I really like the Western Rivers Predation, I believe it is $250. I have the latest generation (the brownish one) and it does everything I need. This version has some improvements over the older version making loading the sounds from your PC to the caller much easier. Plus it comes with several crow sounds, if they dont work you can always look at the Johnny Stewart sounds, I know they have a CD with crow sounds that you can use with the Predation.
I have compared the Western Rivers to several of the high end callers and could not see enough difference to justify the $400-$500 more. Also, I have a few MMC Cards that I keep loaded for specific animals, one is for raccoon, another for coyotes and I am always reviewing the could loaded on the caller before I take it out.
I looked and could not find it for sale with any of the GBO sponsors.
I know Cabelas caries it, I know of another firm that also carries it. If you PM me I will provide the details about the other firm
The machine used is not nearly so important as the sounds you chose to broadcast from it. Selecting the right sounds for your area is far more important than worrying about which machine to buy.
The VERY BEST I have ever used was called Young and Nesting Crows and it was from long long ago on a JS record player machine. I've forgotten the name of the company that put out that record but I think it was something like Call of the Wild or some such. I sure regret selling it when I sold the machine as these days I could have had a cassette made of it for my current machine which is a JS almost identical to the old one but it takes casette tapes rather than records.
Crow and hawk fight sounds work great here as do wounded crow sounds. I've had some both on record and on cassette that just never seemed to work. They sounded authentic but just never seemed to draw in the crows.
I've pretty much stopped calling crows these days as the way we used to do it wasn't "exactly legal" and folks now seem to care more about you coming onto their land than they did back then. We'd just drive around out in the country and when we saw or heard crows we'd stop at any place out of sight of houses and call. If we could tell who owned the land or thought we could and they were home we'd often ask permission but if the location was fairly remote we'd just call. Occasionally a land owner would show up when the shooting started but once they found out what we were doing they most often just told us where they had other land to call on as well. Only once in all those years did we run into anyone who was upset with us. That was a teenager who claimed his dad owned the land and had cattle on it. There were no fences and we sure heard no cows. I'm not even sure his family owned it but at any rate it was no big deal.
But game wardens are patrolling more now and folks are more picky about you being on their land plus the areas we hunted are much more thickly settled now.
If I were to go into it again I'm thinking one of the newer more compact callers would be nice. The machine I have is a cube almost 12" in size and the 25 watt speaker is as large as the box. It requires about a dozen or so D cell batteries and is quite a package to take back off the road to the calling spot especially if you're by yourself. Still it worked and still would if I were to take it back out and call with it again.
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