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Does any one have advice for a beginning turkey hunter? I'm having trouble with the mouth calls.

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  • Does any one have advice for a beginning turkey hunter? I'm having trouble with the mouth calls.

    Does any one have advice for a beginning turkey hunter? I'm having trouble with the mouth calls.

  • #2
    It takes most folks quite a while to learn to use mouth calls. It took me a couple of seasons before I wouldn't totally embarass myself and scare away the turkeys, and I'm still not near the top of the scale in ability. My best hunting buddy has tried every kind of call on the market and has practiced until his mouth is sore and still can't use one. A mouth call is not a necessity for calling turkeys, and I think I get better tones from slates and boxes, especially with clucks and purrs. It is just better for when the turkey is close and you don't want to use your hands. Good luck to you and don't get discouraged---don't be too proud to get the beginners' diaphragms to learn with. Simple is usually better.

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    • #3
      To take the advice thing a bit further, The most important thing a turkey hunter can have is patience. All of my turkey hunting is done in the spring, so keep that in mind if you try any of my suggestions.
      The second most important thing is an intimate knowledge of the terrain you are hunting. A gobbler doesn't like to cross barriers to get to you, natural ones like streams or briar patches or man made ones like fences, although he may cross them with impunity during the course of the day. He'd rather walk uphill to you than downhill. It is easiest to call a gobbler to you if you are close to where he wants to be, anyhow.

      Camo up and BE STILL. Face mask and gloves are important. Cut some foliage to stick in front of you to break up your outline and sit with your back to a tree or something else. Get as comfortable as possible so you won't start to squirm after a few minutes.

      Learn a couple of basic calls, cluck and yelps, and remember that calling is probably only 25% of turkey hunting. Don't call too much and don't pay too much attention of the hunting videos---they are putting on a show.

      Again, be patient. Turkeys are excellent teachers and will quickly point out your mistakes. I would recommend you get a copy of "A Fork In The Road" by Tom Kelly. It is especially for new turkey hunters and has a DVD with it. Old Man Kelly has been killing turkeys for seventy years and knows what he's talking about. He's entertaining about sharing his knowledge. Welcome to the Legion.

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      • #4
        Sorry, I forgot, ---there are some good push button calls that are the easiest to use. Box calls are the next easiest, followed by the slate or glass friction call.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the advice. Hopefully i will go fall and spring hunting for 2010-11. How do you know so much any way?

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          • #6
            check out OL's Strut Zone, lots of turkey talk and tips

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            • #7
              I've spent most of the hunting part of my 65 years in the turkey woods and my Dad hunted turkeys all his life and passed what he knew on to me. I urge you to read as much as you can and I'm a big fan of Tom Kelly's books. Just Google his name. I hope you enjoy the passion of turkey hunting as much as I have. There's nothing else quite like it. Where will you be hunting?

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              • #8
                I'll be hunting in Barron county Wisconsin. We own 112 acres of land there that we hunt on.40 acres of beans,40 of woods give or take, and the rest field.

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                • #9
                  Sounds like some pretty country. I've heard from friends who've been there that Wisconson is beautiful. You will probably do well using decoys in the spring with the field areas, but I don't know much about using decoys. Maybe CharlieElk will pop in and help out with some hints. He's a very experienced turkey hunter and knows what he's talking about. Like Bigjake suggested, check out the message boards Turkey Roost and read some of the back stuff there.

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                  • #10
                    Barron county has a good population of birds. Are you going this fall? Or waiting for spring? I recommend both. We WI turkey hunters are blessed, WI allows each hunter more turkey tags than any other state.
                    I gave up on diaphragm calls according to my dentist I have the best gag reflexes he has ever seen.
                    My favorite call is pot & peg particularly the slate version and the wingbone.
                    Piney gave some good advice and thanks for the kind words Piney.
                    Fall hunting is the ultimate challenge it has been said the only game harder to kill than a turkey in the fall is mountain goat. Less than 14% of all fall turkey hunters fill their tags here in wI. So do not get discouraged. Read Steve Hickoff's book Fall and Winter Turkey hunting. After reading his book I began to kill fall turkeys regularly on purpose.
                    The 3 fall gobblers in my picture were called to the gun by holding the slate pot between my knees while sitting against a tree aggressively dragging a striker (peg) in each hand across the slate imitating fighting turkeys. Fall gobblers respond nicely to the fighting purr or aggressive purr because they are establishing their winter flock pecking order. Called in the group shot one they left, stayed still & called again starting with gobbler yelps, clucks then the purr they came back shot another. Repeated the sequence for the third. That flock was so worked up I could have called them back for a couple more but only had 3 tags in my pocket that day. Besides 3 gobblers totaling about 75 lb. is plenty to lug out of the woods at one time.
                    The wingbone is good for making the kee kees and assemble call used after you break up a flock. These calls bring in the poults due to their urge to reassemble. All turkeys are legal game in the fall and it is very exciting experience having a flock reform all around you. I have no problem shooting hens and poults. The poults are extremely good table fare. Turkeys in WI are our most prolific game bird so take advantage of the opportunity.
                    Good Hunting.
                    later,
                    charlie

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                    • #11
                      In WI we get to winter hunt turkeys also. Last year was the first year for the winter season and in keeping with the spirit of winter; it snowed; s lot.
                      Which added a whole new dimension to turkey hunting if you want to see what I mean click on my name to check turkey on snowshoes picture in my profile. Then let me know if you are going to try and I will share a little of what I learned.
                      later,
                      charlie

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for the advice guys.Im planning on going fall and spring. We just need to apply for spring and wait to get fall over the counter because we missed the deadline for the drawing.

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                        • #13
                          I have never had success with a diaphragm call and therefore opt to never use them. I also never use them because I chew Copenhagen when hunting turkeys. I have had my best success with a slate / box call combo.

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                          • #14
                            I've been turkey hunting for 4 years now so I remember getting used to all the different calls available. My advice is to pick up a box call, slate call and a diaphram. The diaphram will take a fair amount of work to get right (I still don't have it right if you ask me) so if you don't have it down my turkey season stick with the box and slate calls. Work on simple clucks and putts and especially tree yelps (those soft yelps you hear from hens when they are still on the roost). Try to imitate the sounds you hear. Most of the time hens aren't cutting like mad, so keep it simple to start. And keep working your diaphram because it comes in handy for close work.

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