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bmc

Which turkey sound to use when?

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bmc    5
bmc

I know this is one of those questions that probably has a thousand answers if not more, but for us new turkey hunter's could you more experienced guys give us some info?

I've been hitting the NWTF sight and practicing with the recorded turkey sounds. My lab is looking at me like, "That ain't a duck call." I hope she doesn't get confused and turn into a turkey dog! grin.gif

Thanks,

Brian

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Borch    318
Borch

There's a lot of personal preference and trial and error in determining which call to use and when. You'll need to get a feel for each individual bird to be able to answer it and the moods he's in at the moment.

But I'll give you a quich run down of the basic calls and when I tend to use them.

Cluck and purrs tend to be made by content relaxed birds. You'll often hear the purrs in clucking when feeding. I use both of these calls a lot especially on pressured toms or when a tom is hung up. Pair this with some leaf scratching to seal the deal.

Fighting purrs: Much louder and excited than the feeding purr. Usually made when toms are establishing dominance. Can be a great call for a dominate tom. It's usually an after all else fails call.

Yelps: Many variations of it that hens and gobblers use. But basicly a location call. "Here I am. Where are you?" The bread and butter of most turkey hunters. Very effective espcially when you vary the volume, pitch and put some excitement into it.

Cutting: Very excited short yelps/clucks strung together in short quick series. Again, a call I usually use when other calls have failed in an attempt to fire him up or the hen he's with to come over.

Kee Kee run: Assemble call usually used in the fall but can be quiet effective in the spring at times.

Gobble: What us turkey hunters love to hear! A tom's way of saying "Here I am! Come here!" Can be an effective call but be very careful as it can also attract other hunters to your postion.

Like I say this is my spin on calls and calling. I believe that those who watch the turkey hunting videos and work birds accordingly often "Overcall" birds. Calling too much will often make that old tom hang and strut, gobbling his head off. That's the way it works in thier world. The hens come to him and we're trying to fool him into changing his ways. Come acrossed too eager and he'll stay there longer many times.

Good Luck!

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HateHumminbird    0
HateHumminbird

Excellent summary!

I agree in terms of the "all-star" video strutters, that turkey hunting film crews search high and low for. Act like the callers on those videos, and more often than not, you'll wonder where the gobbler slipped off to and why.

As for when to use which sounds, much depends on the time of day, and whether you're working a bird, or are prospecting.

I tell folks to master the yelp, cluck, and purr (in that order) before they ever try to work on fly-downs, cutting, kee-kees, etc. That said, you should also know when to use each of those as alluded to earlier.

When prospecting or searching for new birds, I like to cluck softly at first (before I blow the doors off of a turkey that's nearby but unseen), and then usually complete a series or two of yelps. I'll do this when I'm set-up in a stationary position for awhile every 15 minutes or so.

If I get a bird to respond to my initial efforts, I try to gauge my next calls on his previous gobbling response. Hot birds are easy to call in, and afford you the luxury of being a bit sloppy and/or overanxious. It's the birds that delay-gobble or gobble while moving away that warrant a change of tactics, or at least a re-evaluation. Here is when you can get cute.

Almost always I'll try to fire him up after I've made initial contact. As mentioned, here you can do a single series of cutting if you wish. If he follows your lead and gobbles back very agressively, esp. several times, shut up.....and don't make another call. He'll find you, and you want it that way.

I use purrs to calm birds down (if possible) that didn't like something about my calling, setup, or situation. I usually mix them in with clucks.

Cluck. purrrrrrr. purrrrrrrr.

I like to mix in clucks with yelps as well.

cluck-yelp-yelp-yelp. cluck-yelp-yelp-yelp-yelp-yelp

It's all about realism and adding emotion to your calling. Truly focus on the changes in:

-pitch/frequency (lower to higher in the yelps)

-volume (lower to higher with many calls, esp. yelps)

-tone (bright, tinny, sharp, raspy)

-feeling/emotion (desperation, excitement, contentedness)

These will make you sound more real.

Joel

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Cooter    0
Cooter

The boys pretty much covered it. I'll just add that IMO I'd learn a cluck and purr last. I've never called in a bird where I thought afterwards that it was the soft cluck or purrs that sealed the deal, although I can't prove it wasn't. Like JN said, they help when a bird gets nervous - buys you a little time. Work on yelps and cutting with a variety of calls and don't forget locator calls. They can make or break a hunt. Owl hooting for one is a fine art...there are many tricks - a simple 'who cooks for you' that is soft and subtle often won't shock out a gobble while a short one note hoot with some loud, sharp, staccato 'laughs' at the end will fire em up. Same with crow call, hawk call, coyote call...usually short and loud is best - not only do you get the shock response but you give yourself a chance to hear that gobble.

One tip for getting a gobble by yelping - use a carbon striker and either a glass or aluminum call. When you practice inside it should echo and hurt your ears, this often gets a gobble when nothing else will.

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huntmup    0
huntmup

I, by no means have the expertise status that Borch, JNelson and Cooter have. From what I hear, read, and my experiance hunting turkeys, there is a lack of talk about the effectiveness of the kee kee run call in the spring. I have killed more birds using this call than all others combined.

If a Tom gets hung up and he's out of sight and nothing works to bring him in, get up, high-tail-it about a hunderd yards the opposite direction of the bird, get your self setup and hit the kee kee run call.

The kee kee run also works great late morning to late afternoon. Pick a spot in the woods, setup and start in on the kee kee run call. I have had Toms come in not making a sound, to gobbling and running so hard they were tripping over thier own beard. grin.gif

Maybe this is supposed to be one of those well kept secrets. I don't know. Give it a try. It works great for me.

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Gordie    0
Gordie

so just what excactly is the kee-kee-run call and I know this is not a call but what about using the turkey wing on the ground sound when your calling? do any of you guys use this option?

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Cooter    0
Cooter

The kee kee or kee kee run is about impossible to describe with a keyboard but its a high pitched call typically made by immature birds. The call itself is almost a whistle, if you will, and is fairly easy to produce on a diaphragm or slate call. Two or three notes each slightly higher pitched than the one before, followed by a yelp or two. Try whistling 'wee wee' or 'kee kee' with you lips and you'll be in the ball park for how it should sound. On a slate type call you want to use the very outer edge of the call.

Very interesting tip, I've never tried a kee kee in the spring - will have to keep that one in mind this year!

For the turkey wing - I'll use it early morning to simulate fly down - you can also beat your baseball cap on your thigh.

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HateHumminbird    0
HateHumminbird

The kee-kee is a call that most outdoor writers pen for fall-hunting, esp. after "breaking-up" birds. It's an assembly or "I'm lost" kind of call that can work well in the spring time. I think alot of folks shy away from it's use as depending on the type of diaphragm or slate call you use, it can be difficult to consistently reproduce.

Huntumup, you may be onto something, as like Cooter, I don't use it much in the spring time either.

The turkey wing is a dynamite call for pressured birds esp. More than anything I like to rake it across the bark of a mature tree (with lots of pits and ridges on the bark) while birds are still in the trees. I've had birds gobble at this noise and turn on the limb towards my direction. I usually leave it at home however cause I wreck about a wing a year. It gets folded over and sat or crawled upon and then I get angry for having a vest full of junk smile.gif

Joel

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