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Handloading Beyond The Basics
Rifle Magazine
July - August 2004
Volume 2, Number 4
Number 10
On the cover...
Cover Photo by Bob Robb
Rifle Magazine
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Table of Contents
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Rifle Magazine
Whats New

Premium Predator Calls from Modern Call Products

After returning home empty-handed from a couple of recent coyote hunts, I decided the local yodel dogs were tired of hearing the same jackrabbit-in-distress call I’d been using the past several years. If I wanted to change my luck, I’d better give them something new to listen to.

By coincidence, I remembered seeing game calls advertised in this very magazine. I found the ad and phoned Modern Call Products. A few days later I had a trio of brand-new varmint calls in my hands. There was a translucent blue jackrabbit call, a red cottontail call and a see-through orange call that yielded a high-pitched rodent squeal.

The three calls are made of high-impact plastic with a stainless steel voice insert and are strung together on a braided lanyard. Cheerful colors make it easy to identify each call without taking time to read the labels, and they make my old, well-worn wooden call look kind of dowdy.

A few days later I made another early morning visit to the Utah desert. Because it wasn’t too many miles from a heavily populated subdivision, I knew this particular chunk of real estate had received its share of hunting pressure. Still, I hadn’t tried my luck there in awhile so thought I’d give it a try.

Thirty minutes of intermittent squalling produced no results, so I walked back to my car and drove another half-mile. Leaving my car alongside the rough desert road, I hiked through the sage until I found a likely spot. I sat against a tall clump of sagebrush to break my outline, then began blowing the cottontail call.

I squalled steadily for a minute and a half, then gave it a rest. Five minutes later I tried again. As soon as I blew the first frantic notes, I spotted distant movement from the corner of my eye. I looked up just in time to see a coyote disappear into a patch of sagebrush 150 yards away. As I continued calling, I caught brief glimpses of the animal as it gradually closed the distance.

This was no young, foolish pup. Its cautious approach convinced me the yodel dog had heard other rabbit calls that hadn’t paid off. Instead of an expected easy meal, he’d probably been greeted with rifle fire. He was in no hurry to get closer until I switched to the squealer call and made soft, mouse-like noises. That did the trick. The coyote popped up from behind a sagebrush, and I shot him at 30 yards.

That was the only varmint to come to my call that morning, but one yodel dog was a vast improvement over the goose eggs I’d been scoring. Being able to sound like a variety of different succulent critters is a real plus when dealing with call-savvy predators. I’ll soon be headed to the desert to try my luck with these calls again.

The three colorful calls I used were priced at $12.95 apiece. The two rabbit calls were plenty loud and apparently sounded near enough like the real thing to get a coyote’s attention. The rodent squealer closed the deal. These calls worked so well the first time I used them, I plan to try other Modern Call products in the near future. I’m particularly interested in the elk calls listed in the company’s catalog.

I’m also interested in the Cub Bear Bawler for the next time I head to Alaska to hunt brown bear. Guide Ed Stevenson and I once tried using a cottontail call to lure a boar within rifle range, but it didn’t work. Maybe the fact there wasn’t a rabbit within a hundred miles had something to do with our lack of success. But a Bear Cub Bawler? Hmmm.

The company offers a whole batch of other interesting calls, including one for javelina and a variety of quail, deer, duck and turkey calls. Cassette calling tapes are also available – sounds of barnyard chickens fighting are said to bring foxes on the run.

To order calls or get more information, contact Modern Call Products, Dept. SH, PO Box 231 Buckeye AZ 85326; call toll-free: 1-800-386-3187; email:; or visit online:

Blackhorn Powder
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