The Raspy Cotton Jack is deadly when it comes to reproducing rabbit distress sounds. It earned its name because it can easily mimic the raspy squalls of jackrabbits as well as the shrill, high-pitched squeaks of cottontail rabbits. Because the Raspy Cotton Jack uses Mylar® reeds, hunters sometimes think they have mistakenly received a duck call - we can assure you this is not the case. The custom-cut reed system gives this call its raspy, throaty tone. The key to this call is to put enough air into it to achieve the high-pitched tones.You can easily achieve lower volume by closing your hand around the exhaust end of the call to choke it down.
Tuning Hole Function
This tuning hole is key to achieving two different pitches in sound. When the hole is open (uncovered), it produces a deeper, raspy tone like a jackrabbit. Cover the hole using your finger to create a higher pitched tone to imitate a cottontail rabbit.
Because this call uses Mylar® reeds, you can actually remove the barrel and use the call as a traditional open-reed call. This is a great feature for changing up the tone of your calling, and it's also invaluable for hunting in extreme cold weather when damp reeds tend to stick together. Using the call as an open-reed call allows you to easily flick the reeds to separate them and ensure proper sound quality.
Operating the Call - Barrel On (Enclosed-reed Call)
Place the mouthpiece of the call on your bottom lip and seal your top lip around the call, as if you are drinking from a bottle.
Cottontail Rabbit Distress Call: cottontail distress calls are short, repeated call sequence. To make this call, blow air from your diaphragm and do not add any "voice" to the call with your vocal chords. The cottontail distress sound is almost like a laughing cadence - Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha ha ha - trailing off a bit at the end of the sequence. Make about three of these sequences and then wait a bit to watch for curious predators coming to the call. As you begin to get the hang of the sound and cadence, you can use your hand to cover the exhaust and vary the sound of the call.
Jackrabbit Distress Call: Begin by blowing softly into the call with your fingers slightly cupped around the exhaust of the call. Open your fingers as you blow, making a crying "waah waaaaaaah waaah waaah" sound. These notes are longer and more drawn out than the cottontail rabbit sounds described above. Do this in 30-60 second sequences. Increase your volume with each sequence to cast your calling greater distances.
Operating the Call - Barrel Off (Open-reed Call)
Place the reeds and toneboard in your mouth, applying slight pressure with your lips or teeth about halfway down the reed. Don't bite the reeds, as it does not take that much pressure. This will take some practice and trial and error to determine the right amount of pressure for your calling style. The calling sequences will be just as they are described above for the enclosed-reed operation of the call.