Tracking and Identifying Animal Calls for Hunting

Matt Johnson
Matt JohnsonPublished: February 1, 2024
Tracking and Identifying Animal Calls for Hunting

Hunting isn't just about stealth and accuracy; it's also about understanding the language of the wild. The ability to recognize and interpret animal calls can significantly enhance your hunting experience by enabling you to track your prey.

There are a few things you can do to sharpen this skill.

The art of listening: Why it matters.

Hearing is believing, especially in the wilderness.

Mastering animal calls is about more than just identifying your target; it's about understanding the environment around you. It's like a game of chess – predicting your opponent's next move based on their signals.

Recognizing distress calls, mating calls, or territorial warnings can give you a big advantage. These various sounds can tell you what is around and how far it is from you.

Just like us, these animals communicate with one another and if you can tap into that, or at least have a good understanding of what you’re hearing, you’ll be ahead of the game.

Tools of the trade: Modern tech to the rescue.

Gone are the days of relying solely on your ears and experience. Though, there is something to be said for good old fashioned hunting skills.

Technology has revolutionized how hunters track animal calls.

From sophisticated listening devices to apps that can analyze and identify specific sounds, you're not alone in this quest.

These are a few that are on the market—

  • Wildlife Acoustics Song Meter. A device that records and identifies wildlife sounds automatically. It's designed for research and enthusiast purposes, but we’ve found it’s great for hunting as well. It’s capable of being left in the field to record sounds over extended periods. Think of it as a game camera, but for sounds.
  • iHunt Calls. This app features over 600 animal sounds that can be played directly from your smartphone. It's designed to help hunters learn and mimic the calls of the game they're pursuing, making it easier to attract or identify animals in the wild.
  • HuntStand. While primarily a hunting land management app, HuntStand also includes a variety of animal calls. It integrates mapping, weather, and tracking features, providing a comprehensive tool for hunters to plan their hunts and familiarize themselves with different animal sounds.

These tools can amplify distant sounds and filter out background noise, allowing for clearer identification. 

Additionally, apps can provide real-time information about the type of call, the species making it, and even suggest behavioral patterns. 

This tech is a game-changer, but remember, it's a supplement, not a replacement for honing your own skills.

Mimicking calls: A hunter's secret weapon

Mimicking animal calls is a subtle yet powerful technique in a hunter's arsenal. 

It's more than just imitating sounds; it's about mastering the language of the wilderness. This skill can significantly enhance your ability to lure prey closer or seamlessly blend into the natural environment.

However, achieving proficiency in this art demands dedication, practice, and a keen understanding of the animals you're imitating.

Tools and techniques for perfecting animal calls.

It all begins with the basics. Starting with simpler calls allows you to get a feel for the process, gradually advancing to more intricate communications. Here are some tools and resources to help you along—

  • Caller apps. In the digital age, several mobile apps have emerged as invaluable resources for hunters. Apps like iHunt Calls and Mossy Oak Go offer extensive libraries of animal sounds, ranging from deer to ducks and beyond. These applications not only provide high-quality recordings to practice with but also offer insights into when and why certain calls are used in the wild.
  • Electronic call devices. For those looking to integrate technology directly into their hunting strategy, electronic call devices are a game-changer. Products like the FOXPRO Inferno or Primos Hunting Speak Easy Electronic Predator Call come preloaded with a variety of sounds and the ability to manipulate them to mimic natural scenarios. These devices are pretty useful for attracting specific types of prey with precision.
  • Learning from the masters. While technology offers convenience and a breadth of information, there's no substitute for learning from experienced hunters. Joining hunting clubs or participating in workshops can provide hands-on experience and personalized guidance. Seasoned hunters can share nuances and tactics that are often overlooked but can make all the difference in real-world scenarios.

The simplest way is to download one of the apps and get started. Ever heard a deer grunt or bleat? Now you can while you sit at home.

The philosophy Behind the Call

Understanding the context in which animals communicate is the key.

Each call has a purpose – be it mating, signaling danger, or establishing territory. And, of course, different animals have different types of calls for each of these. 

By comprehending the 'why' and 'when' behind each sound, you elevate your mimicry from mere noise to convincing communication.

This video is a bit silly, but it goes through and plays the sounds of deer in different states. There are all sorts of videos like this to help you depending on what you’re hunting.

Join in the conversation in the wild.

Embracing the skill of identifying and using animal calls can transform your hunting experience. Seriously, it will take your game to the next level. This is what expert hunters do.

It's not just about the thrill of the hunt; it's about connecting with nature on a deeper level.

As you step into the wild with enhanced listening skills, remember that every call you hear is a part of a larger, intricate symphony. You’ll be amazed about what you can learn from just a bit of listening.

Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson

Master Outdoorsman

Matt is a seasoned outdoorsman with expertise in fishing, hunting, and wildlife. With a Master's degree in Wildlife Science, he combines his passion for nature with conservation efforts, sharing his knowledge through his writing for Fish and Game Report.

We may be compensated through the links you find on this page.

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