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I have been involved with calling predators since 1984 and I also manufacture all kinds of equipment used to hunt them, but being involved with making jackal callers and cat callers has taught me a thing or two.

Here is also a tip that may help you (if you own an open reeded call).

Many guys own a Critter caller in SA, simply because it was then basically the only thing available to buy, not because it’s the best, fact is it is not the best but far from it, many open reeded callers are far better. If you are able to try a few various ones you will see what you are missing out on!

BUT let’s concentrate on the open reeded Critter Caller.


Here is a Critter Caller I have had for over 12 years; it has a sanded Coca Cola bottle plastic reed. With this reed many predators have perished. This caller is now in my showcase and is retired.

Here is what you must do, take the caller and pull out that reed and throw it away, far away, now see what I say in this article to get even better sound from a local source.

When I started making calls I did everything via trial and error, I spent tons of money developing tone boards and making errors etc, till I got a top class sound and kept to it. Here is what I learnt.

By taking a reed – a thick one and fitting it to my caller I then blew on it, it appeared rough as it was thick, I then started to ever so slightly sandpaper the reed thinner and thinner, until after I fitted it I could blow it and create a sweet sound at the point that it just started to stick and not work, or get stuck on the tone board, then I made another reed and stopped just short of that final sand paper pull over the reed, so it was at that “breaking point” lets call it, then when I tried it is was sweet sounding squeaky and just at that point that if I gave it another sand with paper it would stick.

So, in other words I got the FINE LINE of the reed, at that exact point that if I made one more move to sand it once more it would stick, this gave me a reed a certain thickness that is just perfect.

So, try this, now what you do is buy a Coke plastic bottle and cut reeds from the plastic, then sand them till they are just that thickness before they stick on your tone board, go one move back and try it, you will see you now have a fantastic sounding caller and a reed far better than that original Mylar it comes with.

I have been manufacturing game calls in South Africa for many years, and all my calls since 2006 have been personally tuned with a thick reed and sandpaper.

This caller I make up personally, the reed is sandpapered to that fine line between just thin enough and sticking. When I say sticking I mean when you blow the call the reed sticks to the tone board so no sound comes through. If you see the end of that reed it looks spongy,  that is from the sandpaper, I cut it off with a scissors when it is ready for sale.

Calling with this type of reed producers squeaky sounds, or the lips placed higher makes raspy sounds, but generally this reed will work well, as predators will hear a small animal making squeaky sounds, his mouth will water and he will come on in thinking an easy small meal, a nice morsel is waiting to be eaten, so, it attracts very well, and for cats – cats LOVE squeaky sounds, make yourself a reed for your caller, you will see it’s a killer.

Don’t get led to believe you must play a Rooikat sound to attract a Rooikat or a cat sound to call a cat, it is rubbish, it does not work, cats DO NOT come or are NOT interested in second hand sounds, you need to play distressed squeaky sounds period.

Jackal come to second hand jackal sounds, cats do not and if you are lucky to get one, it is because he was real close when he heard that sound, so you will see if you do kill with a cat sound he was very quick to get to you because he was close by, but general calling of cats takes over an hour, and you will never call a cat with a cat sound after waiting an hour.

All contents copyright 2008. African Predator.