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Minaska Big Country Bandit Electronic Caller- My Review of the Caller


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#1 Cranky Farmer

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 10:18 PM

I received my new Big Country Bandit a week ago and wanted to share a few pictures with you as well my impressions of the unit.I called Minaska on a Wednesday and told them I was having difficulties with my FoxPro (which I am mailing back next week for service) and that I wanted to leave to go on a hunt first thing Saturday morning. I asked him if he could call a Big Country Bandit to me by Friday so I could make my weekend hunt. Absolutely he could with over night shipping. Posted ImagePosted ImageAs promised, the unit arrived early Friday morning and I had the opportunity to play with it a bit and try to become familiar with how it worked as I packed the truck for my Saturday departure. I pulled it out of the box and started charging the battery after assembling the charger. I pulled the memory card and sat down at the computer to check out the sound loading and label printing software. It is a pretty simple program which I was able to master with out having to read any instructions. The Compact Flash (CF) card that came with the unit is loaded with 100 sounds which are split up into 10 "banks" of 10 sounds. The software makes it simple to add the sound you want into the bank and slot you desire. You will see what I am speaking of in the picture below. Another cool feature that I like is the ability to play the sounds from the program to help you decide which ones to use. No need to go to another program to preview your sounds!Posted ImageThere are several features of this unit that I really like. This unit and its dual speakers are capable of producing more volume than my FX5 with a higher quality sound than my FoxPro unit. The same sound played on both units is noticeably clearer on the Minaska. The remote is simple to use with big easy to see buttons which glow in the dark which makes night time and low light calling a snap. I love how the caller responds almost immediately to the remote. I was also pleased to discover that with the unit muted selecting a new sound on the remote automatically un-muted the caller and began playing the sound at the last selected volume level.Posted ImageThe unit is pretty simple with just one button to turn it on and a green LED to let you know the power is on. It has 4 jacks that are for recharging the 12 volt lead sealed acid battery, an external jack for the optional external speaker, the auxiliary jack for a remote operated decoy and the audio in jack for playing sounds from an external source such as CD or MP3 player.Posted ImageMy first night out with the Minaska it worked flawlessly and pulled in several animals, with a bobcat and coyote coming in on our first stand with this call. We used it all night long and some into the next day on the same battery with out a charge. My only complaint with this unit so far is the power switch on the remote control. It is a three position switch that is easily bumped and turned on.Posted Image Overall, I am very pleased with this unit and can imagine that it is going to be my primary night time hunting caller and will be especially useful on those days when it is windy. If you're like me and hunt when the time is afforded to you and not necessarily when you WANT then you may find yourself hunting on a windy day when you really need to get the sound out there.And I will end this post here with a picture of the first animal that was taken with the new unit.Posted Image

#2 Frank

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 06:51 AM

Outstanding report, Heath, and glad to hear the caller works so well. It will server well for years I'm sure.Yeah, as much as my friends & I love our FoxPro, and we truely do, they can be however poor on quality on some, if not many of their sounds. And why I had many of mine replaced. Also, the 2 times I sent mine back over the years, they messed it up both times. 1st giving me calls I did not ask for & 2nd, the #'s/ltrs do not match on the remote with the box. This after my explicit, detailed instructions by phone & mail both times. I will never send it back to FoxPro again. One of my friends is also sending his elsewhere for some sound changes on his FX3. Anyway, again, you did great & Thanks for sharing Frank

#3 Braz

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 08:04 AM

Great report CF. Makes one want to run right out and buy one. Well, almost. Hey, maybe you could cut a short lenght of PVC, what ever diameter will just fit over the switch and hot glue it on. That way it won't accidently be bumped on but you can still reach inside the PVC and move the switch. Just a thought.

#4 Buckaroobarnone

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 09:37 AM

This is on my list of must haves. I know I want an E caller, might as well have one of the best!

#5 DEERSLAM

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 11:22 AM

:signgreatreport3kg: But I won't be switchin over from my FX5 anytime soon. I've had great service from FoxPro.

#6 Fjold

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 03:22 PM

Nice report Heath,I just tried to do a Google search for it and came up empty. You might want to change the spelling in the title of your post to Minaska's.

#7 Cranky Farmer

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 03:53 PM

You might want to change the spelling in the title of your post to Minaska's.

Ooops. Thanks.

#8 ShooterJohn

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 06:30 PM

Very nice caller Heath. But I didn't know you were having problems with your FoxPro? As long as it works for you that's what is important.

#9 Cranky Farmer

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 06:52 PM

The FoxPro is going in for a check up on Monday. It wouldn't respond to the remote past 86 yards with a clear line od site, the caller 30" off the ground and me standing to run the caller. With the wind blowing the way it was while I was in Missouri I needed to be about 150 yards from the caller so the goat killers wouldn't wind me on their way to the call. I really think I would have put a couple more down if it was working better. Having to break a stand to get closer to the caller was a pain and too much motion for my liking.I have the utmost faith that FoxPro will fix it for me and it will be working great when I get it back. That display is hard for me to read at night and will likely only get worse in the years to come. In the cold winter months I have to do a battery change with the FoxPro. That isn't a huge problem, but with the battery in the Minaska that will be a thing of the past.

#10 MojaveJ

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 09:58 PM

I have the Big Country Ultimate One with the built in decoy and it will pull them in like they're on a string when you activate the decoy. One word of advice don't hold it in your hand to pan the sound around. Your ears will be ringing for quite some time after.

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