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As a predator hunting video maker and a long time FOXPRO Field Staff member, I get a lot of questions in email. These questions range from equipment and ballistics issues to fur handling. And "The Question", the one I get asked more than any other. In the fall when deer season is over, I get email every day from my fellow Utah hunters asking me "where is a good place". The standard response I give is that ...
I have hunted crows for over 49 years starting at age 11 1/2 years old. Seriously since 1974 when I was 26 years old; I'm now 61 years old as of last February. I had the best season of my life last season. My friend Jerry Byroade (from Maryland) and I shot 3,584 crows on the first 16 hunts of the season last year. This was from late October to mid November. Then my friend, Dick Kilbane (from Ohio), and I shot an additional 6,932 crows...
When people hear the phrase "March Madness", thoughts of collegiate basketball come to mind. For me, however, the term relates to the great coyote hunting that occurs after the bone chilling temperatures of winter have passed. Don't get me wrong, I pursue eastern coyotes from fall through winter. The fact remains that most of my successful and memorable coyote hunts take place in the month of March. The following story details one such hunt...
Where is one of the premier hunting destinations in America? Don't guess just Illinois because of the title, the answer is any deer stand with a FOXPRO Game Call. We all know FOXPRO is the leader in predator calling and how well it works, but did you ever think how great they are to use for whitetails. Mark my words, the whitetail industry is going to find out more about the FOXPRO's and I guarantee they are going to lead to the success of more and bigger whitetails taken by hunters that thought they would have never had a chance at a trophy whitetail.
Many folks may ask the question to you or me, "how do you know how to do that, or who taught you that?" They may make the comments like "that sounds real, or that's pretty good!" What I'm referring to is calling wildlife; this may be calling predators, turkey, deer, ducks, crows, etc. In a nutshell I think all of us can agree that to become good at something it takes practice. If you look at past world champion callers, you will most likely find the same answer.
Twenty eight years ago, as a Pennsylvania resident, I became hooked on calling fox. While I still have much to learn, I have picked up a few tricks and tips that may help a new caller. I now live in Maryland, where we enjoy one of the highest densities of red fox in the states. For the past 5 or 6 years I have used Foxpro callers to hunt predators on the east coast, and it has greatly helped my success calling fox. Utilizing the Foxpro caller will be discussed throughout this article.
On almost a daily basis, I see posts on internet sites relating to volume and the need to use lots of it. Most questions regarding electronic callers are "how loud will it play?" I have found that, unless calling wide open areas with unlimited visibility or night hunting, using too much volume can be your worst enemy.
Calling experienced coyotes is always a challenge and as the end of the season approaches a high percentage of coyotes have had fairly recent experiences with you or other predator hunters. This is a great time to change up your tactics and experiment with coyote vocalizations. These can be more effective than the normal prey distress sounds for a couple of reasons.
Coons are largely nocturnal feeders but they can often be seen foraging during dusk and dawn (secondarily crepuscular). While they adapt to many different environments, they seem to prefer areas close to some type of water source. This could include swamps, streambeds, lakes, beaches, quarries, etc. They are fairly hearty animals in regards to temperature, but when the mercury plummets much below the freezing mark, they often den up for extended periods of time.
If you live in an area where the crows bunch up in good numbers throughout the fall and winter months you have an advantage over the run & gunner because the crows will come to you. Now they come to a run & gunner as well but the shooting does not last near as long as when you hunt them in the fall. A run & gunner has to make a lot of stands in order to kill anywhere from a few dozen on up to a hundred or more.
I have been warned many times by the native Texans that if you're planning a trip to West Texas for predators, to stay away from the month of March. During this time of year the winds in west Texas can be almost unbearable. We found this out first hand last month when we hooked up for a hunt with Byron South and Larry Wilson. Byron picked up Tom Steel and I at DFW International to take us the rest of the way to Seminole, Texas.
Most of the coyote hunting I do in central Kentucky takes place on farms ranging in size from 100 acres to 300 acres. All of these farms are well divided by fences and gates, making it much harder to slip in to the area where I want to make my set up. Obviously, I want to make sure that these farms contain coyotes or at the very least provide travel routes they use as part of their territory.
Coyotes are ornery critters that kill for a living. Oh yes, there are those big city coyotes that scrounge residential neighborhoods for scraps of food, but I am betting that they love the pet puppies and kittens that live in those cities a lot better than the garbage they manage to scrounge up. I have called coyotes away from the meat of dead livestock that they had been gorging themselves on, and I know that many other callers have done the same.
We were both huffing and puffing when we finally got to a rise in the darkness that seemed like a good vantage point. It was hard to tell, judging only by feel. It was two in the morning, we had been poked by mesquite thorns and stumbled along in the night for better than a half hour. We could finally relieve our aching arms from the load. The load of a heavy car battery carried in an old metal milk crate that drained our arms strength while the other arm was busy carrying an old twelve-volt spotlight and a twenty-two rifle.
I have been trying to harvest a black bear in PA for over 22 years-granted, I have missed a few seasons for one reason or the other, but nonetheless I have been at it since I was 12 years old. At my early ages, my preferred method for bear hunting (and really the only one that I knew how to do) was a spot and stalk method. I would walk slowly along ridge tops, taking time to look over both sides in the hopes of spotting a black bear.
We left the Hotel Thursday morning around 3:45am to drive to Belgrade to meet Troy Butler and Tim Delph for the first time. We waited patiently as the gray of daylight began to break. I know most of you guys are saying, "What, its daylight and you're not in the woods setup on a long-beard yet?" I thought the same thing but when Troy and Tim showed up they re-assured me that it probably wouldn't take more than about 30 minutes to go kill my first Merriam. That was enough confidence for me. Now I was ready to go. We jumped in the truck with Troy and Tim and started down the road towards the mountains.
I just received my CS-24L FoxPro unit in the mail yesterday. The reason I ordered one is because of the 30 watt TOA speakers. I took it out to test it with the remote and liked the mute button because you can turn the volume on and off with the mute feature. As long as it's muted there isn't much of a drain on your battery. I like this feature for hunting crows because when they are not flying during a lull you can keep this unit at the ready at the flip of a switch. You hit the mute button again and you have the volume level where it was when you first muted the unit.
When I think about it, you may not see exactly why I enjoy doing that sort of thing. I'm sure you've wondered from time to time what it was that attracted me to the sport. I get asked over and over by people all the time why I enjoy killing poor helpless animals. Actually there is no justification when the question is offered in a manner such as that. There are many technical justifications for hunting, but rational never seems to sink in to most people.