For the next few weeks every weekend will be filled with turkey calling contests, seminars and questions on how to kill a turkey. I was at a show last weekend and I have officially got the fever. After standing in the aisles for three days hearing stories about turkeys killed over the years, it makes a man want to hit the woods.
So far this year the question that I have been getting over and over is “what is the best call this year?” Believe it or not this is not a simple answer. There are a lot of different calls that do a lot of different things with different sounds. Some of them require a lot more practice and patience than some of the easier calls. For the beginners, I always recommend Knight and Hale’s easy Push Pull Calls. All you have to do is push or pull the peg and it will make several different and effective sounds. I know guys that have been very successful in killing turkeys over the years and this call has been a big part of it. The advantage this call has over other friction calls is that it is capable of one had operation. The slate and box calls are fairly easy for a beginner to use also, but they will require a little more practice to make the proper sounds.
The most popular, and my favorite, is the mouth diaphragm call. Even though it is the most difficult call to master, with a lot of practice you can make every call in a turkey’s vocabulary. This call also has a lot of advantages to a hunter. It allows you to have both hands on your weapon of choice to be ready to shoot at all times. Also it doesn’t require any movement to use this call, which allows less chance of a sharp-eyed gobbler spotting you.
After selecting a call and becoming familiar with it enough to sound somewhat like a turkey, rhythm is the main thing to work on. Wild turkeys don’t sound as good as most turkey hunters do, but they have a smooth cadence when calling and that makes a big difference.
Competency with calls is only part of what a hunter needs when hunting these birds. Being a great caller is all well and good but if you don’t know what you are saying or when to say it you could be wasting your time. There have been times when the best call I have made was none at all. I try and let the birds dictate how much and how often I call but every bird is different and they act different as the season goes on also. Everyone has a call that they like and use more than others and they all will work, but the best advice that I can give is use the one that you have confidence in and stick with it. If you have confidence in the call you won’t be se