The 9 Best Electronic Hunting Calls
9. ICOtec GC300
- remote control range of 300 yards
- does not require line of sight
- long silences between calls
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
8. Primos Turbo Dogg
- good value for price
- features decoy port
- range is a little too short
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
7. Cass Creek Nomad Predator
- includes 4 aaa batteries
- best for luring coyotes
- limited call sounds
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
6. Extreme Dimension Phantom Mini
- telescoping antenna extends range
- built-in mute function
- could be a little louder
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
5. Icotec GC500
- accepts standard sd cards
- can play mp3 and wav files
- may have issues in cold weather
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
4. Western Rivers Game Stalker Pro
- rugged camouflage casing
- green liquid crystal display
- runs through batteries quickly
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
3. FoxPro Inferno
- connects to external speaker
- auxiliary jack for decoy link-ups
- remote screen is difficult to read
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
2. Cass Creek Mega Amp
- convenient handheld size
- easy one hand trigger activation
- belt holder and lanyard loop
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
1. Primos Alpha Dogg
- playlist menu organized by species
- remote has a full color display
- extremely realistic sounds
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
Why Electronic Hunting Calls Outclass The Rest
There is no better way to attract an animal than to trick that creature into thinking it is approaching another of its own species. Not only can an effective hunting call attract an animal toward a hunter, researcher, or wildlife photographer, but it can cause the creature to reduce its guard, making it easier to get a shot at or photo of a wild animal.
Hunting calls come in several variations; these include calls operated using breath to create a duck's quack or an elk's bleat. Others use a set of specialty rattles that create the noise of antlers clattering as bucks tussle. In yet another category are electronic hunting calls, which use pre-recorded sound effects to attract a range of animals.
These calls have several distinct benefits over their mechanical counterparts. Rattling in particular requires skill and experience before it can used as an effective way to attract quarry. Using the rattles at the proper volume and cadence to provoke a buck into feeling challenged or to convince a doe that a potentially worthy mate is nearby is not a turnkey operation; much practice and at least some instruction is needed before successful deer rattling will occur.
Effectively using a mouth-blown hunting call that simulates an animal's call, be it a challenge grunt or mating cry also takes practice and patience. And using a hunting call improperly may just as easily scare an animal away as it will lure it close.
An electronic hunting call is a fine choice for the novice hunter or the experienced woodsman alike. These calls create pitch-perfect recreations of an animal's huff, call, or grunt without the potential for human error. They can also produce a much wider variety of sounds than any basic hunting call could create, making them viable for use during many periods of the year. One decent unit can lure in everything from a coyote that's out on the prowl for food or a bobcat seeking a mate.
Another powerful advantage over mechanically-operated devices are that many of these units use remote controls, and thus allow the hunter to be at a distance from the speaker her prey is approaching. This minimizes the chance for a hunter to inadvertently scare off the animal before taking a shot, and can also keep the hunter safer if she is after a potentially dangerous animal, such as a full-grown moose, a wild boar, or even a bear or mountain lion.
Using Your Electronic Hunting Call
To derive the most benefit from an electronic hunting call, get to know the device before you ever head out into the field. And also, of course, know what you're after.
Assuming your electronic hunting call has multiple sounds appropriate for the species of animal for which you are hunting, make sure you know which calls the animals will be attuned to given your location and the season. Sounding a doe's bleat that might be appropriate for the mating season just after most deer have given birth to new fawns, for example, will be more likely to scare animals away than to attract them to you. Likewise creating the sound of a bear might scare off the fox you hoped to acquire, while sounding the call of a snow goose might lure in the very same sly hunter.
There is one more thing you must note about electronic hunting calls: in many places, using them is in fact restricted or even illegal. Most states have at least some restrictions on how, where, and when these devices may be used, and it's imperative that you check local laws and regulations to be sure you comply. Electronic hunting call rules can vary by season, species, location, and more; take the time to read up on them before you take to the field.
Other Gear For The Modern Hunter
Hunting has been and always shall be about the moment the hunter lines up and executes the perfect shot. How he or she gets to that moment of action has changed greatly throughout the years, though.
The modern hunter has at his disposal an array of tools that make it easier than ever to establish a hunting platform, to camouflage his location and/or his body, to survey and monitor potential quarry, and to attract said animals near enough for a clean kill shot.
First and foremost, a hunter must establish the location from which he will do his hunting. In some cases, this means simply hiking into the woods and leaning against a tree trunk or deadfall and hoping an animal draws nigh. More often than not, however, it necessitates a much more thoughtful and involved process, usually involving the setup of a hunting blind or a tree stand.
Animals can be sensitive to changes in their environment and often shy away from new features. For this reason, the savvy hunter will set up his blind or install his stand several days before he plans to occupy it for a hunting session. In the interim between establishment and use, animals will become accustomed to the blind or stand and will cease avoiding it.
Even better than simply waiting for animals to grow accustomed to a new object in their area is the establishment of a feature that will actively attract the prey to a chosen location. This is achieved by using a game feeder. When stocked with the proper feed and installed in a clearing near a game trail and/or a water source, a game feeder can serve as a surefire way to lure animals, ideally drawing them into an area with a clear field of fire from your hunting platform.
As for scent-based lures, many hunters swear by these powerfully-smelling fluids that are either sourced from urine or from chemicals that emulate the odor. Using them is not likely to damage your chances of a successful hunt, but these scent-based lures may have little positive effect on certain animal populations, either.