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Predator Calls

by Randy Buker

          Foxes respond to a variety of distress sounds. Everything from soft kissing sounds to a fawn in distress sound will work. The most common sounds used, however, are the rabbit in distress sounds. This is likely due to the fact that there are more rabbit in distress sounds on the market than any other sounds. Most calls mimic a rabbit in distress. But, like I said before, foxes will come to a variety of distress sounds. Because of that fact, it often pays to experiment with a variety of different sounds. Some of the sounds I have used successfully include: a screaming peacock, a pileated woodpecker, a variety of mouse squeakers, a duck in distress, a crow in distress, a squirrel in distress and on and on... My point is that you need not get caught up in just the right sound because they will respond to most any distress sound.

          Types of calls vary greatly with some being easier to use than others. Certainly the easiest to use in order to get the right sound is an electronic caller. Before I get into them, let me say that I don't like them and never use them. But, for some folks, especially beginners, they make a good deal of sense in order to boost your confidence and get some critters in front of the gun.


          Electronic callers are made by a variety of companies and quality varies accordingly. The basic premise with an electronic caller is that you pop in a tape, CD, computer chip or whatever, click the switch and you have instant distress sounds. Callers who use electronic put the speaker away from their position so when the fox comes in he isn't concentrating on your location. This is a real benefit. Having the fox paying attention to a different location than yours allows you to get away with a bit more movement if you need to slightly shift around to get a good shot off.

          Disadvantages to electronic callers are many. I've tried several kinds and have come across problems with nearly all of them. First you have to pack them in and out. That isn't a problem unless you are going to be making several calls a day. By the end of the day you get mighty sick of lugging that thing around no matter how small it is. Plus, about the time you get that first double on foxes and have two of them to drag back to the truck plus the gun, plus the caller and you will get my drift. Another thing I don't like about electronics is that they are mechanical. Mechanical things break down. Either you run out of tape, the batteries go dead or some other mechanical problem comes up. Finally, electronic callers are not cheap. I can buy an awful lot of hand calls for the price of one electronic caller.


          Hand calls come in a couple main varieties. They are tube calls and open reed calls. Tube calls are the easiest to use. You don't need to worry about where on the reed you are putting pressure to get the right sound. Just blow into them and you get sound. Open reed calls are a bit different. They are as they sound. The reed is exposed and the sound you get depends on where you put pressure on the reed. Pressure near the end of the reed makes a higher pitch and pressure closer to the barrel makes a lower pitch. My personal favorites are the open reed calls. You can vary the sound to find the one you like. Using the same call you can get low jack rabbit sounds, cotton tail sounds, mouse squeaks, bird chirps and even coyote barks and howls not to mention a lot of sounds you normally wouldn't use to call critters. Open reed calls take a little practice but are super-effective once you get the hang of them.

Should you have a concern regarding the health of your Beagle(s), you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is presented solely for educational and informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving veterinary care for your Beagle(s).