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Tips on using the Fox Pro caller
by Jerry Malbeck
Always , always put the caller where you can see it.
Always put the caller directly in front of you.
Take a good look around your stand before you start calling and look for things that might resemble a coyote , that way when you do start calling you wont be moving to look thru your scope or binoc's to look at these ( looks like a coyote ) Gremlins out there . This will also help you notice that little dot ( predator) out there that wasn't there when you started your set .
Itís also a good idea to take some readings with a range finder before you start your set, this way you will know (known) yardages when a predator does come in.
Always remember to lower the volume on your caller at the end of a set-up; this will prevent you from starting the next set with the volume turned to loud.
Before setting your caller out to start a set-up make sure to check that you have the local / remote (marked L and R) switch in the right position before turning on the caller. This will prevent you from blowing the set up with a caller blaring a distress call etc.
The A and B Bank switch can be in either position when using the remote so if using the remote donít worry about the position of this switch.
A green light flashing on the caller is a reminder that your batteries are getting low. If the caller starts skipping, or starts skipping at higher volume levels, this is also a reminder that the batteries are getting low. By lowering the volume a little you can get thru a set up, but fresh batteries will be needed soon.
Always start off on low volume (in case a predator is close by, you donít want to blast a nearby predator out of the country).
A coyote can hear a mouth blown call as far as a mile away, so donít use too much volume. They hear a lot better then you think they can , Always take a good look around before starting another series on a mouth blown call or the Fox Pro , there may well be a coyote looking right at you .
I have found that when calling (pressured) areas it is more productive to use less calling. Ill wait 3 to 5 minutes between sets. Calling pressured areas it is best to not use a continuous sound but to use short series of sounds. Again this is part of learning your areas. It has also been more productive for me to use coyote pup distress and other uncommon distress sounds in these areas.
A lot of the time ill just start with a mouth squeak or you can also use one of those hand squeakers, or get a squeaker sound installed on your unit. (You would be surprised how many coyotes you can harvest this way) Thank Verne Howey for that tip. A mouth squeak will be heard along way off; itís amazing just how far a coyote or other predator can hear this.
I usually put the caller 20 to 30 yards away from me. This cuts down the chance that you will be seen while placing the caller. Iím not saying this is the right way to do it, but it works for me .in more open ground you will probably want to set the caller farther away, perhaps across a draw from you. Or down in the bottom, make sure you can see down into the area you place the caller. This will save you a lot of frustration. If you cant see the low spot, a coyote can and will at one time or another get in and out without you seeing it until its too late. In big open areas ill often use a decoy , I have found that in big open areas a coyote is reluctant to come across unless it sees a reason to do so ( this is where a decoy dog really shines). I have found that when calling CRP and stubble the coyotes are usually up on the tops of these areas. I always try to get at least 1/3 of the way down a hillside to set up. Watch your back as well as the bottoms. Donít turn around to look while calling just slowly turn your head once in a while, slow movements are most important. Move your head like a second hand on a watch. very very slowly.
learning your areas will be trial and error on your part , I say this because in some areas I never turn the caller off and have great success , In other areas I find it more productive to use short series .
Ill usually start a set with the caller on low volume, (Low volume is when I can barely here it from my stand) ill wait for 5 to 7 minutes before ill raise the volume, this is in case a predator is nearby.
After the 5 to 7 minute mark ill raise the volume to 1/8 to 1/4 and let it play, most of the time I never shut the caller off. I think this is an advantage to lure in predators that have been educated to the mouth call cadence. I feel that in a lot of cases the steady sound will fool even an educated predator. (Remember this is done with very low volume and mostly early on in the season) This can cause a rodeo to occur due to the fact that the predator will lock onto the sound and come straight to the caller, sometimes very fast, (another great reason to have a remote unit) you have to be prepared for fast action when using this technique.
Another technique I use is as follows. ill turn the caller on low volume , and wait , if nothing shows after the 5 to 7 minute mark , ill begin a series of distress calls on a mouth blown call , raising the volume above the caller, put a lot of hurt into it ,, ( but not to loud) make the series of distress sounds short , and wait . I have had great success doing this. I feel that what happens is this, a predator hears the mouth blown call, and starts coming in. Then the animal will lock onto the Fox Pro, and come right where you want him. (I.E. to the caller leaving you undetected)
NOTE: I think one thing that a lot of callers do is use to much volume.
Another technique I use, involves a mouth blown howler. You could also use a female invitation on the fox pro , and the male howl, or Randyís howls also are great producers. . I prefer a mouth blown howler due to the fact that I can make the sounds I want to, Ill start with a female howl, wait for five minutes, and if nothing shows ill follow with a male howl. Wait again then begin a series of distress sounds, again with the Fox Pro playing on low volume. This is very productive year round, but most of all during the mating, denning season.
Another howling sequence that has been working well is a series of hunting barks and yips while the fox pro is playing a distress sound on very low volume.
A coyote that is howled in will (usually) come in down wind to smell or try to see the competition before he gets to close , if you donít get a howl in return , do not assume that a coyote is not coming . Most of the times they will not howl back if they are approaching
If you get a howl in return and have waited a long time ( as a rule I use 30 minutes) and nothing is showing up , go toward the coyote that is howling back , do this like a coyote does I.E. use the low ground and move quietly . Watch your wind, and do not skyline yourself .Going toward them seems to really make them mad, and usually will start them in your direction this will sometimes work if they are not coming to you.
If you are getting a warning barks (this is a sound you need to learn to recognize) donít assume itís all over. This doesnít work very often but I have had it work for me and one of my favorite calling buddies Curt Barrett. . Itís best done with two people, and both being able to blow a howler. Return the warning bark, while your partner is making coyote vocalizations. I.E. challenge barks, pup distress. As I said this has worked for me even after receiving a warning bark .putting your calling partner on higher ground and a lil down wind of your position is a good idea if possible.
A lot of callers might disagree with me , but in my experience I have had just as many if not more coyotes come in up wind as down wind, Perhaps I have less pressure in my areas. . This is why I always try to call (cross wind.) Position yourself so that if a predator comes in to the call, he will have to cross your path to get to the sound. If a coyote is coming in fast a bark made with your mouth will usually stop him. Make sure you are ready to shoot when you do this as you wonít have much time to take the shot. If you shoot the coyote or you miss, go directly to the pup in distress. Many times this will stop a fleeing coyote, or call in another. This can be done with your voice as well. Just yelp as if your are a puppy with its foot under yours, or just Bark (woof woof, to stop a coyote). Never quit calling if a coyote comes in to the call early on. Many times you can score a double or more by staying put and keep calling with a distress sound as well.
Another subject that needs to be covered is how to approach your stand , never walk in on high ground , Donít SKYLINE yourself for any reason , if you have to go over a ridge or a high spot hunker down and move behind the brush or any other cover you can find . When I head for a set-up I always try to find a path that will allow me to get there using low ground or the higher brush to conceal my approach .Always have the wind in your face if at all possible . Watch where you step and donít drag your feet or roll over rocks etc. Make sure your clothing is quiet, donít wear pants that swish when you walk, a lot of the bdu's do this .Wear your head net and gloves while going to your stand, and you donít want that shiny face alerting a nearby predator. If you see deer in the area try to get in without alarming them, I have found that if there are deer or cattle nearby there are probably coyotes around, and the coyotes will be watching if they are alerted and run off. I have sat down and waited for deer to move out of an area just for that reason and on several sets called in coyotes as soon as I started calling.
I have been seeing a lot of questions on volume level to use on the stand ,As stated above, The volume level I use is as follows , With the Fox Pro set out at 30 to 50 yards I set the volume so that I can just hear it . A predator can hear the caller at this volume as far as 1/4 mile away. If it is foggy or a slight breeze is blowing ill raise the volume just a little higher. Too much volume is your enemy, if a predator is close by at the beginning of the stand you will blow him out of the area, Increase the volume as the set progresses if nothing is responding, increase the volume for just a few seconds at a time. I.E. volume up then volume down or just use a mouth blown call. Using a mouth blown call is a little more risky as if there is a predator nearby it can get you busted.
The Fox Pro is a great tool. you have 4 , 8 , 16 or 32 sounds at your finger tips , One thing I cannot stress enough is the fact that the fur season is long , the predators are getting smarter and smarter as the season goes on , keep your sounds limited as the season wears on . You donít want to educate the population to your entire arsenal of sounds early on in the season. The coyote pup in distress sound is one I try to SAVE until close to the end of the season. I also donít recommend switching sounds very much on a stand. I have had luck doing this but I try to avoid it at all cost. If you have a predator hung up, sometimes it is a great tool to switch sounds, but ill always try a simple lip squeak first. The less you use early on, the more you will have later in the year.
I would like to thank John and Mike @ Go Go Varmint Go for the great web site and all of you for all the help over the years. Hope someone gets some good tips from this, and thanks John and Mike Dillon @ Fox Pro for a wonderful caller. It sure has helped me with my ADC work, Jerry Malbeck, AKA Moses Man.
I get asked this a lot so here goes << a list of my favorite and most productive sounds on the fox pro . The fox pro staff has a number of great new sounds I have not yet field tested , This fall I will be testing the newer sounds that I feel will be productive in my area .
1 wood pecker
2.coyotepup in distress
3.female invitation makes a good locator
5.canine pup distress
7.rabbit distress #1 and #2
9.baby pig distress
10.Dave afflec's jack rabbit
11. ground hog distress
12.p- dog distress
13. kitten distress
14. fawn bawl
15. jerrys AP-6
16. Randy Andersons howls are very good
17 antelope distress
18. kiss of death