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Minaska, Foxpro, And Wt Caller Comparison

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#1
Gary in CA

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I'll tell you right up front I don't own a couple of the callers I wrote about it, but I do own most of them. Others I borrowed or hunted with their owners, not just for an hour or two, but typically 5 full hunt days or more so Murphy's Law got its chance. I haven't used the Scorpion or OC at all but I do own the remote they use, the TX-200, and mine has the large font and red backlight upgrades.

Fast comparison of the major features of Foxpro and Minaska callers with similar features and price points

FX5 vs. BCB

Batteries - 8xAA NiMH (10.2v) vs. 12v gel cell (13.2v).

Remote - LCD scrolling, volume scrolling + 4 presets + timer vs. direct numerical access sounds and volume

Sounds - 50 .FXP files on the caller vs. the whole Minaska library in .MP3

Amps - mono vs. discrete 2-channel

Memory - Internal 1G vs. 256K CF card (user up to 16G)

Price (from APC) - Foxpro FX5 - $680 for AA alkaline model ($710 from Foxpro; comes with 50 sounds + $25/16 extra sounds + $30 rechargeable batteries and wall charger + $35 fast car charger + $65 external SLA battery + $55-$76 external speaker + $35 deployment bag.) vs. Minaska Big Country Bandit - $580 from APC ($600 from Minaska; 100 sounds on caller + $20 car charger + free sounds for life + rechargeable SLA battery, horn speaker included)

Form - FX5 is smaller and lighter. 8W x 6H x 4D 1192g vs. 8W x 6H x 8D 2140g


Scorpion vs. M-1

Batteries - 8xAA (10.2v) vs. welded 10xAA L battery (12v) or base model 8xAA

Remote - LCD scrolling, volume scrolling + 4 presets + timer + remote on/off + remote speaker selection vs. direct numerical access sounds and volume

Sounds - 100 .FXP files on the caller vs. the whole Minaska library in .MP3

Amps - discrete 2-channel vs. mono

Memory - 1G mini SD user upgradable vs. 256K CF user up to 16G

Price - $500 + $20 for camo (100 sounds + $25/addditional 16 sounds) vs. $490 for 10xAA model with recharger (100 sounds + free for life extra sounds) or base model $350. with 8xAA no recharger (30 sounds)

Form - 7W x 4W x 2D 704g vs. 6W x 5H x 2D 766g

Extras from Foxpro to up the performance of your Scorpion, FX3, or FX5. SP-55 horn speaker $54. External 12v gel cell with case and jack $60.

OC (from the Foxpro custom shop or APC) vs. Minaska U1 - both decoy models

Batteries - 8xAA (10.2v) vs. 12V gel cell (13.2v)

Remote - LCD scrolling, volume scrolling + 4 presets + timer + remote on/off + remote speaker selection vs. direct numerical access sounds and volume

Sounds - 100 .FXP files on the caller vs. the whole Minaska library in .MP3

Amps - discrete 2-channel vs. discrete 2-channel

Memory - internal 1G vs 256K CF (user up to 16G)

Form - (no data for OC) vs. 8W x 6H x 8D 2348g

Speaker - plastic vs. aluminum

Price - $700 flat black (100 sounds + $25/16) vs. $680 in camo ($700 from Minaska; 100 sounds + free for life)

OC is a custom call made to order and can be configured with other batteries or speakers. U-1 is a stock item.

Foxpro models with internal memory (FX3/5 and OC) require a computer hook up to change or reorder sounds and larger memory available from FP. Minaska memory cards and Foxpro Scorpion cards can be edited by user with a computer, and can be swapped in the field in a few seconds. You'll need to synch the Scorpion's remote to the new card to take advantage of the lcd.

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General

The FoxPro lineup includes several callers that get a lot of play and have many fans including two mono callers the size of a 9volt lantern flashlight with dual speakers (FX3 & FX5), a small stereo caller with 1 speaker (Scorpion) that fits in a cargo pocket, and a stereo caller with 2 speakers (called either a Prairie Blaster or Open Country depending on what you read) that has the SP55 horn built on a Pelican case. There are also a few smaller lower priced callers, some non-remote, one amp only, and some older models like the AR4, XR6, 416, and 532, and a big one, the Sno-Cro, which I'm leaving out of the discussion here. FoxPro currently offers almost 300 sounds in their library but to date none of them are stereo. FoxPro also sells a slightly dumbed down version of the Scorpion mini at Cabela's under the store label. That remote has no lcd and looks like the Minaska.

Minaska's mini is the M-1. It's mono with one speaker and it fits in a cargo pocket. The Big Country Bandit is stereo with 2 speakers, one a surface mounted TOA sc110 built into a Pelican case and a decent cone on the back. Minaska's library is around 150 sounds but I believe only the crow sounds are typically stereo. The Ultimate One, which also includes a decoy, is also stereo and similar to the BCB.

WT 2030 is mono and actually has the electronics built into the cap of a single TOA speaker. The battery is attached to the speaker's mounting bracket and an antenna is fixed to the lip of the speaker.

Speakers

The cone speaker in the FX3/5 is OK and gets it done. The horn is rough. An accessory, the SP55 external, is much better and similar in performance to the TOA SC110 that comes already built into the Minaska BCB. The SP55 is a good option to add to any Foxpro caller. The SP55 is smaller and heavier than the TOA SC110 and made of plastic. The TOA is aluminum and can also be had as an accessory and it comes with a stainless mounting bracket. It's extremely tough and as an accessory can be mounted under the truck woithout much protection. A couple of mine have proven to be impervious to rain, mud, rocks, snow, the carwash, and the garden hose. The performance of the Minaska cone and the FP cone are comparable. Some guys say one sounds better, others the other. The WT caller actually is a speaker without a case, just a TOA SC130 with a battery pack and an antenna attached to it. It's a big speaker, but reasonably light, and it works well. If it's operating with the original TOA speaker guts, it is very OK for critter calling, but the frequency response is not as good as the SP55, SC110, or SC115. Considering we're broadcasting screaming rabbit noise and not audiophile music, all of the speakers will work, but none of them sound like a home stereo.

Remotes

FoxPro callers FX5/Scorpion use a TX200 remote with LCD requires page scrolling that takes some getting used to. Gets easier to use with experience, but I found myself trying to go up and down, changing pages when I didn't want to, and having a hard time getting to some sounds. Handles 200 sounds. Small font with full sound names is useful when you have lots of sounds and you won't need a list on paper in your pocket, but it can be hard to read for a lot of the varmint crowd - anyone over 50 who uses reading glasses. Large font option in upgraded remotes is sound # only (see pic below). Works pretty well if you know your sounds' locations. FoxPro also offers a red backlight instead of white (also shown below) for night hunting for an extra $30. Volume scrolls up/down to 40 levels. Has a battery remote indicator, a timer, and volume indicator built into remote. 4 presets one-button with volume setting. Aux button will control Jack in the Box decoy. Mute is actually a pause button. Makes you un-pause a sound if you switch sounds while paused. Has lanyard attachment. Fits in pocket. The Foxpro TX200 has a lot of great features, but it isn't easy to use or easy to learn for anyone not computer literate. It does not suit the solo or older hunter well. It takes two hands and good eyes to use most of the functions.

FX3 remote is less complicated and scrolls up and down to 32 sounds. Volume scrolls up/down too. FX3 uses the same chassis as the FX5 and can be upgraded for ~$250. Adds new remote, more memory, more sounds.

Minaska remote has no lcd. Uses a bank system that is real easy to use with a little practice. Handles 100 sounds. One-button to change sounds in any bank. Three buttons to change sounds to a different bank. Scrolls volume up/down but also has direct numerical sound address 10 volume levels. Volume stays the same when you change sounds. Pause releases if you change sounds, so restart is only one-button. Aux button controls Sidewinder decoy. Has lanyard attachment. Fits in pocket. The Minaska remote has many less features than the Foxpro TX-200, but it is very simple and easy to learn. I can be used one-handed and even by touch without looking at it.

WT uses a sleep cycle and you have to hit an "awake" button to get it going after a minute of non-use. No LCD. Direct numerical sound addressing is 3-button. Volume is numerical 10 levels one-button or up/down scroll. 10 presets with volume via 2 button pushes. No lanyard attachment. Too big for most pockets. My experience with the new WT2030 remote is limited to two 3-day hunts. I own and have used the 2010 model extensively. It used FRS radios for remote transmitters and receivers and had a range of 1 mile or more, but it is no longer for sale.

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All remotes have similar range. 85-400 yards depending on terrain and the quality of your receiver's circuit. Guys in dry climates or wearing Ugh boots in the house can build up a static charge and touch the caller's antenna. Putting 15K volts into the antenna is hard on it. Ground yourself. Don't test your caller with the transmitter next to the receiver either. Give it 20 feet if you don't want to overamp the antenna circuit. Some guys complain about carrying a card to organize the sounds and keep the numbers straight. Those who can't remember the numbers but can see the remote, like the FoxPro. I find myself using the 4 FoxPro presets when hunting because the FP remote is a bit complicated and I hate to take my eyes off the field of fire to look at the lcd and use all the features. I can't see many of the features without reading glasses. With the Minaska remote, I use an intelligent loading that gets me to the exact kind of sound I want on any stand with one button push, even if I can't always remember the exact sound. It's easy enough to operate from the bumps (without gloves) like Braille and without looking at it and most of the time I'm using the first 10 sounds anyway. I hunted with a WT user who kept forgetting to push the "wake up" button. Without hitting that first, nothing worked and it frustrated him. He was still training himself to look at the remote every time and to check for the green led before punching buttons.


Batteries. More voltage and fast charge are desirable. So are long run times, long battery life, light weight, and cheap replacements. Everything about batteries is a trade off.

FX3/FX5/Scorpion apparently come with alkaline batteries. The 8xAA NiMH battery pack and 110 recharger are an extra item. The optional battery is 10.2 volt that requires a slow charge to maintain life. ~10 hours on the 110V wall charger. The wall charger I have from Foxpro is super simple and doesn't even have a red/green light to tell you when it's charged. The fast charger (a $35 option) is a 12V regulated power supply. A good option if you run and gun. You can also add an external gel cell too for more voltage and longer life (another $55. option).

Minaska M-1 mini similar to Scorpion form factor. Older units were 8xAA spring-held NiMH 10.2 V. Newer ones use welded 10xAA NiMH 12 volt - slow charge similar to FoxPro's. Fast charger using a regulated 12V charger is not available from Minaska, but I bought one at Radio Smack for $17 that offered multiple voltages and multiple connectors. Handy for all kinds of recharging. The full-sized Bandits come stock with a sealed lead acid gel cell 13.2 volt. In spite of some protestations, I get longer life, more voltage and faster recharges using SLA gel cells. They can be fast charged from a straight wire using the truck's 50 A accessory circuit. <2 hours on the wall charger (red/green light). But about 25 minutes on the hot wire in the pickup for a full charge using a 3A fuse.

WT 2030 used to come with an externally mounted 14.1 volt Li-ion, but heat caused some of the amplifier's components to melt inside the speaker cap. Newer models use a 10xAA NiMH 12 volt. Some come with a simple red light/green light plug-in charger. But others were shipped with a nice MAHA Powerex 777Plus charger which is 110/12V and even included a heat sensor. Reviews on the MAHA charger were mixed, but the one I saw worked very well on the WT power pack. No telling which charger you'll get. Ask first.

Sounds. Good sounds are hard to come by.

FoxPro plays FXP, MP3 or Wave files. Upload, download, or reorganize files via USB cable on Mac or PC. FAT 32 format. Most good FoxPro sounds are FXP and cannot be played on anything but a FoxPro caller or be edited by the user. They will not play on your computer but you can store them there. Good rabbits, good rodents, decent birds. Lucky Bird and Lightning Jack are favorites. FX3 comes with 32 sounds. FX5 with 50. Scorpion with 100. Extra - 12 sounds for $25. Foxpro has a large library >200 sounds from which to choose and the top level retailers will program your caller with the sounds you choose. Buying from Cabela's you get a stock set of sounds.

Minaska uses MP3 files. Sounds are open source and can edited by a savvy user. Easy to upload/download/change. Uses FAT 32 format Compact Flash Cards (Mac or PC) that can be swapped in seconds in the field. Sounds will play on any caller, computer, MP3 or IPOD. Good rabbits, good birds, good rodents, best coons. Wounded Woody and Jackin' Around are excellent. M-1 and all Bandits come with 100 sounds. Sounds are free for life. Update Minaska's new sounds are excellent. With the addition of Jack Nest, Baby Jack, Jumpin Jack, MB's Baby Cottontail, Grown Cottontail, Wild Woody, and Steve's new Bathroom Cottontail, Minaska's distress sounds rival those of other manufacturers. The new Minaska Owners website allows purchasers of Minaska calls to register with their serial number and download any of the new Minaska sounds anytime at no charge.

WT 2030 uses proprietary sounds that can't be touched by user. Good rabbits, Good rodents, Good crows, best coyotes with caveats, birds are more ambience than distress. $30 per sound and must be returned to New Hampshire for any changes. That's the advertised price but usually it's less when you're done - a dozen for $200. Negotiate. The owner is a sound engineer who also rents sounds to Hollywood for the movies. Expect WT to try to pack your caller with coyote sounds, which are his big claim to fame. I don't have much luck with them here in the west. My own theory on using WT sounds is that the recordings are from Newfoundland coyotes, those big half-wolf 40-60 pound subspecies they see a lot of in the East. Here in the west, dealing with our typical 20-30 pound desert dogs, I don't think they like those recordings much, mainly because they don't want their azz kicked by something twice their size. I'd be very selective about which of those $30 sounds were on my caller. For west coast calling, I'd stick to the distress sounds, add a few pup whines, and maybe one of the rally howls. Young Cottontail and Young Jackrabbit are two of my favorites. There are about 9 rabbits, some barnyard and domestic pet distresses, and some rodents worth owning.

Be careful what you carry to the field. If you hunt coyotes during deer season - game wardens may require you to have a deer tag. Worse, if they check your electronic caller and find sounds on it for species not specifically allowed - you could be cited.

Consoles/Memory

See chart above for sizes and weights.

FoxPro FX3/5 has a handy feature and will play from the console without the remote. Light, compact and durable. FX3 is 256MB. FX5 is 1GB. The upgrade from FX3 to FX5 is $265 and includes memory, more sounds, and a new remote. Both memories can only be upgraded at the factory, FX5 to 8MB. Both are mono callers with two speakers. Add the external SP55 or TOA SC110 speaker for better performance ($35-$60 additional). Scorpion uses mini SD card you can swap yourself. Plays only from the remote. Stereo caller but one small internal speaker. Also benefits from the external speaker for better performance or stereo sounds.

Minaska M-1 is the same small form factor as the Scorpion. Newer units have the speaker inside and case is drilled. Older units had a more external speaker in a sewer pipe cap looking thingy. Mine is the 1st gen M-1 8xAA. Uses Compact flash that can be swapped/upgraded by the user. All the Bandits come with 256KB but can be swapped by the user up to 16GB. Works only with the remote. Small speaker also benefits from an external, but I don't use one. Big Country Bandit is a bigger unit with a built in TOA SC110 horn and a good cone on the backside. Stereo 2-channel amp. Works only with remote.

WT is a TOA SC130 horn with the electronics built into the cap and an external battery pack. The stainless mounting bracket double as a carry handle. I saw one filled in with a bit of oak to make it easier on the hand. It has a folding antenna attached to the horn's lip. Don't know much about the memory or sounds of this unit. Nothing is accessable or user friendly. It sounds great. Works only from the remote.

Customer service at FP and Minaska is top-flight. WT is hit and miss. Some guys get good service, others do not.

My favorite features would include - the gel cell because it lasts, has more voltage, and it's easy to charge. A good cone speaker plus either the SP55 or the TOA SC110. Sounds I can edit. A remote that works without too much fuss.

On the subject of sounds - I edit my own. Foxpro swears theirs are the best - but the FXP format can't be edited or even viewed in an editor. WT swears theirs are the best too. Two of the older models used 32KHz 16-bit mono wave files that could be edited. They were actually about a third of the the data stream of a stereo cd but still sounded good. But the sounds on the new model 2030 cannot be accessed or modified in any way by the user. Minaska sounds are MP3 and can be edited in any sound editor. Minaska doesn't claim anything for their MP3's, but some of the new bird and rabbit files are excellent and they're easy to use on any other caller you might try. Many of the new sounds are 48 KHx 16-bit stored as 320 MBps MP3 files. Lossless files like .WAV or .AIFF are supposed to be the best (but without some confirmation, I can't even say that WT or FXP files are lossless). Somehow I've managed to kill several hundred coyotes with good MP3's I made myself from CD's. CD's are 44 KHz 16-bit.

Websites
http://www.gofoxpro.com/
http://minaskaoutdoors.com/
http://www.wildlifetech.com/
http://allpredatorcalls.com/

Edited by Gary in CA, 11 November 2008 - 12:47 PM.


#2
Braz

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Wow Gary. That is one heck of a comprehensive write up. It is fantastic. Very factual, no opinion. I really like what you did. Thanks a bunch.

#3
Gary in CA

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Part 2

Testing sound quality is difficult. Unless one or the other is an absolute stand out, we're dealing with many shades of gray. Last year I played a half-dozen callers for somewhere around 250 predator hunters. There were actually many more guys in the audiences than that, but I can't guarantee that some of them weren't deaf, senile, or too busy talking to listen, so they don't count. It was more demonstration than testing. A true test would have been educate the audience a bit on what to listen for, then to play the same sound on each of the callers with them hidden behind a curtain or stuffed in a burlap bag so you couldn't tell what exactly was playing. I played coyote and distress sounds and mono and stereo music files on the callers and collected anecdotal comments relying on my memory. It would have been better with some balloting and statistical analysis, but honestly that's too much work. In the end, I can hold up a caller in front of you and play it, but only you can decide if you like listening to one better than the other.

"Usability" is another tough to rate parameter. Everybody claims to have the easiest-to-use remote. Again, it really depends on your experience and preference as well as your eyesight. Testing the range of the remote might seem to be easier at first glance, but it isn't cut and dried either. There seems to be a lot variability between individual callers even of the same manufacture and model. Just setting a caller a few inches up off the ground can add a hundred yards to the range. One thing I did notice about the callers is that one of my favorite features is having everything in one handle. The ability to grab and go, and to lay it down and pick it up, without extra wires, batteries, speakers, or a pack makes a caller more "usable" to me.

Volume is a little easier to rate. Standing in front of one speaker or another with the volume on max usually one seems louder than the other. But even rating volume can be made much more difficult by including additional external batteries with more volts or amps or by adding an external speaker. For Minaska and Foxpro, it's a simple task to add either. A better cone (and I've got several expensive superior speakers that I occasionally use) can improve the freq response substantially. Using them can however cut the volume substantially for two reasons. A cone isn't as sensitive to wattage and the sound is omni-directional. The horn speakers have different degrees of sensitivity as well as another component, directionality (standing in front of a TOA is a lot louder than standing behind it). So even testing volume can get difficult. The WT is easier. You can't add much of anything to it, no speaker, and a stronger battery will melt the electronics in the cap and void your warranty. None of the manufacturers is going to be too pleased if you run a 14.1V lithium battery to your caller.

Hunting wiith , instead of just listening to a caller, adds even more variability. I've seen a few opinions posted at other sites from basement hunters, guys who don't actually shoot much of anything during the course of a season. All opinions are not equal, and some of the most vocal internet cheerleaders actually don't use their callers much. I'd like to think I do a lot more than just listen to sounds at my desk. This last season I made every effort to hunt with about 10 different e-callers. No doubt I used the old style 1.5 watt Big Country Bandit and some Sceery hand calls the most, but I also hunted 3-5 days or shot 3-5 coyotes each with a variety of callers including a FX3, FX5, two models of WT, and the M-1 mini. I even used the $39. JS Attractor. You won't really know how good your own caller hunts until it's been blown out of a tree or been left to fly off the top of the truck as you drive away a few times, and you go back, find it, and get back to hunting.

Edited by Gary in CA, 23 April 2008 - 08:58 AM.


#4
JimT

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Gary, awesome review! You really did your homework. Greatly appreciated here.

#5
smallblockfuelie

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JimT, when are you going to get a Minaska?

#6
Gary in CA

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If you go to the Minaska Owners Site, you'll find a dozen new sounds in the owner-condributed download section. Murray Burnham's young and grown cottontails, Baby Jack, Jackin' Around, Jack Nest, Jumpin' Jack, Wild Woody, and Baby Blue are all there for download. Some are in mono AND stereo. Edited for calling them shotgun close!

#7
JimT

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JimT, when are you going to get a Minaska?



Heath, lol, I don't know. No plans for now. All in all it appears Foxpro still has a slight edge with all things considered and that may be mere perception. I am not disappointed with the Foxpro except for font size when looking for sounds. I'm sure the future will hold the next generation callers with new whistles and bells to make them better. Let's hope this competition among the callers is to our benefit.

#8
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Has anyone tryed or heard the Primos Power Dogg?

#9
Gary in CA

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I didn't, I couldn't, cover them all. Game Trax, Western Rivers Nite Stalker and Day Stalker, Primos Power Dog, Johnny Stewart Prey Master, Lohman, Dennis Kirk and about 6 other Foxpro models in the $99 to $800 range. I think I currently have about 13 callers - already an obsession.

This is what AP had about the Power Dogg:

The Power Dogg is an electronic game call that reproduces the sound of predators, snow geese, and crows. There are no moving parts with this electronic game call. With the Power Dogg you have 12 different sounds to choose from. The sounds are permanently stored in memory which means that you do not have to fuss with sound cards, cassettes, speakers or wires. All predator call sounds are made by Randy Anderson. The base unit is extremely water resistant, durable and it is sealed with neoprene gaskets. The Power Dog will operate at temperatures as cold as -4 F. Once you put the 4 AA batteries in the base unit it only weighs 1.8 lbs. This provides for a light carry to your favorite hunting spot. The remote control allows you to operate the Power Dogg at distances up to 100 yards*. The LED screen will display the battery strength, volume level and call number. The LED screen on both the base unit and the remote control are the same allowing for ease-of-use. The LED screens are backlit for use in the dark. The remote control is extremely water resistant, durable and is sealed with neoprene gaskets.

It doesn't appear it's programmable. Without a few favorite sounds or some guaranteed quality jacks, cottontails, and a bird, I fear I wouldn't use one much. Apparently, it broadcasts Randy Anderson's recorded hand calls, not live animal sounds. So my thinking is I would rather blow my own hand call than broadcast a recording of someone else's. Nothing against Randy, but my own AP6/AP7 are going to be louder, crisper, and better timed than playing a recording. The only advantage is the remote capability and the air you save.

I will, when time allows and the inclination strikes, make the trip to hunt with someone and their new caller just for the experience. The last guy I did that with - I spent the morning showing him how to use my Minaska - and then let him take over the calling duties with his WT 2030 when I thought I'd found the right spot. We ended the day at 3pm picking up 6 coyotes and a bobcat about evenly split between the two callers. It was the most animals he's ever seen in a day, before or after, all within a short drive of his house in AZ. Heath and I hunted together in a competitive hunt right after that, shot 3 coyotes and 2 bobcats, and took first place. Heath bought a Minaska soon after that. It's tough to beat the combination of features you get in a BCB for the price.

Todd Borland sent me a new sound this week. Steve found a baby cottontail rabbit in the parking lot about the size of a cue ball, and when he picked it up, it started squealing. He took it into the bathroom/soundbooth and Todd recorded one of the best baby cottontails I've heard. Another quality sound in the Minaska library, this one caught just by chance. I expect to see it in the download section of the Minaska Owners Forum in the coming weeks.

Edited by Gary in CA, 02 June 2008 - 06:14 PM.


#10
Jeph S

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fantastic write up Gary. It's interesting to see the differences. Especially between what is hype, and what is factual.
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smallblockfuelie

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Jeph, wait until you get to hear them. Gary will load the same sound on a few of the callers and let you hear the difference.

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fantastic write up Gary. It's interesting to see the differences. Especially between what is hype, and what is factual.

And Gary will have a lot more to show and tell at the Gathering this Saturday. :welcomeani:

#13
Gary in CA

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The first post in the thread is exactly what I'll cover on Saturday when it comes to callers. The big difference will be listening to the callers play the same sounds. Heath knows about what I say; he heard one of my callers and switched brands himself based on the comparison, not on the cheerleading and hype.

News -

I asked Mike Dillon about his new banner touting the new lineup for fall and couldn't get a straight answer from him. He said the "FX Series will remain." But he wouldn't comment on the FX3 or FX5 specifically. My guess is he will substantially lower the price on one and discontinue or completely upgrade the other to further differentiate the two. I expect to see the FX3 at a much lower price ~$300 and a totally redesigned FX5 or FX7. The FX3/5 has been showing up deeply discounted at EBay and Cabela's. I expect to see an FX7 planned for September, but delayed until January - stereo, remote switchable speakers, bigger battery bay for 10xAA or SLA, but probably with the same hard to see, hard to use remote. I wish he'd put some real feet on the caller so it wouldn't roll away in a breeze. How many times has your FX rolled off the hood of the pickup? He has too many other callers in his line-up also, so expect some of them to be discontinued too.

I talked to Steve Borland recently about his new Minaska line-up and major expansion. I couldn't get a straight answer there either. They're moving or moved to a new facility and planning some big changes. If you read the owner's board you know he's even considering putting on an Expo. Their callers change often, almost as often as the caller comparison post. He's got some major changes planned but wouldn't be any more specific than that. Looking at the pic of RSE Scott's caller, the BCB has changed a lot since the original Bandit I bought almost 3 years ago. The camo was so good Scott thought the aluminum speaker was plastic.

I don't talk to Bill at WT. He's a moron. But anyone with any sense knows that Bill reads the boards every day and is well aware of the stuff we say about his machine. If he had any sense at all he'd shrink that remote and make his caller programmable. I don't give a damn about his sounds; he can keep them proprietary - I'm never going to use them anyway. But I think he'd open up a whole new market to the WT if he let die-hards like me load my own sound edits. He doesn't know squat about hunting western coyotes or about editing sounds for them. Expect to see the new WT 2040 sometime this fall as well.

So, if I were buying a caller today - I'd take a hard look at the Minaska refurb with the CaliVC $150 discount. That's a great buy on a caller that works really well. But if I were going to spend the big money for a top of the line unit like the FX5, I might wait a few months to see what happens.

Posted Image

Edited by Gary in CA, 07 July 2008 - 03:00 PM.


#14
smallblockfuelie

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Gary, can you bring some of that camo you typically wear to show these guys? That is some of the BEST camo for that area that I've ever seen.

#15
Guest_Joseph_*

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Gary, can you bring some of that camo you typically wear to show these guys? That is some of the BEST camo for that area that I've ever seen.




HI,
can you please explain to me what Gary was refering to on the $150.00
discount for a minaska refur...

Nice skin,by the way..

did we lose all our pictures and banners??

thank you..

Joseph

#16
Gary in CA

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I'll be more inclined to share a few more secrets in the coming weeks to the guys thinking about the Bakersfield Club. My camo is based on Don J's observations and some sound animal physiology. It's worked well for me for several years and it was the cheapest camo to buy ever. There are some colors that work, some that don't, and washing camo can be tricky.

Minaska Outdoors has offered CaliVC readers a $150 discount if they purchase a discontinued or refurbished caller. I use these same models. Mine aren't discontinued or refurbished, they're just used a lot. I've killed a lot of critters with Minaska callers and posted a lot of pictures on the Internet. Minaska respects that and they know I post quite a bit at CaliVC - the best smallest predator and varmint site on the web. Mention my name please and CaliVC.

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Great info, wish I had found it before I bought my caller.

Edited by Allen, 26 December 2008 - 07:49 AM.


#18
JimT

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Gary, is it time for an update on the e-callers that are out there now? Your reviews are awesome and greatly appreciated. Thanks. JimT.

#19
smallblockfuelie

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Gary, when are you going to test the new Fury?

#20
Gary in CA

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Heath, it's time to let this thread sink. The FX5, Bandits, and WT in this post have all been superceded by newer models or discontinued.

Writing quickly on the new models. The Fury is a half step up but still uses the same case, battery, and speakers. The WT MS is still not programmable. The old Bandits are gone and MAD is still not shipping - or at least AP still says "Out of Stock" at his site. The Kanati-Tek has no sound library. Up front, I see no good reason to purchase, test, review, or recommend these new callers.

To the new guy reading this looking for advice - it's a great time to learn the basics and use a hand call. Buy an E.L.K. Power Howler or one of Cronk's open reed horns, and a Sceery AP-6 and AP-7. Download Ernie Wilson's examples at his site and practice.

But if you're determined to buy something electronic anyway, look for a used and deeply discounted FX3 or FX5. I'd be looking for deals with all the extras,upgrades, and sounds, not just the bare bones caller, and expect to pay half of retail. With that caller you'll want an external speaker, either Foxpro's SP-55 or the TOA SC610, so be on the look out for a bundle.

#21
smallblockfuelie

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With the current economic situation I would imagine there will be a lot fewer e-callers sold this year.

#22
Gary in CA

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I'm reconsidering my previous decision to not compare callers or do seminars this fall. It has just become more likely that I will compare the GX7/TOA, 2030MS, and MAD BCB.

Posted ImagePosted Image

If the stars line up and I can hunt with the three of them for a couple of months, shoot 40 or 50 coyotes with them, I'll try to write something up and do a few talks.

Happy Birthday Jim :biggrin:

Edited by Gary in CA, 11 April 2009 - 06:25 PM.


#23
smallblockfuelie

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There is a whole lot of similarity between those callers!! It seems that FoxPro is beating that pants off the WT in the price department, too.





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