For this first time electronic (digital) caller user, I didn’t quite know what to expect when the FOXPRO Inferno turned up on my desk from Outdoor Sporting Agencies.
First impressions were good — an easy setup had it working in minutes.
The caller is powered by four AA batteries (not included) and the remote uses three AA batteries (also not included), allowing easy replacement in the field, unlike some requiring recharging.
But if rechargeable is your thing, standard AA batteries can be replaced with Ni-MH or Lithium AA batteries. Standard alkaline AA batteries should last 3–7 hours (depending on volume).
The FOXPRO came loaded with 75 stock sounds, including 10 rabbit distress and seven rodent calls. I found the rabbit and field mouse distress calls fantastic for foxes here in Australia. The caller is US made so you also get coyote, fox, bobcat, rabbit, birds, rodents, domestic, deer, raccoon, mountain lion, bear and crow.
Many could be used here — and not just for foxes.
The caller has the ability to store 200 calls and you can download another 100 free from their website, where a quick look reveals a huge list, including 28 waterfowl sounds (the blue-winged teal and Mallard got my attention) that could be used here.
Controlled by a handheld remote (with large backlit LCD display) that is easy to use and read (I didn’t even need my reading glasses) with all functions run from it, including sounds and volume, it also has the ability to store your most used calls in the favourite’s menu. Programs can be set up via the P1 and P2 buttons and you can set it up for different users via the USER button.
Another interesting feature is FOXBANG, designed to automatically switch the sound on the caller to when your firearm is discharged. The remote detects high sound pressure levels, such as a gunshot muzzle blast and then can switch the sound. For example, once you shoot at a fox you may want to switch the caller immediately to a fox distress call (or any other distress call) at high volume.
I was extremely impressed by the range, quality and volume of the calls. After playing with the FOXPRO in the office I couldn’t wait to get it out into the field.
It was a Friday afternoon in mid-January with the magazine deadline just days away and a trip to Phillip Island for Westernport Field & Game’s annual two-day shoot planned for the next morning.
We had just a few hours to get into position, set up the caller, take photos, try a shoot and kill a fox — this was going to be the ultimate test.
Arriving about 6 pm a quick chat with the property manager revealed a fox just seen a few hundred metres from his house, a great place to test the FOXPRO and giving us about two hours to get the job done.
I had the trusty 22/250, while my son Jack had our ever-reliable 12 g shotgun loaded with BBs. Anything inside 50 m would be taken with the shotgun, anything further out would be dispatched with the 22/250.
After setting up the caller we tried a variety of rabbit distress calls at various volumes for 30 minutes and got several kangaroos but no fox.
Changing tactics to rodent calls, first up was the ‘#054 Field Mouse Distress’, the one that sounded great in the office.
Starting at a low volume and slowly increasing it every five minutes or so (there is a timer on the remote, another handy feature), we soon saw movement across the creek.
While this was a young fox, he was downwind and knew something was not quite right and was not willing to come closer. At 200 m he was in 22/250 range but we wanted him in shotgun range.
Eventually his curiosity got the better of him, although at 100 m he got spooked, so I moved behind the 22/250 beside me on the bi-pod, got the crosshairs on his chest and it was “lights out” for Mr Fox.