Best Electronic Game Calls Reviewed and Tested
As a hunter, you’ve got a lot of different gear and tools to take with you whenever you set off for yet another adventure. The amount gear required for a successful hunting trip can sometimes be a bit stressful and a lot to keep in mind, but as a seasoned and experience man or woman in this field, you know just how important every little bit of gear truly is.
Among all of the tools and gizmos that you bring with you though before you go out hunting, one of the most important ones to bring along with you is your hunting game call. A hunting game call allows you to attract the type of animal that you’re going after, and although some people out there don’t see these to be all that necessary, they can sometimes mean the difference between you coming home empty-handing or with a nice juicy animal to feed your family with.
However, with so many different hunting game calls out there, finding one that’s just the best electronic game call for you can sometimes prove to be a bit of a pain point. And while the purchase of an electronic game call might seem like a simple venture on the surface, the reality of the matte is anything but. There’s an entire host of different factors and bits of info to take into consideration to help you make the most informed purchase possible, and that’s what we’re here to accomplish today.
Our Top 3 Picks
We’ve constructed one of the most intensive and detailed guides on game calls that you’re going to find online, and while you might think this extensive amount of information is overkill, getting the best option after knowing everything to look for can prove to be one of the most important items in your arsenal of hunting equipment.
So, without any further ado, let’s get things started.
Primos is a company that truly does specialize in the art of creating quality hunting calls, and if you’ve been a hunter for any amount of time, you’ve more than likely run across the Primos brand once or twice before. We featured a couple of the company’s products in our list of the top 10 hunting calls out there, as the company is incredibly well-known for creating some of the most effective and durable calls on the market. Although the certainly aren’t the only brand out there, they’re definitely one of the most important ones to keep an eye out for. They do tend to air a bit on the pricey side, but that’s because all of their products are created with a tremendous amount of attention and care.
ICOtec may not be as heavily known as Primos, but they’ve certainly proven themselves over the past few years with their high-end calls. The calls that ICOtec has created are some of the best and most feature-rich electronic ones that you’ll find, so if that’s the type of hunting call that you’re on the hunt for, this is definitely a brand you’ll want to keep your sights on.
Factors to ConsiderBefore Making a Purchase
Electronic versus Traditional
When shopping for a game call, one of the biggest factors to take into consideration is the type of call you buy. Traditional calls are the oldest method out there, and they’re great for delivering solid audio quality and accurate calls at a relatively affordable price.
Electronic calls tend to air on the expensive side when compared to traditional options, and although needing to make sure they’ve got proper power with the batteries that are required to use them can be a bit of an annoyance, the vast array of different calls they’re capable of really does make up for this.
Additionally, when hunting for a new animal call, you’ll also want to ensure that the call you’re buying is suitable for the type of animal that you plant on hunting. If you’re reading to go hunt some elk, a call that is made for doves won’t do you any good at all.
This might seem like common sense, but people often buy the wrong types of calls much more frequently than you may expect. It’s an incredibly easy issue to avoid if you simply take the time to look at the call that you’re buying, but we still thought it was worth bringing up.
Maintenance / Usage Tips
Don’t abuse the ruggedness
Although many hunting calls are rated to be durable and rugged to some extent, it’s wise to not abuse this nature of them. While it can be easy to try and push them to their limits, we’d advise to not do this. Having a rugged and durable call certainly is something nice to have, but you don’t want to let your call be susceptible to any unnecessary damage or harm that they don’t need to be up against.
7 Best Electronic Game Calls
1. ICOtec GC300
The call itself gets powered by 4 AA batteries and comes with a 1-year factory warranty, and if you’re on the hunt for an extremely durable electric call that won’t put you over your budget, ICOtec has created a real winner with the GC300.
Ease of use
300 yard remote control
Calls sound a bit electronic at higher volumes
2. Primos Alpha Dogg
Sixty-four authentic calls
Two speakers included
Remote control included
3. Western Rivers 75R
Numerous reviews have praised this for being one of the easiest calls to operate, so if that’s something of importance to you, you’ll definitely want to take some serious consideration into picking this one up. The dollar amount is higher than what you’d get with a traditional call, but when you consider the fact that there’s a whopping 75 included calls on this little guy, it becomes hard to think of a reason as to why you wouldn’t purchase this thing. It may not have as great of a range or durability as some of the more expensive calls on this list, but that’s a very small price to pay for such a feature-rich electronic call.
Astounding seventy-five different calls
Easy to use
The price is on the high side
4. Primos Turbo Dogg
A USB port allows you to easily download additional sounds onto the Turbo Dogg, and the 25-warr amplifier proves to deliver uncompromised audio quality that is truly hard to come by with other options out there. The 150-yard range is a nice touch for utilizing your call from a distance, and while all of this does come in at a rather hefty cost, the high price tag is very well justified by all of the tremendous features that it packs in.
USB port for downloading additional sounds
Great sound quality
5. ICOtec GC350
Speaking of money, the ICOtec GC350 is definitely on the higher end of things in regards to price. Some people may not be so keen on shelling out this much money for a hunting call, but if you’re looking to get the best of the best, the GC350 is well worth your hard-earned money.
Twenty-four realistic calls
300 yard remote control included
Audio jack for additional speakers
6. Cass Creek Ergo
The call runs on three AAA batteries, and the majority of the reviews for this call are overwhelmingly positive. You can certainly get something a bit higher-end if you’re willing to hand over a few extra dollars, but if you’re trying to keep things as affordable as possible, this is an excellent way to go.
Five different calls
The calls are not very realistic
7. Wildgame Innovations Torch
While those features on their own are impressive in their own right, perhaps the most notable aspect about this call is the fact that it is actually able to reproduce 12 different types of calls. The speaker found on the call is considerably loud and very high quality, and is actually quite a bit louder than you may expect.
Twelve different calls for every hunting situation
No slip rubber coating
Calls sound just a little bit mechanical
Criteria For Evaluation
Our rankings for electronic game callers followed a fairly strict format, with some wiggle room where pricing is concerned. Top products on the list were Western Rivers mantis 75R, ICOrec GC300 and Primos Alpha Dogg Predator Call. Primos is the most recognizable name on that list, and has long been known for their contributions to the hunting community. They have released cameras and other popular hunting accessories, with each going on to be customer favorites.
Price is the first thing we looked at, which is a great way to determine value when comparing products with similar features. When looking at the top five products, you’ll notice that they all have a killer feature that separates them from the rest of the pack. We used pricing to remove any duplicate products on the list that didn’t offer anything special but had a higher price. The results were good, and helped us find early standouts while organizing the top ten.
Ease of Use
The next thing that caught our eye was ease of use. This was split into two sections, with the first being out of the box use. Products were graded on how well they instructed the consumer to use their features. Ideally, a good product would have you up and running in a matter of minutes with its core features. The second part of ease of use had to do with advanced users. Were the advanced features worth it for buyers that took the time to learn? With time, we felt that all users should be able to fully make use of the advanced features. This is where some products dropped, as their advanced features proved too difficult and were not worth the extra effort.
Durability was the next criteria, and covered the main unit and any associated remote controls. There were no surprises here, as all of the products proved they were made for the hazards of the outdoors. There wasn’t a lot of movement when looking at this criteria, even when measuring the toughness of the remote controls. We saw some changes when we added ‘longevity’ as a key criteria to match up with durability. A lot of products on the list were rated higher for years of use, which is important when you consider the electrical components.
Brands is something we looked at, this time with a focus on customer service. This criteria ties in with ease of use, and shows a company’s willingness to help customers when they were stuck with a feature. Not all customers call in for help, so to keep things balanced we also rated how easy the company made self-help guides available online. Primos was a big standout in this category by offering both old and new product information when needed. And if necessary, they had the best customer support of any product on the list.
Blending in with the Background
Styling was a criteria that we solely based on camo, so any of the products that were not in this category simply didn’t get points. For purposes of blending in, a quality camo casing is required. Some products did this better than others, and really looked like a part of the environment they were placed in. Styling doesn’t get as much recognition as it deserves for electronic game callers. When the main unit has to be placed in a remote location, blending in with the background can change how the game reacts when approaching it. And if you’ve equipped it with a compatible decoy, then you’ve instantly gained an extra few seconds.
And speaking of accessories, we ranked the products on their list of branded accessories-not generic. So universal products didn’t help out any of the callers on the list. While some of the accessories listed for callers was an exhaustive list, others had barely any at all. The effectiveness of accessories makes them indispensable partners to electronic game callers. Heavy favoritism went towards products that recognized the power of accessories.
Generous warranties on electronic products are always a good thing. We considered this a vital criteria, even with the high durability rating. Using electronic components outside comes with its own set of dangers. Anything can happen, even something as unlikely as your prey running off with the caller in their mouth. Restrictive warranties kept some products off of the list, and consumer friendly warranties were rewarded. We looked for length more than anything, and at least a year was required to even make the top ten. Extra points were given to callers that covered the remote with a similar warranty. When a company has a flagship model and continues to release updated revisions, these are the callers that are the most complete. Our top ten consists of some updated models, and we compared the old versions to the updated ones. If there was significant improvement, we then compared it to a similar model that was on its first run. Using this method allowed us to put more established flagship models where they belonged. There were always less bugs with these game callers, and much more support offered due to their previous following. In the rare case that a first run model outperformed an established one, we made the necessary changes on the list.
Quality of the Audio
The last criteria we looked at was the most important, and had to do with the quality of the audio. Authenticity was important, and a good portion of the electronic callers on the list nailed it perfectly. Any caller with below average audio quality (or reach) we considered to be below par for what is expected while hunting. At the very least, we made sure to keep our list tight by only submitting products with midrange and higher audio quality.
Are all Hunting Calls Able to Make Multiple Sounds?
No, not every call that you find will be able to make a host of various sounds for numerous animals. If you’re shopping for a traditional hunting call, you’re more than likely going to be met with something that can only create the sound of one single animal. However, if you opt for something that’s electronic, that’s when you’re going to be able to get a hunting call that’s capable of creating the sounds and calls of numerous animals.
Are There Universal Game Callers?
Digital technology has made this possible, with many products containing more than one type of call for you to use. Since these are all digital recordings, no quality is lost when getting a product that can handle multiple callings. The delivery will be the same for just about all products, with minor variations and tweaks where necessary. Universal game callers are a better value since they keep you from purchasing other callers. This enhances portability, leaving you with only one main caller to bring along on all trips. And on the rare chance you need a sound different than the game you’re hunting, a digital game caller becomes even more valuable, and at a cheaper cost.
What Are The Benefits Of Having A Remote Caller?
A remote caller lets you get into a better firing position. Without a remote caller, your prey will come to your current position. There might not be enough time to get into position after making the call, so for some hunters that will cost them a shot. With a remote caller, a hunter can scout out an open area and place the receiver in the desired spot. As long as they are within range of the receiver, it can be triggered to lure game into a trap. Hunters will have a much better chance of getting off a clean shot if they don’t have to scramble into shooting position.
Are Digital Callers Better Than Traditional?
Yes, and the pros don’t stop at sound quality. Digital callers can be activated from a distance, letting hunters stay in cover. It is the best way to scout an area without moving. This is an important feature for hunters that use tree stands. Digital callers also benefit from having multiple sounds within one product. The days of carrying around multiple traditional callers is long gone, and they’ve been replaced by a single small digital unit. With the right setup, the callers reach further distances, enhancing your chance to gather animals in one spot.
How Difficult Are They To Use?
For the average user, digital callers are not considered hard to use. For non-technical individuals, there will be a slight learning curve. The same applies to the average user that wants to use some of the limited advanced features. On a product by product basis, digital callers will have varying degrees of difficulty. To their credit, most products do a fine job of introducing buyers to the basics. They even provide tips on placement, something that can make or break the effectiveness of the product. Difficulty spikes in use is always going to be based on the individual that purchases the equipment. With a proper manual (and good customer support) there should be little problems with getting the equipment working.
What Extra Materials Do You Need To Get Started?
Everything you need is ready to go out of the box, but there are some accessories that can make the entire experience better. An extra battery pack with a charger can be a life saver when you forget to charge the main battery. It’s also useful for times where you will be out for multiple days, and away from an outlet. Decoys are available for certain digital callers, which serve as a way to enhance the experience with the sounds. Game may get distracted by it long enough to give you an extra few seconds to line up a shot. External speakers can extend your range of sound, letting you move further away from the target if it is in a populated area. And of course a carrying bag is always useful if you plan on adding any of these accessories to your main product. Always make sure that your electronic game caller supports the accessories you want to use.
Can The Loudness Levels Be Changed?
Yes, but you’ll get better control over the volume if you invest in an external speaker. Savvy users have found a way to use their own personal external speakers, but it is recommended to use a brand specific product. This ensures maximum compatibility, and gives you full control over the audio that comes from the device. The last thing you want to deal with is a speaker mod malfunctioning in the middle of a call. Official external features don’t have this problem, and if there are any setup issues you can always call the company for help.
Does The Product Come With Presets?
You won’t have to do a lot of configuring out of the box. The setup process is painless, and users won’t have to worry about doing complicated things like using an equalizer to get the sound right. The basics of an electronic game caller is the sounds are prerecorded, so there is only one button you have to worry about pressing. Anything that needs to be configured with the sound falls into advanced configurations, which is in no way required to use the product. It just leaves the door open for advanced users to tweak the current presets to their liking. This is done in an intelligent way by not forcing beginners to use complex settings.
Is There A Way To Preview The Sounds Before Buying?
There are many reasons why a buyer would want a preview of the sounds before purchasing the product website. On the off chance they don’t have videos or audio files up of the product, the next best thing is any known. Whatever their personal reasons, the most reliable way to preview sounds is through the company community steaming website that has uploaded the caller in action. Using this secondary method won’t provide as crisp an experience as the one on the manufacturer’s website, but it does offer an option when needed. Listening to these sounds in real time can narrow down your purchase if authenticity of the calls is a main concern.
How Difficult Is It To Replace Batteries?
Changing out the batteries in an electronic game caller is not difficult. If you’ve changed batteries on a remote control, then the process isn’t much different. Every now and then you’ll run into a company that requires the use of a small Philips to get the cover off. But beyond that, it’s simple and involves nothing more than taking the cover off and inserting the new batteries.
How to Make the Best Decision
So, at the end of the day, how do you make the best decision possible when it comes to picking up one of the best options available out there?
The main thing that you’re going to want to keep an eye on is the type of call you want to buy. Traditional calls usually offer a nicer design and are considerably more affordable, but they are also limited to creating the sound of just one animal.
Electronic calls don’t have the same rustic appearance that traditional ones provide, but the ability that they have to recreate the sounds of many different animals in one single device truly is something to behold.
And, finally, knowing your price range and budget limitations will be your best bet in regards to finding the call that you want. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on an effective call that will get you the results that you want, but opting for something that’s fancier and offers more features will certainly end up costing you a bit more in the long haul.
The majority of hunting calls out there are well-made and are able to deliver you with accurate and realistic sounds, as the main differences usually lie within what type of call it is, the animal it creates a sound for, and how many additional features it packs in.
Keep everything in mind that we talked about today when shopping for your next hunting call, and you’ll have an experience that’s both stress-free and fun.