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Evolution of Calling

The beginning is somewhat cloudy,

1- I recently talked to Murry Burnham, this is the story. Sometime around 1900 Murry's dad was in the field and observed a rabbit caught in a fence. The rabbit was distressed and screaming. A predator responded and promptly killed the rabbit. Burnham's mind started working at duplicating the sound the predator responded to. He started calling using his voice and squeeking by sucking on his hand. "Dad knew he couldn't sell that so he fashioned a call that reproduced the sound" Murry said.

L-R handmade call, Critter Call w/JS Barrel, Circe Jackrabbit

4- The recent technology boom has been good for us. Digital sounds have given fresh new minds fertile ground. No longer is it necessary to pack the huge 512 around. Commerical calls like the Foxpro and Loudmouth are compact and similar in size to a large flashlight. Remotes make rolling and unrolling cords a thing of the past. Digital sounds are instantly selectable from a remote from up to 100 yards from the sound source. With MP3 players, wireless microphones and small speakers have given others the opportunity to computer manipulate and make their own sounds. I love this stuff.

2- Hundreds of thousands of predators have been called in with Burnham, Weems and Circe calls. During the 70's hide prices skyrocketed and many crafty callers and trappers made very good income harvesting coyotes, bobcats and foxes. A large, prime coyote hide sold for as high as $100, bobcats brought $500 and foxes $60.
My 1st call was a Circe jackrabbit call. Ugly green color and a plastic sound in the hands of a young boy. Mr. Burnette helped transform my sound from a toy baby to a rabbit distress. He also helped me from a boy squawking in the woods to a predator of predators.


Above is my 1st e-caller; Sony CD player, Radio Shack Amp and Speco 5" speaker.

My version of the electronic caller with coyote

3- Sometime in the late 80's Johnny Stewart put a small car cassette into a box with a lead acid battery and hooked a 15 watt speaker up to it. Presto, those who hadn't had much success with mouth calls could now take the "real thing" into the woods. Great idea and what a business. Tapes were mass produced from actual animals and the Pros blowing their calls. Now anyone could have the sounds they needed. To be fair, there were some 45 rpm records produced earlier but they didn't have much impact on the market and Burnham Brothers produced cassettes as well. The Johnny Stewart 512 electronic caller is the device that brought calling to the middle class.


Above is my 1st wireless attempt. Polycom Mic, Radio Shack amp, MP3 player, speco 5" speaker all housed in camera bag.


More evolution will take place but this call is pretty slick and handy.

In March of 2004 I was fortunate enough to meet Murry Burnham at a predator Expo in Silver City, New Mexico. He is a facinating man who still calls coyotes at age 83. He did admit to getting a little soft in his old age and now takes a piece of carpet to each stand for butt comfort. I've watched his videos and read his articles since my youth. I salute this wonderful man for sharing his knowlege with me.

I hope you've enjoyed this page. I've learned a lot over the last 25 years. One thing that you should gleen from my pages is not that these calls or sounds are magic. Sneaking quietly into sound range of a coyote is still #1. When I do this the coyotes come reguardless of what makes the distress sound.

Predator Page 1