Mouth calls have dropped off the trend grid like the flip phone and the Rand McNally map. You see them here and there, but innovation has inspired most to embrace the battery power of an electronic predator caller.
Don’t mothball your mouth calls just yet.
They are still handy in certain situations and may tip the scale in your favor when a subtle or specific sound is required to seal the deal. We’ve discussed 10 reasons to ditch the mouth call for an e-call, but here are five reasons to keep calls handy, even with the power of a digital sound library in the palm of your hand.
1. No Batteries Necessary
First, if this hasn’t happened to you, it likely will. You’ll hike into a remote setup, plop down the caller and turn it on only to discover … nothing! That’s right. The batteries went dead or the rechargeable internal battery is no longer accepting orders from your electric outlet. If you have a mouth-blown call or two in your pack, there’s no problem. If not, you’ll be on your way to the nearest store and miss out on a morning of calling.
2. Volume Variety
The ability to vary volume and when to call is also a bonus of a mouth call. Sure, digital callers have volume control, but is it always instantaneous? Have you fumbled with a remote control volume button in subzero temperatures before?
3. A Needed Change-Up
And what if you need to lower the volume ASAP and temper the inflection from “I just lost a limb” to “I stepped on a prickly pear?” Watching how a predator responds to your calls oftentimes demands those quick changes to keep a critter on course, tracking in your direction. Routinely I’ll watch coyotes appear on a horizon and suddenly hit the parking brake, suspicious of what they’re hearing. Stopping the caller, lowering the volume, changing inflection or going to a soft whimper all can instantly be achieved with a mouth call.
4. No Need For Setup
A big benefit of electronic calling units is a hunter’s freedom to operate it remotely. This puts the focus on the sound and away from you. Unfortunately, it also increases your exposure, particularly in open country. It could get you busted as you move beyond a good setup, just to separate yourself from the caller.
5. Easy To Carry
Finally, let’s be honest. Quality electronic calling units are bulky, heavy and add more weight to an already-heavy backpack. Several hand calls can fit easily into a cargo-pant pocket, leaving you lighter and better suited to pack out a hefty coyote.
Of course smart callers combine the two calling options. On nearly every setup, I mix and match electronic sounds with lung-powered, predator harmonies. This provides flexibility to tailor a message on the spot. This combo approach can even save a hunt if cold weather drains an e- callers battery power before the hunt.