Being the Do-It-Yourself guy I am, I thought a homemade coyote caller would be a lot cheaper than a commercial electronic call and a fun project for me to tinker around with.
I started out using an old Browning flashlight housing. I got an inexpensive mp3 player and the Speco SPC-5P speaker from eBay and a old double male audio cable I had kicking around the house. The rest of the parts needed I ordered from Radio Shack.
The battery pack holds eight batteries so to achieve 9 volts (6 times 1.5v AA batteries equals 9v) I placed a piece of copper tubing across one of the two AA battery slots. Having this larger pack of batteries lasts a lot longer than just a single 9v battery.
I then cut the bottom of the mini amplifier off so that it would fit inside the flashlight case and wired it as shown in the diagram.
Using audio editing software I changed the meta tags of all my predator MP3 sounds. I changed the "artist" tag to different animal sounds. In this way I could browse by artist and bring up all the rabbit or coyote sounds etc. I set the MP3 player to repeat so I can pause and play the same sound over and over.
Another thing I like to do with my MP3 files is make 20-30 minute calling scenario MP3 files. I do this by bringing various sounds into my audio editing software. For instance I will have two minutes of silence at the beginning, then I will have a series of mouse squeaks and then a minute or so pause. Then some louder rabbit squalls and then a couple of series of the rabbit squalls over a ten minute window. Towards the end I will often throw in a coyote challenge bark/howl and then a distress ki-yi bark. You can also mix in bird sounds all along the way like a crow or a magpie. I think you get the idea. You can have fun and make all sorts of various predator calling sequences.
A pair of coyotes taken with my homemade electronic caller. You can read more about this hunt in my 243 WSSM Model 1885 Coyote Double journal entry.
When I have these long pre-made audio sequences I can set my call out in front of me however far I want. I now have two minutes to get back into position before the mouse squeaking starts. Then I sit back and enjoy the show.
Basic parts list that I used:
- MP3 Player
- Housing, from a flashlight case or gym bag etc.
- Speco SPC-5P Speaker
- 8 "AA" Battery Holder (Radio Shack, Catalog #270-407)
- Red LED with Holder (Radio Shack, Catalog #276-084), Optional but nice to know when it is on.
- Fully Insulated 9V Battery Snap Connectors (Radio Shack, Catalog #270-325)
- SPST 3-Amp "Soft-Feel" Push On-Push Off Switch (Radio Shack, Catalog #275-1565)
- 3.5mm male to male audio extension cable
Mini Amp before I cut the bottom off.
Mini Amp with bottom battery compartment removed.
Battery pack, Mini Amp, and Speaker.
View inside the main compartment.
I drilled two holes through the speaker and used screws to hold the speaker in place.
View of the outside before wrapping it in a removable camouflage wrap.