How to Choose the Best Turkey Call for a Successful Hunt

How to Choose the Best Turkey Call for a Successful Hunt

Are you preparing for a thrilling turkey hunting adventure? Having the right turkey call can make all the difference in your success. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the best turkey call for your needs. But fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the essential factors to consider when selecting a turkey call. From understanding the different types of calls to evaluating their sound quality and versatility, we have got you covered. By the end of this article, you will be equipped with the knowledge to confidently choose the best turkey call for a successful hunt. Let’s get started!

Different Types of Turkey Calls

Box Calls

Box calls are one of the most popular and widely used turkey calls among hunters. These calls consist of a rectangular wooden box with a paddle-shaped lid. The lid is moved back and forth across the walls of the box, creating realistic turkey sounds. Box calls are known for their versatility and ability to produce a wide range of turkey vocalizations, including yelps, clucks, purrs, and even gobbles. They are relatively easy to use and are a great option for both beginners and experienced hunters.

Slate Calls

Slate calls, also known as pot calls, are another common type of turkey call. They consist of a circular piece of slate, glass, or aluminum set in a pot-shaped container. To produce sounds, hunters use a striker, typically made of wood, plastic, or carbon, to rub against the slate surface. Slate calls offer a high level of control, allowing hunters to produce soft and subtle turkey sounds that can mimic the calls of hens. They are particularly effective for creating purrs, clucks, and gentle yelps. However, they require some practice to master the right technique.

Diaphragm Calls

Diaphragm calls, also referred to as mouth calls, are quite different from box and slate calls. These calls consist of a latex or rubber reed, housed in a horseshoe-shaped frame. They are placed in the roof of the hunter’s mouth, and the sound is produced by adjusting the airflow and tongue position. Diaphragm calls are known for their versatility and realistic turkey sounds. They can imitate a wide range of hen calls, from soft yelps to loud cutts. Although diaphragm calls require more practice and skill to use effectively, they offer hands-free operation, allowing hunters to keep their hands on the weapon while calling.

Each type of turkey call has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to consider factors such as personal preference, hunting style, and skill level when choosing the best turkey call for a successful hunt.

Considerations when Choosing a Turkey Call

When it comes to turkey hunting, having the right turkey call can make all the difference between a successful hunt and going home empty-handed. With so many options available in the market, it’s important to consider a few key factors before making your purchase. Here are three crucial considerations to keep in mind when choosing the best turkey call for a successful hunt:

Experience Level

Your experience level as a turkey hunter plays a significant role in determining the type of turkey call that would best suit your needs. If you are a beginner, it is advisable to opt for a simple and easy-to-use turkey call. A box call or a push-button call can be great choices for novices as they are relatively easy to master and produce decent sounds without much practice. On the other hand, if you are an experienced turkey hunter and have honed your calling skills over the years, you might prefer more advanced calls like diaphragm or slate calls, which offer greater control and versatility.

Sound Quality

The sound quality of a turkey call is vital in attracting turkeys and convincing them to respond to your call. The goal is to replicate the natural sounds of a turkey to lure them closer. When evaluating sound quality, consider the realism and clarity of the call. The best turkey calls will produce authentic, realistic turkey sounds that can effectively mimic various turkey vocalizations such as yelps, clucks, purrs, and gobbles. It’s recommended to test out different calls or listen to audio samples to ensure the call you choose produces high-quality, convincing turkey sounds.


Versatility in a turkey call is another crucial factor to consider. Different hunting scenarios may require different types of calls. A versatile turkey call that can produce a wide range of turkey sounds will allow you to adapt to various hunting situations. For instance, a call that can imitate both hen and gobbler sounds can be extremely useful when trying to attract different turkeys. Additionally, some calls may offer adjustable pitch or the ability to create different volumes, giving you more control and flexibility in different hunting environments.

By considering your experience level, sound quality, and versatility, you can select the best turkey call that suits your needs and significantly increases your chances of a successful hunt. Remember to practice using the call before heading out to the field to ensure you can effectively replicate the sounds and attract those elusive turkeys. Happy hunting!

Factors to Evaluate in a Turkey Call

When looking for the best turkey call to enhance your chances of a successful hunt, there are several factors to consider. Evaluating these factors will help you choose a call that suits your needs and preferences. Here are the key factors to keep in mind:

Materials and Construction

The materials used in the construction of a turkey call can greatly impact its sound quality and durability. Different calls are made from various materials such as wood, plastic, or metal. Each material produces a unique tone and sound projection.

Wooden turkey calls are favored by many hunters for their natural and authentic sound. They often require more maintenance to keep them in good condition, but their resonance can be unparalleled. On the other hand, plastic calls are more affordable, easy to maintain, and can produce a wide range of sounds. Metal calls are known for their volume and sharpness, making them ideal for long-range calling.

Consider the quality of craftsmanship as well. Look for calls with sturdy construction and precise tuning. A well-made call will not only produce clearer and more realistic turkey sounds but will also withstand the rigors of the hunt.

Ease of Use

An important aspect to consider when choosing a turkey call is its ease of use. As a hunter, you want a call that allows you to quickly and effectively mimic turkey sounds without much effort.

Look for calls that have user-friendly features such as ergonomic designs and intuitive controls. Some calls come with adjustable features that allow you to fine-tune the sound, making them suitable for both beginners and experienced hunters. Additionally, consider the call’s learning curve. Opt for a call that you can easily master and confidently use in the field.


When heading out for a turkey hunt, portability becomes crucial. You want a call that is lightweight and easy to carry, allowing you to move freely and silently through the woods.

Consider the size and weight of the call. Compact calls that can fit in your pocket or attach to your vest are highly convenient. Additionally, look for calls with lanyard attachments or clips to keep them easily accessible when you need to make a call on the go.

Furthermore, consider the call’s durability and resistance to the elements. A portable call should be able to withstand harsh weather conditions without losing its functionality.

By evaluating these factors – materials and construction, ease of use, and portability – you can confidently choose the best turkey call that will enhance your hunting experience. Remember to consider your individual preferences and hunting style to find a call that suits you best.

Choosing the Right Call for Different Hunting Scenarios

Spring Gobbler Hunting

When it comes to spring gobbler hunting, having the right turkey call can make all the difference in your success. During this time, male turkeys are actively seeking mates, making it the perfect opportunity to lure them in with the right call. Here are a few types of turkey calls that work best for spring gobbler hunting:

  1. Box Calls: Box calls are a popular choice for spring gobbler hunting due to their versatility and ease of use. They produce a variety of sounds, including realistic hen yelps, clucks, and purrs. Box calls are great for beginners as they are relatively simple to master.

  2. Diaphragm Calls: Diaphragm calls, also known as mouth calls, are worn inside the mouth and produce realistic turkey sounds when air is blown through them. They require some practice to get the right technique, but once mastered, they can be incredibly effective in imitating hen calls, which can attract gobblers during the spring mating season.

  3. Slate Calls: Slate calls, also referred to as pot calls, consist of a slate or glass surface and a striker. By rubbing the striker across the slate surface, you can produce a wide range of realistic turkey sounds, including yelps, clucks, and purrs. Slate calls offer great versatility and are particularly effective for creating soft, subtle calls that can lure in gobblers during the spring season.

Fall Turkey Hunting

Fall turkey hunting requires a different approach compared to spring gobbler hunting. During this season, turkeys are more focused on finding food sources and gathering in flocks rather than seeking mates. Here are a few types of turkey calls that work best for fall turkey hunting:

  1. Locator Calls: Locator calls, such as owl hooters, crow calls, or coyote howlers, are useful for fall turkey hunting. These calls can be used to locate flocks of turkeys by imitating the sounds of predators or other birds. Once you’ve located a flock, you can switch to other calls to lure them closer.

  2. Kee Kee Run Calls: Kee kee run calls imitate the sound of young turkeys, which can attract both adult turkeys and young birds during the fall season. These calls simulate the lost or separated turkey sounds, which can trigger a response from nearby turkeys, making them curious and more likely to approach.

  3. Gobble Calls: Gobble calls, as the name suggests, imitate the sound of a male turkey gobbling. While gobbling is more commonly associated with the spring mating season, it can still be effective during the fall. Gobble calls can be used to try and locate dominant gobblers or challenge other turkeys in the area, potentially drawing them closer for a shot.

Roosting Gobblers

Roosting gobblers can be a challenging target for turkey hunters, as they are already settled in for the night and less likely to respond to traditional calls. However, with the right approach and specific calls, you can increase your chances of success. Here are a few tips and calls to consider when targeting roosting gobblers:

  1. Owl Hooters: Owl hooters mimic the sound of an owl, which is known to be a predator for turkeys. By using an owl hooter in the early morning or late evening, you can try to simulate an owl’s presence, triggering a shock gobble from a roosting gobbler. This response can help you pinpoint their location and plan your approach accordingly.

  2. Crow Calls: Crow calls can also be effective in getting a response from roosting gobblers. Turkeys often see crows as a threat and tend to gobble in response to their calls. By using a crow call, you can imitate the sound of a crow and potentially elicit a gobble from a roosting gobbler.

  3. Barred Owl Calls: Barred owl calls imitate the distinct hooting sound made by barred owls. This call can be used in a similar manner to owl hooters, as turkeys may respond to the presence of owls by gobbling. Barred owl calls can be particularly effective in areas where barred owls are common.

Remember, when targeting roosting gobblers, it’s important to approach stealthily and set up within a reasonable distance without spooking the birds. Using these specific calls can help you locate roosting gobblers and increase your chances of a successful hunt.

In conclusion, selecting the right turkey call can greatly enhance your chances of a successful hunt. By considering factors such as the type of call, the material used, and your own skill level, you can find the best turkey call that suits your needs. Remember to practice using the call before heading out into the field and experiment with different techniques to attract turkeys effectively. With the right turkey call in hand and a bit of patience, you’ll be well-equipped to bring home a coveted trophy and have a memorable hunting experience. Happy hunting!