Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A new fox call to try - the Nasher

I received this in the post today - the 'Nasher' fox call - from Eddie Nash who runs the Lamping Foxes group on Facebook. So first things first, thanks Eddie for sending it through for me to try.

It's had some good reviews from experienced foxshooters, so I'm looking forward to trying it out. Initial thoughts... well, it's a simple and clever design, looking basically like a short length of copper pipe squashed into a pillow shape, with the ends crimped shut and a hole drilled straight through both sides in the centre. 

Looking at it, you might think it would make a similar sound to the WAM call - a favourite of mine for close calling, although it doesn't have the Tenterfield-style Bestfoxcall's power to reach out to foxes several fields away. Horses for courses, I use both, as well as the plastic reed-type when the mood takes me.

Without any foxes handy to test it on, I thought I'd try out a new app I've put on my mobile - I've been wondering what it might be good for. It's called FrequenSee (geddit?) and displays a graph of, yes you guessed, the frequency profile of whatever sounds are being picked up by the phone's mic. Ignore the silly ads at the top left of each screenshot; it's a free app and that's the price you pay.

First up, the WAM. Notice the first and biggest spike a little above 2kHz. Then the higher frequency spikes around 5kHz, 8kHz and a smaller one at 10kHz. The shorter spikes higher up may be harmonics of the lower ones, or perhaps they are more to do with the rushing of wind out of the side of my mouth etc. I suspect they aren't loud enough to travel far anyway. Someone more musical than myself (which is not setting the bar very high) may be able to tell me what musical notes these represent.

So, on to the Nasher. Subjectively, I felt the sound was similar in tone to the WAM, but louder and more raspy. I was interested to see that the spikes are almost identical in frequency, although the shapes are different. The line is higher in the gaps between the spikes and, although you can't see it in the screen-grab, the line was far more animated, wiggling up and down like a crazed snake. To my ears, that corresponded with a more raspy, 'dirty' sound, as opposed to the pure whistle-like tone of the WAM.

Which may well be a good thing. Experience has shown that foxes are attracted to the raspy tone of the Bestfoxcall - as one foxshooter told me, the more spit you can push throught it as you blow, the better. So I have high hopes for the Nasher, and I'm looking forward to trying it out on the Skye foxes when I head up there shortly. One thing I must work on is holding the Nasher in my mouth; doing the phone app tests, I struggled to hold it with my lips and leave both hands free to grab the screenshot. That wasn't a problem, but it will be a problem if I don't have both hands free for shooting when I use it for real.

Incidentally, check out the little fox mask logo stamped into the crimp at top left - a nice touch.


The Suburban Bushwacker said...

We may have lost pretty much everything, but its good to see that we still lead the world in Shed-Tech, and the name, the name is cool too

Dan said...

I think the thing to remember with fox calls is what you are actually trying to imitate: you are trying to make a noise like a rabbit slowly dying in severe pain and fear. It ain't going to be a nice or mellifluous sound; this is the noise a bunny makes as it is breathing it's last.

The idea here is to give the fox the impression that here's a nice big healthy bunny that's having something traumatic happen to it that's making it scream at the top of its lungs; foxy will then race on in to make a meal of the unfortunate bunny before anything else hears the dinner gong and gets there before it.

So, nice, raspy, loud screams and quieter, shorter ones as the fox gets closer in; this bunny is dying and can't scream so loud or so long. Oh, and don't make any noise yourselves; foxy is supposed to think this bunny isn't actually being predated by anything big right now, or it'll circle round downwind to try sniff out what is busy knackering the bunny.

Unknown said...

Where can you get one of these "Nasher" calls.

I use the Wam for most of my fox shooting but like the idea of a call with bit more of a raspy call.