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Old 03-31-2019, 07:42 PM
Greyhunter Greyhunter is offline
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Southern Arizona
Posts: 42
Default Setting up using diaphragms and mouthcalls

Recently I picked up a few calls a friend recommended. What got my interest started was watching Al Morris and Randy Anderson bleating away on those blasted minature horns and mouth calls when they had ecallers sitting in front of them. I had to figure out why they would bother. It's been a journey and a confusing one. But with the help of a friend and co-conspirator, I've built up a small arsenal of diaphragms and hand calls and, much to my wife's chagrin, have bleated and bellowed enough on the blasted things to make her ears bleed and my dogs whine whenever they see me reach for one. Still, I bravely gathered in my arsenal, headed for the desert this morning for a test run now that fox season is coming to an end and....

I realized I had no idea how to set up without my shockwave and a decoy. And to be honest, I stood there scratching my head, realizing that this wasn't going to be like Al or Randy's open vista where they could see for miles. I was in the thick stuff with a 30 yard (maybe?) shooting lane in 3 different directions. This was definitely more like MFK than foxpro or primos, but without the fire lanes and field edges to work with, only lots of cactus and thorny nasty brush and palo verde trees clogging the broken desert.

Dr Sceery, in his video on calling predators recommended something that makes a lot of sense to me, yet at the same time makes me a bit nervous due to the amount of mountain lion we have around here. In his video he sits with his back to the wind... not his face... but his back. He's tucked up into a bush. He uses a hand call or two. That's it. Frankly, it's almost beautiful in it's simplicity. He calls, expecting that the coyotes will probably come in from behind him and circle him, coming in from an upwind approach. Now almost everybody I've listened to prefers to hunt with the wind in their face or a crosswind. However, Dr Sceery takes you on a hunt where you see him set up as he describes and sure enough, the coyotes circled him and the way he sat he would not have been able to see them coming in. However, he could see to both sides and cover his downwind as they circled him. No second shooter to guard the downwind side. Just him. He said everybody faces the wind, but the majority of time the coyote is hunting you. The trick is to be the prey. Make them hunt you, then shoot them before they hit your back trail coming in to the stand. His reasoning sounds so simple and logical it seems hard to refute. And watching him put his methods to work, the patient way in which he called, no frustrated button punching... well, it's a different kind of hunting than I'm doing and it would be kind of freeing to leave the backpack in the truck and walk in with only a couple of calls draped around my neck and a drag in my back pocket. It sounded good, then it looked good as I watched, but videos usually do.

I'm wondering two things from those of you who obviously have been at this a lot longer than I have and may know guys like Dr. Sceery. First, could it work for folks like me who don't have open fields to shoot across and are often limited to less than 50 yard shots. Two, have you ever tried or do you use anything similar to this in your setup? And if you do, how would you implement what you do in this scenario.

I know this is long, but I think there are a lot of guys like me who want the challenge of taking this to the next level, but may not get the chance to travel to Nebraska or Wyoming any time soon and aren't quite satisfied with letting the ecaller do all the work and would like to understand what guys like Dr. Sceery are really doing and why they are having success with it. If you have some answers I'd love to hear them.

Thanks in advance and I apologize for the length of this post.


Last edited by Greyhunter; 03-31-2019 at 07:59 PM. Reason: Found a few errors and improvements needed
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Old 03-31-2019, 09:00 PM
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Weasel Weasel is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: SW Utah
Posts: 7,033

Dr Sceery is a very smart man and I wouldn't argue with him over his techniques. The scenario you are describing is how I learned to do it 50+ years ago and it still works today. Several years ago my buddy and I made a stand (mouth calling) and didn't see anything. On our walk back to the vehicle my very aware buddy noticed fresh lion tracks. We followed them and sure enough, there was a track right over my boot track. We followed the tracks and they lead right up to where I was sitting. This lion had walked right up to my back, then veered off and dropped down a draw that was on my left. I don't think lions are out to attack people for the most part.
Every now and then I will still just carry a mouth call and my rifle and make a stand or two. No stool or pad to sit on. No shooting sticks and no electronic caller. I feels good to do it like we did back in the day. Not only that, it works as well now as it did back then.
That said, I really like watching coyotes run up on an e-caller without ever knowing I'm there.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:55 PM
Greyhunter Greyhunter is offline
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Southern Arizona
Posts: 42

That is an amazing story! And I have to say I agree with you Weasel on the advantage of having them stalking the e-caller. My last two coyotes rushed the call and it is a definite adrenaline rush. I think I would just like to experience both sides, modern and "old school". Only knowing one side of the coin so far part of me wonders which one is better. Perhaps what I should be asking is which one is more enjoyable to me. I have to say with the diaphragm and mouth calls, and spending so much more time listening to the desert, it has kind of a profound effect on you once you get past the desire to hit the play button. I was surprised how different the experience was, like going back 45 years ago when I first started hunting and sat in the field on the hill in the back 40 with the sun on my back, hearing the wind and watching the grass sway below, wondering if something would suddenly appear on the field edge.

Last edited by Greyhunter; 03-31-2019 at 11:00 PM. Reason: Update
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:53 PM
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Sonny Pruitt Sonny Pruitt is offline
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Location: Hanover County, Virginia
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There are alot of benefits to both old school and new styles of calling. I use both methods and have owned almost every FoxPro unit since they were in the garage at their Dad's house. Wish I had that little Scorpion back, it was fun and lightweight. It eliminated the main problem that most of us "e" callers are guilty of when using distress sounds, that is "using to much volume." The biggest benefit to an e caller is getting the sound away from you and watching it for movement of an approaching predator. Big asset when cat hunting.

Yet, I love the feeling of a sense of accomplishment when I use handcalls. Plus it is easy to carry a few of them around your neck like you mentioned. But there are mistakes to be made with them as well. It is a learning process and if you enjoy learning, it will please you I am sure.

I sometimes use both, and successfully to I might add. In good Red Fox country, I will open the stand with Rick Paillet's Long Range Tweety and just go crazy, loud and wild on it, then after I feel I have turned their heads towards me I will switch over to a screaming bird on the Fusion or Shockwave which ever I am using but at an extremely reduced volume , like 10 or 12. Keep in mind that I said I started out loud and wild, although I have always claimed Red Fox are volume shy, and that is true. I have seen them snap their heads up to a lipsqueak at I know over 400 yds away.

Most folks try the electronic callers because they think it will make it so easy, in reality nothing is easy about it no matter which method you use. You can have the best sounds ever and butcher everything else up about the stand and never call in anything. It is a challenge and must be mastered either way. It is up to you which one to try and enjoy first or most. Individual likes and dislikes are not all the same, person to person. To many people like to force their opinions or will on others. You know-- you're not doing it correctly cause you're not doing it how I do it. Humans, especially males are so competitive it is fun to watch at times. Once you get past that, you'll enjoy things alot more. I compare it to topwater lures, do you take your time and throw it out next to that stump and let it rest a bit, let the ripples dissipate or are you high speed, rapid casting, covering as much water as you can as fast as you can. I am not a tournament guy anymore.

Relax and enjoy whatever it is you're doing. Listening to the woods, birds, watching an edge for a predator. you're there cause you wanna be. Enjoy it your way.

Last edited by Sonny Pruitt; 04-02-2019 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:58 PM
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ELNach ELNach is offline
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Well said Sir
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Old 04-02-2019, 08:15 AM
Night Eyes Night Eyes is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Fulton County NY
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Like you said everyone has their own way of doing things. I was one that stuck the caller out and hit the play button on the Johnny Stewart cassette player. Used a million candle power spot light hooked up to a motorcycle battery in a milk jug. 22S AND 22 mags. that's what we used for coon when we ran hounds. Man I miss trapping and running dogs. Now older, trapping is done for nuisance control, and I sit with an e caller out in front.

Anyway, I start my caller on low. If I feel nothings close, I blast away on a hand call for a few series, especially if its windy while the e caller is still playing on low. But I want that e caller to be the focal point whether or not I place a decoy next to it. I just don't like it when the owls attack lol.
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Old 04-02-2019, 09:58 AM
Greyhunter Greyhunter is offline
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Southern Arizona
Posts: 42

A lot of wisdom here. Thanks guys! Went out last night and used some of my new hand calls Sonny helped me pick out. I have to say it is a different experience and one I enjoyed. I also tried Dr. Sceery's set up and found it strange but actually making sense once I figured out I had to look at the terrain and how I approach differently. I think I heard a coyote over in the brush snickering at me with a paw over it's mouth, but I just winked in it's direction. I'm finding I like this new challenge and I'll be back.
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Old 04-02-2019, 07:37 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Gettysburg PA Area
Posts: 2,347

Good thread Greyhunter.......I'd love to take a squat around a night campfire and enjoy a few cold ones listening to the three of you guys talk about your experiences! I have very limited experience with mouth calls....have a ton of them...but very little experience and success. Threads like this are motivational......; )
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