John's Journal...

How to Take More Predators

Gerald Stewart: Tips for Calling Predators

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Gerald Stewart of Waco, Texas, avid hunter, consultant and Hunter’s Specialties’ Pro Staff Member, has been hunting predators since he was 8-years old. This week, Stewart shares some of his secrets for successfully calling predators.

Probably one of the most-important things for successful predator calling is to know your hunting area thoroughly. You need to find out where the animals are moving. One tip is to scout with your ears rather than with your eyes. For example, to locate coyotes, you can scout with your ears by listening for them. Go out and travel the regions you have access to, and listen for the coyotes’ vocalizations early in the evening as the sun begins to set. Continue to listen for coyotes during the times when they're most vocal. Then you can determine where they are and move closer to them. Hunters make mistakes when calling predators of using too much volume in theirClick to enlarge electronic players or blowing their mouth calls too loudly. Instead, hunters should start out with low volume first for those predators that may be within the immediate vicinity. Allow those animals 3 to 4 minutes to get to you before you turn the volume up to reach the animals that may be further away. I think more times than we care to admit, we probably scare predators with high-volume calls, and we’ll be more successful at taking them if we use low volume first.

Another thing to keep in mind for successful predator calling is to camouflage yourself as well as you can. Conceal yourself from the predator’s sight with quality camo and from smell with Hunter’s Specialties’ scent-elimination products. Minimizing the amount of human odor that may be present is crucial for hunting predators. Most long-nosed predators will circle downwind of you. If you know where that downwind area is and you set up properly, you can cause that animal to expose itself to get downwind. And if you use the proper scent-elimination products, you can create an opportunity to see that animal for a longer time as it approachClick to enlargees. When the animal reaches a downwind position and doesn’t detect the presence of human odor, it’s more likely to stick around long enough for you to take a shot.

Buddy Hunting for Coyotes:
Because of the coyote’s keen ability to detect and approach different situations in its environment, hunters should consider hunting these predators with a buddy. If you sit back-to-back with a partner, you can view 360 degrees without moving rather than trying to cover the entire area by yourself, which often creates too much movement as you turn your head from side to side. Hunting with a buddy is also more fun. You’ll enjoy being outdoors with a friend or maybe your son or daughter – somebody you know really well. A great technique to use for buddy hunting is what I call the “high-low” technique. If you're hunting land where the elevation changes, put the person who is calling down low, and let the person who is shooting sit up high. The hunter who is higher may be in a tree stand or may position himself on the side of a hill. Because the shooter is remote enough from the caller, the animal’s attention will be focused on the person doing the calling. The high-low technique is an effective way to hunt coyotes, especially because these animals have such keen eyesight.Click to enlarge

Calling Foxes, Raccoons and Bobcats:
Bear in mind when you’re calling foxes the two main species – the red fox and the gray fox. The red fox by nature is very cautious and shy and will circle you once, twice or even three times before it comes anywhere near you. Red foxes use their noses much faster and more effectively than gray foxes do. The nature of a gray fox is to approach quickly and come straight into a spot when he doesn't find what he thinks he will find. Then he’ll circle downwind of you. You can use that knowledge to manipulate these animals. By knowing what to expect and how to set up on each animal, you can determine how aggressively to call a particular species. Raccoons are much like gray foxes. They’ll come into a spot, and then circle around you many times. A good rule of thumb to remember for the length of time it takes to call predators is about 10 minutes for a fox or a raccoon, 15 to 20 minutes for a coyote and 30 minutes for a bobcat. The bobcat takes more time because it uses a much slower and more methodical approach, whereas a fox or a raccoon will come running in more aggressively. Bobcats want to know what’s going on with their noses before they see what’s going on with their eyes.

To learn more about Johnny Stewart Calls, visit or

Check back each day this week for more about "How to Take More Predators"

Day 1: Hunt High for Predators
Day 2: Why Take Your Tree Stand to Hunt for Predators
Day 3: How to Take More Predators with Gerald Stewart
Day 4: Using the Johnny Stewart Attractor for Predators with Gerald Stewart
Day 5: Gerald Stewart: Tips for Calling Predators


Entry 549, Day 5