Are electronic callers or squeaker good for trapping predators?
I will admit that I am always looking for an edge on the trap line. I have tried some crazy and not so crazy ideas. Some worked, some did not and a few I could not tell for sure. One of the ones that I am not sure about is the productiveness of callers or squeaker’s for predators.
I will also admit that I have used a caller or sound maker more for bobcats than any other predator. The first one was a little ball that made an electronic “beep” every few moments. I could not tell one difference with using this on my trap lines. I think this is why this company is not longer making this product.
The next thing I tried was a squeaker that was called a “screamer”. This was not much more than a beep, but it did sound more like a bird than a mouse as the advertising claimed. I again could not tell a difference with this product. I bought a lot of them, so I tried using 3-5 a one set. I would turn them on a different times. This caused more of a “chaos” sound, that sounded more like something was in trouble. I did have more luck with this. I did have some cats come to the “bunch of screamers” and I got to watch a few cats with night vision. They definitely were interested. The problem or maybe not a problem was that they were focused on the sound and had a hard time working the set, because they would jump or flop down every time the screamers sounded off. They were on edge, not sure it was just the sound because a lot of bobcats acted this way on night vision footage. They did seem a little touchy with the sound ringing off. This may have not been a bobcat taker, but the raccoon would travel a long way to see what was making the noise.
Next I went to hanging $400 Fox Pro’s from trees (full battery charge) in TX. We have several in inventory at Predator Control Group, so I put them to work if we were not calling at night. This did seem to work very well, had a few doubles and triples on tom bobcats in one night. I placed the Fox Pro high (wired off) in a tree that was thick all the way around it. Then I would set traps 30-60 yards off of the call. Normally I would set 4-6 sets in places I thought the bobcat would try to sneak up on the caller. The only sound that I tried that really seemed to work was the “female cat in heat”. This was a Fox Pro sound that I had FnT Post load on some of my Fox Pro’s. The sound is a “come heather” sound, not a growling sound. This does seem to work, but sleep can be hard if you have $400-$1,200 hanging from trees.
Next I tried a few units that was made out west, I can’t remember the name, but it had 3-4 sound programmed on it. The was made inside a short section of PVC. If I remember right, it had a rabbit and woodpecker in distress. It was also made to only come on at night. I had great hopes with these. The sounds were more like a normal predator caller, not a beep. I wish I could tell you that this was the ticket, but I could not really tell a difference in catch. Might have been different if the sound was like the Fox Pro female cat in heat sound, not sure.
I have not tried a call like a squeaker on fox, but would think Grey Fox would show interest. I have played with them on coyotes. I had great luck using the squeakers in a real thick thicket. Then I would set up trails that I thought the coyotes would use to circle the strange sound. The first few times I tried this with and without bait, I nailed some hard to trap coyotes. Then this method did not seem to play out the next 10-12 times I tried it. So I moved on.
I do think that if the sound quality is good and the volume could go up and down, these would have more success. I also think that if one were to spend a lot of time playing with different sounds, you may have something. It seems to me that most products like this are made, then produced without much testing. I’m sure some sounds will turn on the critters. I also think that the time period between noises, needs to have some time in the woods being tested out and proved.
I’m not sure this really helped, but it is my thoughts and experience using noise makers on predators.