Wild turkey scouting, hunting, and calling primer for 2014
The reports are starting to trickle in. A buddy in southeastern Minnesota sent me an email a couple of days ago saying that he heard two distant gobbles this week while loading his kids in his truck. Another, an Iowa resident, said that the golf course birds near his house have come alive and each morning the sweetest sound of spring rings through his neighborhood.
When the birds start gobbling, I start thinking about calling. While I’ve spent plenty of time working birds into shooting range over the years, I still try to practice my calling each spring before I actually hunt. The reason I do this, aside from taking a guilty pleasure in filling my house with raucous yelps and cutts and consequently driving my black Lab crazy, is because I usually need a refresher.
This goes for all of my calls, but is most important for my slate and diaphragm calls. I don’t use box calls much because I can’t stand carrying them around, but I do rely heavily on an assortment of mouth calls and pot calls. The old standbys, along with the inevitable new purchases, all get several run-throughs before I hunt. This way I can decide on which calls I like best, and remind myself just how to rough up my pot calls and strikers well before I’m sitting with my back to a tree with the rising sun lighting up the woods.
Whether you’re a bona fide turkey impersonator or a newcomer looking to expand your abilities, consider a little pre-hunt practice. Find a place to work your pot calls, box calls, gobble shakers, locators and even push-button calls. Keep a couple of diaphragm calls in your truck to work with when you’re driving by yourself (not recommended for two-hand calls like slate and box calls). It doesn’t take much to improve and there is no better time than now to brush up on your faux hen speak.