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The 3rd part in our 10 part series, this deals with the importance of mixing calls/ deception, disorientated predators, night hunting checklists and decoys. In the last edition we discussed truck preparation, time management, scent, people and lessons learnt.


Note here I am not wearing BLACK, also the truck has a camo cover – NO BLACK anyplace at all!



I am often asked why it is that the predators answer but don’t come in? The answer to that can be many things, could be they smelt you, smelt the diesel of the truck, you parked in the road, saw you arrive in that camp, you or a neighbour have shot at that jackal and missed him before, you call incorrectly, you do not camouflage yourself properly or YOU USE THE WRONG OR SAME SOUNDS TO OFTEN!!!!!!! Most of the time my money would be on the last point, you use the same sounds too often. I have a sheet of paper I fill in and after a hunt I log it on computer, it mentions the date, time, weather and call used. I never go back to the same farm and play the same sound in a row more than twice. This is a huge mistake many guys make. Another huge mistake made by some is they have all the equipment and DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE IT CORRECTLY. This EDUCATES PREDATORS!

It is vital that you know how to use your equipment. After predators have wised up and become educated you must change tactics to outfox them, calling early in morning, in a drizzle of rain, in misty conditions etc is what needs to be adopted. By changing tactics will confuse the predators more. BUT if in doubt ask a professional about sounds and the times of year, this will be discussed at a later stage in future editions. If you use food sounds change from fawn sounds to a pig and then rabbit the next time. Get a plastic open reeded call, then next time use a single stainless reed and the next time a double stainless reed, mix up plastic calls, with wooden calls and rubber calls, they all sound different, remember confusion and deception are result getters. Don’t hunt jackal on a bright moon and be seen, this will educate them and won’t be easy to get them after that.

DON’T say, its ok I just hunt for fun, BECAUSE you’re neighbour is also suffering so by educating that jackal that night you make the neighbours life harder! DO IT CORRECTLY AND KILL THEM!


Here are food sounds that I use that I have found work well for me on the various predators. For Jackal an excited rabbit, pig squeal, simulated rabbit but the call sound must be rusty sounding to semi squeaky. For cats a fawn, woodpecker and a squeaky sounding call. In this 10 part series I will discuss Cass Creek and Foxpro, two excellent electronics that have these sounds.


I have started manufacturing a cat killer call in 2007/8 that’s a real killer, some are brass and some are simulated ivory / bone. It is depicted here below, at the bottom.


This Russian Feral Wild Boar I called with my open reeded predator caller, simple squeal away and in they come, over a full moon to have good vision, near a feeding post is a good spot, you here these monsters approaching from far away as they walk on trigs through the forest.

Great action calling wild boar. 

Note drag marks on ground to winch this monster up, man he was a big boy!

It took an hour for three grown men to drag him 30 metres up a bank to a truck!

BUT a hunt well worth the effort

After you have learnt to master a hand caller, it is the ultimate to be able to call, bring in a predator, and know that it was you that outsmarted that animal, it’s a kind of personal thing,  I have called with hand calls since 1984, and love it, this last period, I have started to use more electronics.

My ears begun to ring after hunts as its all the noise, so now I use more electronic callers than hand calls, BUT I have done my fair share of mouth calling, and will always love it.

One passion I have is crows, to call them, and this one must use a variety of callers, a electronic that plays all the time, and a few hand calls, I use my own calls I make, and Wood wise calls.  It’s even better knowing you called in predators with your own calls. I shoot about 800 crows a year, and it helps having quality calls to help you even more! (And a good recoil pad! And decoy)


Pied Crows with my calls and Foxpro electronics.


This is perhaps a point many hunters overlook, instead of going out to hunt the second or third night on the same farm or in the same camp and using the same jackal challenge sound in May or June, and also chancing it that you will educate the predator by using the same sound why not try something different, use your imagination, why not it works for me!. So here is a good tip, one that can possibly help you.

My call parts together with TNT PREDATOR CALLS, I went into a partnership with them from USA to have a joint venture.

It is fairly common knowledge that the male jackal in his small breeding area will be mighty angry hearing another dog getting familiar in his territory especially in April/ May & June, so instead of just making that challenge sound why not make it even more interesting, and thus will make that male dog even MORE angry, preps so angry he will forget about wind and the sounds he hears, try catching him out in his period of frustration and anger.

Here is a scenario, as you read this picture this vision in your mind. A male dominant dog hears an intruder making a challenge call in his area, he is automatically angry, now he hears another dog whining or yapping as the challenging dog is fighting with a stranger, now the dominant dog gets even more frustrated, and will seek out that intruder hastily. So, while you are playing a challenge call on your electronic player use a hand call with open reed configuration and make a jackal bark, this will simulate an aggressive jackal attacking another jackal and  it getting hurt, so make yapping noises or tjank noises, if you have trouble with this call me I will demonstrate the sequence for you. The more effort we put into a sound the more results you will get.


These jackal were called in breeding season, used two FoxPro’s, one with a challenge and another with a female whimper, it worked like a dream. It tricked these entire jackals easily. Sounded like an intruder mating with the alpha male’s partners, man they were ticked off! Instead of now being angry Jackals they are dead Jackals!!!!!!!.

Another sequence you can possibly try is let a distress sound play on your electronic, a distress fawn will be fine,  and while it is playing make a few puppy barks on an open reed call to simulate a fawn in distress and a few puppies attacking the fawn ( use this November / December). 

Here is another sequence, in the jackal’s aggression period of May and June while you are running a challenge call on the Cd or Foxpro chime in with a female whimper to simulate a little excitement from the female. This sound is easy to make on an open reeded call, if you want a demonstration give me a call. A dominant jackal will get mighty angry hearing others in his area.

If you call a jackal, then shoot it, turn off the caller, and start making a wounded jackal sound on a hand caller, it makes other dogs crazy and they 99% of the time will come in fast!


This is an interesting topic and one that many hunters seem to not do. Remember to not make a mistake that many guys do, this is regarding Jackal NOT CATS. After you have called, seen a jackal approaching, you fire and drop the dog, you stop calling, put on the white light and climb from truck. Right? NO NO NO very wrong!!!!!, never do this!

After you shoot an incoming jackal carry on calling DON’T STOP, often another jackal may arrive, they are not all clever OR a disorientated animal may get confused with gunfire especially if you are using a silenced weapon and he may run in your direction. This is important, never stop calling after you down a black backed jackal.

A friend of mine uses another style, he goes with a quad, uses night vision and calls from his quad, and he shoots with night vision and never uses any lights at all. The jackals don’t know what has hit them, this way he shoots many disorientated animals. In the day calling at early light before the sun pops up, if you shoot a jackal keep still and keep on calling for 5 minutes longer.

When we use a silencer for instance on a 243 rifle, the silencer removes that initial blast from the muzzle, it also reduces the sound to some extent, but that 243 is far faster than the speed of sound so it is still a little noisy, BUT when we use the silencer the sound of the gunfire is hard to pick out exactly from what direction it came from, this is when you may find a disorientated animal moving about.

An extremely important thing to remember is if you are calling in a channel so to speak, you have a huge opening about 600-700 metres around you BUT in front and behind you is a mountain, this is not good. Why?, well your sound that you make with a caller will echo badly, so a predator will become disorientated and will not find you. It is hard to pin point the sound source and exact position of the sound when it echoes.

So, lower your sound to stop the echo, but now you have another problem, the sound may not be hard enough, but it could be a predator is nearby and will fast approach on a low volume, after all they know a rabbit hasn’t got 500 pound lungs. After you call with a mouth call you will soon get the volume you need, it will come automatically over time and experience.

Another point on channels and gullies is that if you call near a gully or channel your call sounds will not often travel in a straight line when calling, the sounds bounce off sides of mountains and ravines, this stops them achieving maximum range, most times calling downwind into a channel will have your call sound climbing up higher and higher, it wont go straight into the gully, so an animal on a hill will hear it but not inside the channel. This could cost you a close predator that cannot hear you. So, this is why it important picking a flat open expanse that offers you good calling ranges 

When using an electronic make sure the speaker angle is achieving a flat trajectory, not facing the sky! Put it in a small Karoo bush to get height possibly.

I have a friend in America, he uses a system he claims helps him kill more coyotes, and he relies on disorientated predators. He uses an electronic caller, but has 4 speakers set out at 10 yard intervals in front around him.

When he plays the bunny blues he has a system that changes the sounds to different speakers all the time so the sound gives the predator the idea that the distressed animal is moving around. When the coyote approaches he is more focused to see the moving animal and this helps hide the hunter’s presence, it also causes confusion to the predator and by the time the coyote figures out what’s happening it far too late.

Just to touch on this topic, remember we are in Africa, we hunt Jackal, NOT COYOTES, you cannot compare a coyote to a Jackal, they are very stupid animals, and in my book hunting Coyotes is touching the border of canned hunting because its so easy. As my friend said after being in the USA for a while, in his language he said “DIT VAT VAT amper aan Canned hunting” . Just watch a DVD on Coyote calling see how they sit in the open, move about a lot and still the coyotes come, you don’t have to be a scientist to see that. You cannot compare Jackals and Coyotes.

We have a saying in the Karoo about this very topic, it goes like this “If Jackals were as dumb as Coyotes we would not have any Jackals left, we would have killed them all “.  I even saw on television how Coyotes walk in the streets of New York City!

This is not to start a war of words, but to simply illustrate that these two animals cannot be compared with regards to intelligence.


I have a standard check card that I keep in my box that is my second brain, in case I forget something, just because I have hunted for a long time does not mean I cannot forget something! I put this page inside my box that I sit on at night and go over the list before EVERY HUNT.

Also remember to never sight in your rifle within five kilometres of the area you plan to hunt, you will ruin all chances that night. Firstly have your letter of permission to hunt that land, permits or hunting licences and your own firearm and ID book. Now that you are legal, check your light and that it works, check bulb, put in extra bulb and screwdriver in case you must change it. Check red lens is ok and not damaged, check CD’s are clean, or electronic is ok and batteries are charged. Check bakkies battery as well. Make sure you have got all your hand calls. Remember even though you call with a CD ALWAYS have a hand caller in case the CD breaks, skips or just stops playing. Always have a back up. If you have two or more hand calls around your neck make sure they don’t make a noise if they knock on each other. Check hand calls to make sure they work, put in jackal or other urine as your scent cover, put in gloves, hood and your camo; check camouflage netting is in truck. Check all ammunition chambers before you leave home, and make sure your rifle is shooting spot on!!!!!!! This is an important tip; don’t spend all day shooting groups with your rifle at an inch target at 80-100 metres- that means nothing. All that counts is that your first shot with a COLD BARREL is spot on the target, it is that first shot that counts, and it is with a cold barrel.

So, make sure after you sight in to let the barrel cool down and when cold fire a test shot, if that’s dead on then you are ready to go. You don’t shoot groups at jackals or cats, you get ONE shot! I also take a plastic bottle with water in for drinking as your throat gets dry after calling a lot. Take a spade for sand and the odd few tools if needed and check spare tyre. Make up a checklist, this way you forget nothing.  Remember to always take an extra call in case your call gets lost or the one you are using breaks.

I went calling with a farmer one day, I was the observer and designated shooter, he was the caller and he used his equipment- we drove about 20 kilometres, got all set up, and he plugged in his light, it did not work! That’s because he never checked it, so that was a total disaster. Always check your equipment. Remember to keep a few extra fuses, switches, bulbs and wire with you when you go on a hunting trip, in case you break or damage a part.  The longer you get into night hunting the more you will begin to strategy and keep a list of things you will need. Some guys have a built in box behind the trucks seat that houses all equipment needed at night, all they do is throw the net on the truck and they are ready to leave home. I am an impulsive checker! I check everything 100 times, it drives me mad, but it is also good as this way I tend to not forget anything.

SIGHT YOUR RIFLE WITH A COLD BARREL – DON’T SHOOT GROUPS to see how good your gun is, that’s a waste of time, you don’t shoot like that at night!  One shot from a cold barrel must be spot on target!

When I use a shooting chair my main checklist is as follows, simply two batteries, walking in bush hand light, caller, hand calls, rifle and ammo, and red light and water 


A client of mine from Namibia started calling after dark and spotted eyes straight away at about 130 metres, he called for 20 minutes getting no jackal he started the truck, drove to eyes and found an African Wildcat / Groukat that had just killed a small lamb, it was still warm, he was eating it, my client shot it as it moved away at 30 yards. Sometimes we are lucky driving around and spotting predators.  I must admit that my success is not great using this method, but on active farms it does help. I have found that on misty mornings with low mist cover jackal tend to move around, as this offers them cover and also driving on a evening with a light drizzle of rain is a good time, also calling on a drizzle is good. The thing is to think like the predator, I shot a few cats in my time on a slight drizzle as well. If a predator thinks he has cover and is safe you can bet that he will be active at that time i.e. bright moon nights. Predators walk around on these nights as they can see so well, but it’s not worth us trying to call them on these nights, they will spot us from a far distance.

Some farms are so active with jackal that Microlites are used and piloted, the backseat is manned by a shot gunner and they shoot jackal from the air flying low. This is a well known documented practise.

 The problem I have with driving around and shooting at the odd jackal with a rifle is that the jackals become EXTREMELY educated and will become harder to shoot even by driving around and getting the odd one, so after you have been able to shoot a few at night by driving around this also will afterwards become very unlikely.

So, it’s rather a better option to hunt them with a call, thus not educating them easily, and if you do call them but you are not sure of your shot, then don’t fire, leave them to the next hunt.

Here is a good tip, if you drive around and  check your stock the next day and find a fresh lynx kill, a lamb or buck that has been killed and a small bit removed at the rear between the legs ( lynx kill) but you also observe that the dead lamb has been partly covered with grass or corn stubs this means that you have a 99 percent chance that the lynx will return to that kill site, so either call that spot the next evening, if you are not successful then try again the next night, if you go about the hunt correctly you should call the cat in. 

When you drive to another spot after you shot a jackal, drag it behind the truck with its stomach slit open, then after the hunt drive back along that same road, and see what you can find! Many times you will see predators.


This is an interesting topic, one that has many faces, many guys try different things, just looking at DECOY FORUMS on the internet can give you good ideas, but they work best in the day, simply to take the attention away from your location. I read about guys using radio controlled cars with a rabbit fur draped over it etc, many ideas. I use two types myself, a fawn decoy and a homemade motion decoy

I made with a toy car motor and 2 penlight batteries. I put sticks in it with wool attached and it rotates. The whole unit fits back in its holder after use. BUT for night calling I have never found it necessary to use such inventions. It just makes things more complicated and more stuff to take with. If you feel you want to use some sort of lure that’s fine but to me I have never had to go that route. I DO use an owl at night.

I have a friend that has a rabbit mounted on a rotating board, he uses this at night, but I am sure that everything happens at close quarters, you see the jackal approaching fast, he runs in and you shoot at him, I have never seen the need to use a decoy at night to make him stop to admire it. But we are all different, what one guy likes another dislikes.

Here are a few decoys I use sometimes;

This is an EDGE EXPEDITE rabbit, it moves around on a battery. The rabbits on the left – (just a little humour LOL) This is available from the USA.

This is my OWL decoy, use it at night on a fence, it helps to lure cats from cover

I use this bird in a cage, it turns and tweets as it moves, and it lures cats in cages very easily.

Also available from the USA. See my website under PROMOTIONAL for more info on this and other products

This is “MILDRED” my famous foam decoy of a crow I cut from foam; it’s a killer, hundreds of crows died because of this decoy. They hear the crow sounds, see old Mildred and fly in, pass over her hear about 5m above and boom, that’s the deal! This day I could not call long, as the fire behind me was getting real bad, and my truck was hidden in bushes nearby.

If you own a farm and don’t hunt crows but you like to hunt then I can ONLY SAY, you are missing out on a huge fascinating hunt, it is fun to do and if you kill these pests you are doing good, they are savage birds that cause huge damage throughout conservation in South Africa, give it a try, I have no doubt you will love it. Here is a quick list of what you will need.

 *   Shotgun & No 3 shot

*     Pied crow sounds on an electronic caller or even a tape player

*    Decoy

*     Good camouflage


Simply look at my website on the main page for CROW HUNTING, you will learn all you need to know.


Here are a few decoys I also use, they are plastic ones, I put them on the fence line.


The other photo has the owl in it also, crows HATE owls, it makes em mal crazy!


Photos are in the same place, just one Summer and the other Winter


Mildred with a couple pests

I use this owl at night on a post also, it makes the area look peaceful and natural, predators feel more relaxed and for cats helps draw them out of cover for an easy meal!


If I was to hunt without a decoy my success rate would not be anyplace near to what I achieve now, there is NO doubt at all that a decoy works, it helps take the attention away from a hunter. Especially for crows, they unlike Jackals, crows see in FULL COLOUR, so the camo you wear, and to blend in is highly important, as well as to sit dead still. BUT utilising a decoy makes life a lot easier, it also brings them in fast!


Next we cover the stands (hunts), success and records, predator’s eyes and identification, predator killing patterns and attractants for lynx over bright moon conditions. For more information contact Gary at 0824853885 or see website at

This series of 10 parts you will find no other place at all, it is taken in part from my course I offer over 4 days at the farm, I am a professional at what I do and all this information is from what I have personally learnt from years of being in the bush.


REMEMBER – If you do a course with a person that you learn the CORRECT way how to hunt Jackal, if you don’t get proper instruction you will cause more damage than good.



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








































All contents copyright 2008. African Predator.