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Getting Real With Your Calls: Fly-Down Cackle

Scott Ellis, champion turkey callerEditor’s Note: This is the fourth installment of the online-only series Getting Real With Your Calls.

By Scott Ellis

Regardless of which call you take afield this spring, sound quality is a must. These advanced techniques can help you produce the most realistic sound from your calls.

Box Call

Primos Box Cutter Turkey CallThe fly-down cackle is similar to cutting and requires the same wrist action.

As a good rule of thumb, the cackle should have about 10 notes. Start with some soft clucks, and then transition into the cackle. The rhythm starts with four to five sharp, fast cutts and then slows at the end of the series.

Always make sure your box call is chalked as you begin the day afield, as this increases sound quality.

Mouth Call

Primos Cuttin' Hen Original Diaphragm CallCadence and sharpness of tone are imperative to realistically re-create a fly-down cackle.

Begin the sequence with soft clucks. Place your tongue on the call, and push a soft burst of air, dropping your tongue simultaneously. Begin the cackle with four to five sharp cutts, increasing the air volume and rapid dropping of your tongue. Then slow down the cadence until completing the 10- to 12-note sequence.

Always think about rhythm. Envision a hen coming off the limb, cutting a note each time her wings slap her body. She starts with several fast wingbeats and slows down her flapping until she hits the ground or glides to her destination.

H.S. Voo Deuce Ceramic Friction CallPot Call

The keys to realistic fly-down cackles on a pot call are medium pressure on the calling surface and returning the striker tip to the same spot. I prefer to cackle on the outer edge of the sweet spot, closer to the perimeter of the call.

That produces higher-pitched notes needed for the cackle.

— Scott Ellis is member of the Woodhaven Custom Calls Sting Team, a pro-staffer for TruGlo and ThermaCell, and a field expert for Ol’ Tom Technical Turkey Gear. He is a four-time Florida State turkey calling champion, and has won or placed in more than 75 competitions. He was fourth at the 2010 National Wild Turkey Federation Grand National Championships. Ellis is also an author. He lives in Mulberry, Fla., with his son, Jake, and wife, Kim.

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