Hand Calling - My Opinions

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Hand Calling - My Opinions

Post by Splash One on Mon 28 Mar 2011, 10:04 pm

I find the best way to practice hand calling is in the car with the windows rolled up... on your way to work, the store, the mother in-laws (really make the wife crazy), drive to am uncrowded parking lot, the local lake, or a park with lots of trees...

I guess I'm a bit obsessed with crow calls since I've started making them... but even prior to my new obsession I carried a crow call in my pocket EVERYWHERE. I would call at crows as I drove down the street, at red lights, putting out the trash, while I was fishing, hiking, and camping.... just about anywhere... must be why I fancy the shorter calls, they fit nicely in your pocket.

Before I started using Ecallers, I worked really hard to make my come here, rally, feeding, and other vocalizations sound as good as possible from start to finish of each vocal. Over time I have found that while using an Ecaller, random caw sounds, and unfinished "chopped" calling works just as well... but it’s made me a sloppy hand caller... as good as one may think I sound on my videos.... I use to sound better... but like I said it doesn't seem to matter when you have the sound of real crows blaring through your Ecaller.

There are 3 main reasons why I feel hand calls are so important in the sport of crow hunting.

1. Tone. - Even the best Ecallers on the market have a flat sound to them... I have had the pleasure of hearing an improved "Snow Crow Pro", a "Fury", and a "Prairie Blaster", which are considered by most to be the best Ecallers on the market... Don't get me wrong, they all sound great... but even as def as I am, I can still hear that a hand call makes a much richer sound... I believe this is due to the “bass to volume” ratio.... although an Ecaller is exponentially louder than a hand call, none that I have heard have produced the lower end sounds (tone) as loud as the higher end, they get washed out by the cone speaker.
This is where the hand call comes to the rescue, with its ability to better mimic a live crow’s tone range. While the Ecaller has the power to draw crows in from a mile away, once they get to your location a call shy or educated crow may stay high, circle outside your comfort zone, or pass by for a look and keep on truckin. I believe a hand call, giving you that richer balanced sound, allows you to sucker crows in for a closer shot, and really helps in bringing them back around for a second.

2. Individualism. – A hand call allows the crows to hear sound from locations other then the Ecaller, which better mimics a group of real crows. I feel that every person in your hunting party should have a hand call around his or her neck, even if each person only knows how to blow a simple “caw” you have still created multiple sources of sound rather than just your Ecaller filling the air with noise. Arguably with so much noise the crows may seem to have a lack of focus, or focus on something you hadn’t anticipated, thus keeping them out of range. When I am the only hunter in our group using a hand call I can suck the birds over to me, giving me more shots than the rest of the group.

3. Mixing. – what I mean by mixing is, the ability to change cadence, tone, emotion, inflection, mix vocalizations, switch calls, and add urgency. A pre-recorded audio file may have all those things, but they can’t change anything about them, and no Ecaller remote will ever change a sound faster than a person holding a hand call. Many hunters have educated crows in their area by using the same sound files too much. Some crows have become so educated they don’t respond to Ecallers at all. Don’t get me wrong, the same thing happens with hand callers, it’s just much harder to do. I have found that crows that are hand call educated are listening to your cadence, or tempo… most times all you have to do is change the length of your caw, or the gaps in between, and a weary crow will come over for a peek.

Now if you are the type of hunter that puts the Ecaller right next to you, there really isn’t much chance to create the illusion of multiple crows… especially if the Ecaller is on full blast. You also lose out on the BEST attention getter / distraction a crow hunter has in his arsenal. Personally I prefer to put my Ecaller amongst the decoys 20 yards away, or at very least 15 feet from me because I like my hearing… and sitting next to a cone speaker at full volume is maddening and downright painful.


I invite your opinions, comments, and questions,


Last edited by Splash One on Wed 30 Mar 2011, 2:43 pm; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : Typeos - Sentence structure.)

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Post by watch em fall on Mon 28 Mar 2011, 10:15 pm

I think the best part for me is to feel more part of the hunt than just letting a machine do the work for me. I still use an e-caller but I enjoy the sense of achievement of calling to the birds instead of at them.

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Re: Hand Calling - My Opinions

Post by Guest on Mon 28 Mar 2011, 10:22 pm

That was a very well written piece. It really makes me think about breaking up my turkey talk in the truck, with a little bit crow talk. I'll dig out the hand calls and see how they sound, i might have to get one of those high dollar custom calls,you can never have to many.....
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Re: Hand Calling - My Opinions

Post by watch em fall on Mon 28 Mar 2011, 10:28 pm

I try to practice all I can in fact on Friday my wife said"if you blow that one more time your gonna have to fart to make it work cause I'm gonna shove it up your ass" lol!

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Re: Hand Calling - My Opinions

Post by watch em fall on Mon 28 Mar 2011, 10:51 pm

All joking aside there is no way I will go back to just using e-caller. I find it relaxing to ride in the car and try to mimic sounds and try to make shorter and/or longer caws. I still have alot to learn about handcalls but if keep using them I'm hopeful I can really get good.

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Re: Hand Calling - My Opinions

Post by SHANEDOG on Sat 02 Apr 2011, 10:22 am

Great breakdown, Splash!!
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