Calling in South Africa
Calling is relatively new to South Africa (only started in the 90's) and the majority of callers
are farmers trying to minimize lamb losses due to predation by jackal and caracal. Only in the
last few years did hunters come to recognize the challenge and enjoyment of calling the wily
jackal , cousin of the coyote.
Hunters who are addictive to high numbers of adrenalin rushes can't stay away from the sport
for more than a few days. Jackals come to a call fast and furious and there is nothing that gets
the heart rate up like a pair of incoming barking jackals.
I started calling in 1991 using cassette recordings of jackal howls. I later ordered cassettes-
tapes from Johnny Stewart in America (jackrabbit and cottontail distress calls) which worked
very well. In 1994 I did a course with Dr Major Boddicker (ROCKY MOUNTAIN WILDLIFE
PRODUCTS) from Colorado who taught us how to use his Crit'R Call (an open reed call).
Jurg Gratzl with a very big caracal, shot one night.
The equipment I started with
Calling really took off in 1995 when the ranchers saw how good calling worked on jackal and Cape
Fox. (John Finch wrote the first article on calling in Man Magnum in 1992 or 1993 and that set the
ball rolling on calling in South Africa. Although some people might dispute this fact, very few people
in South Africa knew about calling before then. Dr Major Boddicker visited South Africa for the first
time in 1987 and introduced calling but it did not take off at all.)
We do most of our calling at night, from a vehicle, since the jackal, caracal, fox (now protected) and
the African wild cat are mainly nocturnal. The advantage of calling at night is that one is obscured
by the darkness, the predators feel safe and don't hesitate to come to a call. To move from one
calling stand to another is quick and that gives you more time hunting and less time walking
Eighteen problem animals in one night was
at one time not even thought possible but
stopping predation is more important than
numbers.
Taking out 3 x pair will in effect be the same as
taking out 21 jackal altogether if one take into
account that females have on average 5 x pups