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How Can I Keep My Turkey Calls in Good Working Order


Keeping calls in top working order should be priority No. 1 for all serious turkey hunters. (Photo: Gordy J. Krahn)

Keep Your Calls in Working Order

Showing a little love to your assortment of turkey calls will not only keep your calling game sharp in the field, but it can also save you money in the long run. Here are a few simple tips to remember when it comes to conditioning your calls:

Box Calls: Most turkey hunters use too much chalk on their box calls. Chalk only the paddle, not the sounding boards. A box call sounds best when a chalked paddle contacts a bare sounding board. If your box call accumulates too much chalk — and most will after a while — remove the excess by lightly rubbing the call with an abrasive pad. After the call is clean, you can rechalk the paddle. Also, avoid touching the underside of the paddle and the sounding boards. Your hands can leave oil deposits on the wood, which will affect the sound of the call.

Mouth Calls: The latex or prophylactic reeds on mouth calls can deteriorate quickly, especially if left in the sun or warm areas. To keep your mouth calls fresh and help prolong their life, keep them in a refrigerator or freezer. If the reeds remain strong, you can get a season or two out of many of them.

Pot Calls: Many hunters rough up the surfaces of their slate, glass and aluminum calls to enhance friction between the striker and calling surface. However, many hunters incorrectly condition their pot calls, and a few simple reminders can go a long way to keeping them in proper working order.

First, you don’t need to sand slate calls. Just keep the calling surface clean with an abrasive pad. However, glass, crystal and aluminum models require sanding. Sand them in a straight line and only in one direction. Don’t sand in circles or even go back and forth. Incidentally, you should only clean your striker tip in one direction, too. This helps you find the “sweet spot” on your pot call.

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