Don't Ditch the Hand Call for Predators

Hand calls offer more to you than an economical means to call in a coyote. If you think hand calls should be sitting on a shelf as an heirloom, think again.

Don't Ditch the Hand Call for Predators

It’s easy to leave your hand calls at home these days. The modern conveniences of a digital readout, crisp-sounding speakers and a library depository of calls that would make any librarian jealous, prompt the use of electronic callers.

These have made calling coyotes simpler, more sophisticated and ultimately more successful. Because of this innovation, the use of hand calls has gone to the wayside. The real question though; should it?

Hand calls offer more to you than an economical means to call in a coyote. If you think hand calls should be sitting on a shelf as an heirloom, the following points may have you thinking twice.

Hand Calls are Convenient

Hand calls are small, compact and easy to slide into the pocket of your jacket. You don’t need a large backpack to tote your electronic caller to the field. They weigh just ounces, not pounds and you can set up quickly without the risk of exposing yourself as you might while placing an electronic caller out in front of you. That’s convenience at a low price.

No Batteries

How many times have you wanted to use an electronic only to find out that the battery is dead when you try to use it? And how many of you carry extra batteries with you in the field to replace the dead ones? A hand call works on lung power so the only energy that might be missing is your hot air. About the only malfunction you could encounter from time to time is moisture freezing a call up, but a huff of hot air typically takes care of that issue in seconds.

Immediate Changes

There’s no debate the library of sounds an electronic caller includes is a huge advantage, but you can also make an unbelievable array of sounds with hand calls. Practice with an open-reed call and the amount of prey sounds you can produce increases exponentially. The same is true of using an open read howler or a diaphragm call. Play with them and you’ll be amazed at the range of sounds available in a small package.

Sound, Volume Inflections

You can do the same with an electronic call by punching buttons, but with a hand call you immediately change up the direness of the call or the volume without punching buttons.

Stay Focused, Bro

That leads to a final reason hand calls rock. You can keep your focus. Even if you preprogram an electronic call with the sounds you want, you still have to look down at the remote and press different keys to move between sounds, and change volume.

This may seem like a no brainer, but shifting your eyes down and then returning them to the predator scene playing out can make you lose your place in the game instantly. A coyote or bobcat could duck into a ditch leaving you with no idea of their whereabouts. With a hand call you can keep it in place as your eyes focus on the target.

I’m not suggesting you ditch your electronic caller and go back to making fire with a flint in a cave. Instead, keep a hand call handy. It’s a great way to mix up sounds and keep the adventure moving forward if the Energizer Bunny suddenly expires.

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