Technological advances in recent years have opened up a plethora of choices to both aspiring and veteran hunters, and one of the biggest advancements in hunting has been the emergence of electronic predator calls. The rise of electronic calls has been very rapid – not only are they are easy to set up, but they also offer perfectly consistent calls every time.
With the availability of so many choices, choosing the best electronic predator call brand that fits your needs is more important than ever.
Be sure to:
- Recognize your budget, prioritizing how much you are willing to spend.
- Find a call that meets the majority of your needs and wants.
- What is most important? How much money you spend? The durability of your call? The brand recognition? There are tons of dimensions that one might consider most important.
- Remember, there is no perfect electronic call, so be sure to venture out of your comfort zone and look into other brands you might not have previously considered.
When looking for a new electronic predator call, recognize what is important to you. Obviously, budget is the main concern of many; you need to be sure you are getting the best value for your dollar. Performance and durability are other important factors to consider. A good predator call should be durable with long lasting battery life and always perform exactly how you expect it, when you expect it. An inconsistent call can be the difference between killing your prey or watching it slip away. Some brands may have unique features that make their call special and it is up to the consumer to decide whether or not these extra features are worth paying for. Finally, always pay attention to a brand’s reputation. While reviews should always be taken with a grain of salt, it is important to recognize that respected brands that have been around for a while are obviously doing something right.
This is important: It may be worth it to pay a few extra dollars for a brand that is trusted over one that has just appeared on the market. Read on below to learn more about what I think of some of the most popular brands out there.
Here is my list of the best choices that will fit the needs and wants of hunters of any skill level. Let me know what you think in the comments section!
FoxPro, founded in approximately 1995, is one of the premier electronic predator call manufacturers. While they are known for
their predator calls, FoxPro offers a few other products to supplement a hunter’s needs. While not necessary for success, decoys can be purchased and used to give predators visual stimulation in addition to auditory. While all FoxPro electronic calls come with built-in speakers, in some situations, more volume is necessary. In these situations, FoxPro offers larger and louder external speakers. They also manufacture hand calls for those hunterslooking to perfect their technique.
For the budget conscious hunter, FoxPro offers a wide variety of electronic calls for all budget levels.
Priced at $129.99, the Deadbone is FoxPro’s entry level electronic call. It comes with a pre-programmed remote with 15 different sounds, perfect for luring in predators. Unfortunately, these calls cannot be changed, though the 15 sounds are diverse and will fit beginner hunter’s needs. Get yours here: AMAZON
Next comes the Inferno, at $199.99. The Inferno comes preloaded with 50 great animal sounds and a full graphic remote control. The speakers at max volume are a little quiet, but this is fixed by the external speaker jack. Also included is the auxiliary jack, perfect for attaching decoys to your Inferno. Get yours here: AMAZON
At $299.99, the Hellfire is a large step up in cost, but for many, the price increase is undeniably worth it. The Hellfire can store up to 200 different animal sounds, with 75 already preloaded on the electronic call. The battery life is a bit short, and at max volume, the speakers do not perform perfectly. Fortunately, the external speaker jack allows the hunter to hook up more speakers to the Hellfire, remedying this problem. Get yours here: AMAZON
For the hunter who wants it all, look no further than the FoxPro Shockwave. Priced anywhere between $552.64 and $599.95, this electronic call comes with nearly everything but the kitchen sink. The Shockwave can store and play up to 200 sounds, with 100 already preloaded. The memory holds up to 1,000 sounds that can easily be reprogrammed using a USB 2.0 port. The Shockwave has a four speaker system and a remote that functions up to 100 yards. Finally, the Shockwave has temperature and barometer readings. Get yours here: AMAZON
With the claim that, “You never have to sacrifice results to save money,” ICOtec has pioneered amazing predator calls for cheap prices. While other brands focus on calls for both game and predators, ICOtec focuses almost exclusively on predator calls. In addition to their predator calls, they also offer predator decoys to help hunters get their prey.
ICOtec’s baseline predator call, the GC101XL, is exactly what one would want from a cheap, affordable call. It costs between $47 and $55. With a long lasting battery and a loud speaker, along with 12 animal calls, hunters can’t ask for much more for the price. The only negative is that the jackrabbit call is of lower quality than the rest, though the others sound great. Get yours here: AMAZON
NOTE: There are not a lot of differences between these models with the exception of the price and the amount of programming available.
Extreme Dimension, while not offering electronic predator calls as large as some of the other brands, is not to be overlooked when lookin
g for high quality, affordable calls. While many other brands offer up large, bulky speakers that the hunter leaves in a field, Extreme
Dimension focuses on the opposite. Many of their electronic calls are small and hand-held, ready to go with five programmed calls, perfect
for those who need a basic, functioning call. One of their unique features is that these programmed calls come on interchangeable sound sticks. Choose the perfect sound stick (ranging from bear, multiple predators, moose, or anything in between) and head out. Extreme Dimension also offers a wide variety of hunting decoys.
The Mini Phantom, affordably priced at $29.99, is the perfect small call that a hunter can fit into their pocket. Water resistant and molded with hand grips, the Mini Phantom embraces its small size. It comes with Extreme Dimension Fox Sound Stick, which features multiple animal distress calls. It can play two sounds at once. When purchasing from Amazon, be sure to specify which Mini Phantom you want, as some come packaged with extra sound sticks or DVDs. While some consumers may be interested in these extras, it is important to be sure what you are buying. Get yours here: AMAZON
The Phantom Pro (Wired, $74.30 || Wireless, $204.36) is the Mini’s big brother. Price ranges anywhere from $74.30 to $299.99, depending on features chosen. The Phantom Pro is similar in design to other manufacturers, as you set the call and use a remote to control it. However, cheaper models have a 60 foot wire attached to the remote, while the more expensive models are wireless. Even the cheaper models are durable, strong, and reliable. While the Phantom Pro has only 12 built in sounds, the sound quality is phenomenal. Remember, if you desire a larger variety of game sounds, the sound sticks work for the Phantom Pro, as well. Get yours here: AMAZON
Finally, for the hunter that loves to embrace technology, Extreme Dimension offers the iHunt by Ruger Ultimate Game Call. The iHunt ($57.66) consists of a portable speaker that can be placed wherever necessary. Next, instead of using a remote, the hunter simply downloads the free iHunt app on their phone, connects it with Bluetooth to their speaker, and controls their calls from up to 100 yards away. Since many hunters already carry their cell phone on them, this is a perfect way to save on weight and worry less about forgetting one thing at home. Get yours here: AMAZON
Always looking to revolutionize hunting, Western Rivers is a company that provides much more than just electronic predator calls. Offering specialized hunting helmets, ice packs to keep your food or drink cold on long hunting trips, and remote controlled decoy rabbits, Western Rivers offers everything a hunter needs. However, their true claim to fame is their varied electronic predator calls that will fit any hunter’s budget.
The Western Rivers Mantis, competitively priced at $43, is a hand-held predator call with 75 preloaded calls. It is extremely compact, yet still has an LCD readout with a backlight, a keypad to choose calls and volume, and legs to set the call up on the ground so you do not have to constantly hold it. Unfortunately, it is not reprogrammable, so if you are looking for more exotic animal calls (such as lynx), you will have to look elsewhere. Get yours here: AMAZON
If you are looking for an electronic call that you can set up and operate from a distance instead of a handheld, choose the Western Rivers 75R for approximately ten dollars more. Get yours here: AMAZON
For full sized electronic predator calls, the Western Rivers Game Stalker offers 300 preloaded sounds and a remote that works up to 250 yards away for a modest price of around $150 to $300. Get yours here: AMAZON
The Game Stalker Pro, an advanced version of the regular Game Stalker, sells for $214 and comes with 400 preloaded game calls and a decoy, though it is very similar to the regular Game Stalker. If you want more preloaded sounds and were planning on purchasing a decoy, this is an easy choice. Get yours here: AMAZON
Finally, the ultimate predator call Western Rivers offers is the Stalker 360. While very similar in design to the Game Stalker, the Stalker 360 offers dual speakers that can be angled to different directions using the remote. If you want ultimate control over your predator calls, look no further than the Stalker 360, though the price tag is a bit steep. It retails anywhere between $339 to $599. Get yours here: AMAZON
Johnny Stewart is a smaller brand that’s often overlooked for newer, flashier electronic predator calls. Featuring simple designs and features, pick Johnny Stewart if you are looking for something that you know will be reliable, last for hours in the field, and be sure not to disappoint.
The Predator Attractor comes with a remote and five pre-programmed sounds that can be played on a continuous loop. The speakers pivot, letting you aim your sound wherever necessary. It retails for $48. Get yours here: AMAZON
The Predator Attractor Max is a simple predator call that works exactly as described. While there are no bells and whistles with the Predator Attractor Max, rest easy knowing that you get exactly what is promised. Costing approximately $81, the Predator Attractor Max comes with a speaker and remote. It is pre-programed with ten sounds. While there aren’t a lot of sounds to choose from, the Predator Attractor Max excels in longevity and sound quality. This call runs for six to eight hours on one set of batteries and has 20 different volume ranges, ensuring that any animals will hear the crisp, clear sound from far away. Get yours here: AMAZON
Primos is a brand that is preeminently respected in the hunting world. It has been around longer than many have been hunting. Will Primos built his first duck call in 1963 at age 11, but it wasn’t until 1983 that he really began trying to push the Primos brand. Primos prides itself on its products, always ensuring they are producing the best quality products and warranties possible, and it shows in their electronic predator calls. They also supply various game calls, attractants, ground blinds, and almost any product a budding hunter would need to succeed.
While Primos offers a variety of different electronic predator calls, two really stand out amongst the rest.
The first, the Dog Catcher, retails for $61 and is the #1 Best Seller in Predator Calls & Lures on Amazon. It uses the same quality material Primos prides themselves on, tested in the most rugged environments imaginable. The Dog Catcher operates using a remote up to 150 yards, with 12 preloaded sounds ready to go at a moment’s notice. Unfortunately, the Dog Catcher has been noted to often fail often upon receipt. However, remember that it is covered under warranty and can be exchanged until you get a perfect unit. Get yours here: AMAZON
At $435 (regularly $599), the Boss Dogg is another ultimate electronic predator call. Boasting three amplifiers for amazing sound and storing up to 2,000 sounds, the Boss Dogg is for the hunter that wants the best durability and sound possible. It comes pre-programmed with 100 sounds and eight expert hunt sequences, ensuring that you will draw in whatever prey you desire. It will even play music from external devices if you need to relax after a long hunt! Get yours here: AMAZON
Cass Creek started in the spring of 2003 with one goal in mind: create realistic sounding, affordable, electronic predator and game calls. It took ten years of development before the first line of Cass Creek calls were ready, and that devotion to detail shows. Their annual product return rate is less than one percent! Game calls, such as duck, moose, and many others, are just as important to Cass Creek as their predator calls. They also offer a variety of scents, ranging from pure to synthetic, with uses from controlling one’s own scent to attracting game. This brand is devoted to their craft, and it shows.
Cass Creek offers a multitude of hand-held electronic predator calls. Unlike other brands, they do not offer calls that you set and control from a distance with a remote, with the exception of one.
Their entry level predator call, the Cass Creek Electronic Predator Call, costs around $31. It is extremely compact and has five pre-programmed game calls, using recordings of real animals. It is designed with woodland camo and resembles a walky-talky, which leads to easy hand-held grip. The only negative is that to repeat each call cycle, the user must press a button. Get yours here: AMAZON
If Cass Creek’s cheapest call does not do it for a hunter, the next step up is the Mega Amp Coyote Game Call. At approximately $36 (only $5 more), it brings more volume and ten total calls to choose from, despite what its namesake suggests. It is shaped like a megaphone, accentuating its design for loudness. Get yours here: AMAZON
If you are looking for a Cass Creek call that is more similar to other brands, the Nomad is right up your alley. It costs $69 for one receiver and transmitter. The receiver is similar in design to their basic predator call, while the transmitter is like a remote. The difference between the Nomad and a traditional predator call, however, is that you can connect up to three different receivers at once, simulating an animal making calls as it travels. Extra receivers must be purchased seperately. Get yours here: AMAZON
BEN BO RO’S BOTTOM LINE
The Best Brands, Ranked:
3: Johnny Stewart
5: Western Rivers
6: Extreme Dimension
7: Cass Creek
FoxPro is my go-to #1 pick.
Top pick: FoxPro Shockwave
While their baseline model is a bit more expensive than others, and not hand-held, it definitely does not disappoint. Their main shortcoming, the sound quality and volume, can easily be remedied down the line with their external speakers if they are not up to your standards. From beginner to professional hunter, they have a call for everyone.
ICOtec takes the next spot at #2.
Top pick: GC300
ICOtec offers basic products, and while they might not be as durable as some of the other brands, they give the user exactly what they need for a cheap price. If the user is wanting to program a multitude of game sounds for a fair price, ICOtec is exactly what they want. The opportunity to choose the amount of storage based on a budget, while keeping the rest of the call’s features intact is something that is not to be overlooked.
Johnny Stewart takes #3.
While they do not offer anything slick and fancy, their quality and reliability is undeniable. They perform exactly as advertised and are very fairly priced.
Primos slides in to the #4 ranking.
While their products sometimes arrive broken, their warranty is great and their reputation is second to none. Their products are extremely durable and hold up well even in the most extreme conditions. Despite all of the problems with their units, they back them no matter what and always ensure the customer is satisfied, which is an extremely important part of the Primos philosophy.
Western Rivers is #5.
Their budget hand-helds are affordable and upgrading from a hand-held to a larger unit is only a few dollars more. Meanwhile, their most expensive unit, the Stalker 360, offers the hunter the most sound control out of any unit available, though they are expensive.
Extreme Dimension gets the #6 spot.
Extreme Dimension is next, though by no means do they offer bad products. Their entry level hand-held electronic calls are phenomenal, though buying different calls requires more of a monetary investment the more you need. However, the simplicity of the system is impossible to ignore. Take which sound sticks you need for the day and leave the rest at home. Unfortunately, their more expensive and larger units are often held back by issues such as long cables, which is something no hunter wants to deal with out in the field and is a sharp contrast to their advanced iHunt technology. Extreme Dimension offers amazing products that would fit a beginner hunter’s needs perfectly.
Cass Creek rounds out my rankings at #7.
Cass Creek’s products are not bad by any means, but they offer little to convince a user to choose them over another brand, with the exception of the ingenious Nomad system utilizing moving sound. Unfortunately, buying three receivers is a costly investment just for this feature.
Remember, all of these reviews are subjective and will change according to each hunter’s different standards. One product that might be a slam dunk for one hunter may not work out for another. While these are some major brands and some of their most popular products, be sure not to discredit other brands or models not listed. Do your research, find the electronic predator call that works best for you, be safe, and good luck!