Calling a Turkey to bring him closer to you, or coaxing him to give away his position is probably the most enjoyable method of Turkey hunting, and since this incredible bird is gifted with incredible eyesight, calling the Turkey is probably the best way to get into position for a shot. Combine this with proper decoy management and you have a great chance of harvesting a nice Tom. Remember, it only takes one bird to let you know what direction he is, and then you will have to judge the distance for yourself. When the birds are silent it can seem as if you are all alone in the woods as they can go completely quiet when alarmed.
Turkey’s breed primarily in the spring months of April and May, during this period they can become extremely vocal and learning the differences in each sound can tell whether your quarry is a Tom, Jake or possibly even a hen. One of the first things I was taught when using my calls was what type of sound to imitate to elicit the desired effect. Sitting in the dark an hour or so before dawn during Turkey season is very exciting and when the sound of a mature Tom breaks though the darkness it will be something you won’t ever forget!
Turkey’s can be located using a variety of calls; you can imitate a hen, or the unmistakable call of a big Gobbler or even those sounds such as crow and owls. The sounds of thunder have also been known to cause a Wild Turkey to give away his position. These locator calls are a hit and miss situation and usually work best in areas that you know Turkeys have been seen in sufficient numbers. Locator calls are used to identify position not to bring birds in.
With so many calls on the market, its hard to figure out what might work best for you, but the bottom line is know how to properly use the call before taking it into the field. I prefer the box call as it is easy for me to use since my attempts to use a mouth or diaphragm Turkey call have similar results to Roseanne Barr singing the national anthem. However, the diaphragm calls give the hunter who can properly use them, are great bit of versatility. The problem with a box call is that there is motion involved and the hunter will need to put down the call in order to lift his shotgun.
Turkeys make a number of different sounds depending on what they are doing at the time; it can range from a series of purrs, clucks, yelps or a combination of sounds. Remember on windy days your sound will be limiting in the distance it projects and trying to hard to increase volume might through off the proper sound. Cadence is also of great importance and it’s usually a good practice for novice hunters to merely try to match the sounds of birds they can hear. Combine this with some life-like decoys set out at a know distance such as 20yds and you are just about ready. In some areas, the use of decoys may actually hamper your hunt as the birds have been pressured greatly and are wise to the decoys. But all in all, 1-3 decoys depending on the circumstance should suffice, and by the end of the day you may have an incredible dinner that the whole family will enjoy and a great story to tell around the table.