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Calling Time

Calling Time


Looking back, I could not help but laugh at myself.

I had read several magazine articles about two fellow Texans, Murry and Winston Burnham and their ability to have “critters come when called” using mouth-blown “predator calls”. I was enthralled with being able to do the same. After saving some of the money earned that summer from hauling hay at 2-cents a bale, I was flush and could finally buy a Burnham Brothers Game Call predator call.

After sending money, I waited impatiently to receive the call in the mail. Two weeks after sending in my order it came, the equivalent of today’s Burnham Brothers’ C-3 Long Range Predator Call.

I likely nearly drove my mother crazy blowing on the call that evening. After my chores I started “practicing”. The winter before I had heard a jack rabbit in his death throes, so I had some idea of what a rabbit in distress sounded like.

Next day, the third Saturday in January, having taken care of our livestock, at the time we were in the cattle, hog and chicken business, I grabbed my Dad’s Model 94 Winchester .30-30, made certain it was fully loaded with 7 shell and headed across the road in front of our country house. A half mile into the property I a spot where I could lean against a big cedar, to cover my backside, where it was open enough to see anything responding to my calling.

We had been “invaded” by “wolves”, maybe at least part coyote. Our area just north of Texas’ Gulf Coast Prairie, had once been home to “red wolves”, bigger than coyotes but only maybe half again as big as “regular” coyotes. My uncle, Herbert Aschenbeck, had shot one of our local “wolves”. On feed store scales it weighed 52-pounds!

I started calling. A huge coyote/wolf erupted out of the underbrush and ran directly toward me. Up came the .30-30. In rapid succession I shot all seven rounds in the direction for the charging predator. It departed unscathed!

Rifle empty I reached to my side, pulled my hunting knife from its sheath, stood up and walked backwards, knife in hand, almost all the way home just in case I was being followed by the “wolf” and he might attack.

I learned several things that afternoon. Predators do respond to calls; it is better to take aim when shooting at anything if you expect to hit your target; and I needed a rifle that held more shells or at least carry extras rounds! And there was one other…I was hooked on calling predators. From that day forward I have always gone hunting without a Burnham Brothers predator call in my pocket.

Fast forward to the present…

I was on lands managed and hunted by Double AA Outfitters with whom I have hunted desert mule deer, whitetails, hogs, javelina as well as coyotes and bobcats. Craig and David Archer and I were looking for a particular large-racked mule deer reputed to live in the breaks along the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos.

“We’ve had a huge increase in coyotes. We’re seeing more sign than in years past and hear them yapping every night.” Explained David. “Come spring they’ll take a lot of the fawns, probably more than usual because of the number of coyotes, but also because of the drought we’re in. They’ll be easier to see and catch.” I agreed.

“Let’s do this, as I recall there’s an opening that borders the river close to where I shot that big 8-point last year. We can back up against the cut bank, maybe even crawl up on it where we can see better. I’ve got my C-3 call. Let’s slip in there and see if we can call a coyote.”

A half hour later I started blowing my call. Immediately a coyote burst out of the underbrush. I swung my rifle in his direction, picked up the coyote in my Trijicon AccuPoint scope, and as soon as he stopped sent a 140-grain Hornady SST Custom 6.5x55 Swede on its deadly mission. The coyote dropped in its tracks. I continued calling. Thirty-seconds later another coyote charged out of the river bottom. He was David’s side. When it slowed to a walk coming directly toward us, David shot and dropped it.

I continued calling for another five minutes, then waited ten more before going to pick up the two dead coyotes, hoping possibly a bobcat would come in. Before the afternoon was over we called in four more coyotes and killed three of them. Good start on controlling predators. Craig was all smiles.

A couple of weeks later I was back on the ranch, still in search of the big mule deer with my predator call in pocket. Accompanying me on the hunt was Brandon Houston. He and I were also meeting regarding launching a new digital television series “The Journey” which will stream on CarbonTV.com and in the future also be on GEN7outdoors.com and possibly elsewhere. The new show will be produced by Stonehurst Productions, which will also be producing my weekly podcast “DSC’s Campfires with Larry Weishuhn” in a digital form which available on CarbonTV.com, GEN7outdoors.com and WaypointTV.com in video form, and too, it can be heard just about anywhere podcasts can be listened to.

Brandon was hoping to take his first desert mule deer, but he was not opposed to calling coyotes. Too, he knew I had often called in mule deer using my predator calls. No sooner had I started calling than I spotted movement, which became a mule deer doe, followed by two more does and a young 5x5 buck. We glassed, then filmed the deer. I kept calling and watched a coyote coming our way drop from a distant ridge into a canyon. I hoped it would continue coming our way. If he did, he remained hidden in grass and underbrush. When nothing else showed we moved on.

Later that afternoon, we called in a coyote and I was able to take him. A month later Gary Roberson with Burnham Brothers Game Calls came to the ranch and brought his new “Freq” electronic call which duplicates the extremely high Hertz sounds (a measure of sound) made by prey when in distress and broadcasts those at a level far above what any other electronic call can do, or, will be able to do for a long time to come. The new “Freq” call sounds real to predators. Coyotes can hear up to 45,000 Hertz, bobcats up to 65,000. Current electronic calls other than the Burnham Brothers “Freq” only go up to 20,000 Hertz!

Late winter is an ideal time to call predators. This is a time when most other hunting seasons are closed, predators tend to be hungry and active, and removing predators during the late winter will save fawns once the “start hitting the ground” in spring.

As to firearms, I, use Mossberg Patriot rifles; one in .270 Win and the other .30-06, (I will soon add a 7 PRC) topped with Trijicon scopes and Hornady ammo, specifically their Precision Hunter as well as a Taurus .454 Casull Raging Hunter topped with a Trijicon SRO red-dot sight and shooting 240-grain XTP Hornady ammo.

If you think these are the same firearms I use to hunt deer and other big game, you are correct! Hunting predators with my same big game hunting guns throughout the year keeps me proficient with them.

Ready to go call a coyote?

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