‘Tis the season for turkey! Indeed, it is time to start dusting off the turkey calls and making some noise. Now, if you are an experienced turkey hunter, you have most likely selected your favorite type of turkey call. There are great options out there that, with practice, can all help call in that Tom. It really comes down to personal preference here. Below are some of the pros and cons for each:
1.Trigger Calls (AKA- Push Button Calls):
1. By far the easiest calls to use as they don’t require a ton of finesse. Just a solid understanding of the variety of sounds necessary to call birds.
2. Great for beginners.
3. Capable of making realistic yelps, purrs and clucks. Again…it is still up to the hunter to be able to master the tones and cadence for best effect.
4. It can be used with one hand which is a feature that makes it a favorite to me. I don’t have to put down my gun to use the call which is a bonus when birds are close.
1. The wire spring can get easily dislodged. It is easy to fix, but inconvenient.
2. It is limited in that it cannot generate a wide variety of calls and tones.
3. If it rains or the call gets wet for any reason, it will not work. And that is a bummer.
2. Box Calls:
1. I learned how to call on a box call and feel it is very easy to learn.
2. They make a great variety of sounds.
3. It is easy to make the vocalizations louder or softer depending on need.
1. It does require two hands.
2. It does require a bit more movement which can be difficult if birds are close.
3. If carried in a pack, make sure it is banded. Failure to do so will result in errant yelps coming from your pack while you hike.
4. Like the trigger call, if this call gets wet it will not work.
3. Scratch Box Calls:
1. They make a variety of vocalizations.
1. They too require both hands to use which can be a hindrance.
2. They are a bit trickier to master.
3. It is difficult to adjust loudness.
4. It too may become ineffective if it becomes wet as it requires chalk.
4. Pot and Striker Calls:
Pots may be made of glass, ceramics or slate. Strikers may be made of wood, carbon or aluminum.
1. They make a much wider variety of vocalizations than the calls listed above.
2. Changing strikers can also create different sounds on the same pots.
3. Can still function if they get wet in the field.
1. They take much more time to master.
2. They too require two hands to call which can be inconvenient.
5. Diaphragm Calls:
1. A skilled caller can make an amazing variety of sounds.
2. Requires no hands, which is fantastic.
1. Most difficult call to learn to master.
2. Like any other diaphragm call, if not cleaned well they can get pretty gross.
Choosing your own style of call is a very personal decision that is dependent on what type of turkey hunting you prefer and what your calling skill level is. I suggest starting with a trigger call or a box call until you can better master the vocalizations. As well, don’t hesitate to use YouTube videos to help you learn the tones and cadence of the calls. As your skills improve, try some of the more advanced calls and see how you do!