Raccoon hunting has evolved significantly over the years, with modern hunters employing advanced techniques to increase their chances of success. One such innovation that has gained popularity is the use of electronic calls.
There are many reasons that hunters have incorporated electronic calls into modern-day raccoon hunting. One of the most dominant reasons stems from a dying tradition of raccoon hunting with dogs and a small caliber rifle, as in the popular book ‘Where The Red Fern Grows.’ When the demand for fur diminished, along with the market price, many traditional hunters retired permanently.
A family friend once shared a captivating tale about his raccoon hunting experiences during high school. He and his buddies were deeply engrossed in the activity, spending every night of the season pursuing raccoons. The culmination of their efforts resulted in a substantial collection of raccoon fur, which they sold to a fur buyer at the end of the year. With the earnings, our family friend proudly purchased a Chevy S-10 pickup. Back then, it seemed like every country boy in our small southern Missouri communities participated in raccoon hunting. Regrettably, the tradition has waned these days, and I can now count on one hand the individuals I know who still engage in the sport. After several years of fewer and fewer hunters pursuing these small critters, the population has grown to its largest in decades. Many turkey hunters note a rise in raccoon and other small nesting predator numbers, including opossums and armadillos. These creatures are often held responsible for the recent decline in turkey populations. Recognizing this issue, concerned hunters have come to understand that there is still a crucial need for predator control through trapping. Additionally, a new action-packed approach has emerged, involving electronic calls for an exciting form of hunting.
The effectiveness of electronic calls when trying to lure a raccoon into close range must first come from identifying the optimal sounds that lure raccoons into getting close to investigate. Hunters must also have a tactical approach to help improve their odds; moreover, they must emphasize the importance of responsible raccoon management for the broader goal of wildlife conservation.
Electronic Calls For Raccoon Hunting
Electronic calls have become a game-changer in the realm of predator hunting for coyotes, foxes, and bobcats, and they are quickly gaining popularity for raccoon hunting as well. An electronic call such as the FoxPro HellCat Pro helps simulate various sounds, allowing hunters to attract raccoons by mimicking their natural vocalizations or creating sounds that pique their curiosity. The advantage of electronic calls lies in their versatility and the ability to cover a wide range of sounds, making them an invaluable tool for hunters seeking to enhance their strategies.
So, how do you call a raccoon into close shooting range with an electronic call? First, one must understand the sounds raccoons make in different situations. Electronic calls can replicate distress calls, mating calls, or the chatter of raccoons foraging, increasing the likelihood of drawing them in. Experimenting is the best way to learn what sounds are the most effective. Hunters can experiment with various sounds to determine which ones elicit the most robust responses from raccoons by using rodent distress calls, bird distress calls, and raccoon pup distress calls. To help better understand sound selections on your electronic call, here is a sample list of what each type of sound consists of.
Rodent Distress Calls - High-pitched squeals: Raccoons are opportunistic feeders, and the distress calls of small mammals, such as rodents, can trigger their predatory instincts, drawing them closer.
Bird Distress Calls - Distinctive bird distress sounds: Raccoons are known to prey on bird nests, making bird distress calls an effective way to grab their attention. I have used sounds such as Woodpecker, Finch Distress, and Blue Jay Distress to have raccoons respond effectively.
Raccoon Pup Distress Calls - High-pitched whimpers such as FoxPro sounds, Young Raccoon Distress, Raccoon Puppies, and Twittering Raccoons mimic the distress calls of raccoon pups; you can provoke the maternal instincts of young and adult raccoons alike by encouraging them to investigate the source of the sound.
Tactical Approaches When Raccoon Hunting
Effective raccoon hunting goes beyond electronic calls; it requires a combination of strategic approaches. Experienced hunters often employ strategic positioning. Hunters should position themselves downwind from the expected approach of raccoons to avoid detection, like when hunting coyotes. Scouting can also be crucial in making the proper calling stand. I often walk the timber, looking for den trees, droppings, and other signs indicating raccoons living there. However, my cellular game cameras are one of my most reliable scouting sources. When I have repeated pictures of raccoons in a specific area, I then return to the same area to attempt calling.
When waiting for these curious creatures, patience becomes critical when using an electronic call. Remaining motionless is crucial in allowing them to approach while a sound is blaring from the speaker.
Responsible Raccoon Management for Conservation
While hunting can be a recreational pursuit, responsible raccoon management is crucial for the broader goals of wildlife conservation. This involves following local regulations and adhering to hunting seasons and bag limits. Respecting regulations ensures sustainable raccoon populations and helps maintain a balance between nesting predators and other wildlife. Even though they are a small, pesky predator, they still deserve a little respect when hunting.
Another reason this style of hunting for raccoons has gained popularity is because of ethical harvesting. As an avid predator hunter and trapper, I have received my fair share of abuse from anti-hunters and animal rights activists. A quick and humane harvest is always paramount for all hunters. Using appropriate equipment and techniques to ensure a quick and humane harvest reduces unnecessary suffering that some see when trapping or other traditional methods.
Raccoon hunting, with the incorporation of electronic calls, optimal sounds, and strategic approaches, has become a dynamic pursuit for outdoor enthusiasts. By understanding the intricacies of raccoon behavior, utilizing compelling sounds, and embracing responsible management practices, hunters can contribute to both the enjoyment of their sport and the broader goals of wildlife conservation, and turkey hunters will thank you.