Turkey Calls for Spring Turkey Hunting
Spring turkey hunting has become a ritual for many outdoors people that love the chase, the vocal interaction and the table fare that wild turkeys provide. Chasing a gobbler on opening morning is the perfect way to start the new season. The leaves are greening up and the woods are alive. The turkey hunter is from and center to the wonderful display of the world awakening from the long cold winter. A woodpecker drums in the distance as a couple grey squirrels rustle in the top of a maple tree looking for buds. Finally the sounds all turkey hunters long for. It is the faint but unmistakeable gobble high on a ridge. It is that time again and here are the best turkey calls for spring that will help you call that gobbler into range and hopefully fills your turkey vest for the walk back to the truck.
What is the Best Turkey Call for the Spring
With so many turkey calls out there now the best one is going to be personal preference. Gaining confidence in a turkey call is important and will probably determine the best turkey call for your spring turkey season. For example I use a box call probably 90% of the time when hunting springtime gobblers. This only because that’s what I started out using as a young turkey hunter and I have gained much confidence in using it to call turkeys into range. It is also because I was not able to master the mouth call when they came on the scene among our group of turkey hunters. A couple of my friends used mouth calls but I just kept resorting back to my box call when it was time to hit the woods.
I have since picked up a mouth call. It has helped me tremendously the past several years locate turkeys in the spring. I still haven’t mastered it enough to use it when the gobbler gets in close. I found that out this past spring turkey season when I attempted to bring in a locked up gobbler. He was just out of range. I was unable to get that soft call out and it came out garbled and way to loud for how close the bird was to me. He hit the road.
Over the years the box call has forced me to stop calling. Once the turkey is heading your way he has pinpointed your location. At least he has pinpointed it enough to get within shotgun range. I’ve had gobblers lock up just outside range. I wait for them to leave so I can move enough to use the box call. I think this is a great way to call a spring turkey in with a box call but it takes loads of patience.
The best thing to do is find a turkey call that you feel comfortable with and practice. You can tell if your lesson in calling is going OK in your yard or in the recliner at home, however, nothing compares to in the woods training. Nothing can take the place of actually calling a turkey in the woods. You can straighten out the learning curve a little with help from fellow turkey hunters especially if you’re able to watch them call turkeys in, hopefully for you to shoot. However, nothing beats actual spring turkey calling that you do yourself.
Here is a list of calls that I think you should consider for your spring turkey call collection and a description of each one
- The Gobble Call
- The Push-Pull Call
- The Slate Call
- The Mouth Call
- The Locator Call
is a call that has had a little controversy over the years mainly for public land hunting. The gobbler call carries great distances and every turkey hunter in the woods is listening at day break for a turkey to gobble. Be careful using the gobbler call anytime, but for sure on pressured public land.
A gobble call is best used during early season. During the early spring a big gobbler is still trying to establish his dominance in the area. Even if he is hened up for the morning a gobbler could leave her to pick a fight, especially early in the season.
To make the cluck with the push-pull turkey call, tap the push button to make the cluck sound. With the Trigger Finger make a short quick taps on the push rod. To make a purr, push the dial on the Easy Yelper very slowly, and the Easy Yelper will purr. With your Trigger Finger pull the paddle slowly to make the purr sound. Once the cut call is mastered you will begin using the cutting call. Cutting is the quick cuts strung together to imitate an excited hen turkey. This will get a big tom turkey’s attention from great distances. Practice makes perfect. Getting a soft purr is vital to get a turkey into gun range. Practice with the push-pull turkey call with subtle sounds of a soft purr when the gobbler is too close for loud calling.
A great call for beginner turkey hunters the slate call is an easy call to learn. You can make enough turkey sounds to call in a gobbler with the slate call. Here are three important turkey sounds you can make with the slate call.
Turkeys will purr when the are feeling secure and feeding. The purr is a great way to lure in an unsuspecting tom with the feeling of security and other turkeys. When making the purr sounds when calling turkeys with a slate call throw in a little scratching to emulate turkeys feeding along in the woods. A stick or your hand will works. Keep the scratching subtle turkey can hear very well and will get suspicious if the scratching is too loud. To make a purr with the slate call drag the striker point in a straight line. Apply light pressure to get the correct sound. You can vary the sound slightly by rotating the slate call slightly with each purr making it sound like more than one turkey.
Accomplish the cluck call on a slate by placing the striker’s tip on the surface of the call. Angle your striker inward. Apply the amount of pressure needed to get the cluck you’re looking for. Light pressure gives you a light cluck on the pot call while heavy pressure gives you a much louder cluck. A cluck is used usually by a single hen that is letting a gobbler know she is waiting for him to come over. You can see why the cluck can be deadly on a lonely tom.
The cutt is a sound that a turkey makes when excited. Use the cutt call to get a gobbler that is henned up to come in. You want to drag the hen to your location and hopefully the gobbler will follow. Accomplish the cutt sound by a quick cluck with more pressure on the striker. Drag it out longer. Also a cutt is made in a 1 cutt followed by 2 quick cutts. This creats a sequence of cutting. This can be rather annoying, but turkeys are attracted to it nonetheless.
This common sound is made by hens. In the spring hen turkeys will yelp to communicate with gobblers so they know where to find them. To make a yelp sound make small tight ovals with the tip of the striker. A large oval will produce a sound more like those of a male turkey. These sounds will call an aggressive gobbler. The female yelp tends to work best in the spring.
The mouth call is a great turkey call. They are inexpensive, small and easy to carry in a turkey vest, they offer hands free operation. Also referred to as a diaphragm call the mouth call is not the easiest to master. Practice and you will get it.
To use the call place it against the roof of the mouth straight edge of latex facing forward with short reeds on top. Place your tongue against the reed. The pressure you apply will vary depending on the sound you are trying to make. To create the yelp sound push air through the call while saying chirp or chop. When you master the yelp you can create other sounds like the cluck and the cackle to imitate a turkey flying down from roost. Rustle the leaves with the cackle to create the sounds of the turkey’s fluttering wings hitting the ground.
THE LOCATOR CALL
The locator call is nothing more than the name implies. It is used to locate a gobbler by shocking him into a gobble. A owl hooting or a crow calling “caw-caw” can trigger a gobble out of a hot and lonely tom turkey. There are calls on the market for this and they work great and sound natural. The trick is for you to learn the position of a gobbler so you can make a move on getting into position to start your lonely hen calls.
A locator call is a great way to learn the direction that the turkey is traveling. The turkey isn’t interested in your location when you use a locator call and is a good thing when planning your next move. You can shock a gobbler to gobble with any loud sound. We used to hunt a lake. We quietly floated into a cove and shut the engine. When the sounds of the waves on the boat subsided we slammed a D cell flashlight against the aluminum boat. It was a great locator call.