The fur hunt is ON! Here is a rundown of the top gear we’ve picked to make the most of your predator season.
by Heath Wood
For many hunters, a new predator season signals a unique opportunity to help with wildlife management by reducing local predators that impact deer, turkeys, rabbits, quail, and other game animals. Other hunters enjoy the thrill of calling coyotes, bobcat, and fox into close range, as well as the hefty stack of furs that can be sold at the end of the season. Whatever their preference, almost all predator hunters begin the year by investing in new products that will increase their chances of success. This year will not disappoint when it comes to new gear. Here are our five must-have new products for 2020.
Primos Top Dogg 360-degree Wireless E-Caller
With our first featured e-caller, the folks at Primos Hunting have promised to take predator hunters in a whole new direction, literally! When they say, “new direction,” they mean every direction. Most electronic callers broadcast the sounds in 1 or 2 different directions. The new Top Dogg 360 casts 360 degrees of high volume, crisp, clear sound. The Top Dogg also includes a built-in subwoofer for realistic tones. Other important features include a 400-yard remote that is pre-loaded with 150 sounds, with 15 expert hunts. It can be operated from an app on your phone, links to other Primos Dogg Net devices, and extends up to 24 inches to get sound above any obstructions. The unit runs on AA batteries or the included rechargeable battery. MSRP $549.99.
Western Rivers – Eichler Dual Game Call
Western Rivers is a name many predator hunters have come to know for producing great-sounding electronic callers. Western Rivers is proud to be partnering with top predator hunter Fred Eichler. As with Western Rivers, Eichler has also made a name for himself in the predator hunting world as one of the most successful game callers in the industry. With the combination of two great names, it is no surprise that great calls are in production. One of those is the Eichler Dual Game Call, which is a part of a signature series of calls by Eichler and Western Rivers. The Eichler Dual Game Call has dual 4-inch reflex horn drivers for a maximum 120db output. If that’s not enough, it also has two external jacks to accommodate secondary amplified speakers, which can provide sound in every location. There is also an auxiliary output to trigger motorized decoys and to host a USB jack. Other great features to the Eichler Dual Game Call includes sound overlay, which allows sounds to play simultaneously. The call also boasts configurable preset volume levels for different calls, customizable quicksets, and the ability to play with preset spacing distances between calls of 5, 10, 20, and 30 seconds. As for the remote, it has a 2.8-inch LCD screen, complete control of all call functions, backlit push, and transmits up to 300 yards. This call is powered by eight AA batteries and has an MSRP of $299.99.
Another company that is familiar to the predator hunting world is FOXPRO. This year, FOXPRO has included Bluetooth technology into the new XWAVE electronic caller. The XWAVE features two positional horn style Extreme High Definition (XHD) speakers that have an added tweeter for improved frequency response. The main feature of the XWAVE is the Bluetooth compatibility. The Bluetooth feature allows the user to connect wirelessly via their Bluetooth device to play animal sounds from their library or even play music at camp. Other features include speaker jacks if more volume is needed and auxiliary jacks to plug-in accessories such as a decoy. The XWAVE comes with 100 FOXPRO sounds and 100 free sounds from the FOXPRO Free Sound Library. It also can store and access up to 1000 sounds. It comes with the TX-1000 remote, which has a full-color graphic LCD screen that displays the sound lists, plus a barometer indicator. A moon phase indicator, temperature indicator, battery level, and timer come standard. As with other FOXPRO calls, the XWAVE has such features as FOXMOTION, FOXPITCH, FOX DATA, AUTO VOLUME, and FOXBANG, which automatically maps the caller to a preset sound when discharging a firearm. The XWAVE runs with an included lithium battery, includes a charger, and is made in the USA. MSRP is $ 699.99.
Swagger Bipods Stalker QD42
After a great introduction and response amongst predator hunters using Swagger Bipods and their Hunter29 and Hunter42 models, the company has introduced new models for the upcoming season. One of those models that the predator hunter will enjoy is the new Stalker QD42 bipods. Like the original models, the Stalker QD42 encompasses Flex Ready Technology. Flex Ready allows the spring to flex the legs of the bipod in any direction—horizontal or vertical—without disassembling anything. All you need to do is lean in the desired location. The great feature with the new Stalker QD42 is the ability to detach quickly. The assembled weight of the bipod is only 15 ounces. To attach the QD42, use the provided sling swivel adapter and it is ready to mount to bolt guns, muzzleloaders, crossbows, or anything with a sling swivel stud on the bottom of the stock. If you have a Picatinny rail, attach the QD42 directly to it. With the push of a button, the QD42 detaches from the gun until ready to use. The Stalker QD42 moves from 14 to 42 inches, making it ideal for shooting from a seated position, a ground blind, tree stands, or standing with one bipod. The legs have a spiked foot to dig into the terrain, which can be covered with a plastic tip cover when not in use. MSRP $129.99.
ALPS OutdoorZ Enforcer Predator Vest/Seat
If you’re interested in a do-it-all predator vest, ALPS OutdoorZ has you covered with their new Enforcer Predator Vest. This vest is designed with both performance and comfort in mind. The Enforcer features a removable, sit-anywhere kickstand frame with adjustable legs and fast-locking technology that allows the hunter to set up in seconds. A removable thick-padded memory foam fold-away seat and padded back panel offer superior support and comfort. The large pack section provides ample space to hold gear, such as an electronic caller. Other features include six shotgun shell holders, 12 centerfire shell holders, removable front pockets, and a hydration port. ALPS OutdoorZ is known for making packs that are tough enough to exceed the demands of the hunt and with ample, intelligently placed storage compartments. The Enforcer Predator Vest allows the hunter to go all day with everything he or she needs to be successful and comfortable. MSRP $179.99.
Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls Atomic-13 Series
Predator hunters who like to work mouth calls should check out the new Atomic-13 series from Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls. The series includes three distinct models—Big Raspy, Mean Raspy, and Lil’ Raspy. The Atomic-13 Raspy series are machined from solid aluminum stock, hence the name. The barrels are machined to high tolerances on CNC lathes and mills to create calls that will stand up to hard use. The knurled ring on the barrels provide for easy grip when wearing gloves. Each call is anodized in either black, tan, or green finish. The aluminum helps create more volume, higher notes, high pitches, and the realism of a rabbit in distress. The Big Raspy uses a stainless-steel reed to create sound, while the Mean Raspy and Lil’ Raspy features a stainless-steel over composite reed. Each Atomic-13 call includes a lanyard for easy carrying in the field. MSRP: Big Raspy-$29.95, Mean Raspy-$27.95, Lil’ Raspy-$24.95, 3-Pack-$79.95.