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PART 8


“JACKAL & LYNX CONTROL”

In this edition we discuss South African game calls, camouflage and blending in for the day, and the important topic about lights and lenses. Apart from the moon and calls, lights are extremely important.

For many years South Africa has suffered terribly regarding the availability to easily get predator calls, the same applies to camouflage; it simply is not available easily throughout South Africa. This prompted us to start designing and manufacturing game calls in 2002. Today we have put South Africa on the map with regards to game calls, we even now manufacture a Egyptian goose ( Kolgaans) call, all American calls are nice but they are Canadian geese, ours is designed for the Africa goose, as well as Spurwinged geese. We also have all the main predator calls – SEE MY PRICES SECTION!!!

This is my personally made Jackal barker used in November to bring in female dogs and also to bark in May in breeding season. These calls are made by me in the plant one at a time.

In the background is one of the loves of my life – Humphrey – hey even predator callers have soft hearts!

Our first goal was to target the most important and most hunted predator in South Africa, namely the jackal, we designed and tested a few designs, some broke, some froze up in Sutherland at the farm, some did not sound good and after 9 months I eventually came up with a design that was good in sound and crystal clear. The main thing is to get a caller that a novice can easily blow. After this I designed a caller with nice distress sounds that really draw attention. These are all made of injected resin parts and made in a plant in Cape Town.  Since then we have brought out a few predator cat CD’s and crow Cd’s, the goose call, crow, duck and our latest edition is the SA buck grunt caller. And in 2008-9 I designed and started to manufacture simulated ivory Cat killers and also jackal barkers. SEE PRICES ON THE SIT

****** We also have a double set calling DVD to teach hunters to call. It was also evident that we needed to have a lure for cages so designed a non toxic, poison free lure that we use in cat cages to trap jackal, as well as made cages for trapping. All these products have been tested and have excellent results, all our calls and products come with references if required. My favourite model is the puppy barking caller, a lovely call that works well in late November and December.

I am extremely proud of what I have achieved over these years, if I look back to when I started I used a old wooden American caller and I think I scared away most of what heard me, today over 20 years later I am a professional in my trade and take extreme pride in what I offer, even in every sale I make I include a slab of chocolate to say thanks – as this is good sales service, and we all know in South Africa service is hard to find!

I try to be different and offer as much as I can on all aspects of calling, those who know me will know I take my business seriously at all times.

LIGHTS AND LENSES
 

T

his is a topic that commands thorough discussion, without having quality light power at night will result in your hunt becoming a nightmare. What’s more other special torches can also benefit a hunter at the correct moment; in this segment I will discuss the importance of light- good light!


TYPICAL RED LIGHT I MANUFACTURE in my workshop at Feather & Fur. I have made many of these lights, never had a complaint as yet! I use a photographic red filter; it is 1000 times better than a standard red filter normally sold by manufactures.

 

Only one way exists to call in predators at night, that would be by using a red lens, the retina of an animals eye is not effected with a red light and the light does not bother him at all, it is almost as if they don’t even know they are being lit up. I once did a check on a polecat; I called him in to about 5 metres of the truck with a mouse squeak sound. I put him dead centre of the 1,500,000 power light and he did not seem effected at all, I put on the white light and he made such a fast retreat it was quite funny.

(Don’t put predators in the centre of a red light). If a cat starts blinking fast that a sign he will soon leave, so hurry and shoot or leave it.

To begin I always like to go into the bush prepared, we must also take into consideration we are hunting at night, it’s not going to be daylight and easy to see when we need to, so being prepared is always a good thing. What happens when you go look for a downed animal etc.

I ALWAYS take a small red light that cyclists use that flashes on and off, it is a great help and after I climb down from the truck I put it on the roof, this flashing light I can see for hundreds of metres, and if for some reason my torch in my hand stops working I will find the truck easily, no fun getting lost and walking towards a hyena or two! Then we need a good strong torch, NOT THE DISPOSABLE BATTERY TYPE, we need a strong torch at least a 1,000,000 million candle power for walking in the bush or for general light after a hunt. This torch can be charged in the truck or at home. I have had my one model for over 7 years, it still is going strong, and the trick is to always keep it charged. This way the life of the battery will be longer. I also have a small red torch I use at the back of the truck at night. This is nice if you need to find something or somebody needs it. I used it before on a CD player to see numbers etc, but I no longer use that system.

Fit a flashing red light to your shooting chair, then leave it on when you walk in bush, you will never lose the truck then

Make sure that if you are calling and lighting the area up, when you spot eyes coming in that the shooter is standing next to you, if he is not he will not see the eyes and what you are looking at, the slightest angle will not allow him to see the set of eyes approaching!!!!!.

Then we get to the main torch, many guys use a rifle mounted light, I have one that I mount to my 223, it’s a 170 diameter light, BUT I often have clients as I give courses, I hardly ever go and hunt alone, so my partner uses the handheld light or visa versa. The light candle power is another topic many hunters have different opinions on, I have used a 1,500,000 for over a decade of hunting, I have NEVER spooked any animal I have called in OR found the need to have a dimmer switch or retro stat fitted, its all a matter of how you light the eyes that counts, not putting him dead centre of light beam is the trick.

I use a 22cm diameter light, and some of my lights have a separate red filter I can take off and some have built in ones, - reason, well with clients after a hunt they want to drive home with a white light to look for animals so then I use that one. I personally make all the lights we sell, and change plugs and leads, paint the units and fit red filters. The one 22 diameter light I am using is the same one I have used from the day I began hunting, and with a halogen powerful bulb you won’t get better. They come with a tripod as well for standing on a trucks roof etc. I take two lights with at night in case a fuse blows on the one or a switch is faulty, and then I have a spare light! GO PREPARED IT IS WORTH IT!!!!!

This is my OPTRONICS, I can mount this on my rifle or on the chair I use, it has a red filter.

DON’T LEAVE A POWERFUL LIGHT ON FACING DOWN ON A ROOF ETC, IT WILL BURN YOUR RED LENS OR DAMAGE THE TORCH OR YOUR TRUCKS PAINT WORK!

The use of these lights offers you a very good field of view and the range is about 110 yards with the red lens fitted, with the lens removed you can see over 700 metres with the light. I have a separate connector fitted with an extra truck battery; it’s situated under the bakkie at the back, so I just plug it in at the back of truck when I am ready to hunt.  If you buy your light to use at night make sure its strong and if it has a switch that makes a noise when you put in on and off REMOVE IT and fit a stealth switch like I do.

You get many different models for sale in shops, for instance a Coleman, they are good but more expensive. I believe that cheaper is not always so bad, like the Afrikaner says, goed koop is duur koop. The light I use has been tested in extreme conditions, remember I am a Sutherland boy, the coldest place in South Africa, and from snowy nights to heat no problem I cant fault the light. 

Remember if you hunt in the cold here are a few tricks that help if you are the caller and light man, firstly the other guys will be colder than you because they are sitting still, you are moving around often and your blood is circulating better, sit on the same place every time it will keep your butt warm, after you put off the light and sit down put your hands on the hot lens, wear thick socks, if your feet are warm you will be warm, put your hands behind your head often it keeps the blood circulation moving quicker.


This is the same light as the first one in pics at the top; it has a large funnel on it to make the light project itself forward. IMPORTANT! The same light is fitted to my rifle in the following pics.



 

If you are the person using the light and scanning, NEVER allow anybody to stand up next to you and look what’s happening, that person will easily be spotted by a predator, or he will at some stage in your circular motion be lit up, and if the predator is looking at you he will be spotted. REMEMBER a predator can see far better than you can. Tell a client before the hunt to NEVER stand up till the hunt is over, if they want to look, they can through the camouflage netting. Also another IMPORTANT point is after you have called for 45 minutes scan and look more carefully, as you are now entering a cat period, chances are he will show after 40-55 minutes. All your movements on the back of the truck MUST be in slow motion, never move around fast, cats pick up movement very quickly.



I
often get asked do I shoot with a red light or after seeing eyes switch to a white light to shoot. This is an interesting topic; all the areas I hunt are both jackal and cat areas, SO! If you call in and shoot a jackal you cannot just stop calling and get from the truck to pick up the animal, you must carry on calling a while longer, so if I put on a white light I have possibly caused myself to lose more fur. So, I ALWAYS shoot with the red light on the animal, if its cat areas you can flip the light to white BUT you must not take to long to shoot as that animal will now be spooked. So, it is a general rule to shoot with the red light burning no matter what you are calling. Just educate your man holding the light to not shine directly on a cat as they are light sensitive.

 Raise the light slightly, when you want to identify then lower the beam on the animal. I have always shot with a red light, and using my hunting light we personally customise for night hunting it is very easy to see the animal. Also remember that you have been in the dark for a long time, then after a long time you have been calling, your adrenaline is high, then you have used a red light in the darkness- so now if you decide to swop it and shoot on a white light your eyes will not be perfectly familiar with a sudden bright white beam, so rather stick to red! Don’t risk the chance of a botched hunt.

When you purchase a hunting light make sure the inside silver lens is very shiny, it must have NO defects or any rust spots. The more silver and reflective the lens is inside the greater the clarity of the picture you paint up at night will be. The bulb must be a Halogen bulb at least 100 W and the lead on that torch must be THICK. You will stand on the lead often and it will break. So a thick lead is better. This is why it’s better to have a shooting chair, you won’t have to bother with any troubles mentioned above.

 The socket plug you must open and check it is soldered properly and that the two ends (positive and negative) are not touching. If it has a noisy on/off switch bypass it and fit a stealth switch, and lastly make sure the light is not a bright colour, as at night it will glow brightly so spray torch inside and out in a dark colour like black, and after this make outside a brown or light green/ brown colour. This is why we customise night hunting lights our selves; this way a client does not have to bother with electrics etc. SEE TOP PHOTO

RIFLE MOUNTED LIGHTS

When it comes to hunting on your own, we have only two hands, these hands will most times have a call in one and rifle in the other, no third hand for a light, so we have a problem. I know that for me personally I most times hunt with a partner, it is better company and a LOT safer! Anyway no matter how your hunt plays out and you are alone, then enter the RIFLE MOUNTED LIGHT! I build these lights up personally, I firmly believe my concept is FAR better than imported lights, the lamp I customise is far better quality and it is much brighter.

I scan with a hand held lamp as previously discussed, and when eyes are located or an animal is approaching I switch to the rifle mounted set to finish the calling stand off. The unit I build can make the light tilt or rotate while you are calling and aiming the rifle. It will take practise to use a red rifle mounted light, call and aim at the same time, but if you are a solo hunter you will have to learn. (OR MOUNT IT TO A CHAIR)

On my chair I also use a system that has the light on the chair, the rifle has NO light, and then it’s a little easier to work. On my 223 I have a small white light so I can walk in bush after a downed jackal and the light is mounted next to the barrel, so if I aim at close range I can see at the same time  (SEE BELOW). The light is below the laser. The scope is a 6-24


X 44 with illuminated crosshair.

 

CAMOUFLAGE AND BLENDING IN

We have covered the camouflage for night hunts, but for day calling it must be approached with far more professionalism, to blend in properly is a must, its ok to say sit in shadows, keep the sun behind you and don’t move But wearing colours matching the environment DOES HELP. This is not a day calling article as its far to involved, this is to point out factors that help. In America they have many patterns with leaves and branches, they look lovely, yes that’s correct, they are made mostly to appeal to the human eye as a selling tool, in real life they will work no better than a standard camouflage uniform with shades of different colours that match you area.

 I have a chezlovakian pattern that is amazing, ideal for the Karoo and is far better than a leaf pattern. An animal would have to stand on your chest to value the camo you wear.  We need to break up our shape and become one with nature and disappear.

Our Karoo throughout South Africa is not very green, it’s more grey, brownish with a slight tint of green. More grey and brown, so this is what we must look for in shops, I once hunted with a surfing shirt as it had those colours on the shirt.

The very best camouflage that we can get for the Karoo would be the old South African Koevoet camouflage, this camo is ideal for our conditions, and by running a wanted advert in the paper will get you responses, much of it is around. If you are a die hard and want to make up a Ghillie suit for day hunting you can purchase kilo bags of camo net that you can use to make up a ghillie suit, bags costs only R50-00, really cheap.  The latest craze in a camo is the America digital camo; it is a military design that has pixels on the fabric. Hundreds of small little blocks that makes up a camo design. The design is excellent for the Karoo in the day as well as to be used at night, as the colours are very well designed and will be just as effective as the tiger stripes. I really like this design.

 I can honestly say that I prefer military camo designs compared to camo designs made for the public (excluding Natgear Natural camo) this is the ultimate. This is a subject we can learn a lot from by talking to American hunters as they do most of the predator calling in the day.



 

BLINDS

By owning ones own property enables us to do things that others cannot, for instance if you have a farm that is about 4000 hectare in size and lets say you have either a game camp or sheep camp in four different areas then you can choose a good day of the month, take out 4 hunters and drop them off, these camps should be no less than 1, 5 kilometres apart. Then you can also go to another spot and call, after about 2 hours go on a drive by and pick up the other guys. This enables you to sweep your complete farm in one night, but if you went on your own you would only have covered one area instead of five.

Blinds can be built easily, again, get an open area and build a platform about a metre high, about 2m x1,5m in size. That’s all, nothing else, cover at the sides with bushes etc. Then when you drop the guys off they have a square structure they slot together or wooden planks that get bolted together, all it requires is camouflage netting and a battery to run light from. Just writing this segment makes me want to go hunt at my blind tonight!!!!  

This way if you find a sheep carcass in a camp you can hunt that one and also others if you have enough people. Also when you want to sweep your farm you don’t need many vehicles just drop off the guys late afternoon, this way you have no diesel smells etc.

After the first hunt at your new blind remember next time to check it out for snakes etc when you go again, snakes like to get under woody things and warm places. Make your blind user friendly take a chair to sit on and a make it comfortable.  Fit rubber strips to the wooden floor, rubber hides the human smell, and also because the blind floor is permanently left in the bush it has a natural smell to it.

You can have a complete structure made with square uprights, so when you arrive you just take the camouflage net with you. Better still is to try enclose yourself with the genuine bushes of the Karoo  The use of a blind also depends upon what animals are in your camps, but generally across South Africa in a sheep camp you don’t have lion or other dangerous predatory threats.

The only problem with this concept is that the guys that you choose to be dropped off must be completely knowledgeable on hunting; you don’t want individuals sweeping your property knowing they are not au fait with calling etc. No good educating predators rather than eradicating them.

Many people in SA don’t use this concept, but it’s a very clever concept and if used correctly will be very feasible to the landowner. I learnt this trick from the army days and using guard towers, it’s a similar exercise except you were not hunting four legged predators. So if you own your property make some blinds. A farmer or hunter can purchase quality hunting blinds from Alnet, they have really nice designs and they clip together fast. All you would need is a platform. Ideal netting for the Karoo for a blind is a roll of Alnet’s leaf netting; it comes in a 1,4m x 25 m lengths.        

Photo depicts a Jackal Wounded Distress Caller. I make up these calls in the plant in Cape Town. Price is R195-00.  These calls are devastating. See more on the prices page.

     End of Part 8

 

Next we discuss Unethical practises, ageing predators, basic tricks for “SLIM JAKKALSE”, Calibres, scopes and sighting in.

WARNING

 

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.