Tools of the Trade

• Box calls

Box calls are the loudest of the bunch. On a windy day, it’s best to use one so the sound carries farther. According to Saale, box calls are the most realistic sounding. “To me, a box call sounds like a turkey more than anything,” he said. “It does all of the vocalizations. It’s got a good high front end with a raspy sound to it.”

• Pot calls

Good for most situations, a pot call emits just about any turkey vocalization except a gobble. A pot call sounds realistic and is easy to use, which is perfect for beginners. Typically, you can find pot calls in three designs: aluminum, slate and glass. When it’s dry out, Saale said he prefers slate. However, on humid or wet days, opt for a glass call because it will produce the most realistic sound, and the slate will squeak. Aluminum can prove to be a bit harder to use for a beginner, but once mastered is just as good as the rest.

• Diaphragm calls

Also known as a mouth call, it takes some practice to be proficient with one. This particular method is hands-free, which means it’s a favorite of many hunters. “That’s the biggest advantage of a mouth call,” Saale said. “You can be looking down the gun barrel and keep calling to him, all without having to ever move. Moving when he’s in close range is how he’ll bust you.”

• Locator calls

Locator calls serve only one purpose: Shocking the gobbler while its on the roost and getting it to respond right as the hunt begins so you can pinpoint its exact location. An owl hooter and crow call work best. Saale said he’ll often make an owl sound with his mouth, but only if he knows that turkeys are close by. Otherwise, the calls carry farther in the woods.

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About Jonathan Olivier 38 Articles
Jonathan Olivier is a devoted journalist with a focus on the environment and outdoor recreation. His passion for hunting, backpacking and wilderness conservation has taken him from the swamps of Louisiana to the mountains of Colorado.

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