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
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