Predator hunting is hunting in high definition.
It’s a very different business to hunting animals that are prey to other animals, like whitetail or elk.
Hunting predators – and hunting coyotes particularly – means hunting animals with instincts sharpened to the game of predation. When you hunt the hunters, you need every extension of your own instincts you can get.
Calling coyotes by mouth is by no means straightforward – it’s a combination of instinct, practice, and the technology of manual call-making.
As with most aspects of hunting, there are two traditions. There are those who make their own calls, or small independent call-makers who share their creations locally or through hunting groups, and then there are bigger companies that specialize in making effective calls for hunters everywhere, evolving their products year after year to deliver better results for their customers.
That means the market is awash with professionally made products, to the point where the cacophony of calls is confusing.
Come with us as we find you the best coyote mouth calls on the commercial market.
In a hurry? Here’s our top pick.
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Best Coyote Mouth Calls - Comparison Table
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Best Coyote Mouth Calls - Reviews
Compared to some calls on the market, the Primos Mouse Squeeze Call will seem distinctly basic and low-tech. There will even be some people who’ll quibble with it being included on this list at all, as it’s worked by squeezing, rather than blowing with the mouth.
But there’s an old saying: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
And there’s a new version, especially for coyote mouth calls: if it squeaks like a wounded prey animal, brings in coyotes to investigate, and doesn’t rely on batteries to make its noises, quit your quibbling, it’s going on the list.
It’s even, in this case, going at the very top of the list, because it’s so simple, so effective, so dollar-friendly, and because lots of people use it regularly and love it as their go-to close-range coyote call.
Obviously it’s never going to carry for hundreds of yards, but then the real squeaks of prey animals wouldn’t, either.
The job of the Primos Mouse Squeeze is to prick up the coyote’s ears at close range, convince them there’s some small, probably wounded or distressed prey nearby, and reel them in to your kill-zone.
That’s a thing it does very very well indeed.
Primos of course has a great deal of experience in creating calls that help hunters get the job done. In the case of the Mouse Squeeze call, the main concern users have is that it works a little too well.
Hunters on Amazon relate stories of getting coyotes with this simple squeaker after just ten minutes, adding that it even takes some of the fun out of the hunt, because part of the pleasure of the hunt is the waiting and the anticipation.
The Mouse Squeeze then is like a golden ticket. Straight to the front of the line you go – squeeze, squeak, bang, job done, coyote hunted.
On some levels, you can appreciate what the users mean – hunting coyote really should be harder than this. And on some levels of course, it still is – you still have to get the coyote into close range, so the Mouse Squeeze can do its deadly work.
But on a fundamental level, the Mouse Squeeze does the same job as every mouth call, and even the hundreds-of-dollars of electronic calls out there. It helps the hunter take advantage of the predator’s instincts and use them to the hunter’s advantage.
One word of caution. If you’re a dog-owner, lock this call away when it’s not in use – many users report their dogs going absolutely nuts when it’s used, the allure of tiny, squeaky things being a longstanding principle of dog toys.
But apart from the side effect of driving your own dogs mad, the simplicity, the effectiveness and the price make the Mouse Squeeze hard to beat as a close call for coyotes, foxes and other predators in the dog family.
The Johnny Stewart CYC-1 Coyote Dog Howler call helps you have the kind of ‘conversation’ you need to have if you’re going to successfully hunt coyote.
It gives you access to realistic sounds across the board of their communication range, from yelps and howls to the more straightforward barks and whines.
It has a simple adjustable band which allows you to change the pitch on your calls, which means it’s good to have in the wild – the closer you put your mouth to the end of the reed, the higher the pitch. The further away, the lower.
That’s a flexibility and simplicity that has won the Dog Howler fans among the hunting community.
In particular, new or inexperienced hunters have reported success with the Dog Howler, while more experienced coyote hunters have claimed it’s too high pitched or that the sounds it makes are outside the range of those made by actual coyote.
There is one fairly serious issue with the Dog Howler though, which is a lack of instructions, either in the box or online, meaning it’s less straightforward than some other calls.
But the nature of mouth calls generally is that you need to practice with them before they can be reliably used out on a hunt, so the Dog Howler’s not especially different from most other calls in its class in demanding you learn how to make the vocalizations you want with it before taking it out.
It’s just that some instructions on how to make those vocalizations would let it close the gap between first and second place on our list.
The Dog Howler is not just a dedicated coyote call – with practice and band-adjustments, it can be used to call mountain lion, bear, bobcat and other predators.
As with most mouth calls, practice is key to delivering reliable coyote sounds on a real hunt.
A little ironically then, some hunters report you shouldn’t use the Dog Howler indoors to practice, as it’s a very loud call and will likely scare the sin out of the neighbors, as well as probably spooking their dogs. Be sure to check out our list of the best coyote hunting lights for more great items like this.
The Primos Bear Buster might not sound like a natural coyote call, but in the fact that coyote and bear often hunt the same prey, you’re in the right area with this call.
The Bear Buster creates a call that sounds like the distress bleat of a young deer, which is good eats for coyote, and is likely to draw them in to claim a relatively low-effort meal.
While every mouth call takes practice before you can get the sounds you want with it, users report the Bear Buster ‘does what it’s supposed to,’ bringing coyote within hunting distance, as well as foxes and even does, seemingly concerned for the distressed young.
Coming with an adjustable reed, as well as bringing in coyote, you can use the Bear Buster to call bobcat, mountain lion and bear – as a prey call, it will more or less depend on how hard or soft you blow whether you bring in longer-range predators or just anything close by that responds to the sounds of distressed prey.
Practice your bleating, watch out you don’t become the prey, and the Bear Buster should have you bagging coyote before you know it. Check out our review of the best coyote electronic calls for more top picks.
Diaphragm calls are probably the most difficult mouth calls to master, but once you get the discipline to work with them, they can give you some of the most diverse, immediate sounds and deliver effective hunting.
The FOXPRO Loaded Gun Combo are all coyote, all the time.
Rather than focusing on the prey animals that bring coyote – and almost every other predator – out of the woodwork, the Loaded Gun combo focuses on coyote vocalizations and the communication calls between members of that species to bring the predators into range of your hunt.
The Young Gun call gives you sounds within the range of young male coyote – from howls and yips, through barks and chirps to challenges and even distress sounds.
The Smoking Gun and Top Gun diaphragms both focus on more mature male sounds, but you should be able to make all the same types of sounds with them after some practice.
There’s no arguing with the fact that diaphragm calls take some time to get used to and to use to make the right sounds at the right moment. You’ll need some understanding of the meaning of each vocalization too if you want to use diaphragm calls effectively in a coyote hunt.
But once you’ve got the knowledge on the tip of your tongue, and you’ve practiced getting the right sounds out of each of the three calls in this combo package, you should be able to use them to effectively communicate with coyote and bring them in to your kill-zone
How much practice you’ll need with the Loaded Gun Combo depends on how skilled you already are at using diaphragm calls, and how much coyote hunting you’ve done – some users claim to have got the hang of them after just 20 minutes. Others said they needed lots and lots of practice before the coyote actually took notice of them in the wild.
Whatever your skill level, diaphragm calls are always on the tougher end of the spectrum to use.
But in terms of the flexibility, and their specific use for coyote, rather than for anything that happens to feed on prey and be in the area, the Loaded Gun Combo is a viable option to carry on your hunt. We have also reviewed the best coyote hunting scope, so check them out as well.
The Primos Double Cottontail call has two metal reeds (hence the ‘Double’ in the name), that can give this call a higher pitch and a raspy sound than most on the market, which some hunters find too ‘weird,’ but which coyotes, and notably foxes too, respond to more than you might think.
Some users found they didn’t bring coyote in, but attracted other predators like red-tailed hawks and even golden eagles to investigate the sound. On the other hand, other users reported getting coyote within a half hour of starting to use the Double Cottontail on a hunt.
There are more objective issues with this call – metal reeds can potentially freeze on colder hunts, for instance – but simple solutions like keeping the call close to the body are enough to overcome these difficulties and give you an unusual call that can still bring results.
The Cottontail, as the name suggests, allows hunters to mimic the sound of a rabbit in distress, again relying on the predatory instincts of the coyote, and other killers, particularly in the dog family, to bring them in to exploit the possibility of an easy meal.
Again, the raspy sound takes some getting used to, but when used correctly, hunters report the Double Cottontail brings all the coyote around to investigate the sounds of distress – along with other predators looking to beat them to the fresh meat.
Best Coyote Mouth Calls - Buyers Guide
Mouth calls have their pros (they allow you to respond individually on a hunt, don’t take batteries that can run dead, and are easier to carry than electronic calls), and cons (they take practice to use and depend on your skill to be effective). But if you’re in the market for coyote mouth calls, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Predator or prey?
There are calls that allow you to mimic specific coyote vocalizations, which will be more likely to call in coyote and only coyote. Then there are prey-calls, which allow you to sound like a prey animal in distress and leave the curiosity of coyotes to do the majority of the work.
The question is whether you’re interested in a hunt that focuses only on coyote, in which case, go with the coyote-specific calls even though they’re generally harder to use, or if you’re willing to attract anything that likes eating other animals, in which case, go for prey-calls which will get you a more mixed bag.
Choose your distance
Similarly, you need to know whether you’re interested in attracting predators at a distance – in which case, go for louder calls with a greater variety of sound-options, or predators that are close by, in which case, focus on the realism of the sounds offered, rather than the distance.
Practice makes perfect
Whatever mouth call you use, you’re going to need to put in the time and the effort to practice with it. Obviously, the simpler the call, the less practice time you should need. Determine how much time you’re willing to devote to practicing your calls before you hit the ‘Buy’ button.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why buy mouth calls when electronic calls are available?
Mouth calls allow you to respond more instinctively to the presence of your chosen predator than electric calls can. There’s no fiddling about choosing calls from menus. Mouth calls don’t rely on batteries.
For the most part they’re also smaller, so they can be hidden from the effects of weather and terrain much more fully than anything electronic.
Are diaphragm calls worth the effort?
That depends on you more than it depends on them. Diaphragm calls allow you to make a wide variety of vocalizations in a realistic timeframe, but they usually take a lot of practice before you can get believable sounds out of them. If you practice a lot with them, and find them comfortable, they can pay you dividends on a coyote hunt.
But most other coyote mouth calls take less practice and can often get you coyote. Ultimately the answer depends on what brings you more satisfaction – putting the time in to diaphragm calling, or using whatever works, even if it’s easier, so long as it gets you coyote.