Let me start off by saying that I am not a writer. What I am is an avid hunter and outdoorsman with a lifelong appreciation of predator hunting. I remember being fascinated by fox hunting at an early age when my father and uncle would allow me to go out with them. Back then, our lighting was a spotlight wrapped up in red cellophane and hooked up to a half dead car battery. That rig was transported into the field, in a Radio Flyer wagon that was owned and operated by yours truly. Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure that’s why I was invited along.
The “electronic calls”, as they are referred to today, were just as crude as our lighting. The contraption created by my mentors was a small handheld cassette player with a single speaker. If I remember correctly, that speaker was yanked out of an old TV at the local dump. The speaker was attached to the cassette player with about 30 feet of speaker wire. Now take a guess who got tasked with rolling and unrolling all that wire with every set—I’ll give you a hint, he stood about 3 and a half feet tall and was just happy to be part of the hunt.
Luckily for us predator hunters, in 1993 FoxPro started producing their predator calls one at a time out of a garage in Lewistown, Pennsylvania. Today, FoxPro is an industry leader and with a wide variety of calls to suit your wallet and the game you are hunting. From their budget minded Inferno Digital Game Call to one of their most popular (and the call I personally use) the Shockwave Digital Game Call, all the way up to their top-of-the-line Super Snow Crow Pro Digital Game Call. FoxPro digital game calls are packed with valuable features, with one of my personal favorites being FOXBANG. When this feature is activated by a firearm discharge the caller automatically switches to an assignable function. This allows you to use hands free sound changing so you can focus on the field, upping your chances of getting another kill. Another feature is the FOXFUSION which allows two different sounds to be played at once, for example this could be used to create a simulated back-and-forth between two howling coyotes. FoxPro has also thrown their hat into the scan light market as well with the release of their multi-color (white, amber, green, and red) Fire Eye scan light and the more budget-friendly single color Fire Fly Red scan light.
Another Pennsylvania based business who has made an impact on the predator hunting community is Night Eyes. Founded in 2012, Night Eyes produces my go-to head scan lights and weapon mounted kill lights. Their Dual Beam Red/White Headlamp Kit can be switched from red to white with the push of a button. All Night Eyes Headlamp lights are also adjustable from 10% to 100% brightness and are able to be preset to a user preferred brightness, so this feature offers flexibility when hunting in different locations. They also have a Red Single Beam Headlamp Kit with the same brightness control flexibility but produces only red light. The Night Eyes Red 200 yd Gun Light Kit is a compact yet very bright scope mounted led light that will allow you to identify and harvest predators to around 250 yards and is easily mounted using their clamp mounting system. Its big brother the Red 300 yd Gun Light Kit will extend your effective range to 300 yards plus. For those of you in boar country, Night Eyes does make a Green Gun Light Kit for hunting game with darker fur. Of course—your max range depends a lot more on your optics and shooting ability.
As you can see, predator hunting has come a long way since the days of car batteries, red cellophane, salvaged speakers, and little red wagons. This is just Part I of what I hope will be a long running series on predator hunting equipment with reviews and tutorials. You can find me in the EuroOptic showroom Tuesday through Friday. If you’re in the area and have questions about predator hunting equipment or just hunting gear in general, don’t hesitate to swing by—I’d be more than willing to point you in the right direction.
Savage Model 25 Walking Varminter in 17 Hornet
Minox ZX5i 3-15x56 SF 30mm Illum BDC Riflescope
Night Eyes Red 200 yd Gun Light
Night Eyes Red/White Dual Color Beam Headlamp
FOXPRO Shockwave Digital Game Call
Shadow Tech PIG0311-G Field Tripod
Shadow Tech PIG Saddle
Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head w/ Flat Base