Hunting – Learn to Call

I’ve found some unpublished memories in the archives and thought this is fun to share. Happy predator hunting, you all!

My husband watched as I held the reed up with a big smile and popped it into my mouth. He is experienced at calling with a reed and immediately begins to laugh. I smiled and tried to blow….

“kchhhhhlllllllccccchchhchhhhh!” Nothing but static!

I sounded like the suction tube at the dentist’s office. We laughed, and he warned me not to choke on it. I tried to catch my breath from laughing and nearly did swallow the reed.


I tried again.  “ssschhhheeek!”

Oh no!  I was definitely going to need practice at this thing!

A few more squawks, shrieks and squeals out of me, and my husband broke out his reed and showed me how it was done. He made perfect coyote howls and yips.

“Grrr!” came from my mouth.

Now I have a competition. A challenge.  Now I made it my mission. I HAD to figure out that call!

Picture this: I drive an hour through the mountains to and from work daily.  That means I have plenty of spare time on my hands.

I try not to text and drive.

I try not to take photos while I drive.

I also try to stay awake while I drive.

I drive – and I drive – and I drive.

I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to practice my call with the reed. I drove and drove and proceeded to practice the ear-piercing sounds in the privacy of my little truck.

After a little practice, similar to a child learning the trombone, I found that the reed was fairly easy to use. One day while driving, I admired the gigantic prairie dogs popping up out of the snow. I gazed across the field and spotted a coyote sleeping in the field off to the right. I pulled over and decided to try out my “mad skills.” I popped my reed in and yelped a couple of times.

I expected the prairie dogs to duck in their holes and the coyote to run for the hills.


The coyote raised its head. I then yelped like a pup. The coyote got to its feet. It started to come to me.  Knowing that my husband would NEVER, believe me, I pulled out my trusty camera, which I never leave at home.  I took photos of it and yelped and called as the traffic drove by until it was finally scared off by a big semi.

I completed my drive to work with a GIANT grin on. I told my husband my story of calling in a coyote. I knew it. He didn’t believe me. That evening I pulled out my camera and showed my husband the pic. He said, “No way!”

So. You want to know the best way to learn a call….  Many hours of driving & a husband who unknowingly puts you up to a challenge!

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Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, life coach, keynote speaker, and range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast. 

Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to get outside, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.

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Mia Anstine
MAC Outdoors LLC
PO Box 31
Ignacio, CO 81137-0031 

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