Fine-Tuning Your Turkey Calling: Advanced Techniques for Seasoned Gobblers


Turkeys can confound even the most experienced gobbler. They can be very finicky animals, difficult to convince to come into range. This is why calling is essential. But when it comes to calling, you can’t simply stay at entry-level calling techniques. You have to eventually start taking things to the next level. To that end, here are some helpful hints for turkey hunters looking to up their game. 

Don’t Assume Love Is In The Air

While it’s generally advisable to imitate a love-starved hen during the spring, there are instances where gobbler clucking and yelping can prove effective. This approach targets a wandering tom in the social hierarchy. A subordinate longbeard seeking companionship might be drawn to investigate. 

Alternatively, a dominant gobbler could strut over to ascertain who dares encroach upon his breeding territory. Gobbler yelping is easily achieved with a multi-reed diaphragm, a raspy box, or by stroking a striker in the low-pitched middle of a slate, glass, or aluminum call. 

Regardless of the device used, slowing down the length and rhythm of your calls is crucial. Deep-throated gobbler yelps, characterized by a slower pace than hen yelps, can be complemented with low-pitched clucks for added realism.

Using Locator Calls

In the pursuit of elusive tom gobblers, employing locator calls like owl hoots or crow calls is a pivotal strategy for turkey hunters. These non-turkey sounds trigger shock gobbles, unveiling the locations of turkeys and enabling hunters to strategize their approach.

The prime times for utilizing locator calls are early morning, dawn, and late morning or afternoon. Begin with soft, natural-sounding calls, gradually increasing volume as necessary. Experiment with a variety of calls, including hawk screams, peacock calls, and coyote howls, to determine the most effective one for your hunting area.

Mastery of locator calls not only aids in locating turkeys but also elevates overall hunting skills, boosting the likelihood of a successful encounter with a prized gobbler.

Read The Room

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)

When engaging turkeys through calls, careful observation of their responses is crucial for adjusting your calling strategy. Turkeys, like any animal, display varying moods and levels of interest, evident in their vocalizations and body language.

Attentiveness to these cues enables you to refine your calling techniques, aligning them with the turkey’s mood and increasing the chances of a successful interaction. For instance, if a gobbler appears aggressive or dominant, escalating your calling intensity to mimic a rival male might be effective. Conversely, a more cautious or disinterested bird may respond better to softer, more subtle calls.

Successful turkey calling hinges on the ability to adapt and respond to the unique behaviors and preferences of each bird, underscoring the importance of honing observational skills and cultivating a versatile calling repertoire.

Teamwork Works

Collaborative hunting significantly improves the likelihood of success during a turkey hunt, as teamwork facilitates effective calling and positioning for an optimal shot. Communication and coordination are pivotal when hunting with a partner, ensuring that one person focuses on calling while the other prepares for the shot.

This division of tasks allows the caller to concentrate fully on luring the turkey into range and interpreting its behavior, while the shooter remains poised at gun range, ready to seize any opportunities. Hunting with a partner also enhances versatility in calling strategies, offering the ability to create more convincing scenarios by mimicking multiple birds or alternating between different calls.

Beyond increasing the chances of bagging a prized spring gobbler, hunting with a partner fosters camaraderie with fellow turkey hunters, nurturing a shared appreciation for the challenges and rewards of turkey hunting.