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The effect of barometric pressure and calling experiences?
By Popular Demand: Discussions related to Varmint Hunting
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Handloader
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 8:06 pm    Post subject: The effect of barometric pressure and calling experiences? Reply with quote

Some storm systems have been transversing Arizona for the past few weeks. Finally. I've noted in my decades of varmint calling that a drop in barometric pressure often correlates with improved responses on stands. Likewise, at the conclusion of a storm (the following day or so), calling has been more productive.

We often designate certain areas as "honey spots" for calling and guard them against disclosure. I have several, however, I've had nine straight dry stands with not so much as a raven responding within the past three weeks. The last two Mondays, days following or preceeding storm systems, have been different. During those two outings, we've made seven stands and six have produced five coyotes, one bobcat and one fox killed with four others, regretably, unharmed, although, I suspect they have been educated.

Except for the fox, which came in within two minutes, all others came in in the 20 to 40 minute bracket. I normally will call for at least 45 minutes on any given stand. Several novices that I have taken calling seem to think that 15 minutes is maximum and, sometimes, that may be the case, but, I have had much success over the years with extended time on stands.

Too, one error I often see is callers using far too much volume on their opening sequences. I prefer a very soft low volume opening call. Having the sun and the wind at your back is another preferred situation if conditions allow, IMHO. We usually will set a stand at least a quarter mile from the vehicle and often further. Calling doesn't begin until we have been sitting for about five to ten minutes. We never use camo or scent maskers.

My Australian friend, Carol, has been addicted to calling since her first kill a few years ago. This past two outings she added another three to her total. I've been calling for close to five decades and in 2008 I may get coyote #2000 or have a great time trying.

There are several experienced callers on this forum. I would appreciate your observations and comments on techniques and what you find to be effective.
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ElyBoy
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:39 pm    Post subject: Re: The effect of barometric pressure and calling experience Reply with quote

NO responses Handloader.

I will tell you that I am the LAST person to talk about varmint hunting and calling, but I have found over the past many years, either fishing or hunting, or calling, that without question, barometric pressure has something to do with how living things respond.
Even humans behave differently with big changes in barometric pressure.
What you have noticed in response or lack of to your calling I have seen in many other things in the wild with fluctuations in the barometer.

If I go varmint hunting in the future, which I plan to do, I will remember your observation on this and take it into account.

Eric

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huntingstoneboy
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 4:46 pm    Post subject: Re: The effect of barometric pressure and calling experiences? Reply with quote

Handloader, I am new to calling, but have a serious coyote "problem" (large numbers) here in the northeast. You say you spend 45 min. on stand. What is the length of your intervals? How long are your sequences, and how long do you sit quiet?
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Handloader
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:11 pm    Post subject: Re: The effect of barometric pressure and calling experience Reply with quote

huntingstoneboy wrote:
Handloader, I am new to calling, but have a serious coyote "problem" (large numbers) here in the northeast. You say you spend 45 min. on stand. What is the length of your intervals? How long are your sequences, and how long do you sit quiet?

Variables determine sequences and length of intervals. If an area has been called a lot, different vocalizations may be helpful.

There are some stands where vocalizations are continuous for the duration of the stand, mainly with starling or woodpecker. OTOH, during cold weather and still air, I'll often start with a coyote howl a few times, then switch to a soft rodent squeek continuously. Too, we will use a short distressed rabbit call sequence (30 seconds or so) and then stay mute for five to ten minutes and repeat. All of these techniques have produced results.

If we are sure coyotes are in the area, we will enter a stand and wait five to ten minutes before beginning to call. Since we normally will walk a considerable distance to set up, we will often stay on stand for extended periods. This has produced late arrivals from coyotes, but, most of the bobcats have arrived later than coyotes. But, not always.

After we believe the stand is done, we will usually wait another five minutes before breaking the stand and try to leave as quietly as we entered. But, what is critical IMO is wind and sun at your back and being absolutely still when on stand. I like to use decoys, too. Normally, several feathers bound with dental floss hanging from a bush is all we use, but it is effective. We place decoys about 20 yards in front of us.

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:44 pm    Post subject: Re: The effect of barometric pressure and calling experiences? Reply with quote

Thanks for the insight on calling, etc! Good information there. We are allowed to use electronic calls for coyotes here in NC. I'd planned on sticking the call out 50-100 yards, with a decoy. Might even try using a tree stand for concealment and to keep my scent off the ground. In this area, the foothills, shots won't be very long so I'll have to be able to get fairly close to the critters. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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Handloader
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:22 pm    Post subject: Re: The effect of barometric pressure and calling experiences? Reply with quote

Hello Pumpkinslinger

Suggestions? some

Preface to suggestions: I've been around the varmint calling game long enough to recognize that many different techniques work well. What I have found to be productive others may dispute and advance their own ideas that work for them. For example, I know very successful callers that place a high emphasis on accurate replication of rabbit or other critter vocalizations, but, I know others who are just as successful that try only to produce sounds that vaguely resemble anything I have ever heard. IOW: don't accept that anyone has an absolute handle on any aspect of varmint calling.

Bring your decoy closer. 20 to 25 yards is far enough out, depending on the cover and type of countryside you are hunting. Varmints can come in from any direction, some slow, some fast. Some will scare the hell out of you as they tear past you on their way to the decoy or remote call. Closer targets are bigger targets. The majority of kills I've had could have been made with a 12 ga. For me, the objective is to get them in as close as possible for trigger time. The closer the better and the more exciting.

Your idea of a tree stand has merit. Not because of scent. The merit is that varmints seldom look up if a remote call is used. In the deserts of Arizona, tree stands aren't gonna work, but, we have used step ladders and perched ourselves on the top and that has worked well in the desert areas that have a lot of flat pan.

IMO (emphasis on "O"), scent maskers are novel but not needed. When I take others out, I request they not use tobacco and not shower the morning before calling. No cologne. No deodorant. No freshly washed clothes. I do believe however that there are scent attractants.

Believe it or not, coyotes will often eat produce, such as apples and citrus. We have used apples for an attractant and believe they are effective. Empty cans of dog or cat food can be effective. Sit down for this one: in areas where coyotes have been called often, we will use Ben Gay -- just a little dab on the welt of the boots -- and hold the opinion that it has an attractant aspect. At least it has worked well for us, but, isn't too welcomed inside the cab of a truck. Or restaurant.

But, those are our "things" and I acknowledge that other long time callers have their own rituals and bags of tricks that work just as well. Part of the fun and challenge is finding your own.

Onward
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:14 am    Post subject: Re: The effect of barometric pressure and calling experiences? Reply with quote

Thanks again for the input! As I try different things I'll pass along what worked for me, and didn't.

"IOW: don't accept that anyone has an absolute handle on any aspect of varmint calling." I kinda figure that anyone who knows everything about a subject isn't smart enough to figure out how dumb he is... Ignore

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huntingstoneboy
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:14 pm    Post subject: Re: The effect of barometric pressure and calling experiences? Reply with quote

Thanks Handloader. Some of what I have read states that I should try to be down wind from the incoming coyote, but you say back to the wind and sun. I am assuming because the dogs try to circle downwind. Does this hold true most of the time? Is the scent-lock suit I use for bowhunting going to make or break my hunts? I have been reading Varmint Al's website and hope to make the Elcheapo caller this weekend and get out on stand (if early X-mas with the in-laws allows).
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Handloader
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 4:47 am    Post subject: Re: The effect of barometric pressure and calling experiences? Reply with quote

huntingstoneboy: My reason for setting a stand with the wind at my back is as you have stated and is the most common method amongst those I know that have called extensively. There are, as always, exceptions; the President of the local varmint callers association prefers the wind in his face and has had some successes for his effort. He also enjoys a cigar when calling which I consider as serious as most felonies. Go figure.

Not all stands can be set up perfectly. When we can't set with the wind to our back, we will settle for a crosswind condition and prefer crosswind if there is an actual wind above about 10mph.

I have no opinion on the validity of Scent Lock suits. My impression is that it couldn't impair any calling and might be effective. I do believe that the issue of scent is often more critical in some calling situations than others. Such as, heavily vegetated or wooded areas.

I enjoy Varmint Al's website as well. I hope you will tell us about Elcheapo's success and what you are finding are good techniques for you. What firearm do you normally use? Factory or handloads? What scope?

There is a low pressure front moving in to this part of Arizona and I don't have to be at the gun store until noon, so, its time for a few stands. Adios.
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204Shooter
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 9:03 am    Post subject: Re: The effect of barometric pressure and calling experiences? Reply with quote

Handloader and others here, I usually setup with the wind in my face. My partner carries a small bottle with flour in it and uses it to determine wind direction. Like you, I walk about 1/4 mile away from the truck to the first stand. I like to work 2-3 stands in each area we go. So, I am usually out a couple of hours at a time before driving to a new location. When leaving the truck, we are as quiet as possible and do not talk if possible. If we have to say something we whisper into the wind. I sit on a 6 gallon bucket with a swivel padded top that I have painted camo. My partner has been sitting on a small portable stool but has recently switched to a 4 ft wooden step ladder which he has camo'd. He likes the higher perch because it lets him see better in the Arizona desert scrub. When calling, we never start with a howl. Mainly because we can't howl worth a darn. :-) The call we are using the most lately is the wounded woodpecker. I have a really nice looking battery operated "flapping" woodpecker decoy that looks realistic. Along with the call, it has really been bring in the foxes and coyotes. The first time we tried it, we had a grey fox literly run full out for 100 yards to get to it. She came to a stop and looked up at the decoy for 5-10 seconds. I just about fell off of my bucket because I was so excited. I was calling so my partner took a nice fox that morning. Coyotes have come within 20 feet of us without ever seeing or detecting us because they are so interested in the bird. We have switched to shotguns using #4 buckshot for the close in work. I plan to hunt tomorrow morning if it is not raining. Normally I would like to see you Handloader but not tomorrow morning. :-) You guys have a great day hunting. I know we will.
204

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huntingstoneboy
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 9:20 pm    Post subject: Re: The effect of barometric pressure and calling experiences? Reply with quote

Bought the components for Elcheapo today, came to $140. Had to buy a more expensive mp3 than I wanted because of all the holiday shoppers. Hope to get out tomorrow night. At night I think I'm going to use my 12gauge turkey gun with 3inch turkey loads. On my early morning stands I will use a 243 with 87gr V-max in front of 44.4gr of IMR4831. This load averaged 3066fps and I had several 3-shot key hole groups. I wanted to shoot 70gr nosler ballistic tips but this gun just didn't seem to like them. The gun was originally an old a-serial 700 remington that I got cheap due to a pitted barrel. I had a 24 inch stainless 700 barrel put on along with a timney trigger,and a pillar bedded synthetic stock. Scope is a simmons whitetail classic 6.5x20, made before simmons crapped out. I have never bought high end scopes, always thought that money could go towards another rifle.
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