off running away as fast as they could go.
CHANGE SOUNDS - SAME CALL.... Not to be discouraged, I started pinching up on the open reed and made higher pitched rabbit sounds. Here comes the cows again. They hold up at about 30 yards and they look like they are going to be mean. I am thinking about standing up and waving and hollering at them. The cows look start looking nervous and one calf starts bellowing. I give out some more Jackrabbit and the cows turn and run off again. I relax and start the high pitch sounds again. Off to the right here comes a scraggly looking coyote. All I could do is move my sticks to the right. The coyote runs off down the hill out of sight.
GETTING READY.... The coyote can't leave completely without me seeing it at about 150 yards. So, I swivel around and get setup in the direction the coyote took. At about 140 yards, it comes into sight. It wasn’t running very fast, but I am not good at running shots. I held up and whistled at it like one would a dog. It stopped. That was all it took. One second later, the .243 95 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip caught it right behind the shoulder. She went about 30 yards and piled up in the long grass.
POOR CONDITION AND MANGE.... Here is a picture of the dry female. She had mange and her pelt was very poor. Even with a poor pelt, she could still do damage to the cows while they were calving. The rancher will be happy when I write him a letter telling him about the hunt.
Second coyote at the old Red Barn.
TOO DRY FOR GROUND SQUIRRELS.... I was going to do some
ground squirrel control. I have access to an old dairy ranch and long ago there
used to be a big red barn. Well, the red color faded years ago and last year if
one looked carefully, he could see a hint of red. This year, the barn collapsed
into an antique wood pile. Most of the ground squirrels are in the next field to
the west where I was working on them last year.
WHEAT READY TO HARVEST.... Went to this location to shoot some ground squirrels, but the rancher is growing wheat there and it is popcorn f@rt dry and I didn’t want to do a lot of shooting in those conditions. I didn't want to take a chance of causing a fire. Since I was already there, I very carefully parked my truck so the catalytic converter would be in the clear and not touch any dry grass where it could possibly start a fire.
MADE A STAND.... I walked in the last ¼ of a mile and made a stand. I used the Long Valley Predator Call and started with some very high pitched screeches. A couple series of these and no coyotes, but the ground squirrels came alive and were chirping at me. I switched over to a very loud cottontail scream and still nothing. I could see 3 or 4 ground squirrels setting up and one was giving me the steady chirp -- chirp -- chirp. I was about to give it up and decided to give out a hurt pup. There was nothing to foul up since the stand couldn’t get any worse than nothing. On the second series of hurt pup calls, I spotted a coyote heading my way at about 300 yards. He was difficult to see because the grass and wheat was very tall. At about 175 yards the coyote got to the spot of the red dot in the picture and stopped. The Sako barked and I heard the WHOP! The coyote went down. I continued with the hurt pup call for another 10 minutes, but nothing.
The coyote stopped at about 175 yards, see the red dot in the picture.
Used the Long Valley Predator Call to bring in this coyote.
YOUNG MALE COYOTE.... When I got to the coyote, he could raise his head so I applied the finishing shot. It was a large male and from his teeth and very little wear, he appeared to be about 2 years old. I will have to wait until they harvest the wheat before I can work on the ground squirrels in that area. There appear to be quite a few of them and with all that wheat they should be fat targets in a couple of months. I left that property and went to the next area I have access to, but the rancher was rounding up his cattle so I left that area. I didn’t want to bother him. One aside. The last time I talked to this particular rancher he wanted one of my “Business Cards” so he could prove to his rancher friend up in Canby, CA that he really knew Varmint Al. The web page does pay off.
A photogenic ground squirrel at the upper pond.
Another view of the same ground squirrel. He got a pass.
GROUND SQUIRREL CONTROL.... Went to the third piece of property and after going through one locked gates 4 other gates I made 2 coyote calling stands, but no takers. However, the upper pond had a number of young ground squirrels on the dam face. I got out the CZ 452 17 HMR and did a little ground squirrel control. The only shade I could sit in was only about 75 yards from the dam and I went 30 straight on ground squirrels. That CZ sure is a great shooting rifle. I have about 300 rounds through the barrel since last cleaning and see no need to clean it now. It sure seems to like a fouled barrel for best accuracy.
New L&M Coyote Call
The people at L&M Predator Calls sent me a call to test. It has a medium pitch like a cottontail and has a concave mouthpiece like a trumpet. It really sounds good and with the concave mouthpiece I can make it as raspy as I want. I went up to the Sweetwater Mtns and gave it a field-test. Here is the first coyote.
It was about 9:00am and Rush was on the AM radio. I heard coyotes howling on the hill north of Lobdell lake. Well, enough of Rush. I got my rifle and Bi-Fur-Pod and selected the Dan Thompson Howler and the new L&M call. Off we went heading for a good stand in the sage brush. We (Bart hunts coyotes with me) setup in the shade of a small white bark pine tree. I put Bart on a very short leash tied to my belt. If he were to lunge forward, he couldn't get as far as the muzzle of the rifle. I scanned the ridge top with my binoculars and there were 2 coyotes at about 1000 yards and in among the cattle. I gave two greeting howls and they stopped and looked my way. They were not that interested. I started with the L&M call and made a medium volume distress call. The highest coyote started walking toward me and stopped after traveling about 50 yards. The second coyote stopped but didn't come my way. About this time Bart stiffens up and does a very low growl. A third coyote was headed toward us out of the creek bottom. If Bart hadn't warned me, I wouldn't have seen it. This male was circling around and headed downwind and went out of sight over the rise. I moved the sticks around to match his possible approach. I guessed pretty well and he stopped at about 75 yards just peaking at me through a sage brush. That was all the target I needed. One shot and one coyote down.
The 243 95 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip entered just above his nose and there was no exit.
Here is Bart posing with the coyote. He makes a great coyote hunting dog.
Bart is my eyes, ears, and nose. He watches while I am calling and is very alert.
The next morning we got coyote number 2 with the L&M call. This was near the top of Monitor Pass. It was just after sunrise and we setup in the shadow of a large outcropping. I picked a pretty good spot with elevation for visibility. I started calling with the L&M call and did about 3 series and was just setting and waiting. About 15 minutes had passed and I was about ready to give up. Bart started his low growl and there was a coyote coming up the dirt trail we had walked on to get to the spot. I moved the sticks around and didn't want to take the shot while the coyote was walking. I gave a sharp mouth bark and the coyote stopped broadside at about 150 yards and looked our way. That was all I needed. The bullet caught him just behind the shoulder and blew out the back side. Bart did it again. I wouldn't have seen the coyote till too late if Bart hadn't warned me. Here is more info on two new L&M Calls.
Beautiful L&M Predator Call
An Acrylic L&M Predator Call
It sounds great and
you won't lose on the ground.
I received two more predator calls from L&M and have been trying them out. The grain on Call No. 2 made of exotic wood is beautiful. The call has a very good sound. I have called in 4 coyotes in the last two weeks with this call. I have only used Call No. 3 a couple of times so far. It sounds good but no results yet.
SUCCESS WITH THE NEW L&M CALL.... Got the urge to go coyote calling. It was the last chance I would have to get a coyote while I am in my sixties. The big "70" occurs tomorrow. I loaded Bart in the truck and headed to the Marsh Creek area on the south side of the road. It is summer, but there was quite a bit of overcast. Went up Sycamore Creek to the pond and made a stand above the pond. I let Bart out of the truck and he ran off a little buck with forks in the velvet. Bart likes to protect me. Bart seems to consider every animal he sees a Grizzly Bear and only relaxes when he has determined that there is no threat.
We setup under a big oak tree above the pond. I used the E.L.K. Power Howler and at first couldn't make it work. The reed I had made out of the little finger of a N-DEX Tektured Nitrile Glove had stretched and wouldn't work. I had cut a number of extra reeds and put a new one on. I was finally able to get the howler to work. I started with a series of young coyote greeting howl with miscellaneous group calls mixed in. Nothing! I got out the brand new L&M Predator call and did some jackrabbit distress calls. The new call really sounds good. Waited and still nothing. Bart was getting bored and finally laid down. That is not a good sign. Bart can smell a coyote from half a mile up wind. I fussed with the coyote howler for quite a while and finally gave up on it. On the way out, I picked up a good stick and had Bart do a couple of fetches from the pond. There are large black bass in the pond.
BART SAW IT FIRST.... For the next stand we moved to the neighboring property of two sections (have hunting permission there too) and setup about 300 yards upstream from the south pond in the creek bottom. The creek had already dried up, but the pond was still full. We were in the shade of a big oak tree and Bart was on the very short leash at my left side. I started with the Power Howler and it was now working very well. I did a little coyote chatter and then a number of challenge barks and waited about 5 minutes. Nothing. I got out the L&M Predator call and did the hurt jackrabbit series with emotion. I put the call down and started scanning for an incoming coyote. After about 2 or 3 minutes, Bart stiffens up and sits at full alert. I looked where he was looking and a coyote had just topped a rise at about 175 yards. The coyote was standing looking at us.
I was able to slowly move the rifle and Bi-Fur-Pod to the left about 30 degrees to line up on the coyote. I left the scope on 4X and the coyote sure looked small in the crosshairs. Centered it on the chest and touched it off. The coyote went down and rolled down the hill out of sight. I released Bart and we headed over to the coyote. It had rolled about 50 ft downhill in the tall grass and Bart found her. She was a young female and had a broken back and I called Bart off. Once I delivered the finishing shot Bart completely ignored the coyote and was sniffing around the area. There might have been a second coyote, but I didn't see one. That was a pretty good way to finish my sixties and get ready for a next decade.
PRIME GROUND SQUIRREL AREA PLOWED.... On the way home we went by the prime ground squirrel section by the old dairy barn. They had plowed the fields, but left quite a few areas untouched under the oak trees and on the steeper slopes. The grass was about 1-1/2 ground squirrels tall and I caught a glimpse of a few ground squirrels, adults and juveniles, running through the tall grass. There will some good ground squirrel shooting in the fall when the rains start. I forgot to take the camera, so no pictures. I will take some pictures of the two new L&M Predator calls. They sure are nice calls.
ANOTHER HAPPY RANCHER.... Recently, I got access to a new area to help out a rancher who had lost two calves to coyotes. I went out Wed morning at first light and walked to the north edge of the 200 acre field and made a stand. The field is waist high grass and weeds and is a difficult place to spot any incoming coyotes. I started calling with the new E.L.K Howler and the reed was all stuck to the mouthpiece and I couldn’t get a good sound out of it. Enough for the E.L.K. Howler. So I tried the new L&M Predator Calls No. 2 that they sent me to try out. Called for about 3 min. Quit that and just sat and watched for about 10 minutes. Finally I got out my old reliable Dan Thompson Howler and did a couple of greeting howls. Set there another 5 minutes and gave out a couple more howls. I still didn't see anything. The coyote had moved downwind and had busted me. She started a warning bark at me from about 100 yards in the tall weeds and I couldn't see a thing.. Well all is not lost when that happens. I started talking to her with a challenge bark. She answered. We started a conservation and I kept her answering. After about 10 minutes, the coyote made a mistake and showed herself at about 175 yards. That is all it took. The rancher should be happy, but there are at least three more coyotes in the area that will need attention.
Chris Butcher's Excruciator call and Howler. I like the large bore diameter of both calls. The open mouth piece on the Excruciator allows one to blow it like a trumpet and like sipping from a wine glass. These techniques make for some very excruciating sounds. The calls are made of borosilicate glass and have a very good sound. I have created a 16 minute sequence of the Excruciator call. It starts with 1 minute of silence. Here is a link to the sound file:
Excruciator (excruciator-16-min.mp3) A 16 minute sequence of Chris Butcher's Excruciator call. Starts with 1 minute of silence. 14.89Mb
Chris Butcher's Web Site
WildCalls by Ladobe, 2K1-22 predator call.
Click here to view the back side of the call.
WildCalls by Ladobe, 2K1-22 CUSTOM CALL.... Just got back from a very
short coyote calling session. I went to the next Island south of Bethel Island
and was going to work on the ground squirrels. It was about 2:00pm and about
90F. This is not the best time for calling coyotes. Before I did any shooting, I
thought I would give the 2K1-22 predator call a check out. I climbed up on a
shelf of the haystack and setup. I had changed the reed in the call so it is
high pitched because there are very few jackrabbits around here.
I started out with a series if high pitched cries without any raspy ness. Thirty seconds and I am still calling and here comes the coyote almost up to the edge of the haystack from my left. That was quick!! Well, I moved around to take a shot at him and he never slowed down. He turned away and threw in the afterburner. By the time I got turned, he was just about to go over a rise at 136 large steps and I wouldn't be able to see him again till he was at least 500 yards away. I don't usually take a running shot, but it was the only chance I had. I touched one off and ka-plop and down went the coyote.
The 95 gr 243 Nosler Ballistic Tip made almost a perfect "Texas Heart Shot". It entered about 1" below the anus and there was no exit. There was a large bulge on right side of the coyote.
Ladobe's calls sure are quick. Here is a picture of the coyote.
FROM THE SWEETWATER MTNS.... Got a second coyote using the 2K1-22 call in the Sweetwater Mtns near Bridgeport, CA. The elevation was 9000 ft and it was a very hot day. There was a tiny creek at the bottom of the ravine and I setup with visibility of the creek bottom and the thick cover on the hillside above the creek. I was on one of my "Stop & Drop" Hunting/Fishing trips and I had Bart with me. He was setting at my side with a very short leash. Bart tends to run after anything I call in if he is not restrained. I made about 3 series of high pitched calls. (Bart now ignores the calling and begins to watch intently for incoming animals). Bart perked up and focused his attention on one spot across the creek. I look and sure enough, it was Mr. Coyote. The coyote had just come out from the with his head and shoulder exposed. It was an easy shot at about 140 yards. A minute later Bart spotted a badger. He mush have come into the call. I didn't want Bart to tangle with a badger and after Bart barked, the badger started "digging in". He was completely underground in about 30 seconds.
This coyote from the Sweetwater Mtns was in the early stages of mange or recovering from it. His pelt was very poor. He was very close to this year's Cannon Fire area, but his whiskers were long, so he was not singed like I first thought. The coyote didn't look healthy and I didn't let Bart get close to it. I didn't want Bart to catch mange.
HUNTING "COYOTES" IN AFRICA.... The Jackal is Africa's equivalent to the coyote in America. There is an excellent site about calling Jackals in Africa. African Econo Hunter How we hunt cheap game and varmint (Jackal, our "coyote") in Africa.
Coyote Attacks on Children.
Coyotes can cause predation problems for farmers.
Coyotes not only eat rodents, they cause serious predation on cattle, sheep, goats, and other livestock.
GAINING HUNTING ACCESS.... I live 100 miles from the nearest National Forest or public hunting lands, but I have access to thousands of acres of hunting land nearby. I can't help other hunters with access, because most of the areas I hunt I have permission for only myself. But I can tell you how I gained access to all this land. Most of the ranchers in my area have had problems with coyotes attacking and/or killing some of their livestock. Each loss of livestock is a large loss of profit to their ranching business. I have learned how to call coyotes. At first I was not very good at it, but that didn’t stop me from telling the ranchers that I wanted to help them with their coyote problem. Pick out a rural area where the ranches are large and far apart. Go to the ranch house and tell the rancher that you can help him with his coyote problem. Look for ranch houses that are small and not well kept with large barns for cattle and horses. That is a working ranch and an indication that they have lots of land where they run the cattle. Approach the rancher in a friendly manner and tell him that you want to help him. This is the time when you present your Hunting Business Card. Once you get permission plus a coyote or two for the farmer and gain his confidence and respect, you will probably be the only hunter with access to that land. This kind of a hunting arrangement is worth working for. Later, after you remove more coyotes, you can tell the rancher about all of the other varmints, such as ground squirrels and wild pigs, that you can help him with. I have yet to meet a rancher that wasn’t happy for me to thin out the ground squirrels after I get the coyote population under control.
I got this email from Gary:
Hello Al. My name is Gary. I mailed you last year and told you of a coyote I shot. Hunting season is just starting here in Indiana. I want to thank you for the good advice on reloading and calling. I have down loaded the main coyote sounds and listen to them often. Very few people in my area call for coyotes. By talking to farmers and asking permission to hunt and call after deer season, I have more ground to hunt than I can go to in one season. Will send some pictures maybe. Gary
My coyote hunting "Business Card"
Here is what my new card looks like
BUSINESS CARD.... To gain better access to hunting areas, treat your coyote calling like it is a business. When you talk to the farmer, tell him that you can help him solve his predation problems. I have made my "Varmint Hunting" business cards using AutoSketch and lately with PrintMaster Gold. Here is a slimmed down version of it. Don't be timid with your words. Besides, if you can do it, it isn't bragging. When you approach a farmer and ask him if he would like help with his predator and varmint problems, it works wonders to hand him your card! The "fly-by-night" hunter-plinkers the farmer has seen in the past don't hand out business cards and they probably don't have a computer and can't make a card anyway. If you have the tools, make yourself a varmint hunting business card. You are welcome to use any of the photos off my web site on your card. It is well worth the time. I also get the farmer's address and write to him, giving him hunting reports on my visits to his land. Here is an important point. The farmer's wife will read the letters too and you will be making friendships with both the farmer and his wife. You will become a friend of the family instead of some stranger with a gun. My ring of padlock keys to farmer's gates is steadily growing too.
Sometimes it is difficult to remember the correct key
for each gate and I end up having to try a few.
SHOW & TELL THE FARMER…. When you talk to the farmer, tell him how you're are going to bring in the coyotes with your call and then show him. The farmer will almost always have a dog and if you do a good job with the hurt jackrabbit screams, the dog will come running. It is very easy to impress the farmer with your calling skills this way. I also do a couple of coyote howls and depending on how much experience the ranch dog has had with coyotes it will get very excited. On a recent outing, we stopped at the ranch house and talked to the farmer and told him about our successful hunting results. Some coyote blood had spilled on my boot. While we were talking to the farmer, his female dog came over and was sniffing the coyote smell and when I wasn't looking, the bitch (acceptable canine term) squatted and peed on my boot! Obviously she didn't like coyotes very well. Later, after the dog had wandered off, I demonstrated to the farmer how the calls sounded. I made the hurt rabbit call and the bitch came running up and got very excited. Then I made a couple of coyote howls and she got even more excited and started running up the hill after the imaginary coyote. The farmer was quite impressed with my calling skills. When I got home, my dog, Oscar, was sure interested in my boot too! He did a lot of sniffing and I made sure that's all he did.
CAMO.... Well, here is where I am going to disagree with the real pros! I gave up wearing camo while I am hunting. I buy my clothes from Red Head or Cabela's and they are dull, green, brown, and/or gray. I don't want to look like a militia freak wearing full camo to and from hunting. My heavy coat is camo, and my hat is camo, but that's all. With my "blend into a crowd camo", I have called coyotes right up to me. Most of the time I see coyote and deer before they see me. That's a good test of your stealth and color selection. But, here is where I go overboard. I paint my rifle and Bi-Fur-Pod camo! Yes, my pretty rifle with the fancy French Walnut stock (some fiddle back) and the stainless steel Shilen barrel are painted with permanent camo paint. The shine off a rifle barrel is the most obvious indicator to a critter that something bad is out there. Have you noticed that you can spot hunters miles away, just from the flash of sunlight off the shiny rifle barrel. Camo paint stops that! One of my hunting partners had a beautiful Browning 30-06 Semi-Auto and I told him he should paint it. It shined like a diamond up a goat's ass. Well, we were deer hunting and I jumped a nice Blacktail and it headed his way. I called him on a handheld ham radio (we are both ham radio operators) and told him a buck was coming his way. He was 500 yards away, and I could see the flashing reflections off his barrel. That Blacktail went over the hill away from me heading toward my partner. About 5 minutes later, the buck came over another hill off to the side running away from the barrel flashes. I made a nice neck shot and the hunt was over. The next day my partner wanted to know where to get camo paint. You should see his "Beautiful Browning" now!
PAINT YOUR RIFLE.... I painted my deer/coyote rifle with permanent spray paint. I believe they have a 4 can kit of camo spray paint at Cabela's. The one I used is Hunter's Specialties, Inc. Camouflage Spray Paint Kit (permanent). I wiped the rifle off with a dry cloth to remove most of the oil. I put masking tape over the scope ends and the numbers on the power setting and AO settings plus a piece of tape over the end of the barrel. The bolt was left in the action and in the closed position. The sling was off. I painted everything I could see. First I painted a solid coat of the lightest color, which is mud. Then I painted random areas of green and then areas of brown. I went out in the yard and picked some leaves off a bamboo plant. I placed the leaves over the rifle in various locations and then sprayed a very light coat of the flat black over the leaves. That gives it the leafy shadow effect. You might want to practice on something before you start on your nice pretty rifle. I have painted about 6 of my rifles. It gets a bit better looking, depending on your point of view, each time I do one. I figured that since I don't want to sell the rifle, I ought to make it work the best it can for me. The pretty shiny stock and flashy barrel scare game in the wild. I mostly see game first now. The camo paint job works great. Way down under the paint on the Sako is a French Walnut stock with "fiddle back" grain, but the deer and coyotes don't care about fancy wood. ;-) Check The Gun Garage if you want a professionally camo job.
MY RIFLE.... My coyote and deer rifle is a 40 year old Sako Forester action with a new Shilen stainless steel barrel chambered for a "tight neck" 243 Win. I got it from Herters' as a barreled action for $75 mail order. The stock was a semi-finished club of French walnut with a fair amount of fiddle back grain for $15. It was my first stock job and I wore out the stock screws taking it apart and putting it back together while inletting it. Then, I did a stupid thing. I checkered it! It took a month and a whole new vocabulary of working words! While I was doing it and had it all messed up, I swore an oath to myself that I would never checker another stock and I have kept the promise. Finally I glass bedded it. The barrel is free floating with a generous gap from about 2 inches forward of the action. I gave up trying to make a "tight" clearance. It seemed like I couldn't slide a dollar bill down the barrel after a few months, so I made the clearance at least 0.05 inch.
CAMO MAKES IT PRETTY.... A long time ago, I painted the whole rifle/scope camo. It looks very dull and there is no shine off the barrel. In about a year or so, the paint wears down and gets shiny in some areas and then I repaint it. The rifle has about 5 or 6 camo coats on it now and the nice pretty fiddle back wood is down in there somewhere.
Mark Fields has painted his rifle and it turned out great. Click HERE to read on how he did his paint job.
How to Camo By CamoJack: Camo is easy to do. I first clean my Rifle.I use Alcohol. Wipe it down. get any oil off. Close the bolt. You can oil the bolt down and the paint will come off easy, or usually it don't hurt it anyway. Camo your Scope also, I know, it hurts a little. But when your all done, it looks very good. Be sure and tape the ends of the Scope, and any Numbers that you need. Here is the list of Paint I use: "Woodland Camouflage Paint"- "8010-00-111-7937...Mil-e-52798" 1. MUD BROWN..#.30117.--Two Cans.. 2. LIGHT TREE GREEN..#.34258.--One Can.. 3. DARK TREE GREEN..#.34086.--One Can.. 4. FLAT BLACK..Any Good Brand from your Hardware Store. Step 1.-Give the Gun a light coat of "MUD BROWN" (Try to use only two coats to cover the gun) You want to keep your paint job thin so it wont chip or peel. Cover the whole thing, Scope too. Let it set for about two hours before you do the next step. Step 2.- "Spot Spray" Light Tree Green. Just here and there. Let it set about 30 min. Step 3.- "Spot Spray" Dark Tree Green. You can Blend the two Green's together, Where one ends and the other starts, or you can keep them apart. Be sure to not cover up all your Mud Brown. Let it set about 1 hour to dry good. Step 4.- Here is the Trick..Useing the Flat black. Go out and get a good Leaf off your tree. Keep the stem long. You may want a small, and a large one. But you only need to use one. Holding the flat black out, spray a little in the air and notice the spray aim so you don't miss. You might want to practice on a board or something first. Hold the Flat Black spray can about 10 in. From your gun. Hold the stem of the leaf and make sure it lays flat on the area you are spraying. Give it a "Very Light" Touch of Spray. Just to Fade it in. Just covering the Leaf. Turn the Leaf in different directions. Do the Leaf Just here and there. Take a look at my Web Page, I have a picture of some of my guns and Bi-Pod. http://www.jhendrick.com/hunt.html Here is where I order my Paint. http://www.loadup.com/index.html They Ship most of the time in the same day I order. UPS.
Good Luck fromCamoJack.
Drum Click Count for the Tasco 4-16X by 40mm TR Scope
for 150 to 500 yards.
I installed each drum on the scope and counted the clicks for
each yardage setting made the above table.
I use Drum D on my 243 Win caliber with 100 gr bullets.
I use Drum G on my 17 HMR with the 17 gr Hornady ammo.
Here is a scanned view of the Tasco 4-16X by 40mm TR Scope Drum Tables data sheet.
TASCO TR SCOPE.... The scope is a Tasco TR 4-16X by 40mm with a Trajectory/Rangefinder reticule. The glass is only OK, but the range finder is what makes it my choice! It is a very simple system and works very well. Tasco gives you 5 rings that go on the vertical adjustment knob. Each ring has yardage readings out to 500 or 300 yards in 50 yard increments. They tell you which ring to use for each rifle, but I went one better than that. I wrote a small BASIC program that takes the bullet and velocity that I use and calculates a least square fit to the drop numbers in the Sierra Reloading Manual. I then have a third order polynomial equation for the drop out to 1000 yards. No, I don't shoot that far, but numbers are cheap! Setting zero at 100 yards and using the height of the scope over the bore, the program calculates the number of clicks below the line-of-sight for each range past 100 yards. I counted the yardage clicks on each ring and selected the ring that best fits my calculation. I have a ring that is calibrated within ±1 click, of the true drop setting, all the way out to 500 yards for the .243 100 gr. Spitzer at a muzzle velocity of 2900 fps.
ZERO AT 100 YARDS.... I zero the rifle at 100 yards on the benchrest and in the field. I only have two things to estimate for a shot, distance and wind. I also shoot a group off my Bi-Fur-Pod sticks to verify my 100 yard zero for field conditions. Shooting off the sticks gives me the same impact point as I get from the benchrest, but the groups open up a bit because the Bi-Fur-Pod is not as steady.
ESTIMATING THE RANGE.... The scope has dual crosshairs and you can put the coyote between the crosshairs and dial the power until it just fills the height and then read the range on a dial. That is too complicated when you see a coyote and here is what I do in the field. I look in the direction of the coyote and start counting the distance in 100 yard increments. I look for what is 100 yards away from me. Then I look for what is 100 yards from that point, and so on out to the coyote. I am getting pretty good at estimating the range in yards. One of these days I plan to get an 800 yard laser range finder.
DIAL IN THE RANGE.... After estimating the range, I dial the yardage in on the scope vertical adjustment. It is that easy. Windage is more difficult. I have to hold-off for wind. That gets tricky and very difficult across canyons when you can't see the evidence of the wind. I have made some very good shots on coyotes out to 400+ yards in mild wind conditions. I always take all shots off the Bi-Fur-Pod to get a steady hold.
A 50 YARD ERROR.... Suppose I misjudge the range by 50 yards at 400 yards. The error is 5 or 6 clicks and the clicks are 1 inch at 400 yards. So my error is 5 or 6 inches and still within the vital area on a coyote. This is better than using the point-blank method. With the point-blank method, one has to make four estimates: the distance, the amount of hold over in inches required, what the holdover looks like on the target, and windage. It is difficult holding over one foot by guessing how big one foot is at that distance.
POINT-BLANK METHOD NOT FOR ME.... I like my system much better than the "point-blank" method of sighting in where you are 3" high at 100 yards and then right on at 220 yards and 4" low at approximately 300 yards. You don't know where to guess at 400 yards. Maybe hold over a foot or so, but most of all, you know you are going to be off at every range except 220 yards. Knowing that you are always off does bad things to my confidence and confidence is a big part of shooting accurately.
FINDING THE TARGET IN THE SCOPE.... If you have not used scope sights
or have trouble finding the target, here is a tip.
Wrong Way: Put the rifle up to your shoulder and look in the scope and scan around to find the target.
Right Way: Look at the target and continue looking at it while you mount the rifle and put the scope in the line of view. The scope should be nearly centered on the target when it gets in front of your eye. With just a little practice you will be able to acquire the target in a fraction of a second. This also works for binoculars.
The Remington Model 7 makes a very good starting rifle for varmint hunting. There is an excellent article about the Rem Model 7, see the links below about the Rem Model 7. Early on, I used my light weight Rem Model 7 in 223 Rem, shown here, for coyotes, but it was a little too light for the occasional long shot. The Sako in 243 Win has worked much better. A number of my rifles have had the camo paint job.
The Remington Model Seven...a great place to start
BINOCULARS.... I have a pair of Steiner 6X30 Whitetail binoculars. They have the range finder reticule in the right side, and I seldom use it. The range finder gets in the way and if I had it to do over again, I would have opted for a pair without it. The brightness and sharpness of focus is excellent. The field of view is very large, being about 450' at 1000 yards. They are individual focus eyepieces and the depth of field is so great that, I focus at 100 yards and leave it there. Everything is in focus from 50 yd to infinity. At the edges of the field of view, the sharpness of focus fades out and objects there are fuzzy. I use this to my advantage. If there is a close object, that I want to view without fussing with the focus, I merely view it at the edge of the field of view and it is in focus. I have used these binoculars for deer and coyote hunting. They are even very good for spotting ground squirrels, but the 6x power is a tad low.
LEICA 8X32BA.... I purchased a new pair of binoculars. I have only been using them for a few years. (I now use the Leica binoculars exclusively.) Here is what I have found. The brightness and the sharpness of focus are excellent. I also focus them at 100 yards and they are very good from 50 yards out to infinity. But, I have noticed that I can sharpen the focus with just a minor touch of the center focus adjustment and I continually fuss with the focus. The field of view is flat. There is no "bubble" effect in the field of view when I pan with them. The image is in sharp focus right out to the edge of the field of view. The field of view is a large 442' at 1000 yards. So far they appear to be superb in every respect. When they are cold and the air is warm, the eyepiece lenses tend to fog up, on the outside, when I am looking through them. I also noticed how poorly the above Steiner binoculars look when I use them after using the Leicas. I used to look at all the binocular ads in the catalogs, but have found no need to do that anymore. I am happy with the 8x32 BA binoculars.
HUNTING GEAR I CARRY.... I want to be self sufficient when I am out deer hunting, so I carry a lot of gear, but it is not heavy or bulky. I carry my Sako Forester in 243 Win topped with a Tasco 4-16X Trajectory Rangefinder scope mounted with Warne rings. There are 3 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber with the safety on. When back at camp, I push the round that was in the chamber down into the magazine and close the bolt on an empty chamber. The rifle has a nonadjustable carrying strap that is relatively short and holds the rifle close to my back in a vertical position on my shoulder. I don't like a loose floppy sling. I carry a pair of Leica 8-32 BA binoculars around my neck on a relatively short strap so they don't swing when I walk. On my belt are my Bi-Fur-Pod shooting sticks that I use for almost every shot. I very seldom take a running shot at deer or coyotes.
I carry a Russell FeatherLite Knife with a Clip Point Blade K-93B AUS-8A in my pocket. It is very light and holds a good edge very well.
FANNY PACK.... I carry a two compartment camo fanny pack that weighs about three pounds fully loaded. There is a picture of it with my calls on this page. The top compartment has a couple of Power Bars in it in case I get hungry and a rolled up plastic rain coat only in wet weather. This compartment opens up to a daypack size to hold my coat if it gets too warm after sunrise. I drink a lot of water before I leave camp and do not carry a noisy water bottle. The main compartment carries a lot of important gear:
HIGH TECH GEAR.... Some hunters like the minimum amount of gear, but I like to be well equipped. I studied hard to learn the technology and Morse code to get my Ham license. I don't feel a bit bad about using the radio to stay in contact while hunting. All of the hunters in our party have their licenses and ham radios. Most also have GPS units. We don't have to worry about anyone getting lost even on overcast days in the thickest of timber. When I head out hunting I like to feel completely self sufficient. With the GPS, I can head into the wind no matter which direction it is or when it changes. Then when I want to return to camp, I can take a direct route back. One other very handy feature is that I can call back to camp on the handheld radio and get a ride back to camp. I can tell them my location with the GPS even if I am a long way out and it is dark. It is also very easy to mark a particular spot and return to it with the GPS or tell one of the other guys in the party my exact location. The GPS unit gives the hunter freedom to go much farther than when one has to worry about remembering his backtrack.
Another feature of the GPS unit is that before the season opens, I mount the unit in my truck and drive all of the roads in the area and create a track file of the roads. I also can upload the file to the other units in camp with the laptop computer. Having the roads on the GPS unit makes it very handy to avoid roads when out hunting. Then it is very useful to know where the nearest road is when you get a deer down or want a ride back to camp. I view hunting as an enjoyable sport, not a time for punishment.
CALLING HOME.... I also take a laptop computer on hunting trips. I have a portable packet station that I can set up and can send/receive messages home to my wife Mary Ann, who is also a ham, right from most deer camps. There is more info on my Ham Radio Page. Many people use cell phones for this purpose, but the packet station works fine. It is comforting to know all is well at home. When I am coyote hunting on day hunts I am usually not far from the truck and I don't carry the GPS unit.
Deer Hunting Techniques with Sounds
COASTAL BLACKTAIL DEER.... I have hunted these fine California deer for many years. They are not as large as Mule Deer or Whitetail Deer. In the area south of Livermore, a 125 pound buck is large with the average being nearer to 100 pounds. One can find a wealth of information about Whitetail and Mule Deer, but very little on the Blacktail Deer. Here are some of my observations over the years on hunting Blacktails and Blacktail behavior. Here is another site that has information on Blacktail Deer Hunting Blacktail Country.
WHERE ARE THEY.... The bucks normally stay within 10% of the top of the ridges. Very seldom will you find them in the bottom of canyons down near the creek beds. Out here in California during deer season, it is usually very dry and there are deer flies. The bucks like to be as far as possible from the flies and in what little wind there is. The strongest winds will be at the ridge tops. The bucks are essentially nocturnal and will feed at night. They will continue to feed in the mornings from dawn to sunrise. After sunrise they will lay down in the shade for the rest of the day. In our area, we carefully check the shade of every tree on the far hillsides with a spotting scope. The bucks will get up and start to feed at sunset and come out into the open.
BACHELOR HERD.... The bucks stay in a bachelor herd of 2 to 4 bucks and do not associate with the does until late September when the rut starts. The California A-Zone hunting season opens in early August and closes in mid September before the rut starts. A forked horn Blacktail Buck is a mature deer and often as the buck ages, his forks only become larger but he stays a forked horn. Occasionally they will add another tine on the forward fork and become a 3x3. I have yet to see a 4x4 Blacktail Buck in the range where I hunt. The spike bucks sometimes will stay with mother. When you see a bunch of does it is very seldom that a legal buck (forked horn or better) will be with them. The bucks are usually a dark gray color with a black forehead and the does tend to be more of a brownish color.
HUNT THE MORNINGS.... Don't sleep in. The very best time to be out hunting is dawn to sunrise. The bucks will be out in the open feeding and you can spot them from a distance. You might also get lucky and crest a ridge and spot one before he sees you. After sunrise, the bucks will bed down and only stand up every few hours for a couple of minutes and then bed down again. At these times, I find a good observation point and use the binoculars to check for bedded bucks in the shade of the oak trees.
TEACH YOURSELF TO SEE MORE BUCKS.... Have you noticed that some people just tend to see more deer than others. The people who see more deer know it's a deer when they see one or even a small part of the deer. This is not for the casual hunter, but you can train yourself and your eyes to see more bucks. Here is how I did it. I had kept a lot of old issues of hunting magazines. I went through about 3 or 4 years worth of back issues and cut out all of the pictures of Mule Deer Bucks and Blacktail Bucks. I made a montage about 4 ft. square of the buck pictures on my office wall where I couldn't miss it when I looked up from the desk. There were about 40 pictures of big bucks and a few does from almost every angle. Looking at this montage for 11 months out of the year, imprinted in my mind's eye the form of big bucks in the wild. It has trained me to spot bucks very quickly and it has helped me to spot deer when other people only see brush and trees. Besides it was fun to look up at the wall and think about seeing one of those Big Bucks live. As an afterthought, I guess if you wanted to make sure you could spot a beauty on a sandy beach, you could make a second montage from old photo magazines like "Plai-boys". Note: I found out that the PC police will remove my page so young hunters can't read it if I spell the magazine name correctly ;-)
fawn with the Dan Thompson PC-2 Coyote Call.
Doe warning cough
Hurt fawn with the Burnham Brother's D-4 Deer Call
Fawn bleat with a single reed diaphragm
Hurt fawn with old unnamed wooden call
CALLING DEER.... The Burnham Brothers' D-4 Deer Call works very well. Sometimes you can actually call in a doe or two. They will come toward you stiff legged and stamp their front feet at you. They will also cough at you. The cough is a sound like this and is a danger alarm to other deer in the area. I have not heard a buck make the cough sound. I have never called in a buck and had him come running toward me like a coyote does. Here is how the deer call actually works. When any bedded bucks hear the call, they will stand up. If you continue to call, they will usually walk or run toward heavy cover. I get to a good observation point where I suspect that bucks are bedded out of sight. I blow a single hurt fawn series with the D-4 Deer Call. Then get ready for action. If you rouse a doe or two, there will probably not be any bucks around. Here is another good wooden deer call I got from Wing Supply a few years ago.
SEEING MORE DEER.... This year we hunted the C1-Zone in Northern California. The area where we were hunting did not have very many bucks, but we saw a lot of deer. Here is how I would see a dozen or more deer every morning. First, it was hot and dry and very difficult to move quietly. I would do my best at quiet walking for about 300 yards until I could find an opening where I could see 50 to 100 yards. I would setup with my rifle on my Bi-Fur-Pod and get out the Dan Thompson PC-2 Coyote Call. I would make about 6 to 10 fawn bleats that sound like this. The deer in the area would come running. They came in making a lot of noise. A couple of times, they got so close, I had to stand up or be run over. The does often would stamp their front feet and sound a warning cough at me. Since the area didn't have any large bucks, I don't know how it would bring them in. But, this technique would sure bring in what deer were there.
Thompson Game Calls
PC-2 Coyote Call
There were numerous mountain lion tracks in the area and it was a
little spooky making sounds like a hurt fawn and I did watch all areas of
approach very carefully. I was lucky and did not have any of the mountain lions
answer the call. The call was working so well on bringing in deer, that on
several occasions, after I had spooked deer while walking and heard them bound
away, I could stop, setup, and call and bring them back. Also if you see one
deer and you think there might be more, this calling technique would bring in
the one deer and any other deer in the immediate area. As a side benefit, you
also might bring in a coyote with this method and do a little depredation work
to save young deer and antelope during the next spring.
MuleMaddness.com Photos, Stories, Deer Info.
NEW BARREL FOR MY SQUIRREL RIFLE.... The new barrel arrived from Bullberry for my Contender Carbine, 3/22/2. It is chambered for the new 17 HMR (Hornady Magnum Rimfire). Click here for the first field testing of the 17 HMR, including accuracy/velocity measurements. It is a T/C Contender Carbine with a Bullberry stainless steel barrel, full bull, 22" long and bead blasted to eliminate the shine. The wood is also by Bullberry. The base is a 92A Weaver base. The Rings are the KWIK-SITE KS-WEV-H rings and the scope is a 15X Weaver CKT-15. The new caliber makes a very nice varmint round with a mild report and is effective out to 150 yards or so. Soon, I will shoot some groups from the benchrest and post a report here. Click here for a large picture of the rifle.
Here is a picture of a box of ammo.
Midsouth Shooters Supply Is taking orders for the new 17 HMR ammo.
Ground Squirrel Control
RODENT CONTROL.... Various rodents cause farmers problems and varmint hunters are willing and able to help with very specific rodent control. Here in California, the rodent that causes the problems is the ground squirrel. I have never hunted ground hogs or prairie dogs because they are not found here and I have no firsthand information on them. There is more on ground squirrel hunting on my Varmint Hunting Page.
|I WALK A VERY FINE LINE.... I am very careful to only "control" the ground squirrel population. I have to walk a very fine line. If I shoot too many, they might not survive and the field will be barren. If I leave too many in the field, the rancher might use poison and kill them all. A surviving population of ground squirrels is a good thing and besides, I don't want to work myself out of a job. The same goes for coyotes.|
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Good Hunting... from Varmint Al