How to Call Turkeys & Why it Works

Thayne Muthler

Introduction to Turkey Calling in Hunting

For any serious hunter, the ability to call turkeys is essential. Hunters can lure turkeys, develop communication, and ultimately increase their chances of a successful hunt by imitating their noises. We shall examine the art of turkey calling in this article and the factors contributing to its exceptional hunting efficiency.

Learn how to call turkeys and the science behind why it works

Understanding the Significance of Turkey Calling in Hunting Success:

  1. Attracting Turkeys: A useful tactic for drawing turkeys to your area is turkey calling. You can arouse their interest and entice them closer by imitating their vocalizations.
  2. Communication: Turkeys are gregarious animals that use vocalizations to exchange information. Hunters can communicate by listening in on these perceptive birds and reacting correctly.
  3. Triggering Aggression: During the spring mating season, dominant gobblers can get territorial and react violently to calls from rival males. Skilled hunters can capitalize on this behavior by utilizing sounds that cause these dominating birds to react.
  4. Creating Realism: By faithfully replicating their sounds, turkey calls improve the realism of your hunting location and increase the chance of fooling wary birds.

In the following sections, we will delve into:

  1. Decoding turkey sounds
  2. Mastering common turkey calls
  3. Choosing the right turkey call for your needs
  4. Effective turkey calling strategies for a successful hunt

We will also discuss the benefits of learning from expert callers and utilizing educational resources to enhance your turkey calling skills.

So let's dive in and explore the fascinating world of turkey calling – an art that brings us closer to nature and elevates the thrill of the hunt!

Learn how to call turkeys and the science behind why it works

1. Decoding Turkey Sounds: A Guide for Hunters

Comprehending the importance of turkey noises is essential for effective hunting because these birds' behavior and thinking can be gained from them. Understanding the different kinds of turkey sounds is essential if you want to raise your chances of having a successful hunt and enhance your turkey calling abilities.

Understanding the Different Types of Turkey Sounds and Their Meanings

Turkeys use a wide variety of noises, each of which has a distinct function in their communication. Getting comfortable with these primary vocalizations will make a big difference in your hunting experience:

  • Gobbles: Toms, or male turkeys, use gobbles to mark their territory and make announcements about their arrival. Long-range reverberation of this sound makes it more noticeable throughout the breeding season.
  • Clucks and Purrs: These quiet, soothing noises are used by both male and female turkeys (gobblers) to reassure, soothe, or keep in touch during feeding or resting.
  • Yelps: All year long, both male and female turkeys make this adaptable call. It can be used for a number of things, like showing enthusiasm, finding other turkeys, or just acting as a general means of group communication.
Learn how to call turkeys and the science behind why it works

Exploring the Science Behind Turkeys' Vocalizations

Turkeys use vocalizations a lot to communicate a wide range of feelings and wants. Hunters can learn a great deal about turkey behavior by interpreting these vocal clues and modifying their calling strategies accordingly. Turkey callers can learn a great deal by seeing how these birds communicate in their natural environment. This knowledge can help hunters improve their calling techniques and hunt more successfully.

For example, comprehending wild turkey roosting behavior can offer more detailed information on their daily routines, which is helpful for hunters planning their approach. Furthermore, investigating the experiences of naturalists such as Joe Hutto who have spent a great deal of time with turkeys can provide insightful insights and deepen one's knowledge of these amazing animals.

2. Mastering Common Turkey Calls

Any turkey hunter must become proficient in the common calls made by turkeys. These calls resemble the noises that turkeys produce to communicate with each other, and by becoming proficient with these calls, hunters may entice turkeys to approach, improving their odds of a successful hunt. The following are important things to remember when learning typical turkey calls:

1. Each Call's Function and When to Use It in the Field

  • Yelp Call: The most fundamental and adaptable call is the yelp call, which mimics the sound of a hen turkey. It can be used for a number of purposes, including attracting gobblers and helping turkeys be located during the mating season.
  • Cluck Call: Turkeys use a brief, low sound called the cluck call to stay in communication with one another. It can be applied when a turkey is approaching but refuses to move in closer.
  • Gobble Call: The gobble call mimics the unique gobble sound made by a male turkey. During the breeding season, hunters mostly use it to get a reaction from prominent gobblers.
  • Purr Call: A gentle rolling sound, known as the purr call, is made by contented or fed turkeys. It can be used to entice near turkeys or to soothe frightened ones.
Learn how to call turkeys and the science behind why it works

2. Methods for Getting Your Turkey Calls Just Right

  • Practice your calls regularly: To become an expert at calling turkeys, practice frequently with a range of calls until you can make noises that are both convincing and genuine.
  • Emphasis on rhythm and cadence: Each call's rhythm and cadence should be observed because doing so can significantly increase its ability to draw turkeys.
  • Make use of an appropriate volume control: Recognize when to speak quietly or loudly over the phone depending on the circumstance.
  • Copy realism: When you're calling, try to be as realistic as possible by precisely matching the pitch, tone, and length of each call.
  • Take advice from seasoned hunters: Learn from and watch seasoned turkey hunters to hone your skills and obtain insightful knowledge.

You can raise your chances of success in the field by learning common turkey calls and using the proper procedures.

Learn how to call turkeys and the science behind why it works

3. Choosing the Right Turkey Call: Understanding Different Types and Techniques

Making the appropriate call is essential to successfully attracting those elusive gobblers when hunting turkeys. Making an informed choice and improving your hunting experience will be made easier if you are aware of the benefits and drawbacks of the various call kinds. We'll look at a few common turkey call styles and methods here:

Push-Button Calls


  • They are simple to operate and perfect for novices.
  • Able to create lifelike hen noises with just a button push.


  • Less variation in sound quality when compared to other call kinds.
  • Takes two hands to use efficiently.

Box Calls


  • Adaptable and able to generate a variety of turkey noises.
  • Able to produce resonance cries that are loud and far-reaching.


  • Mastering the method for consistent sounds takes practice.
  • Moisture sensitivity, which may have an impact on performance.

Slate Calls


  • Provides outstanding control over changes in tone and pitch.
  • Generates authentic hen noises, such as yelps, clucks, and purrs.


  • They are superior for close-quarters calling since they have less volume than box calls.
  • Requires sporadic upkeep to maintain the surface's quality.

Diaphragm Calls


  • While phoning, hands-free operating improves concealment.
  • With practice, may produce a wide variety of turkey vocalizations.


  • Learning the correct mouth positioning and airflow takes time and practice.
  • Not recommended for people who have oral or dental health problems.

To accurately simulate the sounds of live turkeys, one must become proficient in using various turkey calls. Certain methods are needed for each call type in order to generate precise and believable turkey vocalizations. It's critical to dedicate time to honing these strategies in order to enhance your calling abilities and raise your prospects of success in the industry.

Remember that the best method to select the ideal turkey call for you is to try out a variety of styles and determine which one is the most natural and comfortable for you. Gaining proficiency in each call type's advantages and disadvantages as well as their tactics will help you become an expert turkey caller.

Learn how to call turkeys and the science behind why it works

4. Effective Turkey Calling Strategies for a Successful Hunt

Gaining proficiency in various turkey calling techniques is essential for a successful hunt. The following are some useful tactics to think about:

Adapting Your Calling Approaches to Different Hunting Situations

Your chances of success can be significantly increased by tailoring your turkey calling strategy to the particular hunting conditions. Take into account these methods:

  1. Soft Calling: If turkeys are nearby or have just been scared, it may be more successful to use gentle, subtle calls. To allay their fears, pretend to be feeding or contented turkeys.
  2. Aggressive Calling: Aggressive calls can draw the attention of reluctant or distant turkeys and elicit a response. One way to mimic a dominant turkey challenging their territory is to make loud yelps and cutts.
  3. Decoy Calling: Using decoys in addition to your turkey calls can give your setup an additional level of realism. Combining auditory calls with visual signals can encourage turkeys to explore more.

The Importance of Timing, Cadence, and Realism in Turkey Calling

When calling turkeys, timing, tempo, and realism are essential. When you are honing your calling method, keep these things in mind:

  1. Timing: Be mindful of the time of day and the particular stage of the breeding season that you are experiencing. Early in the morning and late in the afternoon is when turkeys are most talkative, so time your calls appropriately.
  2. Cadence: Adapt your calling cadence to the way a turkey would naturally behave. As you generate enthusiasm, start off with softer, slower calls and then pick up the tempo and volume.
  3. Realism: Examine the vocalizations of wild turkeys and make an effort to sound genuine when you call. Replicating a range of turkey noises accurately requires practice with various tones, pitches, and inflections.

Keep in mind that when it comes to turkey calling techniques, experience really does make perfect. To determine what works best for you in different hunting settings, take the time to hone your skills and try out alternative tactics.

You can improve your chances of having a successful turkey hunt by adjusting your calling strategies to fit various hunting conditions and concentrating on timing, tempo, and realism. Let's now focus on picking up tips from the experts and using instructional materials to improve your turkey calling abilities.

Learning From the Pros: Studying Master Turkey Callers and Utilizing Educational Resources

To become proficient in calling turkeys while hunting, one must study under seasoned hunters and make use of instructional materials. Here are some important things to think about:

Benefits of Observing Expert Techniques and Practicing With Instructional Materials

  • Observing proficient turkey callers in action offers insightful knowledge about the subtleties, tactics, and methods of successful turkey calling. You can improve your comprehension and skill in this area by paying attention to their gestures, hand positions, and vocalizations.
  • Using instructional DVDs or online videos with professional turkey callers, hunters can revisit skills as needed and learn at their own pace. These publications frequently include thorough instructions, pointers, and troubleshooting guidance for perfecting turkey calling techniques.
Learn how to call turkeys and the science behind why it works

Essential Tools for Every Turkey Hunter

  • Using the proper turkey calling equipment is crucial for success in the field, in addition to studying expert turkey callers. Superior turkey calls include box calls, slate calls, diaphragm calls, or locator calls are essential instruments that accommodate various hunting conditions and tastes.
  • Knowing how to utilize decoys properly will increase your chances of drawing turkeys within range in addition to calls. Books, papers, and internet discussion boards are examples of educational materials like this one can also provide insightful information about sophisticated strategies, gear suggestions, and firsthand accounts of successful hunts from experienced hunters.

Hunters can improve their abilities, boost their confidence, and enhance their overall hunting experience by immersing themselves in the knowledge of experienced turkey callers and making use of educational resources.

Learn how to call turkeys and the science behind why it works


Learning the art of turkey calling is a thrilling experience that every hunter ought to have. Talking with wild turkeys in the springtime improves your hunting abilities and forges a strong bond with the natural world. As you venture through the forest, keep in mind that mastering turkey calls requires patience and repetition, but the effort is well worth it.

Final Thoughts on the Art and Adventure of Turkey Calling in the Wild

  • Discover the meaning of the many calls made by turkeys. It's a voyage that enhances your hunting experience and helps you appreciate these incredible birds even more.
  • Take pride in honing your abilities and methods, as each call takes you one step closer to the action and raises your chances of having a successful encounter with a wild turkey.

Encouragement to Go Out and Experience the Thrill of Engaging in Springtime Conversations With Wild Turkeys

  • Armed with information and a healthy regard for these species, venture out into the wild with assurance. As you fully immerse yourself in the age-old dance between hunter and prey, let their natural noises guide you.
  • Accept the excitement and unpredictability of turkey calling and savor every second of becoming a part of their world. For those seeking the excitement of having chats with wild turkeys in the spring, the wilderness is ready and waiting to reveal its wonders.