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I am wondering what other's thoughts are on hand calls vs digital calls? When I got into this, I was sold on the idea of using digital calls, decoys and all of that. I thought it sounded like a great idea to keep the noise and movement away from you, so that you don't get busted but what about the tradeoff? Digital sounds are all very similar with no real room for variety and putting a decoy out in front of you just means you could get busted earlier when the dog picks up the scent and realizes it's a trick. We know coyotes and cats both will come straight into a mouth call. Sometimes a lot closer than we want them to!

So which way is truly best? I think they are about equal... with both having pros and cons. I've got a Foxpro FX5 and the Jack in the Box decoy but I think I am going to work more on my manual calling skills to provide myself more flexibility.

Thoughts?
 

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I like both calls, I think it all depends on the animal and its state of mind of how well it responds. I will say that you get more satisfaction from calling in the dog yourself.
 

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Okay, I am not wanting to start a fight at all. Digital calls are great for a new caller just getting his or her feet wet. I used to use the cassette tapes back in the boom, so I have no room to criticize. But, I am a little passed the point of needing Randy Anderson, Johnny Stewart, or whoever to call my predators for me. Yes, good points on the keeping the movement to a minimum, it does help when you don't have to fumble around your lanyard for a call, I know I have looked like a 3rd grader looking for his book report several times. I think I just like the satisfaction of knowing that I called in my own dog, cat, raccoon, or on rare occassion...fox. I like the versatility of my hand calls, and the differnent sounds they make. Though, like I mentioned...they are cumbersome when you need to make a move to get a different call. Maybe I take too many different calls in with me...maybe a 3 call lanyard??

We are all in this together and for the same reason.

Tommy
 

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they are both tools in your tool box.
there are places and times you want to call the animal away from you this is when i use electronics and decoys
most times when calling coyotes i use mouth calls because i can react to what the coyote is doing better.
to me they both are necessary tools.
 

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I'm rather new to calling yotes and yote hunting. What is the thought about using hand/mouth calls in conjunction with one another? I ask because i called in 5 yotes in one group together doing this last sunday. Where i live in idaho our dogs are rather call educated, and just mouth calling last sunday didn't interest the until i used the pup yips in conjuction and at the same time as doing the rabbit calls. my brother in law said when i did this they all raised their heads and came running form 600 down to 200 yards out from us. the only way i kept them coming in closer to 120 yards was to keep doing this very same trick, which @ 120 yards my brother in law put the smack down on one and missed the others. i could not get into the shooting because i had more yotes talking on the backside which was the way i was watching. I pose this question to all could we not use both styles in conjunction together to add another trick in our tool bags for hunting yotes and such?
 

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I have used the electronic calls and had good success with them. I notice that when i use my hand calls, which I prefer, I actually call less with breaks and the breaks allow me to keep better watch for movement. I like calling in the day with the hand calls and with the electronic more at night. I will try mixing and see what happens here in TX. Maybe the next best thing.
 

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I've been using both for many years now, and with the advent of the remote for the digital caller it gives you the most leading edge in calling IMO, that I've ever seen.

That being said I never go calling with out a open reed mouth call, to many times I've need it to stop or turn a dog and even knowing how to use the digital, I'm quicker and easier to use the mouth call.

Also I would never advocate a digital caller for a new caller without them knowing a bit about hand calls, you can't actually learn the real nuaunces of calling with out learning how to use a mouth call first. Something about how animasl react to a hand blwon call verse's a digital caller, IMO.
 

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I think you need to carry both. A mouth call is good for backup, breakdowns, changes in tactics, and wind fighting. I like to carry a loman Circe and an old Mallardtone distress call to back up my digital units. The Mallardtone works as a coaxer as well.
 

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the mallard sounds pretty nice. I think that we get caught up in the rabbit distress too much. i used to use the woodpecker to good success. I got out of calling for a long time and now that i have started again, i notice that everyone is howling. I picked up an open reed howler call and have started perfecting my sound but I could use a little advice on the strategy of using it as well as the types of sounds ie alpha male vs female
 

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I carry two howlers - both of mine are from Carver Calls. A large full howler and a smaller higher toned howler. I use the large howler to announce my presence (especially calling from now until April) and see if I get a response. I also use the smaller howler during breeding season and in the fall when the pups are struggling with being set out of the pack. The smaller howler is used to try to replicate a female in the spring. I make exactly the same sound pattern as with the big howler but its size and tone make it sound like a smaller or younger coyote. I can also use this one for social barks, challenge barks, and Ki-yi's so it is pretty versatile.
I don't howl as much as some advise. I normally hit the big howler once or twice and go to something else.
The Mallardtone is a prey distress call for mid range but it is much higher and softer than just about any other distress call I've ever used.... and it is wood... so it has nice soft tone sounds. It also works great as a coaxer. I've carried it for years and I don't believe the company makes them anymore. If I ever found another, I'd buy it for backup.
 

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I have been calling for over 30 years and have used a variety of calls. I started out years ago with an old Radio Shack cassette player with a Burnham Brothers Yellow Hammer Woodpecker tape. Killed lots of coyotes over it. I watched the advancement of the new digital calls for a few years and finally bought a Johnny Stewart Predator Master. It has 12 calls and I have added a few more. IMO, any of the brand name calls are suitable, just a matter of how much you are willing to spend. Even though I have the digital call, I always carry a couple of my favorite hand calls, usually a closed reed and an open reed, as they are more adaptable for me as conditions change. This deer season, I was able to take 7 coyotes from my deer blind because I took along those calls. You never know when opportunity is going to knock.
 

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thanks for the follow up on the howler info. i am going to give it a try this weekend. just not something that i had ever used.

mg
 

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I like to start out with a mouth call using it softly. Blow on it for 10-15 seconds and wait 10-15 minutes. If nothing shows up then I will go to the electronics to get a little more volume
 

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I prefer mouth calls over electronics and yeah i know what you mean when you say sometimes the come in closer that you want them too. But using a E-Call takes something away from the hunt i guess im just old school being able to bring them in on my own and being able to harvest them that way seems more rewarding. But by no means am i putting down people who use E-Calls its a choice and hunters should be welcomed to it.
 

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I like the variety and quality of the electronic callers BUT I never head to the woods without at least two hand calls around my neck. I learned that the hard way. At the last two stands I never had time to set up. Saw them at a distance, hit the hand call and here they come running. What are you going to do when you get setup and your e-caller quits after the first five minutes because it is cold outside and the batteries are dead? Go back to the truck? Pull out the hand call and have fun! That's what!
 

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good responces
i never leave the truck without my three favorite calls for back up.
even when i plan on using a closed reed call i try to carry two of the same call that way i can keep one warm in my pocket and when one freezes up i can rotate between the two and do a whole stand.
when you change blow backwards threw the call to clear the moisture when you start the freshly warmed call.
i carry a tally ho on every stand for howls and challenges.
yes you can use both electronic and mouth calls on the same stand i normally do all my howling with a mouth call with a distress running.
when using your electronics always carry a open reed and a closed reed too for batteries do fail often.
i too get a greater satisfaction out of calling in a predator with a mouth call then i do with a electronic caller.
 

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Well, I may be the last to realize it but I tried a Sceery cow elk call the other day making rabbit distress calls and wow it sounds super. had good success, called 2 dogs on 3 stands last saturday night while using the power dog various howling sounds at the same time. So i started experimenting with sounds from this sceery call. it is the one for cow chirps, you bite down slightly on it. by using less pressure i could make great cottontail and jack sounds. this may end up being my "go to" call. it has excellent volume and can really work the range from high to low. got to try it some more first but first results were great.
 

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You know, really, if you have a good open reed mouth call you should be able to do challenge barks, distress calls, ky-yi's, howls and even estrus chirps with a bit of practice. I have a Sceery howler and couple of Carlson's howlers (mini and large) that are very versatile.
 

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mgtexas that bite down call will be deadly trust me I know a thing or two about that call . It has been the death too allot of predators the big secret hear is to always keep the predators guessing because the moment they get educated you will need to try something different. As far as e-callers vs. mouth calls well even being a World Distress Calling Champion I can tell you that I still use a e- caller It's like someone said it's just another tool. but I also agree that too many folks buy them without having any experience what so ever in predator hunting and educate more stuff then they kill.<O:p</O:p
Calling is like anything else in life you don't become a 5 star chef without cooking a few cup cakes in your life time my dream is to show more folks out there the right way to hunt and use their calls to at least make some of the proper sounds especially with coyote vocalization but also wear to even start with the hand calls that they own because what good is a beautiful custom call if you don't even no which end of the thing the sound comes out off and I'm not trying to be harsh I think it's just as much the pros flats as well as the rookies due to this old fashioned thing called competition it's like bass fishing everyone has too many secrets and aren't willing to help new comers . Granted I know all about learning things on my own 2 feet and sometimes that's the best way to learn but if we don't teach folks the right way to hunt these things they will eventually be so smart that a hand call or a e-caller won't even get them to perk an ear trust me I have seen coyotes get up and run the opposite way from a stand just because they associated the call to danger from being shot at too many times. Sorry about the long post but that's just my 2 cents and with that said I will continue to help anybody I can as long as they really care about this sport and don't take it for granted. Thanks Skinner<O:p></O:p>
 
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