Calling All Wildlife

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Published on: Aug. 15, 2012

call enough to keep the animal interested and heading in your direction.

If you are fortunate enough to see the animal while you are calling, nonverbal cues can play a huge role in the types of calls that are used. Pay attention to how the animal reacts when the first call is made. If the animal turns and heads the other direction, maybe a different call or technique could be tried. If the animal starts heading your way, get your camera, bow or firearm ready! While fall turkey hunting several years back, my brother and I spotted a flock of five gobblers on a field edge and worked our way to within 100 yards of the group. My series of coarse gobbler yelps had been ignored by the bachelor group. They are not interested,” I whispered to my brother, “let me try some hen yelps.” After offering a series of cutts and yelps, the gobblers immediately moved from their loafing area and worked to within easy gun range. Being able to see the reaction of those gobblers played a huge role in the success of that hunt.

Nonverbal communication varies amongst species so be sure and research the behavior of your intended species before you set out. Understanding how an animal reacts to your calling and applying different techniques or calls based on that reaction often defines success.

Putting it All Together

Having an animal in close is important for hunters, videographers, photographers and others. Calling is one proven method to get animals close and also makes for an exciting experience. Calling animals can also serve as an excellent way to connect with nature and to understand how animals interact. Success at calling wildlife requires that participants scout and find animal hot spots, spend time learning animal communication and learn how and when to apply different calling techniques. Calling in an animal can be a tremendous experience and is a great way to introduce children to the outdoors. Get outside and discover how fun and action-packed communicating with wildlife can be!

For more on communicating with wildlife, check out Jake Hindman at a Calling All Wildlife (CAW) program. During his presentation, Jake performs more than 50 animal calls with his natural voice including calls of many species of birds, frogs and multiple mammal species. Email Jake at Jake.Hindman@mdc. mo.gov for more information.

Animal Audio

To learn calls of various animals, check out the Xplor website for great audio of animals in the wild. Go to xplor.mdc.mo.gov/xplor/videosound/ all for more information.

Gain Permission on Private Land

More than 90 percent of Missouri is privately owned. If you intend to set out on private land, make sure you gain permission well before your planned trip. Here are a few tips to help secure a location on private property.

  • Always ask permission before your planned trip
  • Always leave the property better than you found it
  • Always obtain permission to bring a guest
  • Always state in detail what you would like to do on the property
  • Always be polite and respect the landowner’s wishes

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