If you’re a hardcore coyote hunter odds are you don’t just use e-callers (not that there’s anything wrong with them, I certainly use them). But you probably have a collection of diaphragm calls, right? And if you don’t use diaphragm calls you’re missing out. They’re a tried-and-true method for creating awesomely realistic sounds in real-time. You can even mix it up by using e-callers and diaphragm calls together. Interested? Then you should check out MFK Game Calls.
Why Diaphragm Calls
Canis latrans – coyotes – might be seen as being driven purely by instinct but the reality is they are wildly cunning, incredibly sharp, and teachable (usually by accident on your part). Educated coyotes are becoming an increasingly common problem as calling has gone mainstream. A lot of the guys new to it aren’t just new to hunting in general but to long guns. That means we’re looking at above-average occurrences of missed shots, severe over-calling, failure to conceal – the list of how you can educate a coyote is practically endless.
This is one of many reasons you want the edge you get using diaphragm calls. They help you add realism to your e-caller sounds because they’re unique sounds you’re making yourself, meaning there are variations in pitch. E-callers work wonders – I use them myself – but using a mouth call helps. Technology is awesome in many ways but nothing tops vocalizations happening in real-time.
MFK Game Calls Pretty Deadly
The guy who founded MFK is Torry Cook and he and MFK pro-staffer Jason Groseclose have a long list of calling championships under their belts. They’re also some of the most dedicated coyote hunters I know, and they’re wildly successful. Torry says he prefers diaphragm because “they give the user unmatched realism with numerous vocalizations and prey distress sounds as well as completely hands-free operation.”
Of all their diaphragm calls, Torry and Jason agree MFK Pretty Deadly is a solid choice for new callers while remaining a great all-around call, too. Pretty Deadly is a single-reed caller – so it has a bit more range and versatility – and produces everything from barks to whimpers to howls. Its lighter weight means air and tongue pressure is easier to control which is nice for newbies but also convenient for seasoned callers.
Another good option is the MFK Blackout Howler. According to Torry “either [Pretty Deadly or Blackout] makes it easier for someone starting out to learn air and tongue pressure control. Once the user gets the hang of it they may want to bump up to a slightly heavier reed call that can handle more pressure such as the MFK Competition Howler, which is my personal favorite.”
Mastering diaphragm calls does take time but it’s smart for all coyote hunters and well worth the time and effort. Diaphragm calls small and portable even in large numbers and has the added bonus of allowing you greater control over vocalizations. For example, with a Pretty Deadly you can throw out a bark to get a coyote to hit pause and give you a shot or howl to bring them in closer.
MFK Hooking Bull Line
Of course, there’s more to MFK Game Calls than coyote calls (although those are most decidedly awesome). MFK has an entire line of elk diaphragm calls like the MFK Red Hooking Bull and the MFK Black Hooking Bull. The Red model is a two-reed diaphragm designed to produce a broad number of elk vocalizations including bugles and calf/cow sounds. The Black model is also a two-reed diaphragm and is made for old bull bugles and screams and cow chirps and mews. MFK’s entire line of elk calls was designed by seasoned elk hunter and caller Loy Peters.
MFK Turkey Diaphragms
Turkey calls are also a part of the company’s existing line. I’ve used MFK’s turkey calls on hunts with great success and have also been treated to endless hours of my teenage daughter wandering around the house practicing with them. Their diaphragm calls meant for wild turkeys include the HC-Split V for hen vocals and the MF Combo Cut for two-tone yelping and cutting.
Learning to call whatever you’re trying to call in is about more than just nailing down how to run a diaphragm. A good hunter spends time learning body language and calling habits of whatever game they’re after whether it’s coyotes, turkeys, or feral hogs (yes, you can call feral hogs, I’ve done it). You also need to understand what the various vocalizations mean both while calling and when responding to the sounds you hear an animal making in the distance.
Let’s use coyotes as an example since they are currently the most popular animal to call. According to a researcher by the name of Dr. Phillip Lehner of Colorado State University, there are 11 coyote vocalizations. Yes, Dr. Lehner’s research is decades old but it’s been backed up by a lot of wildlife biologists and researchers who continue to agree that coyote vocalizations number between 11 and 13.
If you ascribe to Dr. Lehner’s research, he breaks down coyote vocalizations into a trio of categories: agonistic, greeting, and contact. There are subcategories within those categories like yips, barks, and howls. As a hunter, knowing which specific sound to use when can make all the difference. It’s the difference between going home empty-handed and leaving with a truck loaded with fur. Diaphragm calls are excellent for layering yodels or howls over your e-caller’s recorded howl, throwing in some distress calls, and letting loose with a timely bark to stop a coyote in its tracks. They’re also nice tools for location calling; when scouting for hunting spots, roll down your window, sound off a howl, and wait to see if you get a call back. In the world of calling coyotes – or turkey, elk, or whatever – timing is quite literally everything.
Want to have a successful calling session? Get good quality calls like those made by MFK Game Calls, learn to use them, and study the habits of the animal you’re hunting. Learn how and when to call.