Coyote hunting and predator hunting are very challenging and increasingly popular pastimes in our United States. Coyotes, and predators in general, are highly intelligent and adaptable – and you certainly need to be if you want to catch them! You, the hunter, need to be adaptable and intelligent. You'll need to know what is the best predator call to buy to be successful.
Electronic predator calls have been on the market for more than a decade now; see some of my other articles here in the “Info” section to read more about the history of electronic calls. One problem was that when they first came out, recorded electronic calls weren’t high quality, or realistic. As a result, they were less than perfect at drawing in animals.
E-calls have certainly improved over time.
E-calls are now highly realistic and come with remote controls to draw in even the most cautious, wily predator. If you buy the best electronic predator call within your budget, and then devote yourself to learning to use it, you’ll have armed yourself with a HUGE advantage over these ever-adapting creatures.
Following on this theme of technology, I have prepared a list of the 5 best programmable electronic predator calls. When I say programmable, I mean that you can actually load in your own sounds and sequences to truly customize your hunt. The best predator call in the world is going to be programmable. Coyotes have heard the best coyote call from FOXPRO or Primos a million times, so you need to get your own sounds - not the standard stock sounds.
Here’s my comparison of the top five programmable best predator calls out there now.
Comparison Chart: Best Programmable Predator Call For The Money in 2019
Advantages of Programmable Electronic Game Calls
The majority of hunters have used mouth calls made from various materials, including wood, bone, horn, and plastic. This has always been an effective mode of calling for (1) highly skilled hunters and (2) the less wary predators of yesteryear. Nowadays, gaining your edge over predators require a more savvy approach.
Old hand-calling methods require a lot of skill and practice. Electronic predator calls, on the other hand, give a perfectly consistent animal or game call each time. Here's our list of the advantages that e-calls offer:
- Ability to store dozens of calls of many different types; distress calls, mating calls, etc.
- E-calls have been made to withstand even the worst conditions; manual, hand-held calls can fail you if the wind blows too hard or it's rainy. Electronic calls were made to be dropped in the mud dozens of times, and to withstand heavy rain.
- PROGRAMMABILITY - all of the electronic calls listed in this post are programmable, which allows you to prepare custom sequences and blends of calls to prepare the best mix for your predator of choice. We've noticed that with our e-calls, a mix of distress, low frequency howls, and yelps often works best.
- Using an electronic call allows you to focus your energy -- your eyes, in particular -- on the surroundings, giving you the best chance of spotting a sneaky coyote.
Electronic Predator Call Reviews: Our Top 5 Programmable Callers!
#1 Programmable Call: The ICOtec GC500
The GC500 is a fantastic unit for hunters of all skill levels. It has a programmable memory cache that can store up to 200 calls, and comes with 24 calls by Wildlife technologies pre-loaded. This unit is more than sufficient for the needs of most predator callers; it is known to successfully draw in bobcat, bear, coyote, fox, and wolf. This unit is also great for attracting other types of animals, making it a highly versatile unit and one-stop shop for your game calling needs. You can call crow, snow geese, white tails, and raccoons with this baby.
Of particular strength/quality are this unit's pup, jackrabbit, fawn, crow, distress calls for drawing in coyotes attracted to distress signals. You might switch to a male coyote howl or yip to finish your hybrid call blend, hard for a coyote to ignore!
The GC500 is controllable from up to 300 yards, allowing you to be hidden and have the predators walk right by you on their way to your stand! Coyotes are known as highly skittish animals; using this call minimizes the chances of scaring them off.
#2 Programmable Call: The Primos Alpha Dogg
The Alpha Dogg is a caller that hunters dream about. It comes with 75 calls pre-loaded and can hold 1,000 in total (2 GB memory). The Alpha Dogg's unique speaker system sets it apart; this system allows for a full 80 degrees of sound coverage! This unit can be controlled from up to 200 yards away from your hunting stand.
This Primos caller also has auxiliary jacks for playing custom calls via a USB connection. It comes configured for coyote hunting with its starter pack of 75 calls, and you can easily change the call sequence in the bush depending on how each situation unfolds. Oftentimes, it's very useful to be able to shift your approach while working to draw in an incoming coyote.
Some hunters call the Primos Alpha Dogg a "virtual Rosetta stone" of the coyote language. By shifting your call sequences, you can almost talk to the coyotes to draw them in. This unit performs perfect female whimpers, coyote pup yips, seranade howls, and coyote distress calls. These calls are all you'd need to persuade a coyote to come looking around.
As you can see, this unit allows you to build a true cache of predator calls, which you can customize in ways impossible with a handheld call.
Check out our full Primos Alpha Dogg Review!
#3 Programmable Call: The FOXPRO Shockwave
The FOXPRO Shockwave is a four-speaker system with two tweeters and two horn speakers for the ULTIMATE sound and volume capacity. This unit has two external jacks for additional volume, but believe us when we say this thing is LOUD.
The Shockwave comes with 100 FOXPRO sounds pre-loaded, but you can store and program up to 1,000 in total. This unit has a beautiful full color graphic LCD screen, which allows you to scroll through your sound list/categories with ease. There are a ton of other features, including a temperature sensor, moon phase indicator, barometers, and more. One of the coolest features of the Shockwave is the patented FOXMOTION technology, which helps you "sell" the reality of your calls by shifting/fading the volume left-to-right.
This unit also has top-of-the-line sound mixing, pitch manipulation, and data collection (temp, barometer, moon phase, duration, etc) to help you not only perform at your best, but also learn from the collected data of previous hunts. The Shockwave is definitely expensive, but worth every penny for the coyote hunter who wants it all.
#4 Programmable Call: The Primos Turbo Dogg
This Primos caller is a single speaker call which comes equipped with 36 pre-programmed calls. This unit has a 25 Watt high-powered rotating speaker and can hold up to 500 calls from the Primos library of predator and game calls.
The Primos Turbo Dogg has a simple-to-operate remote control with an almost 200 yard range, as well as a programmable Decoy Button to change your calls and sequences as your hunt unfolds. This type of feature is unique to this caller and isn't seen anywhere else in the market. Importantly, this is a very portable caller, and can fit into a duffel or knapsack.
The Turbo Dogg also comes equipped with 4 expert hunt sequences that are each around 20 minutes long. These sequences were developed and tested by Team Primos (including Randy Andersen) - it's like you're out calling with the best of the best!
#5 Programmable Call: The ICOtec GC350
The ICOtec GC350 gives you "better for less" - and it shows in its lower price point. This unit is great for new hunters and experts alike. It is proven at attracting coyote, bobcat, fox, wolf, bear, raccoon, whitetail, snow geese, wild turkey, and more. Having this wide breadth of calls at your disposal allows you to truly hunker down from afar. You can finally focus all of your energy on optimizing your hunt.
This unit has a 300 yard remote control range and allows for up to 24 programmed calls. It also comes with 24 pre-loaded sounds by Wildlife Technologies. The remote includes a decoy activator, and the unit itself has an additional auxiliary port if you need a second speaker.
The Bottom Line
We hope this article has been helpful for selecting the best programmable electronic predator calls available today. We've called coyotes in with each of these units. We can speak to the high quality of every one of them. None are very difficult to master, despite having AWESOME features and versatility.
My favorite here has got to be the Primos Alpha Dogg, even though it is the largest and (second) most expensive on our list. For a more inexpensive, portable call, I would go with the ICOtec GC500. Both of these calls are extremely well reviewed and you honestly can't go wrong.