There are a lot of things you should bring with you every time you go on a hunting trip. You shouldn’t forget to bring the weapons first of all, as hunting is tricky without them. Ok, I know, that is too obvious. But, seriously now, you have to bring your weapons, scopes, stealthy cameras, and the basic toolkit.
However, there is one more hunting tool that I always bring with me whenever I go hunting – the game call. Unlike most other gizmos many bring along, this will do a lot to help you have a successful hunt.
Not only will the game call make your hunting a lot easier, but it will also make it significantly safer. Most of the game calls are incredibly simple to use and are very portable. This time around, I got my hands on one of the most affordable game calls around. So, stick around for the ICOtec GC300 review.
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Using any bit of gear on your hunting trip can make a huge difference. Let’s be honest here, hunting can be incredibly stressful, especially if you are hunting for food. Using the game call will not only help you get more animals out in the open, but it will also actually help you lure the exact animal you are hunting that day. However, if you go hunting without a proper game call, you might end up coming home empty-handed. In fact, you might not even get to see the animal you went out to hunt.
However, buying an electronic call is nowhere as simple as it seems to be. There are multiple things you have to consider before you purchase one. What you have to know is it powerful enough, are the sounds good, can it take harsh environments, and many other factors you have to check to be able to make an informed decision regarding the purchase.
ICOtec GC300 – Call of the Wild Electronic Game Call
Now, when it comes to the ICOtec GC300, I have to say that it is one of the top picks for newcomers. If you are either new to hunting, or to using electronic calls, this is an excellent starting point. In fact, I got my own for less than 80 dollars on Amazon.
I have to say, just from that, I didn’t expect a lot from it, so, I was in for a surprise during the testing. It is actually a great game call by ICOtec and works precisely as I would want it to. Upon opening the box, the first thing that caught my eye was how compact it was. The entire product fits in the box the size of 8 x 5 x 4 inches, and it only weighs in at around a pound and a half. That means that carrying this call around is incredibly easy. In fact, you can fit it in any backpack you have, and even some larger jacket pockets.
As with pretty much any tech you buy these days, the features are what you want to look for. Knowing what your new toy brings to the table is crucial for making the right decision. Now, we know, most people would think that there isn’t much to these devices, but they would be wrong. So, let’s take a couple of moments and go through the key features of this game call.
The very first thing you simply have to talk about when it comes to game calls are the speakers. In fact, they are the single most crucial part of this device. If your speakers are not powerful enough, or if they don’t give clear enough of a sound, your trap will fail.
Another great thing about ICOtec GC300 – it sports a 15-watt speaker that can deliver up to 120 decibels of sound. I really wouldn’t recommend exposing yourself to that volume from short distances. Overall, this device boasts one really powerful speaker.
Now, I have to admit, I didn’t test the limits of the range of the speaker. However, I did test the range of the remote from a bit over 300 yards to see if it would work. Of course, the remote did its job. But, more importantly, I was able to hear the crow distress sound clearly from 300 yards. Well, if I can hear this call from a distance of 300 yards, and my hearing is far from perfect, you can bet the animals you are hunting can probably hear it from a mile away.
If you believe you need more power than what this call offers, you can simply add it. There is a speaker jack you can use to add more volume to your call. Simply connect a speaker of your choice and turn the game call on with the remote control. But, honestly, I don’t think there is any need to do so. The speaker is fairly powerful.
However, there are people who are not happy with the sound quality when they set the volume really high. I have to admit, I can see why that is. When I set the volume to the maximum setting, the sound can get a bit “electrical.” So, I can understand if anyone wants to use an additional speaker.
A lot of people will try to convince you that design is irrelevant. That animals don’t care what the call looks like. To be completely fair, they would be right, to a point. But, then again, they would be very wrong as well. Namely, it is true that animals usually won’t even get to see the call. However, if they do, you usually want it to look inconspicuous.
Some animals are actually capable of recognizing hunting gear and might run away when they see it. For that reason, some electronic calls use camo details or different tricks. However, GC300 doesn’t. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t quite like that at first. However, after I took this call to a hunting trip, I had to change my mind. Namely, the Icotec GC300 has a different way to remain hard to notice – its size. Remember, this model is very small. It is only 8 inches long, and the front side of it is no bigger than my fist. Once I set this device in the relatively tall grass, it was, for all intents and purposes, invisible.
Before I set out to do an ICOtec GC300 review, I took a look online to see what other reviews look like. There is one thing that connects them all – there is a lot of emphasis on the actual calls. Of course, it makes sense. After all, that is what you are buying this device for.
The first thing I should mention is that there is a limited number of calls you can use with this device. So, before we go into detail, I will just quickly list the sounds out.
ICOtec GC300 Distress Calls:
Jack Rabbit Distress
Baby Crow Distress
Gray Fox Distress
Coyote Pup Distress
Coyote Yip and Howl
Now, these are all the sounds that you get with this device. If you let it run by itself, it will play for about half a minute before going quiet for another 20 seconds. Well, that is about it. That means that there is no way for you to really “customize” the call. However, there is an ongoing debate between my friend and I, whether or not this indeed is a bad thing. Namely, you don’t really need any other sounds for a successful hunt. What matters more than the quantity of these calls is the quality.
These recordings are top-notch. In fact, they are all actually licensed by Wildlife Technologies, one of the world leaders when it comes to bioacoustics. In fact, they are so famous that movie giants like Disney and Warner Brothers use their recordings. As long as you are hunting in North America, these sounds will be more than enough. They essentially cover the sounds that will lure pretty much any game you are hunting. Now, if you plan to travel around, you might want to find a call with a broader repertoire.
Now, this is a feature I love. As we all know, using a call is not 100% effective. Some animals can recognize that it is artificial and stay away. One of the reasons for that is the fact that, in the wild, it is very rare to hear isolated sounds. Not to mention that a single call doesn’t give a lot of information to the animal you are hunting. So, ICOtec decided to up their game and allow us to play two simultaneous calls.
So, even though there are only 12 different sounds in this machine, you can get a lot of solid combinations in. The ones I found the most effective for coyote hunting are a jackrabbit distress call with the coyote male. In fact, it got me three coyotes on the first day out. However, the results may vary for each person. I would also recommend not using the automatic loop indefinitely. The pauses feel too regular, and the animals can feel that. Instead, just pause it for a minute every couple of loops.
Unfortunately, I did notice that playing certain combinations can lead to some audio issues due to weird overlapping. Especially with the cottontail distress call.
The Remote Control
I have to say, the remote is actually amazing. It can actually work from 300 yards away. Upon testing, it didn’t fail me a single time. It is also incredibly intuitive. Namely, since the device only comes with 12 buttons, the remote essentially only needs about 15. Playing a certain call is as simple as pressing the button that has the name of that call on it. Also, if you want to play two calls at the same time, just press two buttons.
Pros and Cons
* Incredibly affordable electronic call
* Excellent speaker that produces up to 120 decibels
* The ability to play two calls at the same time
* Intuitive remote control you can use from 300 yards away (which is about 250 more than what you actually need)
* You can’t add or modify sounds on this device
* Certain sound combinations can lead to issues at higher volumes
* No decoys
Why Buy the ICOtec GC300
If you are looking for an excellent game call that is inexpensive, rugged, and works like a charm you should definitely consider buying the ICOtec GC300. Any beginner should be more than happy with what this call has to offer. In fact, I haven’t been a beginner in years, and i still love this call. Sure, you could buy a different one with a lot of additional features, but you would be looking at a $300+ price tag. Instead, you can start off by spending only 80 bucks and dramatically increasing your success rate.
In the end, this ICOtec GC300 review is not here to tell you what to do. You will have to make that decision on your own. However, I am more than willing to recommend this electronic call to any a hunter that asks me about it. It is cheap, efficient, durable and lightweight. So, in essence, it is everything you need it to be.