Predator calling and more outdoor news

Posted on: December 25, 2019 | Bob Frye | Comments

Take a quick look around the outdoors world with a tip, a new piece of gear and more

Tip of the week

Just how much time do you spend outdoors? What do you do while out there? What kind of success do you see? Keeping a logbook is a fun way to answer those questions, set and achieve new goals and be more successful. If you’re a fisherman, for example, tracking when you fished, for what, the water temperature, weather conditions, baits that worked and more will help you notice patterns. You can oftentimes replicate those later for additional success. And, just as importantly, you can avoid doing what didn’t work over and over. Hunters can do the same, while hikers and paddlers can track things like their annual miles. Campers can monitor nights spent under the starts. All your notes will bring back memories when you read them later, too.

Gear of the week

Gear name: Open Reed Coyote Howler

Predator calling is tricky.

Open reed coyote howler

Company: Triple Toe Calls (

Gear type: Predator call

Product description: You wouldn’t underestimate the difficulty in tagging a wise old buck with a several years of eluding hunters under his belt. Such deer get wise to the ways of hunters. Well, so, too, do predators. While predator hunter numbers don’t rival those of deer hunters, they have grown exponentially in recent years. And the coyotes, foxes and bobcats know it. It oftentimes takes something a little different to fool them. That’s where the Open Reed Coyote Howler comes in. When predator calling, you can work it to make yips, barks and howls. That’s great not just for locating coyotes, but – especially at this time of year, when they are seeking mates and establishing new territories – but getting to come investigate, too.

Available options: Want one of these? Act fast. The manufacturer does not appear to be making them for individual sale any longer – you have to buy them as part of a $75 combo pack — so it’s now or never.

Suggested retail price: $19.

Notable: One thing open reed calls have over closed reed calls is their versatility. Change the position of the reed in your mouth and you can change the volume and pitch of the sound you make.

Outdoors oddity of the week

Reports of someone being lost in the woods – lost to the point that they need to be rescued – always grab headlines.

But they’re far more common than might be imagined. And, just as importantly, more costly, too.

The National Park Service, for example, spent almost $3.5 million last year alone on search and rescue missions. Most of those occurred in some of the biggest parks in the West. But they can and do happen anywhere, park statistics show.

And that doesn’t even account for the rescues carried out on other properties — state and local parks, as well as other federal lands – each year.

Most often, the burden of paying for those rescues falls on the agencies and, by extension, taxpayers. But some states are starting to charge victims for all or part of rescue costs, especially if they acted negligently or recklessly.

So be careful out there, both for the sake of your health and pocketbook.


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Bob Frye is the editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or See other stories, blogs, videos and more at

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