FoxPro Hellfire vs. Wildfire review

I have used the Wildfire and Spitfire, both with a lot of success. Recently someone was asking about whether they should get the new FoxPro Hellfire or the Wildfire on one of the forums I frequent. It was late and I was tired so I typed up a little more than what was probably needed. Anyway, someone else asked the same question a few days later and I couldn’t find my review. After some digging I decided that I should post my review here in case it comes up again:

Both the Wildfire and Hellfire hold 200 sounds, and use the same remote, with Foxbang. It is about $350 for the Hellfire and $200 for the Wildfire.

The Wildfire it a little smaller and about half the weight than the Hellfire. Batteries last longer in the Wildfire and the Wildfire does not get as loud as the Hellfire. When you power up the Wildfire (and the Spitfire with the same speaker) there is some noticeable static coming from the plastic speaker.

The Wildfire has a green indicator light and the power on switch is identical to and right next to the speaker off switch. The green indicator light is hard to see in the daytime and even with it powered up there is a chance that the speaker will be flipped to ‘off’. I cant tell you how many times I would sneak out to setup my caller, get hidden, sit for a few minutes, then send a signal to a caller that wouldn’t make noise. Then had to go back out and start over again, laying down more human scent in the area I wanted to call. I eventually got in the habit of placing the caller to my ear to listen for the static before setting the caller down and walking away.

The plastic speaker also seems to have issues with certain notes at high volume. The tone becomes tinny and some coyote howls resonate weird when the volume is up.

Aside from those issues the caller is deadly. I used my Spitfire for two years and called in hundreds of coyote, and a half dozen bobcats. I still carry that caller if I am doing a lot of hiking because it is so light and easy to pack. This is the caller I was using to bring in foxes on a failed Dove Hunt.

Wild specs review.

In Red: Power on/off switch, and Speaker on/off switch. The switches have a high profile and can get flipped in transport. Leading to dead batteries in addition to the problem with setting up to call.
In Green: is the power indicator, which is difficult to see in the daytime.

I have a Hellfire as well. The Hellfire is built on a TOA PA Horn and is LOUD. The FoxPro electronics are solidly built into an extended magnet cover on the back of the speaker, held in place with three screws, the battery pack is attached to the frame. I love the on/off switch on this unit, it is an old school steel toggle that just feels solid to flip on. When I first powered mine up I thought it was broken, because there was absolutely no static coming from the speaker. But It plays the sounds perfectly, sounds are crystal clear at any volume, and it gets loud! The sounds never break up or sound tinny even on difficult howls at top volume. (Did I mention it is loud?).

The Hellfire is a little bulky, being twice the weight as the Wildfire, but maybe I am not used to carrying it yet. It also burns trough batteries faster, but using the FoxPro rechargeable pack they tend to last much longer. You will still get a full day of calling at max volume with regular batteries (8+hours).

FoxPro hellfire review picture

At the top is the steel on/off toggle, that is recessed enough that it won’t be turned on in transit. This picture is the off position. The ‘Batt’ indicator light is bright amber, so you will see it an predators won’t. It also flashes as a low battery indicator. The Wildfire does not have that feature. All of the electronics are located in this housing, the black nylon case on the frame is the battery pack.

I wanted to save up the money for one of the CS24b’s from the custom shop, but other than the custom remote I couldn’t see or hear too much difference between it or the Hellfire. I am sure at some point I will be kicking myself for not putting up the cash for that other remote, it has the dial selector on top and comes with the Foxcast programming.

In my eyes the Spitfire/Wildfire are ‘entry level’ e-callers. The Hellfire is by far the cheapest ‘Pro’ caller on the market. The great thing about them is they both hold their value. A statement about the quality of the company and the honesty of their business practices.

Either way you go you are going to call in ‘yotes for sure. Feel free to comment on this post if you have any questions.

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‘Dove Hunting’ for grey fox.

This weekend I decided to go out dove hunting with a good friend. We headed up north on a tip and hunted near Cordes Lakes. I am pretty sure that neither of us have an eye for dove. I think total for the day we each saw and shot at one, with no hits. After awhile we gave up on the dove and decided to do some calling with my FoxPro caller. We put in two 20 minute stands and didn’t see a thing. The whole area was infested with giant grasshoppers, maybe the foxes and coyote are full up on them. I have never seen such big grasshoppers or so many in one place.

Grasshoppers

 

Even if the hunting was lacking, it was a great way to spend a day with a great friend. He has a lot more experience dove hunting then I do, and he did his best to pass some knowledge on to me without actually shooting at anything. This got me pretty fired up about hunting doves, so I decided to head out on my own the next day.

I overslept in the morning and had a few things to do around the house. So I made plans to hit the road about 3pm, which would give me the last 2 hours of the day to hunt. I decided to hit up some of the big cattle tanks West of Four Peaks. With all the rain this season I figured that they would be full, and there is no ranching going on out there so I wouldn’t have cows to deal with.

On the way out to Four Peaks, just a couple miles passed the Verde River, I had to swerve to miss a desert tortoise that was crossing the 87. It was right in the middle of the highway, so I spun around, flipped on my emergency lights, and stood in the highway in a blaze orange shirt directing traffic around it until it was well on its way.

When I got to the area I wanted to hike into I grabbed a box of dove shot for my 870, and an extra 3 rounds of Dead Coyote #T shot. I had my FoxPro SpitFire in my backpack and figured that I could do some calling if the dove hunting didn’t work out. Within the first few steps from the road I nearly stepped on the biggest desert cottontail that I have ever seen. It looks like the rain has done more than just green up the desert, I will be chasing those fat rabbits in about 2 months.

The rest of the hike to the tank had me jump 3 coveys of Gambel’s quail and one big red striped rosy boa.

I hiked around the tank a few times, there were a bunch of coyote tracks in the soft sand. I also found some bobcat tracks, and the tracks of 2 other hunters, one with a big dog. Most of these were a few days old, but the coyote tracks were fresh. So not seeing any doves I decided to change tactics.

Calling Arizona Foxes

This is the view from the stand. My caller is on the lower left, Four Peaks in the background.

I hiked just short of a mile from the tank and set up the caller on top of a staghorn cactus. Then I climbed a hill about 30 yards, and put the three Dead Coyote ammo in the 870.

About 7-8 minutes into the call I saw some movement to my right. A grey fox was coming up out of a rocky wash and headed right to my caller. I waited until he was about 15 yards from the caller before I dropped him.

Normally at this point I would shut off the caller and pick up the fox. But I decided to sit tight and let it run. About 2 minutes later, another fox came up out of the same wash. This one was following right in the first ones steps and I wasn’t sure what it would do when it came up on the first one. So I shot it about 60 yards out from where I was sitting.

This was my first fox ‘double’, and on a dove hunt. Not what I drove out there for, but it definitely made my day.

 

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