John's Journal...

The Catmobile

How Burrell Hunts


Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: The Catmobile, a varmint-hunting van designed by Gordon Burrell, a professional varmint hunter, will help you take more predators. Burrell says, "I've built the Catmobile to keep my hunters warm, dry and comfortable and to make sure we leave little or no scent in the areas we hunt." Burrell’s hunters only get out of the van to retrieve a downed varmint, remaining the rest of the time inside the van or looking out the top of the van while Burrell or the hunters call to the varmints.


Click to enlargeBurrell initially blows a predator call two or three times, waits for about 30 seconds and then turns on his headlamp. He turns the rheostat on low so that there’s only a small glow of red for him to see the predator’s eyes. “Once I see the predator’s eyes as it comes in, the calling is over,” Burrell explains. “I snap my fingers to get my hunters’ attention to let him know I’ve spotted a predator. I’ve already instructed the hunter to pick up his rifle out of the rack, come right behind me and look down my light beam to see the predator’s eyes. Once he sees the predator’s eyes, the hunter either moves to my right or left, depending on which way he shoots. When my hunter has his rifle lying on the pillow and can see the predator’s eyes in his riflescope, I ask him to whisper, ‘Okay.’ Next, I start mouse squeaking to bring the predator in close enough for the hunter to take a shot.

“As the animal comes in, I’ll constantly ask the hunter if he has the animal in his scope. As long as the hunter’s telling me that everything’s okay, I keep squeaking the animal in until it reaches an opening where the hunter can make the shot. I’ll whisper, ‘I’m going to light him up.’ I take my hand-held spotlight and turn it on the animal, which enables the hunter to put the crosshairs in his scope where he wants to shoot. The hunter then takes the shot. With bobcats, the hunter usually has 4 to 6 seconds to take the shot. But with a coyote, you only have about 2 seconds to take the shot. The hunter has to be ready to shoot quickly.” Click to enlarge


Burrell’s really a fan of the squealing rabbit call, either the jackrabbit or the cottontail. On the night we hunted together, Al Morris of Springville, Utah, a pro-staffer for Hunter’s Specialties who’s competed in the World Calling Championship and won the World Coyote Calling Championship, also hunted with us. Naturally we wanted to hear this well-known championship hunter call. “I was impressed with Morris’ ability to howl with the Hunter’s Specialties Johnny Stewart predator calls,” Burrell says. “I was also really surprised when he started using the woodpecker call at night. That call brought in both the cats and the coyotes.” Burrell, a hardcore hand-made mouth-blown predator caller, admitted his surprise at how effectively the Hunter’s Specialties Preymaster Digital Caller produced predators. “I always felt that hand-blown calls were far superior to electronic calls,” Burrell reveals. “I really didn’t think that a sound coming from an electronic call could be as productive as a mouth-blown call. Big Al proved to me that I needed to reconsider using an electronic caller. I don’t know if I’ll ever give up my hand-made mouth-blown calls because that’s just my style of predator hunting. But I certainly see that those electronic calls can be just as effective, if not more effective, than a mouth-blown call.”

Click to enlarge

Predator callers mainly separate by the types of predator calls they use– those who use electronic callers and those who blow mouth callers. Both kinds of hunters strongly believe in their systems. However, on this night in the Catmobile, these two hunters gained much more respect for each other and the types of calls they used than either had had in the past. “Gordon can make those hand-made calls talk the talk and walk the walk,” Morris says. “I love to use my Hunter’s Specialties mouth-blown calls. However, I think Gordon also realized just how deadly effective the Hunter’s Specialties Preymaster Digital Caller can be when we called a bobcat within 30 yards of the Catmobile. The hunter took him with his Thompson/Center. 204 rifle.” Since we could travel far in the Catmobile, we covered plenty of ground, made numbers of calls, and saw and shoot a good number of predators. Texas also has a huge feral hog population with an estimated 2 to 3 million in the state. In a night of hunting predators from the Catmobile, most of Burrell’s hunters will have the opportunity to see and take hogs – often in regions where they call in predators. Hogs will come to a predator call because they are carnivorous.

For more information you can contact Rick Adley of Trophy Wildlife Adventures at (817) 656-1200. For information about Thompson/Center, go to Go to to learn more about Hunter’s Specialties’ fine calls.


Tomorrow: How Burrell Hunts Year-Round Hunting from the Catmobile

Check back each day this week for more about " The Catmobile"

Day 1: The Van and the Hunt
Day 2:What Kind of Lights Does the Catmobile Use?
Day 3: How Burrell Hunts
Day 4: How Burrell Hunts Year-Round Hunting from the Catmobile
Day 5: The Evolution of the Catmobile


Entry 369, Day 3