By Brandon Wikman
The spring season unveils the most inspiring sounds of the forest and field. From the very limbs of the canopy to the forage-rich forest floor, turkey vocalization is at its peak. As you will find, the first few months of spring provide an acoustically soothing chatter of clucks, purrs, and gobbles. Today, I want to give you the chance to learn a little more about the wild turkey’s vocalization.
A male turkey, referred to as “tom,” will ignite a shrieking gobble to express social status or dominance. Tom’s are eager to declare their territory and ranking via limb. You are more likely to hear a gobble while the bird is on the roost early in the morning.
Most gobbling occurs during sunrise and sunset as toms are still grasping a limb in the canopy. There are several reasons male turkey’s gobble, but the most important is the communication relayed to a hen in hopes to breed. A tom will hope a hen will come to him. As hunters, we desire the exact opposite results. Mother Nature has distinctly injected the “hen moves to the tom theory,” whereas turkey hunters yearn for severely different results.
Upon a turkey’s departure from their morning limb, they will fly down from the roost making a ‘cutting’ type call. Turkey hunters try to resemble a “fly-down cackle,” but realize how difficult it truly is.As turkeys flap their wings en route to the forest floor, their wings contract their chest muscles and the bird exhales, which is what you and I hear. The powerful wing beats showcase a staccato-like cluck sound.
We have all seen it, witnessed it, or had it happen to us… the dreadful “putt.” When a hen or tom becomes aware of danger – which includes predatory animals or hunters – they’ll produce both a loud and sharp putt. The call is a sign of danger and warns all birds near them to scatter. Hunters should never use this call as it will severely limit your odds of bagging a bird.
Come back tomorrow for Part 2....