I finally have access to quite a bit of property and would like to walk and call more. However, I’ve never used this technique, and I’m not sure how to do it. Do I need to switch my calling tactics? Any other tips? — Richard Lorenzo
We asked an undisputed expert — world-champion caller Mark Drury. Here’s his answer.
“A lot of times when you’re using loud friction calls to strike turkeys, you get shock gobbles in response. So, I use the three-strike rule. I want to make sure a bird is hot enough to hit a call two or three times before I go to him. If he won’t answer my call again, chances are I just shocked him. I tone down my calling and try to get him to answer something softer. If he does, I know he’s hot.
“I always call my way to the bird. I like knowing where he’s at. The No. 1 mistake I’ve noticed people make is that they misinterpret the bird’s position. They try to get too close without realizing how close the bird is, and then they bump him and don’t understand what happened. By calling my way in, I keep in constant contact with the gobbler. I make him gobble a bunch. I like to hear it, and it lets me know where he’s at and that he’s interested. And you can sure lose their interest in a hurry. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve struck a bird, worked him for 30 or 40 minutes and then never hear him again.
“You must proceed with caution when calling your way in. Check him often. After he breaks and starts coming your way, you’ve got to set up and be ready. And if he goes silent, chances are he might be on the way. Also, make sure you don’t “audio-bump” him by walking too loudly or shuffling your feet in the leaves. Use common sense, and approach him cautiously.
“After I set up on a turkey, I like to shut up and drive him crazy. I’ve called my way in, so the bird is fired up. When I shut up, it makes him search for that hen.”