Turkey Hunting Calls: Different Types and How to Use Them

Turkey hunting calls are an essential tool for any hunter aiming to attract and lure turkeys. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced hunter, understanding the different types of turkey hunting calls and how to effectively use them can greatly improve your hunting success. In this article, we will explore the various types of turkey hunting calls available, including box calls, slate calls, diaphragm calls, and more, and provide valuable insights on how to properly use these calls to enhance your turkey hunting experience.

Types of Turkey Hunting Calls

Box Calls

Box calls are one of the most popular types of turkey hunting calls. They consist of a wooden box with a paddle-shaped lid. To use a box call, you hold the box in one hand and use the paddle to create sound by dragging it across the lip of the box. By varying the pressure and speed, you can produce different turkey sounds such as yelps, clucks, and purrs. Box calls are known for their versatility and loud volume, making them effective in various hunting situations.

Slate Calls

Slate calls, also known as pot calls, are another commonly used turkey hunting call. They consist of a round, shallow pot made of slate or glass, with a striker that is dragged across the surface to create sound. Slate calls produce realistic and soft turkey sounds, making them ideal for calling in turkeys that are close by. They are versatile and can mimic a wide range of turkey vocalizations, including purrs, clucks, and soft yelps. Slate calls require some practice to master the right technique and achieve the desired sounds.

Mouth Calls

Mouth calls, also called diaphragm calls, are a hands-free option for turkey hunters. They are small, flexible devices that fit inside the mouth. To produce sound, you place the call on the roof of your mouth and use your tongue and airflow to create different turkey sounds. Mouth calls offer great convenience and allow for quick and easy use, as they leave your hands free to handle your weapon. They can produce a wide range of turkey vocalizations, from soft purrs and clucks to loud yelps and cuts. However, mastering the technique of using mouth calls may take some practice.

These are just a few examples of the types of turkey hunting calls available to hunters. Each type has its own advantages and is suited for different hunting scenarios. It’s important to experiment with different calls and practice using them to become proficient in producing realistic turkey sounds. Remember, proper calling techniques, along with knowledge of turkey behavior, can greatly enhance your chances of a successful turkey hunting experience.

How to Use Turkey Hunting Calls

Understanding the Basics

Before diving into the various turkey hunting calls and how to use them, it’s essential to understand the basics of using turkey calls effectively. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  1. Know your target: Understanding the behavior, vocalizations, and habits of wild turkeys is crucial. This knowledge will help you mimic their sounds accurately and increase your chances of success.
  2. Practice makes perfect: Mastering turkey calling requires practice. Don’t expect to become an expert overnight. Spend time listening to turkey sounds and practicing your own calls to improve your technique.
  3. Be patient: Patience is key when using turkey calls. Sometimes it may take a while for a turkey to respond to your calls. Stay patient and persistent, as turkeys can be unpredictable.

Preseason Practice

Preseason practice is essential for honing your turkey calling skills. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for the hunting season:

  1. Familiarize yourself with different calls: There are various types of turkey calls, including box calls, slate calls, diaphragm calls, and more. Take the time to learn about each type and practice using them to determine which one works best for you.
  2. Learn the basic calls: Start by mastering the basic turkey calls, such as the yelp, cluck, purr, and gobble. These calls form the foundation of turkey calling and are essential for luring turkeys within range.
  3. Practice realistic cadence and rhythm: Pay attention to the cadence and rhythm of turkey calls. Practice replicating the natural sounds turkeys make, as this will help attract them more effectively during hunting.
  4. Simulate different scenarios: While practicing, simulate different hunting scenarios by using different calls and techniques. This will help you become comfortable and confident using turkey calls in various situations.

Calling Techniques

Once you have a solid understanding of the basics and have practiced preseason, it’s time to dive into different calling techniques. Here are a few techniques to consider:

  1. Soft calling: Soft calling involves using gentle and subtle turkey calls. This technique is effective when turkeys are close by or in quiet surroundings. Use soft yelps, clucks, and purrs to lure turkeys within shooting range without alerting them.
  2. Aggressive calling: Aggressive calling is used when turkeys are farther away or in noisy environments. It involves using louder and more frequent calls to grab their attention and provoke a response. Gobble calls and aggressive yelps can be effective in this situation.
  3. Decoy calling: Incorporating decoys into your calling strategy can enhance its effectiveness. Use calls that mimic the sounds of turkeys in combination with lifelike decoys to create a more realistic and enticing setup.
  4. Calling at the right time: Timing is crucial when using turkey calls. Turkeys are most vocal during the early morning and late afternoon. Focus your calling efforts during these times to maximize your chances of attracting turkeys.

By understanding the basics, practicing preseason, and utilizing different calling techniques, you’ll increase your chances of a successful turkey hunt. Remember, each hunting situation is unique, so experiment with different calls and techniques to find what works best for you. Happy hunting!

In conclusion, learning about the different types of turkey hunting calls and how to use them can greatly enhance your hunting experience. Whether you prefer box calls, slate calls, or mouth calls, understanding the purpose and technique behind each can make a significant difference in attracting turkeys and increasing your chances of a successful hunt. By mastering the art of turkey calling, you will be better equipped to communicate with these elusive birds and enjoy a more rewarding and thrilling hunting season. So, grab your calls, practice your technique, and get ready to take your turkey hunting skills to the next level. Happy hunting!