Four calls that do it all


One morning a few weeks ago, I parked my truck at the top of a hill and looked out at the valley below me. It was a perfect morning for turkey hunting. I walked to the back of the truck, lifted the lid, and reached for my turkey vest. It was a revealing moment. I lifted the vest and was about to put it on when I realized how heavy it was. It contained everything I needed for just about any spring or fall turkey hunting situation. An umbrella, a lightweight rain suit, extra shells, a myriad of sundry items, and yes about a dozen turkey calls. Too much stuff to haul around on such a beautiful day and so, I had to consolidate.

I decided I needed only four types of turkey calls and so choose one of each kind I carried. My Lohman model 870 double-sided box call was the first to make the cut. It is quite durable and has accounted for dozens of turkeys over the years. I have several other box calls including a Lynch 101 that I bought almost sixty years ago. It got me my first turkey ever and several after that. I treasure it as an antique and don’t take it hunting.

My next selection for the morning hunt was two pot calls, one with a slate surface and the other with a glass top. I’ve found a pot call is capable of making any sound a turkey makes. I use a pot call to make enticing purrs, clucks, and soft yelps that bring in toms when the woods are silent and other hunters have called it quits for the day. I also carry five strikers made with different materials to use with these two calls because each striker produces a different sound.

In my shirt pocket, I have at least a half dozen diaphragm calls that I use when a bird is close and I don’t want to risk any movement. I have a Butski three reed cutter that works well as well as several different  Quaker Boy calls including their Kee-Kee model.

Years ago, a gentleman from Kansas called at work and said he was on his way to Ithaca for a 50th class reunion at Cornell University. He said he read one of my turkey hunting articles and asked if he could stop by to chat. I arranged to meet him during my lunch break and before he left, he gave me several of his homemade scratch box calls. I doubt many other hunters use a scratch box, but I found the ones he gave me produced the softest purrs and whines of any call I have. Because they are so small and compact and imitate most turkey vocalizations, I always carry one in my shirt pocket for use both in the fall and spring.

It took only a few minutes to choose the calls I wanted and I was glad I did. Just as it was getting light enough to see I found I was free from carrying a too-heavy vest with stuff I wouldn’t need for that particular morning’s hunt. It proved to be a good decision. Walking back up the steep hill later that morning was a lot easier being 10 pounds lighter.

Categories: Bloggers on Hunting, New York – Mike Raykovicz, Turkey

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