Hey there fellow hunters, my name’s Captain and I’m an avid outdoorsman with a passion for predator hunting. Recently I decided it was time to take my skills to the next level, so I invested in electronic calls and let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made! Those gadgets are total game changers.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through everything I’ve learned about using electronic calls to hunt predators. As a disclaimer, I’m not an expert by any means, just an enthusiastic hunter sharing my personal experiences. I’ll cover how these calls work, tips for using them effectively, stalking techniques, safety info, and more. My goal is to help you level up your predator hunting game just like I did. So buckle up and get ready for the thrill ride that is hunting with electronic calls!
Let’s start with why electronic calls got me so pumped in the first place. I’d been having decent success with mouth calls and decoys, but I wanted to kick things up a notch. The idea of harnessing technology to mimic prey sounds precisely was seriously exciting. Just imagine having that ability to produce authentic animal noises with the push of a button – it’s like wielding a superpower!
Some key benefits I noticed after switching to electronic calls:
- Ability to precisely imitate a huge variety of animal sounds
- Volume control allows adjusting calls to the environment
- Set up and use calls quickly without perfecting mouth call techniques
- Use handsfree with remote control for stealthier setups
- Preloaded sounds means no running out of breath!
Of course electronic calls aren’t magic bullets. They require knowledge of predator behavior, scouting abilities, stalking skills, and ethical hunting practices. But combining electronic calls with traditional techniques has absolutely elevated my predator hunting to the next level. Let’s dig into the nitty gritty of how to use them effectively!
With so many options out there, deciding on an electronic call can be pretty overwhelming. I made the mistake of choosing one with low-quality sounds my first time. Rookie move! Predators have incredible hearing so sound quality is clutch for realism. Here are the factors I look at now when picking an e-caller:
Sound Quality – The device’s speaker and variety of high-def sounds are #1. I love options like coyote howls, rabbit squeals, bird chirps, etc. Crisp, clear audio is key.
Remote Range – Remotes that work from further away give you more flexibility on placement. 200-300 yard remotes are ideal.
Volume Control – Being able to adjust volume to the environment is huge. Whisper quiet to blasting barnburner loud at the touch of a dial.
Battery Life – Long battery life means more time in the field. 8-10 hours is usually plenty for me.
Extras – Some have handy extras like USB sound uploads, preset sound packages, timer settings, etc. Not necessary but can be nice perks.
With the right electronic caller that makes convincing sounds, you’ll have predators racing in! But choosing the perfect location is equally important…
Picking the right spot to set up is critical for success with e-calls. I try to find locations with the following characteristics:
- Evidence of high predator activity like scat, tracks, kills, etc.
- Good visibility and firing lanes in multiple directions
- Uphill advantage to see farther and not be silhouetted
- Cover for concealment but not too noisy or thick
- Accessible hard surface for staking the caller down
I also think about the time of day, wind direction, moon phase, weather, and other environmental factors. For example, coyotes are most active at dawn and dusk so I typically target those prime times.
Identifying recent predator traffic and patterns through scouting helps narrow down the best areas. I look for game trails, territorial markings, feeding sites, and water sources. Then I search for elevated perches that are downwind, have cover, and offer great visibility over food sources.
Once I’ve got an ideal setup location, it’s go time!
Getting my gear situated without spooking wildlife in the area takes patience and care. But a proper setup is mission critical for effectively using the electronic caller. Here are my tips:
- Mask Human Scent – I use scent killer spray on my boots and gear to minimize odors.
- Silent Approach – I slip in quietly to the call site, avoiding unnecessary noises.
- Natural Camo – I break up my silhouette using branches, leaves, etc and wear camo clothing.
- Downwind – I stay downwind of where I expect game to approach based on wind direction.
- Clear Shooting Lanes – I clear lines of sight where animals are likely to come in. Ranges of 100-200 yards typically.
- Caller Placement – I place the caller 20-30 yards from my position facing the expected approach side.
- Remote Ready – I keep the remote control handy to quickly change sounds and volume as needed.
Remaining still and letting the caller do the work is key after getting set up. Patience and persistence eventually pay off!
Different predators respond better to certain sounds depending on time of day, season, weather conditions, and other context clues. That’s why having a variety of calls at your fingertips is so beneficial with electronic calls.
Here are some examples of calls that I’ve had success with:
- Distress Calls – Imitates prey in duress, like a dying rabbit call, to trigger predator’s hunting instincts.
- Howls – Useful for coyotes and wolves to elicit territorial responses from them.
- Mating Calls – Can attract predators during mating seasons by replicating breeding sounds.
- Group Howls – Mimics a pack of coyotes howling together to exploit the instinct to join in.
- Challenge Calls – Makes an aggressive call to spark a competitive reaction from predators.
- Pup Distress – Imitates coyote pups in peril to lure in protective parents.
I like to start with food-based distress calls and then transition to coyote vocalizations once they’re in close. Reading the reactions of the predator and adapting calls accordingly is important.
After many trials and tribulations, I’ve picked up some useful tips when it comes to actually using these electronic callers in the field:
- Always have fully charged batteries or extras ready to swap in
- Bring speaker wires and adapters for connectivity issues
- Use a decoy to add visual stimulus and anchor the animal’s focus
- Vary volume levels to mimic natural sound dispersion
- Download updated sounds libraries for more variety
- Use a windshield to reduce interference on very windy days
I’ve also run into common problems like distorted sound, weak batteries, or calls not projecting far enough. Troubleshooting issues quickly on the fly is important or it can ruin your hunt. Carrying backup supplies and having basic technical knowledge goes a long way.
After the predator is focused on the electronic caller, it’s go-time for stealthy stalking. I prefer to bow hunt predators so I can slowly close the distance for an ethical shot.
Here are some stalking tactics I use:
- Stay Downwind – Circle widely downwind to avoid detection.
- Use Cover – Crawl through grass, bushes, etc. stopping frequently to scan ahead.
- Move During Calls – Time movement with loud calls to mask noises.
- Pause at Intervals – Stop every 20-30 yards to scan and listen intently.
- Adjust Course – Change direction based on wind shifts or predator movements.
- Range Indicators – Use landmarks to indicate when within bow range so you can set up for the shot.
With practice, you can stealthily get within 40 yards or less for bow shots. But don’t rush the stalk and risk bumping the animal. Patience and poise are vital.
As with any type of hunting, it’s critically important we prioritize safety out there. Here are some key safety tips when using electronic calls:
- Always know the location of other hunters and make your presence known. Wear orange if appropriate.
- Follow all rules and regulations for your hunting area. Research any specific e-call laws.
- Have bear spray or other protection prepared in case of unwanted encounters.
- Use a GPS device so you can mark waypoints and retrace steps reliably.
- Tell someone your plans, including location and check-in times. Better safe than sorry!
Hunting can be unpredictable at times so staying alert and avoiding unnecessary risks is wise. Use good judgment if something doesn’t feel right.
And of course, we all have a duty to hunt ethically and dispatch animals as quickly and humanely as possible.
Whelp, there you have it folks – my personal experiences and tips for upgrading your predator hunting with electronic calls! This guide covers the key lessons I’ve learned through trial and error (with some mistakes along the way).
The bottom line is electronic calls take your predator-hunting game to the next level if used properly. You need knowledge of local game, prowess at scouting locations, skill with hunting strategies, and a true ethical sportsman mindset. Tech toys alone won’t make you an expert overnight. But combine e-callers with solid fundamental hunting abilities and it’s a total game changer!
I’m still learning new tricks every time I head out on a hunt. So get out there and start experimenting yourself! Dial-in your equipment, practice new calls, and fine-tune your stalking techniques. Become a true student of your game and habitat. Most importantly, embrace the challenge and appreciation of the hunt while creating unforgettable memories.
Happy (and safe) hunting my friends! Let me know if you have any other questions. I’m always glad to geek out about gear, tactics, or share a good ole hunting tale. This sport has brought immense meaning, focus, and joy to my life. I hope you find the same rewards during your own adventures chasing predators!
Captain Hunter is a seasoned hunting mentor with over 20 years of experience in the field. His passion began as a young man on trips with his father and grandfather in the Colorado mountains. Today, he shares his unmatched skills in survival, tracking, and marksmanship through his website CaptainHunter.com. When he's not volunteering with youth hunting programs, you can find Captain Hunter providing expert hunting tips, gear reviews, and answers to your most pressing questions. His decades of experience make him the trusted guide to help any outdoorsman master the sport.