by Sportsman Guide

Turkey Calling Tips

Whenever you start calling in a new location, start with a soft series of yelps or clucks. If you don't get a response, increase your volume and aggressiveness. There are times you may have a gobbler close to you and if you start off loud you will scare him away.

To keep your mouth calls in great shape, store them in a cool, dark place like the refrigerator. Also, stick a flat toothpick or paper clip between the reeds to keep them separated while they are in storage.

Many people ask what is the best type of turkey call to use. There really is no set answer to this question. The best answer is to use the call you are most comfortable with. It is to your advantage, however, to learn to use a variety of calls. I usually mix up my calling by switching types of calls often until I find one the gobblers like. Some days that's a mouth call, some days a box call and so on. Mixing up your calling will also make you sound like more than one hen which is often all it takes to draw in a curious gobbler. I sometimes will use a mouth call in tandem with a box or friction call to make myself sound like 2 hens.

When a gobbler is with hens and will not come in, one of the best tactics is to try and call the hen in. First, try to copy exactly the sound the hens are making. If a hen yelps seven times come right back with seven yelps. This will frequently anger the hen and make her come in looking for a fight. If it does not, get even more aggressive in your calling by throwing in some excited yelps and cutts. Hopefully, this makes her mad enough to come check you out and bring the gobbler with her.

To add more realism to your early morning calling, use an old hen turkey wing to help call in gobblers. Brush or flap the wing against the tree you're sitting up against. This will sound like a turkey moving around in the tree to a gobbler and is often very effective first thing in the morning before they fly down from the roost. When it comes time for the turkeys to fly down, beat the wing on the ground or you leg to simulate a hen turkey that has just flown down. Wise old gobblers can sometimes be called in using the sound of the wing only.

When hunting a call shy tom, it often helps to scratch the leaves with your hand. This will imitate the sound a hen makes when she's feeding and will often bring an old shy bird right on in.

Here's a Tip contributed by Mike Battey --

"When you use your call it is like saying Spanish "words" ( or a foreign language ) The key to calling Turkeys is to learn to "speak" Spanish. Your call is used to communicate a spoken message. Once "you understand" what you have "said" and how that applies to a given situation, you are less likely to call too much and use the wrong call. Yelping will call more turkeys and is the safest call to use. Never use your call to keep "tabs" on your gobbling bird. Calling is a method of communication ......just like scratching in the leaves......... once you "believe" and "understand" what you have conveyed ......you will call less and have the patience to wait him out. It is far better to practice on sitting perfectly still than to call better. More Turkeys are alive today from hunters movement ......than bad calling. I have killed a many a gobbler by the seat of my pants and the plain yelp of a hen Turkey."