General Calling Information
Jackal and Caracal can be called from an hour before sunset to an hour after sunrise. I have called
many a jackal while the sun was still shining and had an exciting time watching a Caracal running
towards me in search of the dying rabbit in broad daylight. One can call at a maximum of two
stands in the morning and one in the afternoon. You will be able to make 5-6 stands per night.
Selecting a Stand:
The selection of a stand is very important. It is of no use to be able to call an animal but there is no
way of shooting it. If one calls in a bushy area, do so in the late afternoon or early morning. At these
times, visibility is best in such areas where it is difficult to use a spotlight at night. Select a spot with
visibility up to about 100 yards in the expected direction of arrival of the predator (the downwind
area of the call or caller).
The more elevated one's position (e.g. a dam wall, hill or windmill), the better one's chances of
sighting an incoming predator. Position yourself in front of a big rock or bush that will brake your
outline, and sit in the shade if possible. Always try and walk upwind to your stand and never walk
through the area you want to call.
Most of the jackal will try and move downwind, so be sure to cover the downwind area. Stop calling
when a predator is sighted and don't react quickly, lest they detect the movement and depart in a
hurry. One can stop the predator by giving a short whistle or bark, thus obtaining a standing shot.
Scat marking of a jackal on grass
Dr Major Boddicker (on the left)
with a jackal we called in during
the day
Thys with a double we called and shot
on morning (picture on the right)
In order to boost your hunting successes, first ensure that predators are indeed present in the targeted
area. This can be done by scouting for signs.
Look for tracks and scat, which will give you an indication of which species are present, their numbers
and frequency of usage of the area. The more sign, the better one's chances of calling a predator.
Jackals usually mark their territory by leaving scat on ant heaps, clumps of grass or small brushes.
Calling in that area will usually result in a sure reaction.
The difference between a jackal and caracal
If the site is more open and spacious, do the calling during the night and from a vehicle. The vehicle
is, in itself, an advantage, since one does not have to carry equipment around, it is quicker to get from
one stand to another, and being elevated makes sighting and shooting much easier. Do not use a light-
colored vehicle which is highly visible.
Park the vehicle so that there is no obstruction in the downwind direction for about 300 yards (the
jackal will use any cover to its advantage and leave without you being able take a shot). Enter the area
from downwind and call and move upwind. If the jackal is upwind he will try to circle downwind to get
your scent.
One can use the intersection of fences to one's advantage since jackals approaching from the sides
follow the fences and get as close as 70 yards before creeping through the fence to get downwind
which will give you ample time to shoot.
The elements:
In my experience, strong winds of more than 25 km/h and any sudden change in temperature are bad
for calling. I like to go out when there is a light breeze of no more than 15 km/h and some moonlight. I
have shot many jackals during full moon when I park my vehicle next to a bush or some object to
obscure its outline. I would not recommend it in grass and open areas with no cover to hide the
vehicle, although I have had jackals coming in when doing exactly that.
The best time to go calling is a day or two before a storm, presumably because they realize that they
will not be able to hunt for a while.
Typical jackal reaction to move
downwind illustrated by the
picture on the left and you need
to choose your stand in such a
way that you have an
unobstructed downwind view as
illustrated by the picture on the