Turkey hunting is a rewarding and fun sport to engage in. Turkeys respond pretty well to calling. They are very social creatures. Male turkeys called Toms will keep track of female turkeys called hens buy calling. Blinds also work very well when hunting. There are many different sounds that a turkey will make. They will yelps, purrs, and clucks. Learn and practice the different types will increase your chances for success.
There are many different types of calls. They include push button, box, slate, and diaphragm calls. Each one works very similarly. Some work better then others. Push button are the easiest of the calls to use where diaphragm calls are more difficult.
Push button – This type of call is the easiest of the calls to use. You just need to push the button on the call to make the call sound. Pushing the button slower or faster will change the sound made. Be careful of moisture as it can cause havoc with these types of calls. Moisture will cause the call not to make any noise or strange noise.
Box – This type of call is a box with a paddle. Moving the paddle back and forth will make a sound. Depending on how fast or how hard you press will change the sound that the box call makes. A trick I use is a rubber band around the call. This allows me to use the call one handed when needed. This type of call takes a little more practice then push calls to operate effectively.
Slate – These type of calls use a slate disc and a striker to make the sound. This allows the hunter to change the pitch and intensity of the sound to make it appear to be different birds making the sounds. This type of call takes a lot more practice then push button to master. The sound from a slate call is much cleaner and crisper then a push button or box call. These type of calls are less susceptible of to moisture.
Diaphram – These type of calls are commonly refereed to as mouth calls. A flexible disk is inserted between the teeth and depending on the pressure used will change the sound. These type of calls are impervious to moisture. These are the hardest of the calls to master. Given practice these produce the best sound. Even I have been fooled by a hunter that was very good at this type of call.
Electronic Call – This style of call uses a recording played back on a speaker. This can be give you an advantage if you place the call a little ways away from you. There are many different style of electronic calls. I don’t have much experience using them.
Blinds are the bane of turkeys. The use of blinds can greatly improve the success rate when hunting turkeys. Not only does the use of a blind cover a hunters movements, it also covers any color that the hunter is wearing. Turkeys have pronominal eye sight. They can see color half a mile away or more.
I use a blind almost exclusively when I am turkey hunting. Being that the inside of the blind is black, I will wear black cloths under my camouflage. Once in the blind, I’ll change into the black clothing. I have had tons of success using a blind in this fashion.
There are many different tactics that can be implored when hunting turkeys. The use of a blind is one such way to hunt. Another way is to run and gun. This tactic involves moving around blind calling. Once a response is heard, the hunter moves into an intercept area to try and call the bird in. This tactic is effective and helps break up the boredom.
I will use this tactic when my daughter is hunting with me. I have a smaller blind that goes up quickly. It is very light and easy to set up. I’ll set up the blind and decoys. Once we in the blind, I’ll start to call again. I have had a lot of success using this tactic.
The other tactic that I have used with success. It takes more dedication to due. I’ll move to an area where I can see a long ways. I’ll watch to were the turkeys go to roost in the evening. After putting them to “Bed” for the evening, I’ll return in the morning before light to get setup. With a little luck, the turkeys will fly down near you. I have had decent success with this.
You just can’t get to close to where they are roosting. Once of the scary things in the woods is when its very quiet and dark out and the top of the woods gets up and leaves. I’ve walked in under roosting turkeys and they decided to get up and leave in the dark.
Besides the equipment listed above, decoys will also be very helpful. They provide a another element of realism in addition to calling. There are many different types of decoys. Some move in the wind, some have strings that allows the hunter to move them.
A good light chair is another needed element. The lighter the better, especially if you are moving around a lot. Of course there is the weapon of choice. You can either hunt them with a bow, crossbow, or shotgun. Well at least in Wisconsin anyway. I choose to hunt them with a shotgun myself but have hunted them with a bow. Each weapon has its advantages and disadvantages.
The last piece of especial equipment to bring, well almost the most important piece of equipment, is a themacell. Nothing like swatting bugs when you are trying to sit still. I can’t recommend carrying one of these when hunting. I also always carry one with me when I’m out when its warm.
Wrapping it Up
Hunting turkeys can be a very exciting experience. Unlike deer hunting where you will sit a stand usually in the morning and evening, you can hunt turkeys pretty much all day. Calling is usually better in the morning but I have had success in the afternoon.
Blinds have greatly increased the success rate that I have had. I have killed turkeys in both a blind and on the ground. I’ve even taken a few turkeys out of a tree stand with my bow when I was deer hunting. Blinds have been the best biggest factor that has increased my success rate.
Get the right equipment will also help your success rate. The equipment doesn’t have to be the most expensive but does need to do the intended job. Calling can be an art form especially the mouth calls. I prefer the box calls myself. I have had the best success with them. Get out there and enjoy the outdoors. Thank you for reading my article. I look forward to your comments/questions below. Dan