Push Button Cow Elk Call Review: Hoochie Mama and the Estrus Squeeze Me

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If you're venturing into elk country and want to carry only one call, hands down the call to take is a cow call. Regardless of pre-rut, post-rut, rut, or no-rut a cow call is one of the best ways to at least stop a bull in its tracks and on a good day, call one in. If you're new to calling or just want a simple call, a few manufacturers offer push button, non-electronic calls. For this review we'll take a closer look at Wayne Carlton's Estrus Squeeze Me call and the Primos Hoochie Mama series of calls.

Calling any animal can be tricky and some calls are definitely easier than others to master. Among the simplest calls are those that use a bellow to drive air through the reed system producing the cow call. A bellow based called is literally a "push button" style call and while you still have to vary how quickly and how deeply you press the bellow, on the whole they are very easy to use.


Left to Right: Primos Hoochie Mama, Wayne Carlton's Estrus Squeeze Me, and the Primos Baby Hoochie Mama

Wayne Carlton's Calls offers the "Estrus Squeeze Me Cow Call" which uses a bulb like protrusion that you press on to produce the call and sells for around $22. On the sides of the call are slots that the bellow pushes the passing air through. By rotating the tip of the call the slots can be opened up or closed down. Wide open slots produces a higher pitch call closer to a cow, while closing down the slots produces a lower pitched sound closer to a calf. The slot is marked from 1-6 so it is easy to visually inspect where the call is set. The change in pitch is fairly significant and coupling this with how quickly or deeply the bulb is pressed it is straightforward to produce a variety of long or short cow or calf calls.


The Wayne Carlton's Estrus Squeeze Me Cow Call


The Estrus Squeeze Me partially closed down


The Estrus Squeeze Me wide open

Primos Hunting makes two separate calls in their line of Hoochie Mama calls. The first is the original Hoochie Mama that has been on the market for some time and the second is the Baby Hoochie Mama that was first released last year.

The Baby Hoochie Mama produces a lower pitched sound that is similar to a calf and sells for around $25. The call is more in-line with the thumb and when pressing the rear bulb one must be sure to block the 'Silencer Hole' on the rear of the bulb in order to produce a sound. The Silencer Hole is placed such that an accidental squishing of the bulb will vent the air and not produce a sound. The tip of the call also has what Primos calls an 'Enhancer', by rotating the enhancer outward makes the call shorter in duration, while all the way in makes the call length longer. One trick with the Baby Hoochie Mama is that you must push it fairly quickly and depress it fully or it will produce no sound.


The Primos Baby Hoochie Mama


The Silencer Hole on the back of either Hoochie Mama that must be sealed with the thumb in order to produce a sound.

The original Hoochie Mama sells for around $28 and works much like the Baby Hoochie Mama with a few twists. First it produces a higher pitch call and is really only good as a cow call. The second is the 'Enhancer' is marked to distinguish a few types of cow call lengths. With the enhancer twisted all the way out makes for a longer duration call, while all the way in makes a shorter mew. Midway between the two is a lost cow length call. Like the Baby Hoochie Mama you must fully close off the hole on the back of the bulb to produce a sound. It's worth noting that the pitch can be altered on either call by blocking the vent holes on the side of call, although this makes it a two handed operation and may not be convenient when hunting.


The Primos Hoochie Mama


The enhancer all the way twisted in and then all the way twisted out.

Because of its versatility the Estrus Squeeze Me is capable of producing the best range of sounds in one call. However the 'silencer hole' on the Hoochie Mama series is a good precaution against those accidental call bumps that only seem to happen at the worst possible moment.

One down side to push button calls is their simplicity makes them very popular and it's not unusual to hear other hunters using the same call in the same area you may be hunting. If you're looking for uniqueness and total control over the cow call, you'll need to move to one or more of the various mouth calls on the market. All and all though the ease of use and good sound reproduction makes the push button cow calls a solid choice when getting started hunting elk.

Comments

COMeatHunter's picture

This style of call is great for beginner and experienced hunters

I've used the Wayne Carlton call for several years with very good results.  I have to agree with the reviewers on the accidental chirps though.  I like to keep the call in my side pants pocket for quick and easy access.  But if I move too quickly, I can pinch the call in my pocket and make some unwanted noise.  Never had that happen when it really counted, but it is the biggest negative of this call for sure.

The adjustment on the call also works really well for changing the pitch.  And to add to the versatility, you can slowly depress the bulb before starting your call to reduce the amount of air pushed through the reeds to easily vary the length of the call.  And further, if you vary the speed at which you press the bulb, this further changes the pitch and sound of the call.  Add all of these subtle features together and you have a very good, very versatile, cow call.

Another important aspect of calling not mentioned (probably because it's a gear review article, not a "how to" article) is to muffle the call occasionally and point the call in different directions away from the elk you are working.  If you're not careful, the elk will quickly locate you and slip in down wind when they approach--this almost always spells disaster for your set up.  These push button type calls are very easy to point in different directions without affecting the users ability to operate them.

As was pointed out in other comments, just knowing how to make a quality sounds with your call doesn't mean you know how to use it.  You owe it to yourself to get educated on when and how to use your call to effectively call elk.  Use it wrong and you probably spoiled your chances for a shooting opportunity.  When in doubt, don't use it.

numbnutz's picture

I have and use the Hookie

I have and use the Hookie mama. I've never seen the call from Wayne Carlton, and I haven't used the baby hoochie either. I like the Hookie mama for it's ease of use. I also have a couple mouth calls and a couple reed blow in style calls ( Imakinda bulls crazy). I like to bring a few calls into the woods with me for a varity. I'll blast the hookie and then blow a reed call just so I can sound like multiple cows when trying to lure in a rut hungry bull. I'll maybe have to add the baby hoochie to the arsenal to give me an advatage. Great article and review. The only other thing i can add is with more and more hunters using the Hoochie calls they seem to be less effective. Thats why i mix it up with multiple calls.

Retired2hunt's picture

  I did a lot of research on

 

I did a lot of research on Elk calls before settling on the Primos Hoochie Mama.  I'm glad you two well experienced hunters have proven me to make the right decision.  My partner picked up the Primos Baby Call just so we have two different sounding calls to use simultaneously if needed.

I also don't want something sitting in my mouth and risk possibly accidentally swallowing or gagging on it at the worst possible time.

My neighbors who do not hunt (for now) get a good kick out of me practicing in my backyard. 

Anyhow - I expect to have a better testimonial in three weeks.

 

hunter25's picture

I have been using the Primos

I have been using the Primos hoochie momma for a few years now as well with great results. I picked them up after the hunting seasons at wal mart for 6 bucks each and am really glad I did. I have never actually called an elk in with it but have used them to put elk at ease that have heard me coming in the oak brush and were already on alert when ai spotted them. My dad used his a couple of years ago and called every once in awhile as he walked through the brush and got within 50 yards of some cows that he didn't even know were there. they had accepted that he was another elk getting closer right up till he shot one of them. I haven't tried the others but I can guarantee you I will have one of them in my pocket when I head out with my license in October.

I have also used it to get deer to pause that were moving through the brush so I could get a better look at them before they were gone. Well worth the money even if you have to pay full price for one.

niceshot_smitty's picture

hands down i use the Hoochie

hands down i use the Hoochie Mama!!!  i have been using it know for about 5 years and its all i need to hunt bulls in the rut.  yeah mouth calls are great if you can use them,  i can't because of latex in most of them.  Yeah i might sound like another hunt in the woods but i know when to call and when not to call.  most people don't.  the herd of elk i hunt are pretty well know in the area and i look for people to work for me and let them do all the hard work. 

I have the hand call but i don't use it. 

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