Mouth calls such as diaphragm and reed calls are cheap and can be very effective if used correctly, but are hard to master.
Save Your Money! There are several electronic varmint calls that sale for under $100, but unfortunately none that I can support you spending your hard earned money on. Cheap calls just aren’t worth the cash spent on them. Trust me, I’ve tried several and read reviews on most all of them and have yet to find one that works on a consistent basis. When a sub-$100 digital varmint call is produced that I think is worthy of me supporting it, I will let you know. I am sure with the competition these days, a company will come out with a good, inexpensive call priced for the average hunter. Until then, I would suggest getting good at mouth calls!
Hear are the mouth calls I like best:
A Cheap Solution: Homemade Electronic Varmint Call. For an inexpensive, yet effective caller, an option is to build a homemade electronic call. Trust me, it works well for what you will pay for it. All the supplies can be purchased for about $50. It is loud and produces good quality sound. If you want a remote, you will have to be a bit more tech savvy, or buy an MP3 player with a good remote included. This call is better than any other branded electronic call that sells for under $100. If you are looking to save some money but want a proven caller, this is it.
Anybody that has done much web searching for information on calling in varmints has probably stumbled upon Varmint Al’s Coyote Hunting website. Al is a die hard varmint hunter and specializes in mouth calling. He has a long list of sounds he has recorded that are life like and free to download and work very well with the home made electronic caller.
You can get all the equipment needed here:
4 X 6″ Powerhorn (24.99), add it to the cart and then search RadioShack for “mini audio amplifier” ($14.99). It should be the first result. Add to cart and then search “12-Inch Shielded Stereo Audio Cable” ($6.29), add two to cart. Any MP3 player will work fine. You may already have one. If not, search RadioShack for MP3 players. The cheapest ones will work fine.
Best Electronic Varmint Calls Under $200
FoxPro Spitfire: Finally FoxPro has produced an entry level, low priced unit that delivers top of the line sound quality. The Spitfire is a small, economical electronic predator call priced in a range that it can be paid for with one bobcat. At under $200, it is the least expensive e-caller that I will recommend, and it is better than many units costing more. I have not used the Spitfire in the field yet, but I was messing around with it at the store, and I will assure you the sound it puts out is amazing for a unit of its size.