How To Call Turkeys With A Mouth Callby Matt Wettish
Turkey Calling Sequences ... what they mean.
|Mouth Call - Turkey Sounds|
Many people learn how to use a mouth call, or a box call, or maybe even a slate call, then head to the woods throwing every call they know at the birds. Sometimes it may work, and others it may not. Knowing what you are saying to the birds may just help you up the odds in your favor next time you start a conversation with a talkative tom.
It's much more than just throwing some yelps at a bird with a few cuts and purrs thrown in. Knowing when and why to call is half the battle, and understanding the birds language and being able to say the right thing at the right time may just help you be more successful in the woods.
Starting out with some yelps is a great way to, for lack of a better description, take the birds temperature. Find out just how receptive he is by only giving him a few yelps. If he responds back, don't get all fancy and do more than is necessary. Yelping can be very diverse. Often times there is no need for other types of calling. Just by changing the speed, pitch, and volume, you can alter the message you are delivering to the bird.
By getting a little faster and louder, may say that the hen is getting more excited. Or, slowing down and calling softly may show contentment and bring that gobbler right in. It is important to go easy with your calling when starting out calling to a bird, and this is a great way to start.
Regular Yelping Sequence: Yelp, Yelp, Yelp, Yelp, Yelp, Yelp, Yelp
Yelping With Change In Intensity: YELP, YELP, YELP, yelp, yelp, YELP, YELP, YELP, Yelp, Yelp
When the bird proves to be a little less than accepting of just the plain hen yelp, a few cuts may be thrown in. Cutting is a great way to boost up the intensity of a hen call. A few cuts followed by some yelping shows that tom that the hen is excited to hear him, and is looking for some company. This can be stepped up to another notch by throwing a cut or two amongst the yelps, or by adding a few to the end of the yelping sequence as well.
This type of calling will most often get a bird to gobble, give away his location, and keep you aware of his approach. It's a great way to get an approaching bird to gobble if you can't see him as well. If the bird is below a hill and you can't see him, making him gobble is a great way to track his position so that when he comes in to view, you are on him. This way you don't need to move you gun while the bird is in site, and possibly give away your position and spook the bird.
Regular Cut and Yelp Sequence: Cut-Cut, Yelp, Yelp, Yelp, Yelp, Yelp
Somewhat Excited Cut and Yelp: Cut-Cut, Yelp, Yelp, Yelp, Cut-Yelp, Yelp, Yelp
Excited Hen Yelping and Cuts: Cut-Cut, Yelp, Yelp, Yelp, Cut-Cut-Yelp, Yelp, Yelp, Cut-Cut-Cut-Cut
Now, if the bird is coming to the call, there is no need to add any more to your calling. Call only enough to keep him interested. Throwing everything you have at him all at once, leaves you nothing to add in case he gives up and decides to leave. If you start out with excited hen yelps with cutting and he comes in a little and decides to leave, you don't have any more excitement to throw at him. But if you just start with yelps, then go to a cut and yelp sequence to fire him up, you still have excited calling in your pocket just in case he starts heading the other direction. So only do what is necessary as the bird approaches.
Now, if the bird hangs up just out of gun range, or maybe inside of gun range, but you just don't have a shot, then you can do some soft calling to help him along. First, you can soften your yelps and call away from the bird to make him think the hen is walking away from him. This is a great tactic to help that bird make those few extra steps towards going home with you.
Another way, is to show contentment by adding some clucks and purrs to your calling sequence. These are contentment calls that can often times make that bird step right out and in to your shooting lane. These are not loud or fast calls. Remember the description ... contentment type call. They are delivered slow and quietly, and depict a hen that is relaxed, happy where she is, and feeling safe.
The cluck, purr, and yelp can be put together in a sequence, but do it in a relaxed style. You don't want to do regular yelping with a loud, fast cadence and then throw a purr in the middle. Or, the same thing with cutting, you don't want to cut a few times then purr. You would be sending two different messages.
Do a soft cluck or two followed by a purr, then stop. Or mix it up with a purr, then a cluck, then another purr. This is a great soft call to use when a bird is up close and personal, and you just need to give him a little convincing to make those few extra steps.
Cluck and Purr Sequence: Cluck, Purr .......... Cluck, Purr
More Active Cluck and Purr: Cluck ... Cluck, Purr .... Purr .... Cluck, Purr, Cluck
Even a single yelp or two mixed with a cluck or purr works great too. Just remember, this is not straight out yelping. The name of the game when birds are in tight is easy, soft and content type calls. A very soft cluck with a single yelp is a great call to do. It's not easy, but mastering it will certainly make a difference in the woods.
Soft Cluck and Yelp Sequence: Cluck ... Yelp ... Yelp, Yelp ... Cluck- Cluck, Yelp ... Yelp, Yelp
Soft Yelp and Cluck n Purr Sequence: Cluck ... Cluck, Yelp, Yelp ... Cluck, Purr ... Purr ... Cluck, Yelp Yelp
However you mix things up, just remember a couple simple rules of thumb. First, don't throw everything at the bird right away. You need to keep a couple tricks up your sleeve in case he starts walking away. Second, keep the loud and aggressive stuff for when the bird is far out, or on his way in. And third, keep the quiet stuff simple and soft. Make him come looking for you. Often times no call at all is the best call to use. Good luck, Hunt Hard, and Hunt Safe.