Calling Wolves with Rabbit Distress Calls

If you’ve called coyotes or bobcats, you probably already have one of these calls. Cottontail, Snowshoe, and Jack rabbit distress calls also work well for calling in wolves. Even though a rabbit might not be much of a meal for 120 lb wolf, the distressed cries of the small mammals have proven to be very effective for calling wolves in.

Rabbit distress calls generally come in two varieties, each with benefits and downsides:

Closed Reed Advantages:

  • Easy to Use
  • Very Durable



  • Limited variation in tone and pitch
  • Need multiple calls to simulate different animals

Open ReedAdvantages

  • Created a wide variety of sounds
  • Create cottontail, jack rabbit, and canine distress cries with one call


  • More difficult to use
  • More fragile. Reed can be bent or fill up with debris.

How to Use a Rabbit Distress Call to Call in a Wolf

To simulate the dying cries of a rabbit:

  1. Place the mouth piece of the call in your mouth with your weak hand
  2. Keep your week hand wrapped around the call as you place it in your mouth
  3. Curl your strong hand around the end of the  call to form a chamber
  4. Strongly Blow into the call while saying “WAH”
  5. Now break up the call with a string of “ WAH” cries like  “WAH WAAAAAAH WAH WAAH etc…”
  6. While blowing, curl your strong hand on and off the end of the call to create a more dynamic, muffled, and amplified cries

The biggest mistake new callers make with a rabbit call is blowing consistent even toned sequences of cries over and over like- “Wah, Wah, Wah, Wah”.

The key to calling in wolves with rabbit distress calls is to be unpredictable. Vary the intervals you call for and how long you call.  Try to create a combination of loud screams, quite whimpers, squeals, and long drown out cries. You must convince wolves that there really is a tasty, dying, critter waiting for them.

Tip: If magpies, ravens, or hawks start flying overhead and landing nearby, you are doing a good job

When  to Use a Rabbit Distress Call to Call in a Wolf

Rabbit distress calls work well for calling in wolves when used alone or in combination with other calls. If you are in an area that has few deer or elk, a rabbit call is a good choice for calling in wolves.

If you are using a rabbit distress call by itself, a sequence as follows can be effective.

  1. Begin the calling sequence with loud screams
  2. Continue calling for 30 seconds to a minute with varying terrified cries, whimpers, and muffled calls.
  3. End the calling sequence abruptly as if the rabbit has been killed.
  4. Wait 1 minute to 5 minutes
  5. Begin calling again, but softer with whimpers, cries, and moans to simulate a wounded, scared rabbit for 1-3 minutes.
  6. Pause again for 1- 5minutes
  7. Erupt into another short frantic calling sequence for 30seconds to a minute
  8. Pause for another 1-5 minutes
  9. Keep repeating steps 1-7 until you spot a wolf coming into your stand

Stop calling as soon as you spot a wolf coming into your stand.

Any movement should be avoided if possible.

Recommended Rabbit Distress Calls for Calling Wolves

The following are 4 of our favorite distress calls for calling in wolves. They are easy to learn to use and create more realistic sounds than any other calls we have used.