The Future of ICOtec and Predator Hunting

ICOtec has been making predator calls for nearly 20 years and is looking forward to continued growth in the predator-hunting market.

The Future of ICOtec and Predator Hunting

With coyote populations spinning out of control nearly nationwide, predator hunting is growing by leaps and bounds. The equipment available to hard-core predator hunters is more sophisticated and high-tech than ever, and ICOtec products are no exception. To help you keep your finger on the pulse of the predator-hunting industry, Hunting Retailer sat down with Chuck Ames, general manager at ICOtec, and asked him about where he sees the future of predator hunting going and how ICOtec fits into it. 

HTR: Can you talk about the company’s history and its place in the industry today?

CA: ICOtec LLC was formed as a brand from a long-time contract manufacturer for the predator-hunting industry. ICO Products, the parent company of ICOtec, has been manufacturing calls and decoys for the predator market for nearly 20 years. ICOtec was formed in 2012 and launched as our own brand with our own identity and separate goals for our products than those we had manufactured for in the past.

Today, ICOtec is leading the way into the future with exciting technology that allows our customers to play sounds directly to our callers from their phone via our new smartphone app. The app also allows hunters to save the sounds to an SD card or directly to one of their new Plus Series callers that will be released in late 2022 through mid-2023. When the sounds are downloaded to the caller, they can be accessed via our 300-yard non-line-of-sight remote control. Our sounds will also be able to be played on other callers or speakers with Bluetooth capabilities.


HTR: What specific product or model have you seen the most growth in recently? 

CA: We have seen a very large interest in the Outlaw and Night Stalker models due to their incredible clarity and industry-leading volume capability. The main reason that so many veteran predator hunters use these two particular models is that they have the ability to play two sounds simultaneously. The sounds can be played, paused, restarted or replaced with a different sound while they are paused. Our favorites 1 and favorites 2 banks make accessing your most popular go-to sounds super quick and easy.


HTR: As interest in predator hunting continues to grow across the country, how has that impacted your growth strategy? 

CA: While other companies may choose to shy away from beginners, ICOtec is very interested in working with new predator hunters.

Nobody was born great at anything. Unless someone takes an interest in teaching and encouraging a new predator hunter, they will become bored or disinterested due to poor performance and lack of results. Our products and prostaff are here to make the learning much more fun, and the results much more frequent. If a new hunter picks up an ICOtec caller and calls in a coyote on one of their first adventures, they often share that with us and many times will come back for more products as their interest and successes grow.


HTR: Is there developing technology that might change the way shooters buy or use digital game calls in the future? 

CA: Yes, we have noticed a big swing from home computers to smartphones for most all online transactions and social media applications. This is the main reason that we have developed the Animal Audio app along with a parallel website for customers to access sounds and create playlists that they can use to compose entire coyote stands and hit one button to activate. The app will allow customers to purchase sounds from the world’s leading creators of animal attraction audio files. There is also a convenient store to purchase accessories for predator hunting.


HTR: Have the recent supply chain problems translated into supply issues in your corner of the industry as well? 

CA: ICOtec has never had a supply chain issue. There was a mad rush of sales in 2020 that made it hard to keep enough products in stock, but there was no lack of access to critical chips for us, as we hold a stock of inventory for just such an incidence. It is a just-in-case instead of the popular just-in-time manufacturing method taught around the globe.


HTR: Do you have any predictions on what we can expect out of the hunting industry in general in the next year? The next five years?

CA: We hope to see a growth in the predator-hunting industry as we have seen a major uptick in the number of predator sightings in areas where there were never many predators. If hunters continue their family tradition of hunting and fishing, we are confident that the predator hunting segment will do well due to the excitement and the benefit that it offers to society by helping to keep our ecosystems in balance.


HTR: Where does ICOtec see potential for growth? How about non-growth? Is there part of the industry that’s shrinking?

CA: There are most over saturations of products and services in most industries from time to time, which can lead to shrinkage of a brand’s projected volume. We do our best to update and refresh our product offering every few years and add accessories in between. This helps us offset any model that might be slow selling for a season or two. We know there was a nice boom in nighttime predator hunting, as more states change their rules to allowing thermal and night-vision for predator hunting. This major increase in the number of hunters getting into the night-hunting game is the main reason we introduced the Hellion, Sabre and Night Stalker callers a few years ago. These three models are midnight black and look pretty awesome alongside the black ARs in all the social media photos.


HTR: What can we expect out of ICOtec in the last months of 2022? What products have you most excited for the future?

CA: We have an entire new lineup of products that will be released beginning in November 2022. As our inventory is depleted of current models, we will begin replacing them with the new Plus Series callers. We are launching nine new callers in the next six to nine months. We also have a new AA rechargeable battery kit and a new hand call set available now, with a few more accessories actively in development.


HTR: How does ICOtec support its dealers? 

CA: ICOtec turns our orders around within 24 hours when humanly possible, depending on the logistics requirements. We invest in print media, social media, Google ads, contest sponsorships, rapid credit memo response and more. We offer up to 5-year warranties on our products, we have our own tech support staff as well as conducting product repairs in-house.


HTR: Do you have any advice for retailers about selling electronic calls and decoys and ICOtec products specifically? 

CA: If you are interested in becoming an ICOtec dealer, we are offering a new dealer introductory starter kit that is an additional 6% off our already low prices. You can expect fast sell-through rates, low-cost inventory, great margins and ecstatic customers. Contact us at and request a New Dealer Starter Kit Flyer.


HTR: What’s your personal favorite ICOtec product, and why? 

CA: I would say my favorite is the industry’s top-selling GC300. It is the call model that got ICOtec started and is the top-selling model year after year. The GC300 has generated more Amazon reviews than all our competitors combined, and it still maintains a 4.5 out of 5 stars. Amazon is the go-to reference guide consumers choose when making a purchasing consideration. Very soon we will eclipse 150,000 total GC300 models sold in our 10 years in business as ICOtec.


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