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- Q. When it’s the middle of the day and the turkeys don’t seem to gobble
what are your tactics to find them?
- A. Set-up in an area that you have scouted before and heard turkeys
gobbling earlier in the year. Start calling soft at first then get more
aggressive. Sit still, look and listen 45 minutes to an hour, if a turkey
doesn’t respond or approach your set-up, move quietly 200 – 300 yards
depending upon the terrain. Before you leave a set-up to move to a new
location, try a locating call, such as a crow call or an owl call. Keep
repeating this process until you’ve covered your entire hunting area.
Always remember, to listen carefully and sit still in case the gobbler
- Q. What do you think about using decoys?
- A. They work well in field edges and clearing where they are easily
seen by turkeys. Hen decoys work best when most of the hens are nesting
and gobblers are looking for company.
- Q. What five states have the highest turkey populations.
- A. Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Missouri.
- Q. What do judges look for in turkey calling competitions.
- A. In turkey calling competitions, judges look for realism, consistency
and aggressiveness. Unlike hunting, when your in a competition you can
not afford to make a slip or mistake with your calling. In addition,
each judge has their personal opinion on how a required call should
be reproduced. This is why there are seven judges. When they tally all
of the judges scores, the highest score and the lowest score are thrown
out and the middle scores from the judges are then added together. After
years of listening to wild turkeys, I personally listen very carefully
to each required call, i.e., yelp, cackle, kee-kee run ect., for realism,
rhythm, and presentation. Callers that do not sound like real wild turkeys
do not score well with me. To me, the real judge is the wild turkey
gobbler on opening day.
- Q. I would like to know how to score a turkey.
- A. The best reference concerning scoring a wild turkey is available
from the National Wild Turkey Federation. www.nwtf.com/hunting/records.html
- Q. I’m having trouble getting a good soft cluck out of my
- mouth call. I can make a good yelp but the cluck is giving
- me problems. I also can’t seem to get the call to roll over at
- low air pressure. Am I putting to much pressure with the
- A. It’s difficult to exactly diagnose the trouble that you are having,
but here’s some suggestions. Some types of mouth calls are easier to
blow and cluck on than others. The easiest mouth call to cluck on is
the double reed. To cluck, apply shorts bursts of air while pulling
your tongue sharply off the reed. Simulate the word puck. When it comes
to diaphragm mouth calls, all manufacturers make mouth calls with different
thickness rubber and tensions. That’s why a good call to start with
is a double reed, because it’s one of the easiest calls to use.
- Q. Having finally drawn for a spring turkey hunt, I do not want
- to waste any game upon a successful hunt. What is the proper procedure
for field dressing a turkey.
- A. There is two ways to clean your turkey. You can remove the breast
and the legs or clean the turkey for baking or deep frying. First, lay
the turkey on it’s back. For removing the breast, find the breast bone
and make an incision on each side of the breast bone removing the breast
from the bone. Then trim around the breast to remove it from the turkey.
Then remove each thigh from the bird. To clean the bird for baking or
deep frying, first have fun removing all of the feathers. Then lay the
turkey on its back. Follow the breast bone with your hand toward the
rear of the bird. The breast bone narrows down to a point. Hold the
point and pull up on the breast bone. Make a horizontal incision between
the breast bone and the vent. Do not go all the way to the anus. Make
the incision large enough to insert your hand and pull out the entrails.
Be sure to pull out the heart and lungs. Rinse out with water and wipe
with paper towels.
- Q. This is my first time turkey hunting for a spring gobbler. What
is the best way to call him with a slate call and also how often to
- A. Every calling situation is different, however, a good rule of thumb
is to set-up within 100 yards of the turkey at the same level or slightly
above with no obstacles between you and the turkey. Always start calling
soft at first (3 or 4 yelps), and see how he responds. If the turkey
gobbles while your yelping, pause and then call more aggressive. If
he responds again, set your call down and make him look for you. If
he doesn’t come in where you can see him in about 10 minutes, then call
to him more aggressively.
- Q. How do you make a wing bone yelper?
- A. Good question. The best answer I have is contact Turkey & Turkey
Hunting magazine for a past issue on how to make a wing bone call.
- Q. I have read on several instances that calling a turkey uphill is
better that calling them downhill. Why is this the practice that most
experts, such as yourself endorse? Also, I have read that turkeys will
fly down away away from the rising sun, is this true?
- A. Turkeys in general will go wherever they want. They live there!
Sometimes we make it more complicated than it needs to be. I don’t put
much faith in a turkey flying away from the sun intentionally. You can
call turkeys uphill and downhill, the key is to make it easy for the
turkey to come to you. For more information watch Eye on the Wild Turkey
Vol. I and Vol. II.
- Q. I’m hunting by a river it’s about 60 feet across. Will they fly
across the river?
- A. Turkeys will fly a river to come to a call, but you should also
have a second option.
- Q. I just started turkey hunting. I don’t understand how long I should
wait between calls if they are not gobbling. Plus, I don’t know what
a mouth call is supposed to sound like.
- A. Every calling situation is different. Call depending on the turkeys
reaction. If you don’t hear any gobbling wait 30 or 40 minutes then
call again. Eye on the Wild Turkey Sounds of Spring CD covers mouth
call instruction and has plenty of calling to practice with.
- Q. What exactly is a fly-down call? Is the fly-down call useful is
- A. A fly-down cackle is a fast excited series of cutting going up
and down in pitch. A hen makes this sound when it fly’s off the roost
in the morning. I only use this call early in the morning. Like all
calls, sometime it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Sounds of Spring
CD covers the fly-down call.
- Q. On two occasions, I had gobblers answering my calls, but both times
the gobblers stayed put or slowly drifted away, all the while answering
my calls. Do you have a suggestion for what to do in this situation?
- A. Change positions. Circle wide around the turkeys and set-up in
the direction of the turkeys travel route.
- Q. I have just purchased my first box call and would like to know
the basic calling techniques.
- A. Pull the paddle across the edge without picking it up. Different
amounts of pressure will create different sounds. Keep the paddle well
chalked. You can listen to Box calling on the Sounds of Spring CD.