It’s just about that time of year. I dusted off the turkey calls last night and thought a post on turkey calling may be in order. Wild turkey calling takes time and effort to learn, and knowing the basics of wild turkey vocalizations is crucial to being able to use different calls successfully. Wild turkeys make at least eight different calls, as well as several subtypes of calls that are season specific. You don’t need to know them all, just the major ones which are:
How to call Turkeys:
For successful turkey calling, you should use use multiple calls. The first step would be to start with a locator call, which are used to simulate loud noises or other animals that gobblers will respond to such as owls or crows. Use short locater calls and listen for a response. Once you feel that you have found a proper location with turkeys in your range, then it’s time to use your vocalization calls.
You should start off using your vocalization calls more quietly and then gradually increase volume. A soft “cluck”, “yelp”, or “purr” are good initial calls to use. This way you won’t scare off any nearby turkeys that you can’t see with a loud call. If you hear responses from a gobbler you have to be patient as many times they won’t close in on you right away. Wait at least 5 to 10 minutes before responding to a gobbler’s call. Be sure to keep trying to call a slow moving gobbler for at least an hour before you give up.
If you hear hens, you should respond to their calls with the same number of calls and the same vocalization. For instance, if you hear a hen cluck 5 times, you should respond with 5 clucks. This will encourage her to come towards your location. This will also help to lure gobblers that are in the vicinity of the hen. There is no secret to calling turkeys. Each turkey will respond to your calls in its own unique way. Turkey calling is an art that takes time and experience to master, so get out there and have some fun!