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PART 7


“JACKAL & LYNX CONTROL”


ELECRONICS AND HIGH TECH EQUIPMENT

To perform our predator calling properly we will need an array of QUALITY products that we can rely on, the equipment we use must be of excellent quality and free of any defects at all. The more we spend on purchasing quality items the more results we will have, not forgetting that the more equipped you are the more comfortable a hunt will become. This is an overview of quality equipment, the very best equipment you will be able to buy, and with the internet it is no problem. We also discuss the importance of lures and attractants. This is another very important subject.



 

Foxpro products are the very best electronic callers on this planet and they have great customer service to match!

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT POINT; WHEN NIGHT CALLING NEVER PLACE THE SPEAKER AWAY FROM THE TRUCK OR AT ANOTHER ANGLE, SIMPLY BECAUSE AN INCOMING PREDATOR WILL LOOK IN THE DIRECTION OF THE SOUND SOURCE AND NOT AT YOU, SO YOU WILL NOT PICK UP THE EYES – ESPECIALLY TRUE FOR CATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Put the speaker next to you, this way the predator will look in your direction.  I can never say this enough; by placing the speaker nearer you will afford you far better results than you had before.

I offer this advice as it works; give it a try next time.

See more Foxpro products here

http://www.africanpredator.com/foxprofzr.html

This is the year 2008-9 it is a far cry from the 1960’s, tapes even CD’s are now a thing in the past, just like the 1960’s are gone, today we have fantastic callers available to us, digital electronic calling equipment, state of the art equipment that is high tech and no longer do we need large cd players and separate amplifiers and speakers with wires etc. These old styles can now be put away in your cupboard and forgotten, unless you are a die hard who will prefer to hang on to old equipment.

I am often asked about prices and if it’s worth the extra money, well, lets look at it in a realistic manner, a jackal will cost the general sheep farmer over a year how much? R20,000 or R30, 000??? So , to buy a caller that will cost you between R450 ( Cass Creek) or a R800,00 ( Johnny Stewart) to a Foxpro from between

R1600 and R4500,00 depending what one you choose is well worth it, just one jackal and you have your money back!  A simple Edge Expedite electronic caller would cost you just R140-00.

General on Callers both hand and electronic in South Africa

To start I think a good way is to discuss the most widely used method of calling in South Africa, namely CD’s. Many hunters are lazy and don’t want to blow into a call for an hour to get a cat, so the next easiest method is to use a Cd.  These items are excellent as long as your CD player has a clean laser and the Cd is clean, otherwise the machine will jump and skip causing a severely distorted sound, and also ruining any chance of a successful hunt.

Regards to that of a tape player, it would be better as they don’t skip or jump, but the tape background noise can sometimes be noisy if you are using inferior tapes. But generally I think many thousands of predators have fallen in SA to a CD player. Just make sure sounds are clear and not distorted otherwise you will get nothing. Many CD’s on the market have back ground noises or are very distorted, make sure the CD is very clear, animals can pick up strange waves in sounds, so if it is not natural you will call in far less. Have you ever had your house cat nearby when you play a two way radio? Man, they go ballistic, they pick up the waves in signals and it really disturbs them. So make sure your sounds are clear that you play on your CD player or tape recorder. If buying CD’s make sure the sounds are CRYSTAL CLEAR!

This was an occasion that I used a tape I make, and we called this jackal within 2 minutes. A big male, look at those teeth! As long as the tape is background noise free you stand a good chance of calling them.

                       

 
Hand calls

Then we have a hand call, unfortunately in South Africa predator calls cannot be bought from a shelf in a sporting goods store unless you are very lucky, I have never found a variety of game calls since I began calling in any shop, and by variety I mean more than two brands. I have seen the odd call but nothing to make you say wow! The same applies to camouflage here in SA. I believe that results matter, and to use the best calls is to get better results. In America many people are in the game call business, many many. An example of real quality calls available are Lohman, Haydel’s, Wiley’s, Yellerdog, TNT, MAD calls, Sceery, Rhino calls, Verminator calls, Arizona predator calls and Burnham Bros  spring to mind. Game call companies are not scarce in the USA, and thousands of people make them. My all time favourites are a Lohman MVP-4, 212, 213, 210, P1 and a 214. These are devastating calls, not forgetting the TNT predator call range with stainless steel reeds and also Yellerdog open reeds and Haydels, these are all amazing calls.

I love a call made by David Miller in USA, www.doagamecalls.com  he makes all kinds, and for a custom call order a real gem! He is a real gentleman who hand makes quality!

I have found out in SA that a caller omitting a semi squeaky to rusty sound is best, and these calls I mention above allow me to do just that. A call I have just started using is a Verminator caller- called TWEETY, wow what a blast! They even have a model with a double reed, the calls are really nice to use on cats and I have had success with them. The calls are easy to hold and put out excellent range. The open reed allows a caller to make more noises and pitches than a closed reed.

In the photo above is a lynx, large male I called with closed reeded calls, TNT’s from Utah – USA made by Lynn Jacobson. Stainless reeds are really good sounding. I shot this big male in his throat as he looked at me, see his teeth how worn down they are, this cat was about 13 years old.

MODERN HIGH TECH EQUIPMENT IS HERE, ITS ALL ON COMPUTER CHIP, CRYSTAL CLEAR SOUNDS WITH HIGH VOLUME, IN A SMALL COMPACT DESIGN, CD’S ARE A THING OF THE PAST, IN THIS NEW ERA WE ARE BLESSED WITH THE BEST.

The new era has dawned! DIGITAL ELECTRONICS!

We then come to a subject devoted to the most recent, most advanced and high tech equipment ever developed for us predator hunters on this planet!. “ELECTRONICS”!!!!!!!!!!!!! The days are gone when it comes to taking a Cd player, extra battery pack, lose Cd’s, wires, amplifiers and separate speakers into the bush, now today we are fortunate to have been blessed with the worlds best equipment. Today, we have all the above separate parts in a SINGLE COMPACT game caller, and the sound generated by the most recent high tech amplifiers puts the sound out at much higher volume than your old portable CD player with a 15 W speaker. Remember we work mostly at night here in SA, and at night sounds travel further as no heat pollution is evident.

One caller I am talking about is FOXPRO. This is without a doubt the world’s BEST electronic caller. It is made in the USA, and some models come with a built in sound card of up to 200 sounds, I have found their equipment to be of the best quality, and have no complaints.  The FX5 model I use can take up to 200 sounds, and the remote can work various machines not only one, they are very advanced callers. The FX3 has 32 sounds and just perfect for South African predator callers. Just tell them at Foxpro to load my sounds for you, then it comes all ready with all the jackal sounds you will need

All you do is look up their website and tell them what animal noises you want, all sounds are on the website, they load it on the computer chip in the unit and send you the unit loaded and ready to hunt. The unit has everything built in and is compact and VERY loud. On a windless night on full volume it will reach over 1 kilometre easily. It has adapters for mp3 or old CD players if you want your CD to play through the FoxPro’s speaker. The remote on the Foxpro picks up at a distance of 700 metres if you need it. Some models have a switch that starts the unit automatically, and it can be re- charged from outside the unit as it has a built in battery charger outlet, as well as the powerful amplifier, and speaker. Some units have two amps and two speakers ( AR6,FX3 & FX5) 

The XR6 has 16 sounds, the FX3 has 32 and the FX5 comes with 50 but can take 200, you can also load your own cd’s on the Foxpro. All these have remote control.

I have 3 models, the one unit - a model 418 has an African package on it specially designed by myself for African hunting. I put 3 different jackal sounds on it, including a challenge for breeding season, fawn, rabbits, wild African boar and pig, hyena, cats/kittens, antelope, puppies and sheep. This package is ideal for SA. You can order a standard Foxpro FP-38 with 8 sounds for about R1500-00. The FoxPro is far better than any cd player you can buy and the sounds are CRYSTAL CLEAR.  It will take you just 1 jackal kill to get back your money on the unit. I also use a model 416B with remote, it takes 16 sounds of your choice, and then I use a double speaker caller, a Foxpro FX-3, it’s another high quality machine, except this offers you 200 sounds on digital format loaded on a computer chip inside the machine. The 416B or FX3 are more expensive but again its just 1 kill to get back money well spent.

The other unit I use is a CASS CREEK, this is another unit with a built in battery, sound on computer chip, built in speaker, and carries 5 sounds, they come in different models, I use the PREDATOR 1&2. I love the woodpecker sound, excellent for cats. They are loaded with distress sounds or puppy canine sounds, fox, etc. I have fawn, cats, puppies, rabbits, barking, woodpecker loaded on my units, these two units are ideal for African hunting, and with a built in battery, speaker, amplifier it is a very compact design, the range on a unit this size is 450 metres and with wind easily over 500 metres.  The other model, a NOMAD MX3 is a remote caller, has a good transmitting range, and being remote control just offers us yet another modern option to use in the day or night. REMEMBER it is vital that when using an electronic caller at night to keep the speaker close to you, so when the predator approaches and locks onto the sound he looks in your direction, if the speaker is in the veld away from the truck you won’t spot him or eyes, this is especially true with cats.

The Nomad is a camouflaged unit with a larger speaker than the hand held units, and has a 100 m remote, the sounds are lovely and again I love that woodpecker sound, great for predators. A standard Cass Creek will cost you about R380-00 to import.

Lohman has also brought out a remote unit, it is about the size of a packet of cigarettes, and the remote can operate from a far distance, again has distress sounds, this unit is ideal for hanging out on a fence or “lyn draad” on a dust road when you conceal yourself 50 m away or also good for hanging near a cage trap and let the unit play a distress sound all night on its own to lure a cat near a cage.

Many other company’s have computer chip callers out now, most of the big names, but I really love the Foxpro, it is so compact and the volume of these units is incredible. I am so impressed with these units, the sound is real quality also.  If you can put it on full volume and handle that pitch then I will honestly shake your hand, they have used top class amplifiers and the volume it generates is astounding.

There is no doubt in my mind that after hunting for many years I can honestly say that today we are blessed by living in an age with such lovely equipment, and as I said with the internet its no problem getting the units at all. One other simple solution to the electronic callers are by using a mp3 player loaded with your calling sounds, and connect to an amplifier and cone speaker as also depicted in these photos. Its small but the range of the amplifier with cone speaker is easily 800 metres.

One small thing I would like to ad about ranges I discuss here, if I say the range is lets say 600m then that’s in one direction, the sound also goes behind one, so take at least 35 percent of that original range and work out how much goes behind you. At the end of the day you have a pretty good area covered.

 

FoxPro can be factory loaded with 4 different crystal clear jackal sounds, it also has a challenging jackal on it, a really aggressive dog barking and screaming, this sound works for me in breeding time, from April –May. Challenge is a good caller, then it also has the other sounds for other times of the year. By listening to the sounds you can decide what you want, and have them put it on your unit. Simply listen to the sounds on the website and write down code numbers then give it to Joe at sales@gofoxpro.com  the website is www.gofoxpro.com


 

ELECTRONIC CARE & TIPS

Range of Gary’s electronic callers

Here I have a 416B old model with 16 sounds, and a couple camo Cass Creeks, the FX3 top left with 32 sounds and the latest caller I make up in South Africa amp, mp3 player with speaker.

All these calls are killers !!!!!!

To begin I want to just repeat a very important calling tip when using  an electronic player, it is VITAL that at night when you call that you NEVER put the speaker away from the truck in the bush or at an angle – why? Well, when a predator hears a distress sound or a call his focus is on that sound and looks directly at the sound source, and if that speaker is not with you he will look in another direction and you won’t see his big red eyes. This is especially crucial with cats as they are low to the ground and you will NEVER spot him if that speaker is not with you. So, always have the electronic next to you at night

Try keeping the unit damp free at night, I keep my Foxpro in a case, and it does not get damp. Don’t leave batteries in an electronic more than two days without them being used. The batteries may leak and damage the complete unit inside. If you have a unit with a computer chip like Foxpro or CASS CREEK avoid airport ex-ray machines, they can damage a computer chip and its sounds on the memory sound board. This is also true of digital camera chips. If going through a terminal ask the officials to go through your baggage by hand, not a machine!  CD players bring many more problems than digital computer chip callers, make sure your laser on the player is clean; any skipping with cost you lost fur! Clean all CDs, and keep dust out of the CD player, all these things are very important. Cd players have moving parts, and therefore more things to go wrong, like tapes. So, keep them clean. Another draw back with a Cd is that when batteries get weak the unit jumps and skips, so make sure batteries are good before going out. (As I say ALWAYS have a mouth call with you in case something like this goes wrong). Another thing you can do is to have doubles of all your Cd’s so if one is dirty and skipping try the duplicate CD.

If you are using a CD player at night you have wires, separate speaker, battery, CD player and so on, many separate goodies, so after a night hunt the next day check all the parts, make sure wires are not damaged, connectors, clean out player and discs etc.  All these fine pointers are good to follow, and then a hunter knows his equipment is in good order. (With digital electronics like FoxPro’s you won’t have these troubles). They don’t have wires and complications.

LURES & ATTRACTANTS

I have often met hunters who use a variety of lures and other smelly things to either attract animals or hide their scent. What is clear is the need to hide our presence the very best we can so, we can employ various tactics to do this. When I began predator hunting I used a water solution of fish paste spread to conceal my presence, I cannot remember spooking a single predator.

TRY USING RED BAIT that fishermen use. Use it in cages to trap lynx or have some in an open bottle next to you to hide your scent, it works! It stinks!!! PHEEEEUW!!!!

Some hunters hang dead rabbits, Dassie or crows around the truck to hide their presence. I will be quite honest; I have only on a few occasions employed this method of “hanging” dead animals around my truck. I believe that we have a far easier alternative than to go to these extremes.  Here are a few.

A very good smelly substance you can employ is visit a nursery that sells flowers; buy your self a bottle of SEAGRO. This is a fish oil based product and it stinks. Taking a paint brush go out 30 metres in front of the truck and paint a little on a small shrub, go in a complete circle. This will help hide your presence and also is a good cat attractor. You can also remove dassie, rabbit and even your house cats mess from the garden, put it in a bottle with a little water and mix it up. These are all good ideas for hiding the human scent. As I mentioned before the ways to hide your scent was putting clothing over fire smoke etc, but this is a look at physically making up potions.

To get the world’s best attractant, a fantastic human scent hider is a lynx’s urine. After you have trapped a lynx in a cage, terminate it with a shot to the head. Try aim so that you are able to get the bullet to go into the ear, this will be a brain shot and the animal will be dead instantly. This way the animal won’t urinate and you won’t waste urine. A cat’s bladder is almost always full.

Make a cut on the surface of the skin, not deep (the cats rear part of skin is very thin), make a shallow cut 3-4 inches in front of the vent, remove the bladder in whole form, then remove intestines and mix the two together, put in a bottle and you have the best lure and human scent hider in the world.

I use our special cat attractant we developed as an added ingredient; it’s a relaxant and is deadly for cage trapping. I use it applied to trees in a circle, all the above recipes I use in a bottle, have them open and spread around the cab when calling. I change one day from cat urine and the next time a jackal’s past

Drag a dead jackal behind the truck with stomach cut open from stand to stand.

Me personally find a well prepared fire wood smoke filled jacket and pants, little vanilla essence in mud on tyres, an open bottle of cat urine, works well for me when calling. Going to these extremes is when you are calling jackal, when calling cats these pointers are not that necessary, as they cannot smell us.

I have proven this point many times over. I once called a lynx in, I spotted her for the first time when she was behind us at 25 metres out, lying flat on the ground in an opening, the wind was mild but going straight in her direction, she just looked at us, big eyes and all. Wind and scenting us she could not do. 

A friend from Arizona sent me a bottle of coyote gland, pheeeww!!!!!!!!!!, what a stink, it was terrible, but let me tell you, I trapped many cats with it, and used it to hide my scent on many hunts, and it worked like a dream. If you find cat and jackal droppings, pick them up, collect them and put them in a bottle with water, after you have collected many and it turns to a paste add a little glycerine to it to stop worms and maggots forming, this preserves the mess.

LAYOUT EXAMPLE FOR  JACKALS

This is an indication of a good layout and should serve as an idea as to how to make a set up at night. Obviously not all camps look like this but this will give an indication as to a set up. This is a set for jackal. It is hunting without a shooting stool, so utilising the bonnet as a rest. Note that the truck is close to a jackal proof fence line or standard wire fence structure offering good vision and the ability to hunt two camps. The truck is faced downwind to offer a chance to shoot over the bonnet, it is situated near water (always a good idea) and is on a corner so you have FULL vision of the whole area. Sometimes it pays to have a pair of low light binoculars with you, then as it gets dark you can look around, sometimes you spot the odd dog walking around or cat. But I don’t use this method if I know that the animals have been educated, the less chance of being seen because of movement the better. Night vision is also an option for identifying an incoming animal and to also observe the hunting area.

 A standard night vision scope of good quality will set you back a few thousand but it’s worth the currency. If calling for jackal  70 percent of the time start scanning with the red light from downwind, this is the direction the jackal will most times first be spotted, but they  don’t  all make that move, some come from any direction!

I hunted at a lovely area in Namibia, called Gochas, after spending 3 nights out calling (August) we sat down to access our success and what had transpired. What struck us first was that all the jackals we had called and shot all had been female. None were carrying pups, but another interesting factor to arise was that NONE of the dogs attempted to wind us. We often sat at a water hole and called in jackal, maybe it was the other animals ( Oryx, Vlak varke or buck) that confused the jackals. But on some calling stands no animals were close, and still they all made big mistakes and approached from the wrong directions.

My first stand was at a dry dam, it had a small sand bank in the middle of the dam, I parked facing into the wind, and the small sand bank sort of obscured the truck from sight. It was a good position; we called for 20 minutes and dropped a jackal at 90 paces with the Hornet. This dog approached in front of us running at an angle, but completely at the wrong end of the wind. I put this down to uneducated dogs, dogs that had not been hunted before. This farm was not hunted often so maybe that’s why that happened. But then again I have hunted Ladismith, Sutherland and many others and many dogs also made mistakes.

The bottom line is that they are like us, not all of us are as clever as the next fellow, and for some of us our lifts don’t all go to the top story! So, now and then we will call dumb ones. But as a general rule remember to take more notice of your downwind side.


I make use of an owl decoy at night to lure cats from cover; it really works well, cats approach through cover, so using an owl will bring em out easier. After all using a real looking owl will tell them that’s an easy meal for sure. I have used an owl for 5 years now and it works!


This is a view from behind the owl; see the cover he faces and another point when calling or trapping cats- try set up near rubbish dumps, cats go here as they know rats and mice are found and its easy meals.

End of PART 7, in the following edition we look at South African calls, lights etc, more interesting topics.

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.