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How to Take Coyotes and Other Predators

Mix Sounds for More Coyotes with Gerald Stewart

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Gerald Stewart of Waco, Texas, doesn’t remember a time when he hasn’t called, hunted and taken predators. Predator hunting has been his life’s work for most of his life, and each year, he tries to learn more effective ways to find, call and take predators.

Question: Gerald, what’s your opinion of the new remote-control version of the Hunter’s Specialties’ Preymaster?
Stewart: The new remote Preymaster holds three different sound cards instead of just one like the old Preymaster did. It also has a range of 100 to 150 yards.

Question: With more hunters moving toward using the remote-control callers, what do you feel is the real advantage to using these callers?
Stewart: Some people want remote-control callers that allow the hunter to get further away from the caller.

Question: What’s your opinion of the remote callers?
Stewart: The biggest advantage to the remote caller is when the animal comes in, its attentClick to enlargeion is focused on the caller and not on the hunter. Therefore, the hunter has a better chance of spotting the animal before the animal sees the hunter and taking the animal without the animal seeing him. If you’re trying to get your gun into position to take a shot or your camera in position to take a picture, many times the animal will see you before you can get off the shot. However, having a remote caller that you can set up further away from you is not always best. There are some remote callers on the market that boast having a much-longer range between the caller and the remote than I think is absolutely necessary. Why would someone want to use a caller that had a 1/2- to a 1-mile range between the hunter and the caller? That type of caller seems to be self-defeating. The purpose of any caller is to get the animal within shooting range, not to be able to call the animal from 1/2- to 1-mile away. If you have the right wind with the caller set up at 100 yards, and the animal tries to circle downwind of the caller, the animal is more than likely going to walk right in front of you while it’s looking at where the sound is coming from, instead of looking at where you’re sitting. So, if you’re knowledgeable about how to use the wind and the terrain, you can get that animal in close enough to photograph it or shoot it if you’ll use the remote caller.

Question: What sounds do you feel are most effective when you’re trying to call in a coyote?
Stewart: I use a combination of different sounds instead of relying just on one sound. I like to use a coyote and a gray fox alternately. I also like to use a rabbit squeal and a coyote howl. I’m trying to create believable scenarios of a predator’s attacking its prey in that coyote’s mind. I think when you use different sounds, you can add an element of believability to your calling that you don’t get when you just use oneClick to enlarge sound. Another tandem call I like to use is a dying-rabbit call followed by a crow call. I’ll even put crow decoys up in a tree. The crow decoys with the dying-rabbit sound and the crow sound give the predator a visual clue to what its ears are telling it. Any time you can touch more than one sense of a predator, you’ll have a much greater chance of calling it in, especially when the predator’s eyes confirm what its ears are telling it. Then the predator has twice as much reason to come in than if it only hears the sound of its prey. Many times, if you’ll notice, when you start calling predators, crows will start coming in too. So, it’s natural to see and hear crows when animals are in distress. When a coyote, a fox or a bobcat sees and hears crows at the same time or in the same area where it’s heard a rabbit squeal or another type of animal in distress, the predator has more reason to believe that when it reaches the spot where it hears the animal in distress, it will find something to eat. By using decoys and more than one sound, you can call in more predators.

Question: What other combinations of sounds are you using on the new Preymaster?
Stewart: I use raccoon and coyote sounds together and coyote pup distress with a dominant coClick to enlargeyote sound, especially during the mating season of coyotes. During the mating season, coyotes seem to be really susceptible to the sounds of other coyotes moving into their area. They’ll usually come to investigate a new coyote in the region and come in very aggressively. I’ll often use a barking or a howling sound first and then use a rabbit-in-distress sound. Or, I’ll start off with the rabbit in distress and then use the coyote bark after it. The very-aggressive coyotes in the area will respond best to the sound of a coyote first and then the sound of the dying rabbit, because the predator’s hearing another coyote in its area; then suddenly that intruder coyote has killed and is eating one of its rabbits. But when you have satellite coyotes that aren’t very aggressive, they seem to like the rabbit squeal first, and then either the coyote bark or the coyote howl. These coyotes are thinking, “We’ll come in after that coyote kills the rabbit and eats part of it and see if there are any morsels left for us.” So, I believe that the new Preymaster with the three card slots gives you a lot more sounds to choose from and allows you to mix more sounds to create more-realistic scenarios.

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Tomorrow: What I’ve Learned Hunting in February with Al Morris

Check back each day this week for more about "How to Take Coyotes and Other Predators"

Day 1: Taking Coyotes in February with Al Morris
Day 2: How to Take More Predators with Gerald Stewart
Day 3: Mix Sounds for More Coyotes with Gerald Stewart
Day 4: What I’ve Learned Hunting in February with Al Morris
Day 5: The Expert’s Squeak with David Hale



Entry 391, Day 3