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PART 2


“JACKAL & LYNX CONTROL”

In this second edition much attention is given to important aspects of the predator hunt – namely truck preparation, as well as camouflage, scent and people, time management, and lessons learnt. It is always the finer details that contribute to a successful hunt; the more time you spend on preparation, the more chance you have of not having a wary predator unmasking your trickery and vanishing into the darkness.

It is up to us to prepare our hunt correctly, as the first stand we do is the most important one of that night. After you cover the truck, bend down to jackal height and look over the truck from many angles, you will have an idea of what that looks like to a jackal and his height, anything out of place will stick out immediately.  AVOID SHADECLOTH!

In last month’s edition we covered the history of calling, our predators, equipment and predator calls, and starting out for the first time.



Before and after a truck has been camouflaged for a night hunt. Note that no black colours are used. Never use black colours at night in the Karoo or in corn fields.

 

TRUCK PREPARATION & CAMOUFLAGE

The preparation of your hunting truck is vital for success. Here are basic tips that I follow each time I attempt a night hunt.  Remember to open a jar of jackal urine in front of the truck downwind.


Before the hunt

 

         The first important part is NEVER to overfill the truck’s tank with diesel or petrol, but if you do MAKE SURE IT DOES NOT SMELL. This is very important, as fumes can be smelt a long way away by wild animals.

         Before leaving home, throw mud over the tyre rims, as this hides the smell of urine left by farm dogs. Also throw mud over the side mirrors and number plates, as this takes the shine and glare away when the red light hit the mirrors or number plates.

         Take a cloth to cover any lights on the dashboard and ANY lights inside the cab.

 

          If you run the red light from the truck’s battery make sure the battery is in good condition. You don’t want to get stuck in the African bush at night.

         Take along your box with calls, lights and lens. I use a black box that houses all my equipment and then during the night hunt I use the box to sit on. 

         Erect the shooting stool or framework at home, so that when you arrive you just have to hang the net. This helps save time.

Make sure that the curtain around the back area where you stand or sit is at least shoulder height, as this keeps you concealed. When I use a truck with a metal frame around the back, it’s shoulder high and is just the right height for when I aim a rifle. (You must be comfortable when shooting.) 

‘Soundproof’ the truck

Remember predators can hear what we cannot hear; the faintest little thing that makes the predator hesitant will cost you a kill. The predator will disappear into the night, and you probably won’t even know it was there.

Sweep out the area at the back of the truck to make sure it’s free of stones and papers where you stand, so that nothing makes a noise or rustles under foot.

         If you use a shooting stool, make sure it’s oiled and does not squeak; also that the metal frame, is firmly secured and does not rattle.

         Carry a bottle of oil and every 3rd stand oil the chair a little.

         Cut all metal rings from netting that can bang against the trucks body.

Positioning the truck

These are tricks of the trade you learn as the years go by:

        When you park the truck, try parking next to, in front of or behind a smallish bush, as this helps break up the outline of the truck. Bush will hide tyres etc.

        If you are hunting in ‘hot’ jackal areas and you don’t have a shooting stool, park with the front of the truck facing down-wind. That is the most likely direction from which the jackal will appear; and this way you will be able to rest the rifle on the roof of the truck for a steady rest. For ‘catty’ areas wind does not matter, as cats approach from any direction. If you are hunting only for cats, but you should then park facing the most cover, as cats like cover.

        
If possible, park your truck so that you have a mountain behind you in the distance; this way when the jackal approaches your call it will, 99 % of the time, come in from downwind, and in doing so it will look at you with that mountain behind you and this will effectively hide the outline of the truck and it will not spot you very easily. (In other words have a darker backdrop to hide your presence.)

         
If you are hunting in a camp, but over the “Jakkalsproef” (jackal proofing fence) there is another camp, always park close to the fence or on the border of the fence. Otherwise the jackal will want to come in to your sounds, but may be on the wrong side of the fence and won’t be able to get to you. So park on the fence line or on a corner; this way you cover two camps and the jackals can approach you from both sides. (On my last hunt I had to park away from the fence as I could not stand in the road; a cat approached from the other side of the fence behind low bushes and we could not shoot it.)

Another factor to remember is that many cats and jackals and other game walk on sandy pathways made by sheep, or they walk on the dust roads. It is easier for them to walk on the sandy pathway than in between the Karoo stubble, so when you park your truck NEVER park across a pathway or on a road. It is VERY POSSIBLE that, while it’s getting dark, a jackal or cat can be walking on that path or road and will suddenly see the structure or you, and then disappear! (Note: the truck on the pathway in the photo was only to illustrate camouflage and its effectiveness.)

        Leave the environment looking natural. Nothing must seem different from what was there before. Remember a predator knows a farm very well. (Have you ever watched a house cat at home? The moment something has changed or is new, the cat is VERY CAUTIOUS of the new structure, and that’s referring to a tame pussy! Now imagine how a wild animal will respond! It will high-tail out of that camp as fast as possible, so ALWAYS leave the lands the way they looked yesterday!)

Truck camouflage

         Make sure the net is good, with no huge holes; repair all holes before leaving home.

         Never use shiny reflective shade-cloth as a cover for your truck - it squeaks in the wind and really glares in bright moonlit nights, as the material is nylon and shiny.

        
If the wind is blowing, don’t tie down the net too tightly. It must move freely and look natural.

        
Some netting like the army camouflage netting comes from the factory equipped with metal rings sewn into the borders of the net. You must cut off these rings, as they tend to knock against the body of the truck in a slight wind and make a noise, and it’s vital that you are dead quiet.

                  
You can also use Hessian to cover the truck. (I have used Hessian sacks and camo net for years without any problems.) The Khaki colour is good, and you could paint a few stripes on it in brown and light green with water paint - never oil-based paints, as they are very shiny and they smell!

                  
Throw a few bushes onto the top of the bonnet of the truck and tie one at the rear of the truck quite high up; this all helps provide more ‘natural’ cover.

                  
Don’t forget to walk 50-70 metres away from the truck, get down to jackal/cat height and look up at the truck to see if you can spot any gaps or mistakes after you have finished covering the truck.

                  
It is also important to take special notice of other details, such as your rifle. For example, don’t leave your rifle lying on top of the cab without a cover, as the red light will shine on the rifle and scope, and could create a glare. Put the rifle in a bag and cover it. I have a bandage that I wrap around the rifle to protect it from any glare. (In addition, cover the riflescope; you don’t want it misting up in the cold night air before you need to shoot).
 

Never camouflage your truck with black colours in the Karoo or in wheat fields. Nothing is black in the Karoo, and a predator will spot your truck easily at night.

All these tips and hints are essential for TRUCK PREPARATION & CAMOUFLAGE; they will bring you greater success. (In a future paragraph I will explain why you should wear camouflage clothing at night – and this may surprise you).

With regards to the camouflage netting I use a standard product from Alnet called a SAFARI NET. Here are typical sizes that you would require for two trucks that I tend to class as

REGULAR sizes, as most farmers use a long or short wheel base truck (mostly an Isuzu 250D or a Toyota Hilux):

                              
For a SWB truck a net of 12m long by 2m wide for the body and a 2m square piece for the bonnet will be ideal.

                              
On a LWB a piece 15 metres long by 2m wide would be fine, as well as the 2m square piece for the bonnet.
 

A new product from Alnet called LEAF NET comes in a standard width of 1,4 metres and in 25-metre lengths, and is a soft material that works very nicely.

The nice thing about these nets is that they DON’T scratch the paintwork of your truck. The weight is hardly noticeable and when the net is all puffy it really hides a truck very well. (I have a set of four tyre covers made of camo net, two mirror covers, as well as the mud to hide the red light reflection.) The net comes in a big green bag; after I take out the net I put the big bag inside the bakkie to cover all lights on the dashboard. I really like the Alnet netting; it has two sides to it, a Karoo colour and an open wheat field colour so you can match an area pretty nicely. You can also attach pieces of camo net to a Hessian sack; Alnet sells kilo bags of camo netting. The nice thing about the products they manufacture is that they are well made and rugged - the Karoo bushes are hard on equipment, so having a strong net is important.

Alnet has a new concept out now called a ‘bakkie net’ that I helped them design and it is a good cover and fits the truck like a glove. Remember that having more camo is never a bad thing; the more odd-shaped and puffy the better. The bakkie net is designed for a LWB bakkie so fits most farming bakkies perfectly. For camo netting call Alnet or visit website www.alnet.co.za.

 

Suitable apparel

The appearance of the caller and that of the person holding the light is of paramount importance, whereas the appearance of the shooter who is sitting behind the net is not that significant.

                  
Remember that your own personal camouflage is important; never use black on your truck or for yourself at night, as nothing is black in colour in the Karoo at night. If you wear black you will stand out easily.

                  
Use colours that break up the darkness, such as browns, greens and greys with a tiny amount of black stripes. These are good shades for night hunting.

                  
Always cover your hands and face, because if the red light is reflected back at you, the predator will easily spot your shiny face. Make sure you wear a facemask and cap to break up your outline and hide your skin.

                  
Most quality camouflage made in factories is UV-Neutral. So afterwards, when you have worn the items and then washed them in any colour-enhancing soap, you have just turned

the UV-Neutral clothing into a huge neon blob. A cat with excellent night vision will pick up that neon light fast and spot you! So use soaps without UV brighteners. (I myself just wash clothing in fresh clear water).

                   NEVER iron your camouflage, as it will shine - and never wash it with soap, as this removes the colours. If you must wash the garments, then do the washing with the fabric inside out.

Some of the best clothing to wear at night is German Flectarn camo, the latest American digital MARPAT camouflage, and Austrian camo. If you want to obtain any of these patterns I can put you in contact with a friend of mine from America. I have a personal collection also for sale, see my website.

Using the red light

      
Firstly, make sure the light does not light up the truck. I have a funnel on the front of my light to prevent the truck from being lit up.
 

      
Remember that the person manning the light must be close to the rifleman, otherwise when you spot eyes in the light, your companion won’t see them in his scope if he is not standing next to you. This will cause confusion and any conversation will scare away a predator.  So, stand close together.

      
When you switch off the light, make sure you are not standing visible at the back of the truck as a cat will easily spot you.

      
Light up more from the downwind side, this is the direction most jackals will approach your call.

      
Never light up the predator in the middle of the red light; put the halo just under his paws, then for identification drop the light.

      
If a cat starts blinking fast ( unlike cats) that means your lens is to bright and if he starts looking around you had better hurry with the shot as that’s a true sign he is about to leave.

      
Scan around at least twice every time, in case you miss eyes first rotation.

      
Call for 20 seconds and scan twice, and then repeat that routine, this is how I have hunted for over 20 years.

      
Always carry extra bulbs and fuses in case a light bulb blows, I also have a spare light as back up in my trucks box.

Scent and People

When you go hunting try never to hunt with more than two people; and that’s already too many if hunting for jackal. The more people there are at the back of the truck, the harder it is to move around. I once took out a father, his wife and 4 sons, which was a disaster. They wanted to see how calling was done and sounded. I called in a buck and I was lucky I did not have to shoot as I could hardly move at all. The more people there are, the more alien smells there are filling the air. Often the wind changes direction for a split second without our knowing it; then smells go in all directions, which won’t leave you with much chance at all.

      
Before you leave home to go hunting, bath in clear water, without using oils or smelly bath salts. Clear natural water will wash away and remove all the day smells that could give your presence away while calling. (I have used this style of preparation for many years and it works, and I firmly believe that if you have a system that works then don’t change it!)

 



 

       When setting up your truck before the hunt don’t touch bushes or urinate in the bush at all, if you have to, make a hole with a spade and cover the hole afterwards.
 

      
Jackals have really good noses; they can easily smell a piece of bloody raw meat down-wind at several hundred metres. Cats, on the other hand, do not smell as well, and will approach a call from any direction. So when hunting we must prepare ourselves to confuse the old jackal’s nose – and there are a great number of methods you could use to confuse the canine. (This is not to say that all jackals are clever and have good noses - I have shot plenty of dumb ones that came in from the wrong direction and made mistakes.)

-    
if you stay on a farm throw your clothes between the bushes for two days to get that ‘bush’ smell

-    
try holding your clothes over a fire and let the smoke penetrate your clothing

-    
rub baking soda in the crotch of your pants and under the arms

-    
spray vanilla essence on your clothing

-    
open a bottle of fisherman’s red bait (rooi aas) next to you - that’s good stuff and smells just like jackal gland lure (you could also  rub this on a few bushes close to the downwind side)


leave an open bottle filled with urine from cats, jackals, rabbits or Dassies on the bakkie roof as this also provides a cover

-    
mix a little vanilla essence with the mud you put onto the tyres and rims

-    
the smell of rubber is very effective in hiding human scent and many camouflage suits have rubber as a scent lock (a good friend of mine wears a surfing wetsuit top at night for hunting; the suit is quite thin, is easy to move around in and is very warm, and really hides human scent;

I wear gum boot bottoms at night that are made of rubber)

                  
If you have urine from a jackal, walk in a circle about 20 metres out in front of the truck, and put a drop of urine on small trees/bushes. This will give you a circular border, so that no matter the wind direction, the urine smell will go that way. I have sometimes used fish oil diluted with water this way to good effect.

                  
Never eat on the truck while hunting.

 

TIME MANAGEMENT

The hunting of predators is different in many ways, especially with regard to the different times predators take to respond to a call, and the routes they travel.

The jackal will respond in different ways and in different times to your call, depending on the time of the year. For instance, in the breeding season, May to July, the jackal will answer very promptly to a ‘challenge call’. He will come in even faster and be VERY aggressive (as long as he has not spotted you). Less than 10 minutes will transpire. However, in a ‘social’ time, January to April, the time the jackal takes to respond should be around 30 minutes or less. (Though this obviously depends on how close or distant the predator is from you when you start calling.)

Speaking generally a jackal will take less than 30 minutes to appear. It also depends on the particular area. Here is an example: I was asked to go to a new venue in the small Karoo. It was December and I could hear many jackals barking. I called for 30 minutes and got nothing, only a few very very distant eyes. I decided to wait 5 minutes and call again, as I knew they were around. It was half-moon with clear skies - not very good conditions! I was convinced they had seen us. We sat 10 minutes and I tried again; this time combining a puppy sound with an aggressive-sounding jackal bark. After 7 minutes I called in a bitch and shot her at 40 yards. So, it pay’s to wait and try again. Sometimes changing a strategy works. Time management is important.  So make it a rule ALWAYS to call for at least 35 minutes, or wait and call again, like I did.

Remember at night when using a live jackal sound, after you get responses always drop the volume of the sound you are making, otherwise if the jackal comes in close and your unit is on full volume, it will not seem natural and may ‘spook’ the jackal.

Then there are cats – elusive by nature and needing plenty of time to come in. To be a dedicated cat hunter requires great patience; after all, cats are on their own ‘mission.’ Cats travel far to get to a call, and they take their time about it, so it is important ALWAYS to stay at a stand longer than you would for a jackal. Cats can hear better than a jackal, and will therefore come from further to get to you. Cats are very unpredictable, as many predators are, so after calling for 50 minutes and having no luck, you could wait for 10 minutes and start again with a different sound, and give it some more time. Almost all the cats I have called and shot have been AFTER 45 minutes (and, strangely enough, in conditions where a very light breeze was blowing).

I called in a camp one night in the pitch dark; after 45 minutes a cat appeared on a ridge about 80 yards away. He would not come any closer, and after another 20 minutes calling he just sat still. Quietly we climbed from the truck and walked closer to the ridge, and at about 50 yards out we put on a powerful white light; the cat lay dead-still under a bush, but a few seconds later he was even more dead!.

Remember to identify predators with great care; cats come in slowly and low to the ground, tend to stand still for long periods and just look, have big eyes and blink slowly. The nice thing about calling in jackal and cat country is you can call both predators at the same time by using a ‘food’ sounding call.

Please note that when I refer to cats I am talking about feral cats, Groukatte and Rooikat/ lynx. I am not referring to bigger cats; I have no experience with them.

If you intend to hunt a farm or two or more farms with dedication, keep a register of events. After a year you will see a story developing, and the records will tell you what sound the predators like, the time to approach, etc. I keep records of every hunt and learn a great deal from these records.

SECRETS

I am often asked by people what secrets do I have, I really don’t have ones that I don’t tell others about, but here are a few you may find of interest. On my courses I tell people as much as I know, I don’t hold back at all – unlike many other predator hunters do!

The rule book says you can never tell, sometimes you call and the dog runs into the truck he is so close, then next time he sits on a hill and barks at you, next time as you put on the light for the first time and the dog sits at the speaker in confusion, so its all just a matter of how the night evens out. Some dogs are not as clever as others, sort of like us humans, for some of us our lifts don’t go all the way to the top story or for some of us we are a beer short of a six pack if you catch my meaning, same as the jackals, some dogs are just pretty damn stupid – while others are clever and cost us thousands of Rands in lost sheep.

I always close up the truck completely, use camo net NOT shade cloth, as it’s shiny and squeaky. Don’t use black colours

I never park on the dust / sand road, always pull off the road, predators walk on roads and they will see you.

Take the shot jackal, slice open stomach and lay it downwind – tow it behind truck from one place to another.

I use an owl decoy to lure cats from cover

I have two calling rigs, one for cats – one for jackal, and swop hand call sounds often and never use the same sounds at the same farm to often.

 

HERES A GOOD TIP! – After you call and shoot a jackal, put off that caller, go to a hand caller, and make a wounded jackal sound, it makes dogs crazy and they will 99% of time run into the area – it makes them crazy! If you want to hear that sound on a hand caller give me a call.

 

I use a set of two way radios, helps talk to each other in bush or when looking for a predator that was shot. Saves you from shouting at each other! Also leave a flashing red light on your truck roof if you walk away from it if on your own, you will be able to find the truck again if your hand torch goes out!

ALWAYS if possible, use a sound that’s on your swivel chair,  it will sound like that animal is moving from a distance as the sound wave will change as it plays and the chair turns, the speakers direction changes and so toooooo does that sound.

 

Don’t let your calling sounds echo as a predator will find it hard to get to you. He won’t be able to tell the direction of that sound and pin point your exact location.

In breeding time I DON’T USE a challenge sound to much, it scares away year old jackals, and you don’t kill many, I use a Challenge at breeding time (May) for about 5-10 seconds, then off it goes, then I carry on with a lonely jackal sound, a jackal looking for company.

 

 

Go to the best spot first in the day and make a stand and await darkness, melt in with nightfall, don’t drive in with white lights on.

 

Try matching the jackal yearly cycle, but watch that Challenge sound, don’t use it to long!

http://www.africanpredator.com/cycle_of_jackal.htm

 

Best time to call Jackal in the year is March & April. Worst time is end July.

 

This is interesting, if I go to the first stand and get nothing, then get to the second and again nothing, then I change straight away, as it is not working, then I depending on the cycle try something different like this.

 

Lets say it’s November (Puppies are out with adults and hunting.) I have tried twice now starting with a puppy sound on and off for 5 minutes and then food for 15 more, but nothing, next stand I will do this, I will just use food sounds, then if that works  then I will just use that all the night while hunting. If that don’t work I will try a lonely jackal sound with a hand caller at the same time. Once you find something that worked keep with that all night at all the spots!

 

Here is a very good tip NEVER wear or cover your truck in BLACK, it will stand out at night – Nothing is black in the Karoo or in farm wheat lands, so never use black colours to cover your truck. If you cannot get a camo net use a Hessian cover with sprinkles of mud.

 

You can buy camo nets but they cost quite a lot of money, so ask a company called ALNET to give you off cuts, they charge R50 per kilo bags, buy 4 bags and sew it onto the Hessian sheet! GOEDKOOOOOOOP!!!!! – Gooi!

Don’t climb high up into your chair in daylight and move around, wait till nightfall, then climb in it, no animal will see you then.

Moon cycle to hunt - I hunt 4 days after full moon till 3 days after new moon and remember if you hunt a day before new moon and a day after it you have three nights of no moon all night long!

Call close to cover for cats; call up to an hour for them!

Watch birds flying and dive-bombing, they have seen something or birds flushing / calling at night, a sign of an intruder in the night!

Many of these things you will see here on my 10 part series on this site - 

Predator Calling Info

These are just fine pointers that work well for me! here are a few more –

I go from one position to another with red filters over my truck lights or go to the best place in daylight and set up truck and await darkness quietly.

Hunting educated jackal I do at last light and call at ground level slightly elevated away from my truck, or climb up a windmill – jackals don’t look up! I conceal myself at the top and keep dead still, watch downwind and call with an electronic about 100m from me with a moving decoy or a lot of feathers tied to a string on a stick. I kill about 25 jackals this way in a year.

Make sure you are a double team if hunting from the ground, 100m apart, watching different directions, keep dead still, just move your eyes to look, remember a jackal is far more intelligent than a coyote, he is not easily fooled, and day time hunts are not easy on success, so if calling make sure the sun is behind you, and watch all areas carefully. Wear FULL camouflage.

I also hunt at night if a slight drizzle - it is good to call a jackal.

These are but a few tricks or tips – good luck!

 

Here in this photo we used another trick for educated jackals, as you see this photo looks like something out of star wars! Check it out, we have an INFRA RED lens and a rifle night scope, so we can call and scan and use no lights at all, jackals don’t stand a chance, the other lights are extra infra red and a standard red lens and a white light also. This is high tech stuff but good for educated jackals. NOTE in this photo the GREEN cover to cover the Isuzu. NOT BLACK. Nothing in this photo is black.

This photo was taken to illustrate the colour set up, we pulled off the road to call.

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Here is another good secret – ALWAYS make sure that you go to the best spot first, set up and await nightfall, blending in with darkness + NOW THE SECRET PART- and make sure that this stand is done properly, this is the most important stand of the entire hunt, make sure its prepared correctly with open bottle of urine facing downwind, I use up to 4 bottles. Also spray a little on bushes downwind 20 m in front of truck. DON’T touch anything else with your hands.

Camo the truck well, totally closed, don’t sit high in shooting chair before nightfall, and DON’T put tiny reflectors on bushes to show ranges if a jackal appears, DON’T DO THIS! Your red light will light them up, anything out of place and a jackal will run like hell! I know a person who actually puts them on his Foxpro! Man, very bad! The Foxpro is the thing the predator stares at all the time, and he is lighting it up, NOT GOOD, don’t do this. So far I haven’t ever been with him while he used this method and we succeeded to call anything in – point proven!

You have camo net – use it! Cover as much as you can. And make sure the location is correct, see this site for the secret to calling article, make sure it’s correct; LOCATION is one of the biggest secrets to a happy ending.

Sit down, keep quiet, and don’t make any noise, AVOID using or wearing clothes with   ….. its noisy!

Light up mostly from downwind, and keep watch of changing wind direction. I have a string on my chair to watch air currents.

I use eye drops before I begin calling, it makes my eye sight clear and much brighter.

I don’t want this to turn into a TIP article, as I cover tips in the course material here on this site.  http://www.africanpredator.com/web_predator_course.htm

Get properly acquainted with your chair, it will be used in pitch dark nights, so know how it works, make it NOISE FREE, no rattles or squeaks, practise locating an eye and aiming fast, try keep your gun in the ready position so when you see eyes coming in its fast to get on target. Maybe use a rifle mounted light, I DON’T use a light on the rifle, it’s mounted on my chair, my rifle is not connected to any light.

Remember a bottle of mess / urine from a jackal and open it downwind when calling 

LESSONS LEARNT FROM EXPERIENCE

The following is a true story and taught me a lesson I will never forget. I often use this tactic now to my advantage when the circumstances demand it.

I was asked by a client if I would go to his farm with him so that I could show him how to call. (He said he had NEVER called on his farm before). We set a date that would suit him – the only weekend he could get away - though the moon would be too big and bright for comfort.

Driving around on the farm, we found a carcass, many spoor and I also saw many tyre tracks (in areas apparently not hunted). We discussed the night’s action and set up the truck that afternoon on the border of two camps an hour before it got dark.  It was late January (social time). As it got dark, we heard many jackals barking – they were really vocal, but it was only after 30 minutes of calling that we noticed a set of eyes very far away. (It was obvious to me that the client had hunted there before and that the jackals had been ‘educated’ through their exposure to humans, though why the client had lied about this was a mystery to me.)

Anyway, without any hard feelings I continued calling. I called for 50 minutes, swopping a ‘social’ jackal sound after 25 minutes for a puppy barking sound for the balance of another 5 minutes. This I did just in case a confused canine was out there. After an hour had passed I realised that it was useless; the jackals were probably too ‘educated’ to approach and the moon was also quite big.

I decided to wait 5 minutes in dead silence and then begin again. I drank a little water, put my hot water bottle on my legs and waited. But after some thought I decided to change tactics. I pulled out my CASS CREEK electronic, put it on a cottontail call and put the volume on number 4 (at a range of 200 yards). I scanned the surroundings after a minute, but there was nothing. I put the call on number 9 (range of 470 yards) and waited a minute again, scanned the area and after 3 minutes a jackal ran in to about 60 yards from the wrong direction. I kicked the client who was now fast asleep, and he dropped the poundage on the trigger and pushed a 125gr bullet from his 30-06, dropping the jackal where it stood.

Now the lesson is this: if you know jackals are around, try longer and, very importantly, remember that sometimes you could call for a long time and get nothing, but after a while a latecomer or a single jackal will come into hearing your call very late, as it was out of hearing distance all the time. Then suddenly it came into your range and heard the call, arriving later than anticipated. The jackal we shot was an ‘uneducated’ animal; it was a bitch of two years old - another victim of the Cass Creek electronic call. 

I never asked the farmer or told him that I knew he had ‘educated’ the predators on his farm, but I think he knows I know only too well. So, the next time you call but get nothing, even though you know dogs are around, just stop and start again after 5 minutes. You never know, this may turn the odds in your favour.

Another lesson I learnt concerning people in general is that some have patience, some not, some are conservation-conscious and some not. I was in discussion with a client one day and we spoke about calling and trapping. He asked me how often I checked trapping cages I had set on my farm. I explained that I set out at first light and again at about 4 in the afternoon, working this task in with other farm chores to save time. The client responded that he sets traps and return in four or five days’ time! But if this is the way that you operate, then you cannot pretend to care about conservation!

As a conservationist you should be ethical in your actions, and check cages frequently. I once found a porcupine in a client’s cage in the boiling sun; it had been in that cage for at least two days. The poor creature was so confused and weak that when I released it, it sat outside the cage for 5 minutes. I carefully edged it to cover near a water catchment spot. The farm workers

wanted the porcupine for the pot, but I gave it a few hours to recover. After an hour, however, it stood up, walked into thick cover and was gone.

Even for a predator called in or trapped in a cage, death should be fast and as painless as possible. This is the only ethical option.

These tips concerning truck preparation come with many years of experience. The more attention we pay to preparing ourselves and our truck for the hunt, the greater the success we are going to achieve. But as my friend Lynn Jacobson of TNT predator calls, Utah (USA) says: “Every hunt is successful, critters or no critters; it’s getting out into the outdoors that makes it all so special.” Yes! To witness the end of another perfect day, wait in anticipation for the night hunt to take place within a few minutes, and count  the stars above till you begin calling, is a wonderful way to pass the time!

To end here is a “reminder” pointer- When moving from one place to another tie a dead jackal behind the truck and drag it along the road to next spot, with it’s stomach cut open.

End of PART 2

Next we look at: Mixing calls/ Deception, Disorientated predators, Night-hunt checklist and decoys.

For more info contact Gary at 0824853885, or e mail at sellis@telkomsa.net look at www.africanpredator.com  

WARNING

 

NO PART OF THIS SERIES CAN BE COPIED, PRINTED, EDITED, SOLD, PUBLISHED without the written consent of Feather & Fur. This series is all COPYRIGHT

 

 

 

 

 



 

All contents copyright 2008. African Predator.