One of the most common questions people who are new to turkey hunting have is “How do I learn how to call turkeys?”. While experience is the best teacher you will ever have, here are a few things to remember when your learning how to talk turkey. First let’s talk about the different sounds you’ll be using.
Yelp: Undoubtedly the most common sound used in trying to entice turkeys into shotgun range. A yelp is a sound a hen makes when she is looking for a possible baby daddy. The call is usually a series of 3-6 short yelp sounds (see here).
Cluck: A cluck is a sound a turkey will make throughout the day as a sign of “I’m over here” to other turkeys. It is used by hunters as a way to tell a turkey “It’s all good over here,no danger at all!”. It sounds very similar to a chicken clucking, just a bit lower in tone and louder (see here).
Purr: The purr is a very soft call,much like a cat purring,as a sign of contentment. Hens make this particular sound all day,most commonly while feeding (see here).
Cut: The cut is a call used by hens to signify excitement. Oftentimes it can be combined with clucks and yelps to mimic a hen “cutting up”,or telling a gobbler “Hey big boy,I’m ready for some lovin’!” (see here).
As previously stated,the best way to learn how to use these calls effectively is to get out in the woods and hear them for yourself,as well as use them to see what works and what doesn’t. Also,take advantage of the mistakes of people around you. If you have any friends that have turkey hunted for a while,ask them if you can tag along next time they go out,even if it’s unarmed,just to see what they do. You may be surprised at how quickly you can learn how to talk turkey.
In the next tip we’ll be talking about what type of calls to use when mimicking the wild turkey. Good huntin’!
Credit: All call sounds courtesy NWTF