How much to call?

Share information about your calls and calling methods!
mrmike
 
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How much to call?

Postby mrmike » May 13th, 2010, 7:34 am

I am a Turkey hunting noob, ,my first year. I went with my brother in law last weekend in KS. We set up, all is good and he starts calling. I mean CALLING!!!! He called nonstop for an hour switching between yelps, cuts, purrs with no more than a 15 second break sometimes. I am by no means a turkey expert but that does not sound right. I have never heard a turkey in the woods yelp, strut, cluck, purr for an hour nonstop. I have listen to cd's , watched DVDs, and read magazines trying to learn more about this sport, but I have never seen anybody call a turkey like he was calling in a coyote. What should I say to him? Was he right or wrong?


Thanks

Mike

paturkeyhunter29
 
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RE: How much to call?

Postby paturkeyhunter29 » May 13th, 2010, 7:56 am

I think turkey calling is a call only as much as you need to kind of sport. Less is more usually.
I do think that calling nonstop and using every sound in the book is way too much. I would tell
him not to call so much because it sounds unnatural and may actually spook birds away from you.
Now onto the other part of this subject: Hunting partners. Not everyone you hunt with whether they
are family, friends, or just a hunting buddy turn out to be someone that fits your style of hunting.
If he won't learn to stop calling so much and so aggressively then learn to call yourself and don't
hunt with him anymore. A good hunting partner can make the difference between looking forward
to the hunt or dreading it. Having a partner that knows what to do and when and how to do it...that
listens to what you say and one that can shoot is critical to enjoying the hunt with them.
Love to hear the turkeys talk!

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Everyday Hunter
 
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RE: How much to call?

Postby Everyday Hunter » May 13th, 2010, 8:09 am

MrMike:
Welcome to the T&TH message boards. I've learned a lot here, and you can, too.

You ask a good question. Generally, I think most of us would say it's better to call not quite enough than way too much.

I have heard turkeys calling often and loudly, but not in a situation where they're getting together. In cases where I've heard lots of real turkeys, it has been flock talk among turkeys that were already together. Maybe something had them upset, I don't know.

Some hunters are loud and aggressive with their calling. I know some of these guys who do pretty well. Other hunters are reserved and quiet. Some of those guys do very well, too. So there really isn't a rule -- it's a matter of what works for you. I'd say that if you're not real confident with your calling, then you probably ought to call sparingly.

Those who believe in quiet calling do so on the principle that hens in the real world of turkeys are supposed to go to the gobbler. That's the purpose of his gobbling -- to recruit a morning date. If he's alone, he might decide to put up with her turning the tables, especially if he's switched on and the hen he believes is calling is playing hard to get.

I don't know what state you're hunting, but I'm guessing you're in the north. Even though we're not quite halfway through the season, this point in the season has all the marks of the late season. We had an early green-up, and some unusually warm weather in April. Hens are nesting, a few have even hatched out their poults.

Gobblers are still gobbling, but most not as desperately as they did a couple of weeks ago. I watched a gobbler feed among four hens yesterday, and he didn't fan out once. Today (different area) I called in three hens and a gobbler came along out of range following them. They apparently just want to be with hens, and they might have breeding on their minds but the hens don't. So, they'll just trail the hens in hopes of getting lucky.

So, my advice is to call sparingly. Act like a hen that is minding her own business, but willing to say a few words to other turkeys in the area. You might succeed with more calling at this time of the season, but in my opinion, less is more with late season birds.

Good luck. Hope you get some other opinions and weigh them against one another, then apply what you think best for your situation.

Steve
When [url="http://www.EverydayHunter.com"]"The Everyday Hunter"[/url] isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.

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Everyday Hunter
 
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RE: How much to call?

Postby Everyday Hunter » May 13th, 2010, 8:14 am

One more thing, in response to your comparison to calling a coyote  --

When calling predators, hunters call incessantly because that's more convincing to the coyote, fox, or whatever. Remember, these are distress sounds, and you need to keep them up so that the animal thinks he still has a chance at a hot, easy meal.

Turkey calling is a whole other kind of calling. For turkeys, time is on their side. They have all day to get together, and sometimes take hours.

Steve
When [url="http://www.EverydayHunter.com"]"The Everyday Hunter"[/url] isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.

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Cut N Run
 
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Location: central North Carolina

RE: How much to call?

Postby Cut N Run » May 13th, 2010, 8:40 am

Great points, guys. 
 
I usually listen for what the hens are saying and try not to be much louder or more aggressive than they are.  The gobbler will tell you want he wants most of the time. Take his temperature, I've heard it called.  If he gobbles back to your call and starts moving toward you quickly, quit messing with the calls & get ready to shoot.  He already knows about where the calls were coming from. Don't give away your location like that.
 
 
A lot of those turkey hunting videos like to have footage of the turkey gobbling, so they call to the bird a lot to get that gobble on film. If he is coming your way, it usually doesn't take a lot more calling to get him to commit. If it does take more calling, usually soft purrs & clucks will help seal the deal. Calling non-stop should be saved for practice when you're not even close to the turkey woods.  He is hurting his chances and perhaps educating those turkeys too much that they are being pursued.
 
I'm of the school where it is best to leave them wanting more than overpowering them with too much. I might not see as many birds calling that way, but then & again, I may see better birds closer to me.
 
Jim
Luck Counts, good or bad

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: How much to call?

Postby DeanoZ » May 13th, 2010, 10:54 am

How much to call is the perennial question...as  newb myself I have wrestled with this for the last couple seasons...and continue to.  What the fellas are telling you is right..bottom line, less is more.  My question is how long has your Bro in law been hunting and how many turkeys has he bagged calling like that?

This is probably one of the biggest things I learned this year:

I'm of the school where it is best to leave them wanting more than overpowering them with too much. I might not see as many birds calling that way, but then & again, I may see better birds closer to me.


If you think about it leaving them wanting more is a sure fire way to get their curiosity peaked...they EXPECT the hens to come to them.  Go back to your days as a teenager when your hormones were a raging...were ya more interested in the one that got a lot of play or the one that played hard to get? [;)]

Taking their temperature as Steve said is probbaly the hardest thing to figure out, especially as a newb. In my case I was seeing birds, but they were not very vocal...in the two weeks I hunted I heard clucks maybe twice and I was not even sure if they were hen clucks or a hunter...no yelps...and on 3 of the most vocal days I heard a gob gobbling off the roost and occasionally while he was on the ground.  Thats not a lot, so that told me I needed to call sparingly.  Ultimately I took the advice of the fellas here...I stuck to calling every half hour to hour...just soft clucks and purrs and some scratching on the ground...and even then I tried to mix it up a little sometimes a little louder, sometimes just scratching, and sometimes using different calls to sound like a different hen and basically keep the Tom guessing and wanting more. 

Good luck to you, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how the birds will respond to soft, sparingly made calls...I know I was.

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JPH
 
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RE: How much to call?

Postby JPH » May 13th, 2010, 11:05 am

I am in the minority here (well not only here). I call a LOT.

I look at it like this: I woke up at 0400 (often for days on end), I drove through a tank of gas, I've been surviving on strict diet snickers and strong coffee. I have wet feet, a sunburn and hypothermia. I've been bitten by every bug in the Midwest, I have thorn slivers in both hands. My kids miss me, my wife wants to divorce me. I'm broke and losing my mind. the last thing I am going to do is sit out here and NOT CALL!

The fact that turkeys continue to reproduce is proof positive that turkeys are not afraid of turkey calling. Yes, I do accept that on a given day a gobbler might be more turned on by the prospect of a shy hen, and I will back off when I have to. But my game plan is always to call a lot and I will back off if they show me that I need to.

You cannot get good at turkey calling with your calls in your pocket!

icdedturkes
 
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RE: How much to call?

Postby icdedturkes » May 13th, 2010, 11:22 am

The better caller you are the better off you are calling more as you can make birds do things they normally would not do. 

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Cut N Run
 
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RE: How much to call?

Postby Cut N Run » May 13th, 2010, 1:40 pm

ORIGINAL: JPH

I am in the minority here (well not only here). I call a LOT.

I look at it like this: I woke up at 0400 (often for days on end), I drove through a tank of gas, I've been surviving on strict diet snickers and strong coffee. I have wet feet, a sunburn and hypothermia. I've been bitten by every bug in the Midwest, I have thorn slivers in both hands. My kids miss me, my wife wants to divorce me. I'm broke and losing my mind. the last thing I am going to do is sit out here and NOT CALL!

The fact that turkeys continue to reproduce is proof positive that turkeys are not afraid of turkey calling. Yes, I do accept that on a given day a gobbler might be more turned on by the prospect of a shy hen, and I will back off when I have to. But my game plan is always to call a lot and I will back off if they show me that I need to.

You cannot get good at turkey calling with your calls in your pocket!

 
I see your point, Joe. Sometimes attention-getting calling will grab their attention and force them to react in a positive way.  That has happened for me, but only early on in the season before they know they're being hunted.  Once the guns start going boom, it's a whole different ballgame. 
 
Turkeys by where I hunt are probably having to deal with several different hunters depending on which property they choose to go to. Those turkeys hear a lot of different calling styles and don't react well to unusually loud or aggressive calling past the first few days of the season. The ones that did are already out of the mix, or have learned to be cautious. The hens usually shut down too. Forget about hearing yelps beyond the first week of the season, especially loud ones. 
 
Jim
Luck Counts, good or bad

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Everyday Hunter
 
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RE: How much to call?

Postby Everyday Hunter » May 13th, 2010, 2:45 pm

ORIGINAL: DeanoZ

Taking their temperature as Steve said is probbaly the hardest thing to figure out, especially as a newb.

Except that it wasn't me that said it. It was Jim. I was thinking it, though. Maybe you were reading my mind.

ORIGINAL: icdedturkes

The better caller you are the better off you are calling more as you can make birds do things they normally would not do.

Ahh! That's the real issue. Pennsylvania is a tough state to hunt, Most birds get pressure the first couple of days. But there are guys who can call in a bird nearly every time out, and I continue to be amazed at these hunters. Lots of field experience, good places to hunt, an ability to think like a turkey, and an ability to "make birds do things they normally would not do."

I can make good turkey sounds, even great sounds sometimes, but I can't make the birds do what they don't want to do.

Steve
When [url="http://www.EverydayHunter.com"]"The Everyday Hunter"[/url] isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.

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