Pick your Poison

Pick your Poison

Posted by Matt Smith on Apr 5th 2022

The buds are blooming, the weather is warming, and the gobblers are screaming as Spring has sprung here in the Shenandoah Valley. This past Saturday, we saw many successful youths take down a well-earned gobbler. Now, its our turn. As Spring Gobbler kicks off on April 9th, its important to note that turkey hunting is anything but a walk in the park. Any seasoned turkey hunter will know that the best way to fool a gobbler is to talk to him the way he wants. Here at Rockingham Cooperative, we have a large selection of mouth calls, slate calls, and box calls to lure in Mr. Tom.

Starting off we have nearly 30 choices of mouth calls to add to your vest. Mouth calls are preferred among a variety of hunters not only as a hands-free component but the versatility in vocalizations that are achievable. Many of these vocalizations take practice to master but are well worth it when Mr. Tom closes in within shotgun range. One important consideration in selecting the proper mouth call is the reed count. Typically, a lower reed count such as a 2 reed will allow you to produce a sound with ease compared to a 3 or 3.5 reed call. These upper reed calls typically require more air to push across the reeds to produce a desirable sound. More reeds plus more air equals more practice. When a turkey hunter can purr, yelp, and kee kee with ease, any Tom in the area will have a hard time passing up those sweet nothings.

If using a mouth call feels too uncomfortable or ticklish, a slate or box call is also a winner. Just like a mouth call, the versatility of sounds can be found in a slate call. By applying varying levels of pressure on the slate, a hunter can achieve the loudest clucks and the most subtle purrs. The ease of learning to use friction calls is a huge plus especially to a novice. The ole reliable box call is a popular style of call that is tucked in nearly every turkey hunter’s vest. The shrill and loud tones achieved will wake up any gobbler in the next county. However, being loud isn’t always the best. Having control over your tones and volume is a discipline worth noting. The realism can be truly unmatched with a box call that has been chalked up. Either way you go, a friction call of some sort should be in every turkey hunter’s vest.

But how do we find gobblers that want to play? Locator calls are worth their weight in gold to produce a shock gobble to reveal their location. An owl hoot, crow call, woodpecker chatter, and a hawk scream will do the trick. These annoying or shrill sounds can anger a gobbler enough to speak his mind. Nothing fancy needed…. but we have them.

Before you hit the woods again, get familiar with these tools. Knowing how to talk turkey is not only a useful skill but it unpacks a fun adventure ahead that you can enjoy time and time again.