Well I'll try to answer all of your questions in order, so bear with me. First off, welcome to the sport of predator calling. I find it to be one of the most pleasurable times spent in nature. As for a call setup less than $50, I would stay away from the cheap electronic callers. I would instead recommend hand calls as your first endeavor. Imparticular since you are new to the sport and not familiar with calling, I would recommend one of the Primos "kits". These kits include a howler and a closed-reed distress call, they also come with an instructional DVD by Randy Anderson that will get you started in the right direction. Just FYI, there are two different types of distress calls, closed-reed and open-reed. As a first time caller I recommend the closed-reed calls. These are calls that as the name implies has a reed that is built within the call body. They already have a set pressure placed on the reed, and you vary the pitch by blowing more or less volume of air into the call. Open-reed on the other hand have the reed outside of the call body. These are a little harder to learn, and require more practice to get the pitch just right. These calls work by placing the reed into your mouth, and you adjust pressure by squeezing your lips around the reed and pressure board. Another variable in open-reed calls is where you place pressure on the reed. If you place pressure towards the tip, you get a high pitched squeak that would mimmick a rodent(very good close-up call) by moving pressure further from the tip you will get an ever deeper pitch. With an open reed you can mimmick anything from the previously mentioned rodent squeaks to cottontail distress to jackrabbit distress. As far as calling sequence is concerned, I typically start at a lower volume on the calls for about a minute. Then I pause for a couple minutes. If nothing shows, then I will increase volume and call for a couple minutes, then quit for a couple. I try to limit my entire stand set to about 20 minutes for coyotes and fox and up to about 45 minutes to an hour for bobcat. I have found if coyotes are going to respond, it will typically be in the first 10 minutes of the stand. As far as decoys are concerned, they do help out immensely. They draw the attention of the game off of the noise coming from your mouth to the decoy placed out in front of you a little ways. This allows you to get by with a little more movement. As for using a tail from roadkill, be sure to check your states laws. A lot of states with not allow you to use real animal parts as decoys. Hope this gets you pointed in the right direction. Have fun.