Five Mistakes Most Predator Callers Make

NAH Staff Writer Larry Weishuhn looks at some mistakes that can lead to going home sans coyote!

No sooner had I begun blowing my mouth blown jackrabbit in distress call than a coyote erupted out of the underbrush running directly toward me! I was not prepared for what was happening. 

I jerked my father’s .30-30 lever action to my shoulder, pointed it toward the charging coyote and rapidly fired seven rounds in the predator’s general direction!

Walking home a few minutes later I had my hunting knife in my right hand, just in case the “wolf” I called in decided to attack, and my empty rifle in my left hand.  Back home, an excited a 10-year old told his story.

 I made many mistakes calling in that first coyote.  Foremost in my mind at the time, was not taking a shotgun loaded with Number 4 buckshot, instead of a rifle, and carrying extra ammo!

Remembering my first “coyotes comes when called” experience, I decided to visit with Bryon South, predator caller extraordinaire.  Byron, with Convergent Hunting Solution produces the unique electronic Bullet HP and several mouth blown calls to ask him what he considered the five biggest mistakes predator callers make when trying to entice coyotes, bobcats and foxes to show themselves.  He responded…

 “One mistake is calling stand locations that give predators the upper hand by not paying attention to the wind.  Don’t set up with the wind blowing from you to where you expect coyotes, bobcats or foxes may approach from.  Predators depend upon their noses. They generally circle to approach from downwind.  Set up where you have shooting lanes to the left and right of directly downwind.” Explained Byron. Hunting with Byron we always set up where we could see approaching predators before they circled down wind.

“Secondly, when you start calling, call steady, consistently and continually. Remember we’re not trying to call turkeys or ducks! This is one of the reasons I use our Bullet HP.  Once I turn it on, it keeps calling.  Were I using a mouth blown call, even though I love them, I could not continually keep calling.  If you don’t call continually some predators lose interest when you stop calling.”

“Sit where you will be comfortable.  Sit still and don’t move! Don’t fidget!  When I set up I often use a chair and a set of shooting sticks, so my rifle or shotgun is already in a shooting position.  I don’t have to raise it to my shoulder when a predator approaches, very little movement.  The shooting sticks also provide a solid rest so I shoot more accurately.  The decoy on top of the Bullet HP keeps incoming predators concentrating on it rather than the caller, unless you’re not sitting still.”

“Fourth, love your story of the first coyote you call and how you rushed your shot.  That’s a common mistake, rushing shots!  Be patient and let predators come close for higher percentage shots. Take your time and be certain you’re on target.  Don’t just shoot in the direction of the predator!  Waiting and not shooting when you first see the responding coyote may also result in multiple targets.  It’s not uncommon for two or more coyotes to respond at the same time.”

“One of the big things about calling predators is purely mental.  Do not get frustrated if you don’t immediately have a predator respond.  Sometimes you might call in one or more predators at every stand you make.  But that’s not always the case.  A friend of mine who films for predator calling television shows, tells me they call in a predator about one in every eight stands.  So if you’re having one of those days where nothing responds, don’t lose faith or give us.  Sooner or later you will call in a predator!”