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Multi-Species Predator Setups

Many locations across the country offer opportunities to call in not only the ever-popular coyote, but also possibly bobcats, fox and even bigger predators like mountain lions or bears. Have you taken the steps needed to capitalize on calling in other species while calling for coyotes?

For a multi-species setup to work you need to be aware of the various predators in your backyard and understand the sounds that attract them, plus the strategies that boost the success when targeting particular predators. The overall resounding factor that every predator has in common with one another is the need to quiet a rumbling tummy. Predators live to eat and if you can find a call that interests the entire playing field in your backyard you’ll stand a higher chance of calling in more than just one species. Take an inventory of what you can find in your backyard and do some research on what they like to eat or even better, talk to some local predator-hunting veterans.

Since the top-of-the-line predators often prey on predators lower on the pyramid, you don’t want to utilize sounds that may send lesser predators scurrying for cover. A good example is the current trend of using coyote vocalizations combined with prey-in-distress calls. Howls may tempt a call-shy coyote into range, but rest assured no red fox, bobcat or even a mountain lion will show up. Even though predators appear to be the bullies of the forest, they don’t go looking for additional trouble unless they are starving.

Your first plan should be to master a one-in-all call that has the strength to entice a variety of predators. After reviewing the main diet of most animals, the best sounds to mimic include those from the little animal section. No predator can ignore the tasty snack of a cottontail, a wounded bird or a squeaking mouse. After narrowing down your selection of sounds you need to determine the best setup for the highest probability of calling in at least one of the critters inhabiting the neighborhood. Regardless if you hope to call in a mountain lion or a red fox, you need to be able to see the predator to shoot it. If possible, situate yourself on an elevated perch to look into cover, but if you can’t find an elevated perch, set up by an opening.

Predators, particularly cats use every shred of cover to slip in undetected. Bobcats even forsake the wind and instead rely on their eyesight to guide them. Despite this fact, set up in a downwind position to ambush most predators trying to slip around for a rear sniff. Here’s one last bit of sage advice a Western outfitter once gave me. “If you intend to call in a mountain lion, be sure to back yourself up against a cliff so the cat can’t sneak up from behind and pounce on you.” Playing mind games on predators capable of making you an entrée requires a bit more planning.

There are a variety of predators out there to call and they oftentimes live in the same neighborhood together. Use a call that could entice more than one species into your sights and you’ll end the day with a hunt to remember.

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