Is the Illusion Extinguisher a game changer, or just another gadget?
My Illusion Extinguisher Story
I’ve never been very confident in gimmicks and gadgets that become the newest great thing in deer hunting.
From the little plastic tube that you are supposed to cough into so that deer don’t hear you cough, to a box, 2 batteries and a string that heats up deer urine, the hunting industry and their marketing efforts throw gadgets at us at lightning speed !
And I will admit that I have bought many of them ! In the past that is!
Over the years I have become quite the cynic over hunting gadgets. Some obviously work and are new designs on the same old thing and some are really great ideas!
But most are hideously ridiculous and hunters flock to the register with arm loads of them every year, to try to get the edge on that Wily old buck that’s been caught on camera stealing their corn!
Do any of these things actually work? Not many!
Well I have tested one of these “revolutionary new items”, and you are about to read THE TRUTH !
In a competitive industry like the hunting industry, one can become disillusioned really easy (No pun intended) And there is no more competitive aspect of that industry from the deer hunting call niche.
When hunting season is over the big boy call manufacturers start editing video of their adventures throughout North America with new product promos in tow.
Last year’s product is now obsolete and ineffective because now there is a new, scientifically proven form of the venerable tube, reed, and o-ring referred to as “The Grunt Tube”. Beyond the appearance of being a molded deer horn, it’s pretty much the same thing they promoted last season through their videos and time slot on the outdoor TV channels .
In fact the multi position multi-use tube has an o-ring that you can slide from the Buck grunt that sounds nothing like a buck grunt to another position for doe bleats that sound more like a calf stuck in the creek.
It’s not unreasonable to say that the grunt tubes of today don’t sound or look much different from the ones that were being produced in 1988 when I bought my first one. Then along comes the Extinguisher by Illusion.
Illusion Game Call Systems Extinguisher/Black Rack Deer Rattling System Combo
So what makes the Illusion Extinguisher so different from the others?
That’s a fair question, and I’ve been asking it myself! After all it looks pretty much the same as the one I had in 1988! But that is at first glance. A closer inspection reveals one big difference. Well besides the really cool Extinguisher sticker which I peeled off as soon as it came out of the package. I don’t like unnatural colors on my gear in the woods. That’s just me.
The biggest difference isn’t a huge deal when you first think about it. That dfference is a little textured slider on the side of the tube. That little slider is actually something that these mega giants in the “deer stuff” industry should have thought about a long time ago. The slider mechanically attaches to the o-ring inside and by moving the slider up and down the tube it changes the o-ring position between buck, doe, and fawn with one hand. As simple as that sounds it’s actually a big deal!
One reason I’ve never married my hunting style to the tubes was the extra movement involved by taking the tube apart to move the o-ring manually.
The quiet calm deer woods are enough of a challenge early in the morning without inserting another unneeded ingredient to possible failure. A deer is very aware of its surroundings and movement and the little tick noises make catch their attention as fast as a marching band on a tin roof!
This is especially true in many of the areas I hunt. I hunt in a lot of transition areas between thickets and oak hollows early in the year, trying to catch old big boy between bedding and an acorn buffet.
Many times the deer in these dense places are right on top of you before you ever see them. Playing with a plastic tube and taking it apart and putting it together is akin to standing up and screaming RUN !
So is the Extinguisher different in any measurable way?
I bought 2 extinguisher calls. One for my wife and one for me. I will be honest and tell you that even though I wanted to give it a chance and test it in a thorough way I never took it into the woods for the first month and a half of the season.
I don’t get enough days in the field to waste them by spooking deer with a toy. But as luck would have it, my season wasn’t going too good.
I was getting photos of some pretty nice bucks on camera but never seeing them in the daylight hours. The story of a hunter’s life ! I hunted the 2 bucks I was after carefully. Rubber boots, clean clothes washed in scent free detergent and every precaution I could think of. But no luck.
I saw 1 small buck the first 3 days of the season. And then 4 does over the next few weeks. All in the first hour of daylight and last hour of daylight. Kind of strange to be so nocturnal in the first half of the season.
The week before Halloween is usually the time the action starts to pick up in our deer woods, so I convinced myself to put the Extinguisher in my back pack, but still never got it out over a 2-day weekend hunt.
Then my favorite weekend of the year rolled around. Halloween ! Yep , now they will start moving ! ……or not. I didn’t see anything except for a few squirrels, but they were still coming in at daylight and dark on camera so I just had to be there when they showed up.
The second weekend of November I finally pulled the Extinguisher out. But it hung on my stand and I never used it.
That is not until Thanksgiving weekend. That’s when the biggest of the 2 bucks showed up! He was the one I called coco puff, only later to be changed to coco man because of the ribbing. He walked out of the thicket just over my right shoulder just after dawn. I couldn’t move at all. He fed around for 10-15 seconds and then walked away directly behind my tree.
Dang! Hoping to turn him I pulled the Extinguisher and let loose with 3 aggressive grunts.He turned and headed straight for me!
What are the results of using the Extinguisher?
When that deer turned I could see the hair raised on his back, head down and plowing through the fall leaves with a purpose! He walked just to the right side of my stand and stopped.
Then he looked straight at me, stamped his hoof, and blew me out! He got downwind of me in the only place he could bust me!
But what do ya know. The Extinguisher turned him ! I was amazed! I grunted till about noon and saw no more deer. When we came out, we went to town to get some quick lunch and trail camera batteries.
While there I saw the black rack rattling antlers in a separate package from the Extinguisher and thought why not try them together? So I purchased the black rack and headed back to the woods.
That evening I took the Extinguisher and the black rack. I don’t like rattling horns because of the same movement factor I didn’t like taking apart grunt tubes for, but even more. I grunted and rattled that afternoon and didn’t see anything.
But I was encouraged by the results the weekend before! So I decided to stick with the set up the next weekend .
The next Saturday morning I hunted an area with long shot potential that we call “The Shooting Lane Stand’. It’s an old stand that has almost completely rotted away, so I climbed the tree right beside it that morning in my Summit Goliath climber. Once I got settled in I rattled and grunted a few times early and then sat there quietly. The rest of the morning I only grunted a few more times.
No rattling. When my behind was ready to come down for lunch about noon I let 3 loud and aggressive grunts go about 10 seconds apart but didn’t rattle. Two bucks came crashing in like they were insane !
Then I saw a doe at bout 100 yards. One of the bucks caught her scent and chased he around for a bit before returning to the area he came from. I grunted again loudly and he stopped and put his nose in the air, then walked straight towards me! I couldn’t decide if I wanted to shoot. But it didn’t matter. He never gave me a shot anyway.
I rattled on every hunt the rest of the year but only used the black rack a few times. I saw several deer and pulled them back with the extinguisher on more than one occasion.
I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but I think the tone of the Extinguisher might be a little more realistic from the other grunt tubes I’ve tried.
I have taken a couple of deer with the Extinguisher around my neck the past coupe of years, and that is a couple more than I’ve ever taken with all the other grunt calls I’ve tried over the years.
But I have observed aggression in their behavior when I use it instead of utter panic and fear .
Going forward with the extinguisher and black rack
For the first time ever I am excited to hunt with my extinguisher this year. No I never got the chocolate horned buck and I’ve only taken two deer using it. But I do know it doesn’t spook the deer.
I’ve called in several does with the tube slid all the way up at the fawn level and even grunted a few times before I shot a boar hog on our lease and he didn’t spook either.
I’m sorry if you were expecting an exciting story of how I’ve killed 10 Booners with the Extinguisher. But I haven’t. In fact a 120-130 class buck is a monster where I hunt. But just as good in many ways, I know the Extinguisher doesn’t spook deer.
Many of the other deer grunt calls I have used have sent deer through the woods with tails held high as much as been beneficial! But the Extinguisher seems to have an edge over the others!
Add to that the fact that you can go from fawn to doe and then buck with one hand and you don’t have to take it apart, and you have a real winner!
I know I have called deer back that have walked away. And I know I’ll have it in my hand the next time I go hunting!
I can’t tell you that you or I will kill a monster buck with the Extinguisher. But I can tell you that I now think that your chances are much better if you have it when he shows himself.
And I feel that if he’s within hearing range your chances are better at pulling him closer with the Extinguisher. I would highly suggest that you get one and try it for yourself.
In know for someone who doesn’t believe in gadgets I sure fell for this one! Well I did and I admit it!
I also thought the H.E.C.S. suit was a bunch of BS too! But was proven wrong with it as well! While I can’t say that the H.E.C.S. suit does all the stuff the manufacturer claims, I can say that there is something about it that doesn’t spook deer the way regular camo does !
About the black rack
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I din’t give the black rack a chance. I agree 100%! But that will change in the coming deer season! I took a while to try the Extinguisher because over the years I’ve spooked a ton of deer with calls and various scent products.
But I decided to reluctantly try the Extinguisher and I’m glad I did ! I will be giving the black rack the same chance to prove its self as well! The biggest concern of crashing movement with white antlers has been obviously addressed because the back rack is, well…..black.
I didn’t like using calls because I don’t get as many opportunities to hunt as I would like due to work and other obligations. Now my mindset is I’m going to use the Extinguisher to take more advantage of the opportiunities do have.
If you don’t own an extinguisher and black rack you can use the link below to go to Amazon and get both and save money over buying them separately . And use the DVD. There are some really good tips in there!
As always I thank you for reading my review of the Extinguisher game call and Black rack rattling system! I know my reviews are a little different. But I use experience and don’t embellish them to impress, If my readers don’t trust me, they will stop being readers and visitors to my site.
I welcome you to comment and in fact request that you do! And if you decide to purchase the Extinguisher and black rack I would appreciate it if you come back and leave a comment whether you’re happy with it. It will help my site and experience of all my readers.