John's Journal...


Getting started Predator Hunting

EDITOR’S NOTE: What does it take to become a professional hunter, and get to travel the country doing TV shows, putting on seminars, making videos and spending most of your life as a hunter? What gives a predator pro the credentials to stand before a group and speak as an expert? Allen Morris of Springville, Utah, a Hunter’s Specialties’ pro, has hunted coyotes for 28 years. He has placed in the top 10 in the last nine World Championships of Predator Hunting and came out second place in 2002. Although Morris and his partner had the same number of coyotes as the first-place team - 13 taken in 1-1/2-days, the first-place team returned to the tournament site 10 minutes ahead of Morris. Since the contest is judged on who takes the most coyotes the quickest, those 10 minutes were the difference between first place and second place. However, no one can dispute that Allen Morris is one of the best predator hunters in the nation. This week, we’ll talk with Morris about hunting predators.

Click to enlargeThe question I’m often asked in seminars is, “How do you get started predator hunting?” My standard answer is, “You need to study the animal.” One of the biggest advantages that a first-time predator hunter has today is that you can get instructional videos like those Hunter’s Specialties makes. You can learn from professional coyote hunters what coyotes are likely to do and how to call them. You really need to know where they live, what they eat, and what they do at different times of the year. Remember that when you’re calling any animal, you’re either using the sound that they want to respond to or you’re trying to reproduce a sound that they make. As a predator caller, you can make the sounds of the animals that the predators like to eat such as rabbits, doe or fawn deer, mice and birds. You can also learn to howl and make sounds like a coyote. One of the reasons that the sport of predator hunting is growing is because you not only can sound like a coyote, but you can also make sounds of the animals that the coyote eats so that you can take a shot at him. Nothing can be more exciting than having an animal come running to you when you call.

Click to enlargeI suggest that a first-time predator hunter purchase a metal internal-reed jackrabbit or cottontail call and use that call to make the sounds of a rabbit in distress. I suggest an inexpensive call – for instance less than $10 for a PC1 hand-blown call - because you can use the rifle or shotgun that you have and that inexpensive call and go coyote hunting. You can also wear Hunter’s Specialties’ camouflage and use all of their odor-eliminating products that you’ve bought for deer season. There are very few hunting sports that you can get in to for less than $10. The PC1, PC3 or PC7 from Hunter’s Specialties all sell for less than $15, and all of them will make the sound of a rabbit in distress. You can blow on this rabbit-in-distress call just like you blow on a kazoo, but you’re not going to call in any coyotes with that type of blowing. However if you blow from your diaphragm and put emotion in that call, you can get coyotes, foxes, and bobcats to come to you. Start off blowing the call softly, and then get louder and louder. Use your hand as a cup over the end of the call. You want to make that call sound like a baby crying. When a baby cries they don’t give out one loud blast as, “Whaaaaaaaaaaa!” When you blow your predator call, don’t blow one long continuous call. The way a baby cries is, “Wh-y, wh-y, wh-yyyyyyyyyyyyyy!” There is no better training for a predator hunter than to listen to a baby cry and try and produce those same cries with a predator caller. I’ve actually known predator hunters who’ve recorded their babies’ crying, taken that recording out in to the field, played it and had coyotes come to the sounds. When the coyote hears that baby cry, I don’t think he’s smart enough to know that it’s a baby crying. What he does know is there is some kind of critter in distress. He can usually catch and eat any kind of critter that is wounded, hurt or in pain. If you can cry like a baby on a predator call, you can call in a coyote.

Click to enlargeOnce you’ve called in a bobcat or a coyote with a hand call, you’re going to be hooked on predator hunting. Once you get hooked on predator hunting, you may want to start exploring electronic callers like the Hunter’s Specialties’ PreyMaster and build a library of sounds that’ll call coyotes. Even though the PreyMaster costs a little over $100, once you’re hooked on predator calling, getting one of the best electronic callers on the market will definitely be in your future. Once you get hooked on a hand caller, then the natural evolution of a predator hunter is to buy an electronic caller that will produce more and different sounds, and can be operated remotely.

To learn more about Hunter’s Specialties’ predator products, go to


Check back each day this week for more about ALLEN MORRIS AND PREDATOR HUNTING

Day 1: Predator Hunting 101 – The Beginner
Day 2: Getting started Predator Hunting
Day 3: Predator Hunting 102 – Setting-Up
Day 4: Predator Hunting 103 – The Hunt
Day 5: Calling and Shooting Predators



Entry 338, Day 2