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So you want to call and hunt predators do you?

Well, you're in luck. There has been a huge surge in the sport within the last few years. It has gone from one of the least known hunting sports to one that has become very popular. There is a wealth of knowledge out there both on the web and in print to help you along. First off, I recommend that you go out and purchase a couple good books on predator and varmint calling and read them... then re-read them. Learn what skills the experts use to call them in and you are well on your way to starting off on the right foot.

Even before you start out on your first hunting trip, there are a few skills that you need to practice and get down before you make that first stand. Getting these skills down pat will greatly increase your chances of calling in a predator.

  • Know the Area - Take some time to either scout the area a few days ahead or at the very least use a topo map to try and get a general feel for the layout of the land in the area you want to hunt.

  • Movement Control - The most important skill you need to ALWAYS adhere to is sitting absolutely still once you are on a stand. ANY movement can and will be picked up by the predator, almost always with less then favorable results. Practice sitting without moving for a few minutes and increase the amount of time until you can sit for half an hour like that.

  • Sneak in/Sneak out - Stalk into your stand as carefully and quietly as possible. I use birds as my guide to see if I'm being quiet enough. If you can get in and setup without spooking the birds in the immediate area you are doing very well. Remember to practice the same thing on the way out, you do not want to educate anything that has come in and you haven't seen that the distress sound it was hearing wasn't what it sounded like.

There is a huge assortment of predator hunting equipment out on the market now. Everything from really nice handmade calls to very expensive digital remote-controlled callers. Really though the majority of the equipment isn't required to call and hunt predators. There are only two major things that you will need to call  predators.

  •   Patience - THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO TAKE ALONG! You may make several stands, if not dozens of stands before you call in your first predator. I'm not saying that you might luck out and go out your first time and call something up. If you do more power to you. You're a step ahead of the game right off the bat. More then likely you are going to fall into the other category and make lots of stands that

  • Predator Call - It can be anything from one of the cheap little hand held calls or one of the better custom calls or even one of the new electronic ones. The main point is to have something that makes a noise like an animal in distress. If your really lucky you can just use your mouth to make distress sounds that will bring them in.

  • Gun - Unless you are REALLY good at throwing rocks, it's going to be hard to drop your quarry without one of these

You will notice that I did not list camouflage in the list. In my view its not 100% necessary to use camouflage while calling. While I personally wear it while I hunt, I know people who do very well and they wear old faded coveralls and maybe a light colored hat to break up the head/shoulder outline. The main skill hunters like this rely on is the TOTAL LACK OF MOVEMENT to keep from being spotted by their quarry.

I have also not listed a specific type of firearm in the required list. Your choice of gun is up to you. Your choice of gun depends on where you are going to hunt, what you have available and what YOU like. I used a Swedish Mauser in 6.5x55 for quite a few years when I was starting out. While I did catch some flak for it, it worked for me. I recommend that you look at the areas you will be hunting. Is it wide open country like out in the West Desert or is it somewhere where the cover is tight and you wouldn't take a shot at anything over 30 yards? Now I usually pack both a rifle and a shotgun to the field and use the one that best suits the stand that I'm on.

Before you are ready to make that first stand, go out and practice with your call a bit. Learn what it sounds like, when and if the reed breaks from a gravelly sound to a smooth sound and get a feel for how loud it is. If you are using an electronic caller learn how the controls work, how long the batteries last and how to set it up fast and quietly.

Ok! You have the basic skills down, you know the area and your equipment... its time to select a stand.

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