John's Journal...

Al Morris on Winning the 2007 Coyote Calling Contest

Get Them Downwind

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note:  Forty-one-year-old Al Morris, from Springfield , Utah , a Hunter's Specialties’ predator pros, has hunted coyotes since he was 12. He’s also helped in the production of the “Operation Predator Videos 2, 3, 4 and 5.”  Al Morris and his partner, Garvin Young, for won the 2007 World Coyote Calling Contest in November, 2007. Al and Garvin were the first team to win the World Coyote Calling Contest twice and the only team to consistently finish in the top-10 places in the championship for the past 11 years.  This week Al will tell us how he and Garvin won the World.

Fifty percent of those 17 coyotes we took circled downwind of the caller. Garvin and I have hunted in 11 World Coyote Calling Contests. We have always finished in the top 10, and we have won two WClick to enlargeorld championships. But this is the first time we’ve ever used an electronic caller. We’ve always used hand-held callers like the PC-1 or the PC-7. One of us always sat downwind, while the other one used the caller. However, this year, by using Hunter’sSpecialties PM-4 Wireless Caller, we were both able to sit downwind from the caller. Out of the 17 coyotes we took, we actually called in 19 coyotes. I missed one, and Garvin missed one. I believe that our success was directly related to our ability to be downwind of the Preymaster caller. Then we could both get shots at the coyotes that came in downwind. Five or six of the 17 we took came within 10 yards of the caller. 

When you turn on the Preymaster, it automatically comes on to the lowest volume setting. I start it out at that low setting for about 30 seconds for my first series of calls. Then I turn the unit off and wait a minute or two, because if there’s a coyote within 100 yards of you, he’ll be able to hear the sounds from the Preymaster as soon Click to enlargeas you turn it on. You never want to start out calling with the maximum volume you can get out of any caller, since you’ll spook close coyotes.  After I give my first series of low-volume calls, I start the unit again on low volume and then increase the volume to 2 and let the Preymaster run for another 30 seconds. Then I turn it off for another minute or two. I turn the Preymaster back on and turn the volume up to about 4. I’ll turn it off another minute or two and turn it back on and up to 6. If I still haven’t seen a coyote, I’ll turn the caller off, turn it back on and slowly increase the volume to the maximum of 8. I only let the caller run on max volume for about 30 seconds before I start turning the volume down. I never go to max volume until I’ve been on stand for 6-7 minutes or longer and have gone through several different calls. If the wind’s blowing 10 miles per hour or more, I may get to maximum volume quicker. I don’t think coyotes can hear me if they’re 1/4- or 1/2-mile away in a 10-mile-per-hour wind if I don’t use the Preymaster at its maximum volume.

Changing the PM-4 to its different sounds is relatively easy. Each sound chip has about three or four sounds on it.Click to enlarge If you want to use a different sound, you just slide in another chip. I usually carry two or three extra chips with me so that I have 20-24 sounds at my fingertips. This year in the World Contest we didn’t need to use any of the extra sound chips and only used two sounds. Too, I like the extremely light weight of the PM-4, and the unit runs on 4 AA batteries. The same size speaker that’s on the original Preymaster is on this PM-4. The sending unit that you keep with you is very slender and runs on one 9-volt battery. We had tested the unit before the World Contest. When we got to our third stand in the World Coyote Calling Contest and took three coyotes from that one stand, Garvin looked at me and said, “I’m glad we left our hand-blown calls in the truck. We better stay with this remote caller.”

The week before the World, Garvin and I went to Nevada to film “Operation Predator 5.” We took 20 coyotes in two days with the PM-4. We learned then that we were calling in more coyotes with the PM-4 than we were with our hand-blown callers. So, we made the decision then to call exclusively with the PM-4 in the World Coyote Calling Contest. Also, I had taken 16 coyotes in 2 days with the PM-4, 2 weeks before the World Coyote Calling Contest started. Garvin and I didn’t go into the World Contest with a new caller that was unproven. We knew what the PM-4 could do, and we were confident that our best chance of winning the World Contest would be with this caller.

Tomorrow: Why Hunt Coyotes Now

Check back each day this week for more about "Al Morris on Winning the 2007 Coyote Calling Contest"

Day 1: How We Won the World Coyote Calling Contest
Day 2: Setting Up for the World Hunt
Day 3: The Preymaster Helped Conquer the World
Day 4: Get Them Downwind
Day 5: Why Hunt Coyotes Now


Entry 442, Day 4