In the fall of 2008, I received a new FoxPro FX5 electronic game call in the mail. When my wife called to let me know that the package had arrived, I was ecstatic. This is a top-of-the-market caller that I have been wanting for some time. On the following night, I had occasion to put the call to use for its maiden calling session.
I was out in full dark, at around 8pm, and started with “luscious Lips” sound. It is a high pitched squeak that mimics the sound of a small prey animal in distress. Not wanting to spook any nearby predators, I ran the call fairly quietly at the outset. For those of you who have never called predators in the dark, it is truly exciting. I was alone, on the ground and calling predators in toward me. In an area that does house the odd black bear, this can be a little hairy. When the wind rustles the leaves near to your back, the temperature can seem to plummet ten degrees, and you know for sure that you are hunting predators on their turf – not yours.
About ten minutes into the calling sequence, on my second “eye check” with my red-filtered SureFire light, I spotted two sets of eyes about 100 yds up the hill from me. In the woodlots of Upstate New York, that is a pretty long shot. Hoping to draw the approaching predators closer, I killed the light and ran the call for another minute or so.
On my next check, the eyes were at 75 yards. Having lit them up twice, I thought I had better shoot now or I might not get the chance at all. I went to the unfiltered light (not easy when you are alone) and identified the eyes as those of two raccoons. Deliberately, I targeted the larger of the two with my Remington Model 700 VS SF chambered in .223. When the trigger broke, muzzle flash obliterated my sight picture, so I couldn’t see the result of the shot. As I reset, I saw the tail of one of the raccoons scurrying away.
After a not so brief search, I located the downed coon. He had only gone about ten yards, but darkness complicated the task of recovery. Being alone, night pictures were too hard to get with any quality, so I shot the pictures in the morning.
A raccoon may not seem like much of a trophy until you feel the total exhilaration of hunting predators with a call. I also called in a fox the next morning, but I never got a shot at him. Since that day, I have called in Crows, Coyotes, Bobcats and event a Hyena with various FoxPro calls. Check in for more stories soon.