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View Full Version : rabbit distress callers.. help


speckle gut
01-24-2008, 04:17 PM
hey gang, i just received a quacker boy rabbit distress call from a friend to try out for the weekend.. And he didn't offer up any info on calling /sequences.. how would you go about hunting yotes with it ? Set up around fields, or fresh tracks ? Call often/little bit ? hunt for an hour or so ? any info would be appreciated.. Would like to try it out and see if I like hunting them. :nn:

kirsch
01-24-2008, 04:36 PM
There are as many theories on coyote hunting as goose hunting. A lot depends on if the coyotes are pressured in your area or not. Sounds like you will be hand calling so here are some tips:

1) Try to get off the standard trail. However, don't drive in too far or the coyotes will hear you coming.

2) Try to get a bit elevated to give yourself a good vantage point and always make sure you can see to your downwind side.

3) Volume, typically most people start out softer and get louder. The old saying went that a rabbit can't scream for too long so break it up. To be honest with you, I believe that is to give the hunter a chance to catch his breath more than anything else. With hand calling, they will absolutely nail your exact spot so do not move unless the coyote is moving or he wil bust you for sure. An older mentor of mine once told me that if you give a coyote the chance to stop and survey the situation, he will start to use his other senses such as his nose and start trying to wind you. If you have the coyote coming, keep up whatever you are doing.

4) Time on stand. This is a big one. 5 good stands are better than 10 average/bad stands. For me, it totally depends on the wind. If it is really calm, I will wait longer and many times walk farther. Your sound of your call and your approach are all louder so the coyote may be coming from further away. Windy days 10-15 minutes, and calm days 20-30 but that is for me. I find most coyotes come in the first 2-4 minutes or they are later at that 10-15 minute mark.

5) Approach: Try to sneak to your calling spot as quietly and as sneaky as possible. Coyotes have incredible senses of site, smell and hearing. Think of how good your hunting dog does when hunting pheasants and you are starting to realize how well a coyote's senses work.

6) Call into the wind or a side wind. If you hand call with the wind, the coyotes will usually wind you and be gone before you even see them.

The Baron of Bufflehead
01-24-2008, 05:30 PM
Korey definitely knows his stuff! I'm a relative newbie, but I'll add a few things that seem to be working for me as a fellow eastern coyote hunter.

Look for tracks. Especially after fresh snowfall, if you find fresh tracks it may up your odds of having a coyote within ear shot, whch is of course the #1 key to making a successful stand. I know I have had the majority of my success calling where there was fresh sign, instead of just calling "blind". Coyotes can cover a ton of territory (our eastern dogs have pretty big teritories) and it's possible for them to be miles away from fresh tracks in only a few hours, but in my experience this helps. The ideal condition is having overnight snow, so you know those pre-dawn tracks you see are hot!

I have had good luck setting in the corner or edge of a field, with the wind blowing straight out across the field. You need to be able to see at least 300 yards (I've read coyotes can wind you from that far!) and of course this setup is no good for a shotgunner. That way, if a coyote wants to wind you they have to break out into the wide open. Here in the east (I think) you'll most often be calling dogs out of thick brush. Unlike in the west where the dogs might roam open country, ours will (in my limited experience) invariably come out of the thick stuff. The best way to see them before they can wind/see you is to make them break cover. The other way I have had luck is sitting with a cross wind and a good view of the downwind side. Bottom line is never ever sit with the wind at your back, blowing into the cover you think the dog might be in. And always, always be watching your downwind side. And don't move any more than absoluterly necessary.

I think the biggest disadvatage of using hand calls is that the coyotes will be staring right at you when they pinpoint the sound. All you have to do is scratch your nose when one is staring at you from back in the brush (where you can't see it) and your stand is a bust. It might help you to fashion a simple decoy... maybe just a turkey feather of light strip of fur or something tied to a short stick. Put that out 30 - 50 yards away fom you and it might get and hold an approaching coyotes attention before you get busted.

I don't think the rabbit calling sequence is very critical, compared to the long learning curve of choosing a good setup. Maybe call for a minute and then rest for 2 - 3 minutes in between. Keep in mind though I never had any success with a hand call, so the best advice just might be to ignore mine!:rof:

kirsch
01-24-2008, 06:04 PM
Speckle Gut,

Baron said something that I wanted to extend upon. I very rarely ever set up blind. That does not mean that I don't try new spots. What I mean is there is a purpose to every stand and it usually revolves around the time of year and where a coyote is most likely going to be. Even in ND where our country is very open, coyotes need cover. If you can find cover, find a possible food source (corn field, pasture near cattle or deer herds and many more) then you are looking for the spot that allows you to see all the most common spots and travel routes from one vantage point.

As Baron mentions, coyotes will always follow some type of cover if they can including fence lines, draws, brush, trees and anything else they can. You can use those routes to set yourself up so that you are expecting exactly where they will come from. I call it killing on purpose instead of by accident.

I have hand called for almost 30 years. It is a great way to get into the sport very resonably. Put absolutely as much emphasis into the call as possible. Think of yourself as that animal and how bad you are hurt, and put all that into your sounds. I finally quit most hand-calling because I would literally become hoarse after every day of calling because I used that much emotion in my calling. I still carry typically at least one hand call with me that can be prey distress and be a howler but rarely use them with the electronic options.

The other thing you may want to pick up is a cheap mouse bulb type squeeker. If you can do a good lip-squeek, it may not be necessary. There is nothing that will finish a coyote like a good mouse squeek. Just be careful that they don't end up in your lap.

Quacker-Wacker
01-25-2008, 04:48 AM
Excellent info guys! Now all I need is some coyotes. All I get to come in is red fox so thats what I've been shooting. Oh well at least the fox pelts are bringing about $20 apiece so thats good .:uh:

speckle gut
01-25-2008, 06:39 AM
guys thanks for the awesome tips.. I will give you a heads up on the weekend what happened. I'm actually pumped now after reading these tips.

Flipper
01-25-2008, 10:44 AM
When using a rabbit call like you are talking about without the open reed you need to keep it inside your coat when it is cold. The little metal reed assembly will freeze very quickly and end your hunt.

GANDER D. BANDER
01-25-2008, 12:10 PM
Good info!!
We all probably have a TON of virtual predator calls laying around and we just don't know it. If you got a good single or double reed duck call you don't use anymore. Pull out the insert and try it. It will do everything a real"predator" call will do from prey in distress to howls. With a few minutes of your time you will be on the road to using it. Thats what I use.

mike2355
01-31-2008, 04:32 PM
anyone have tips on blowing a rabbit in distress call? I should be getting one in the mail soon that i ordered. I bought a haydels government hunter call. Is it easy to call? What do you say/blow into it?

kirsch
02-01-2008, 09:49 AM
I haven't blown that call before. I looked it up and it appears to be a closed reed call. In other words, you will blow through a mouth piece versus an open reed where your tongue/teeth ride directly on the reed.

Like playing any instrument or blowing any call, try using your diaphram as much as possible. I really don't say any words but simply try doing different things with your tongue as well as your mouth cavity size to change pitches etc. They aren't nearly as difficult to learn as a goose call. Think of how baby cries or screams and if you can immitate that, you are getting there. You are basically just trying to make it scream. If you can't do it, give it a kid and they can probably make it sound painful if you can't. :nn: Your tongue on many calls can be used to try to quiver the call especially if tryng to make bird type noises.

You want to sound as hurt and pleading as possible so put all your emotion into the call. If I am pretty sure there is no coyote in visual range, I will move my head to get the sound going in multiple directions but be very careful because if a coyote sees you doing this, you are busted.

Over the years, I seemed to have my best luck if I kept my calling sequences very jerky. By that I mean, I didn't let notes carry on for long periods of time which you think wouild work with a rabbit screaming. I kept my burst short and choppy almost sounding like a crow might sound. Also, although low and gravely can work, I tend to feel the higher pitch squeels bring in more coyotes, so you may want to work on getting the call as high as you can. This is much easier on an open reed call than on a closed reed call. Closed reeds are very easy to blow and you almost can't do anything wrong. The open reed are harder to master but you have more control. Personally, I like the style of call that is in between for instance the Sceery AP-6. It has lips that cover the reed and you can bite down on the lips to affect tone and pitch. To me this gives me the best of both worlds.

Also use your hand to choke and open the end of the call. This will allow you to make the call change pitch and give that right scream sound. I typically choke the call at the beginning of the sound and open it up during the sound. If you goose call, it is kind of like the come back sound EEEH-Ahhhh where sound changes during the note. This is similar to what will make a good rabbit scream. Hard to describe, easy to show.

If it is really cold outside when calling, be careful to not freeze your call. Keep the call in an inside pocket and on the stand, try to keep it warm as best as possible in your glove or somewhere so it doesn't freeze up. This should get you started.

The Baron of Bufflehead
02-01-2008, 02:13 PM
guys thanks for the awesome tips.. I will give you a heads up on the weekend what happened. I'm actually pumped now after reading these tips.

Hey Andrew.... well?.... any luck on the weekend?!! :TT: Did you get out? Are you going out this weekend? I think the 'yotes will be hungry tomorrow moring. They've likely been hunkered down in this storm with no eats until is clears off overnight. They might dome a chargin' to the dying rabbit calls tomorrow!!:Bn:

speckle gut
02-02-2008, 01:42 PM
Hey Andrew.... well?.... any luck on the weekend?!! :TT: Did you get out? Are you going out this weekend? I think the 'yotes will be hungry tomorrow moring. They've likely been hunkered down in this storm with no eats until is clears off overnight. They might dome a chargin' to the dying rabbit calls tomorrow!!:Bn:

Hey Rob, I did actually get out last weekend. And I dun got wiffed on the downwind side at about 250 yards.. It was my second stand set up, and I had him on a string, till he hung up, and spun around from where he came from. But you guys were right on the money. I chose the second stand due to the fresh tracks, and set up on them, he was there in about 15 seconds after my calling sequence. It was intence though, just like the rush of a spring gobbler. I'm worked until now (4:00 pm saturday), so hopefully I can head out tomorrow morning for another chance. I think my problem was that I was too out in the open, I hunted a ditch in between 2 monster corn stubble fields. Should I be trying to get into cover ? Or are fields alright.

Bardern
02-03-2008, 02:59 PM
I hope Rob doesn't mind me jumpin in Andrew.

Rob and I attended a seminar put on by a local coyote guru and his advice for our area is to hunt the bush and from a tree stand if at all posssible, this guy has taken by trapping and shooting 1000's of otes. The dogs will avoid fields during the day which does make sense if you think about it. I have been setting up in fields but will be moving to cover as I have not had much success bringing them in gun range. They are hanging up at the edges.

The Baron of Bufflehead
02-03-2008, 04:18 PM
Andrew... you called one out!? Sweet! :cool: Even though you got busted, that is a very successful first attempt. I didn't see a coyote at all my first season, so you are off to a good start. Stay at it and we'll look for a pic of you holding up a 'yote real soon!:TT:

Barry... I learned quite a few useful little tidbits yesterday. It was good to see you again. Maybe next year we'll have a group photo with some coyotes in it!:Bn:

Bardern
02-03-2008, 06:19 PM
Andrew... you called one out!? Sweet! :cool: Even though you got busted, that is a very successful first attempt. I didn't see a coyote at all my first season, so you are off to a good start. Stay at it and we'll look for a pic of you holding up a 'yote real soon!:TT:

Barry... I learned quite a few useful little tidbits yesterday. It was good to see you again. Maybe next year we'll have a group photo with some coyotes in it!:Bn:

onwards and upwards Rob! Great day even though we struck out

mike2355
02-05-2008, 02:02 PM
I haven't blown that call before. I looked it up and it appears to be a closed reed call. In other words, you will blow through a mouth piece versus an open reed where your tongue/teeth ride directly on the reed.

Like playing any instrument or blowing any call, try using your diaphram as much as possible. I really don't say any words but simply try doing different things with your tongue as well as your mouth cavity size to change pitches etc. They aren't nearly as difficult to learn as a goose call. Think of how baby cries or screams and if you can immitate that, you are getting there. You are basically just trying to make it scream. If you can't do it, give it a kid and they can probably make it sound painful if you can't. :nn: Your tongue on many calls can be used to try to quiver the call especially if tryng to make bird type noises.

You want to sound as hurt and pleading as possible so put all your emotion into the call. If I am pretty sure there is no coyote in visual range, I will move my head to get the sound going in multiple directions but be very careful because if a coyote sees you doing this, you are busted.

Over the years, I seemed to have my best luck if I kept my calling sequences very jerky. By that I mean, I didn't let notes carry on for long periods of time which you think wouild work with a rabbit screaming. I kept my burst short and choppy almost sounding like a crow might sound. Also, although low and gravely can work, I tend to feel the higher pitch squeels bring in more coyotes, so you may want to work on getting the call as high as you can. This is much easier on an open reed call than on a closed reed call. Closed reeds are very easy to blow and you almost can't do anything wrong. The open reed are harder to master but you have more control. Personally, I like the style of call that is in between for instance the Sceery AP-6. It has lips that cover the reed and you can bite down on the lips to affect tone and pitch. To me this gives me the best of both worlds.

Also use your hand to choke and open the end of the call. This will allow you to make the call change pitch and give that right scream sound. I typically choke the call at the beginning of the sound and open it up during the sound. If you goose call, it is kind of like the come back sound EEEH-Ahhhh where sound changes during the note. This is similar to what will make a good rabbit scream. Hard to describe, easy to show.

If it is really cold outside when calling, be careful to not freeze your call. Keep the call in an inside pocket and on the stand, try to keep it warm as best as possible in your glove or somewhere so it doesn't freeze up. This should get you started.

well the call came today and it sounds sweet. I can call it pretty good with lots of enthusiasm. I just try to mimic the sound a cottontail does when its injured. (i've heard it first hand a bunch of times from rabbit hunting when you only cripple them. Its definitely an errie sound.) I think goose/duck calling helped me a bit since i know how to control backpressure and air pressure so im sure i'll do fine with the call. If you blow in the opposite end you get a mouse squeaker which sounds pretty cool too. One of these days i'll have to try to get after some yotes or fox in my bush. Hopefully i can bag one.