If you’ve hunted with someone that knows how to call a gobbler in, you’ve got a whole new respect for turkey calling. There’s nothing more sickening than having a turkey figure you out. Being left to wonder if you could have worked the turkey all the way in, is not the way to spend your time out of the woods. Here are a few tips for turkey calling that we’ve found to help:
Tip 1: Find the right fit for a Turkey Mouth Call
Turkey calling comes down to a lot of practice. But, practice isn’t any good if the turkey mouth call just doesn’t feel right. Sometimes, it comes down to finding the right fit. You’ll need to make a tight air seal with your tongue against the reed to be able to call the turkeys while keeping a realistic sound.
Try several brands. Brossie mouth calls have worked well for us and have a realistic, clean sound. See one of our hunter’s Brossie story here. We’ve also felt pretty good with Cane Creek mouth calls and Woodhaven mouth calls. So, it’s really about trying a few out. See what feels best to you and how you can get the best seal to force air through the diaphragm.
Leave a comment and let us know your favorite brand!
Tip 2: Proper Maintenance for Friction Turkey Calls
Friction call maintenance is your best bet to keeping the call reliable. You don’t want a screech when the turkeys are close by. Keeping your friction call maintained is one of the best tips to keeping your slate calls right on.
Even when you think you are keeping the oils off the slate, it’s still not oil free. And, we pretty much guarantee your kids and grandkids are calling on them. A slate call is a hard thing to not pick up and try, which isn’t a bad thing. Find a good bag to keep it in, and that will help prevent oils on the slate. Keeping the slate dry and storing away from moisture will help, too.
Sand paper is your other big maintenance tip for slate calls. Sand the slate in the same direction so you don’t lose the sweet spots that make the best sound. Also, a light sand paper or a light finger nail file can be used to sand the tip of the striker to clean it and remove the oils.
Tip 3: Proper Maintenance for Mouth Turkey Calls
Mouth calls need less maintenance, but it is important to keep the latex reeds in proper working condition. Storing mouth calls in heat can expand the latex and allow too much vibration in the call. The truck dashboard is not the best place to store them and often where they end up.
Mouth calls ultimately should be stored in a Ziploc bag or in their case in the refrigerator. You can, also, carefully place a toothpick between the reeds to keep them from sticking together. The cooler temperatures contract the latex during storage, giving them a better sound with less vibration.
Tip 4: Don’t Overcall a Turkey
Overcalling a turkey usually does more harm than good. If you’re calling too much, it is possible the gobbler will think the hen is more interested. This will not call the tom in. Instead, he waits for the hen to come to him.
Also, with overcalling, keep in mind this not only gives the gobbler a chance to figure you out, but also, gives you a bigger chance of making a bad call or body movements detected.
Learn your calls.
Below in the resources section, there’s a link to National Wild Turkey Federation’s playlist of different turkeys’ calls to study.
Tip 5: Late Season Tips for Turkey Hunting
As breeding season ends and summer approaches, the skills hunting for mid season lose their conversion. Here are a couple of hunting tips to harvest a turkey late in the season:
Study your turkeys.
This takes time, but is the very essence of hunting. Watching, studying and learning the game and their behavior will make more efficient hunters. Here’s what you should be looking for:
Look for feeding and roosting locations. Look for scratches and see if there is a localized feeding spot where they will return. Look for their travel patterns to the fields and feeding spots.
Young hens tend to breed late in the season. Find a young hen and chances are there’s a gobbler watching her, too. If you can find her roosting location, then she may pull the gobbler to you.
Use social calls.
Use more social calls to call in late season toms. The survivors are still surviving for a reason. These are typically the turkeys that will be shy and weary. Social calls and calls to gather poults are likely to have more results to draw in a gobbler.
Try the kee-kee run call. This calls incorporates yelps. Adult hens will yelp calling in their poults to reassemble. Young poults yelp if they have underdeveloped vocal cords. Learn this call and it can set you aside as a hunter, especially if competing against beginner hunters in the area that don’t have many call variations. This is a natural sounding late season call, and can help locate the gobblers late in the season with a sound they trust.