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Getting Real With Your Calls: The Tree Call

Scott Ellis, champion turkey callerEditor’s Note: This is the fifth and final 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.

Primos Wet Box Waterproof Box CallBox Call

Use area of the paddle from which you produce the front note of a basic yelp. With the call open, use the side of the paddle closest to the sounding board, and perform short, soft strokes. Keep the rhythm slower, and even throw in a couple of soft clucks to add realism.

Mouth Call

You can produce a tree yelp with any style of cut, including a ghost, cutter, V-cut, bat-wing or combination. Attempt to use the area of the call where the second reed is most exposed. This will produce the clearest sound for a realistic tree yelp.

Primos Deadly Double Diaphragm CallFor example, on a cutter call, place light tongue pressure on the side with the notch. With a V-cut , place your tongue right or left of the triangle created by the two incisions. When you have located the proper position on your call, push a light, constant volume of air across the call.

You should create a whining sound, which is the front note of the tree yelp. Then drop your tongue slightly to attain the lower-pitched second note of the call.

Take note of a hen’s tree talk the next time you’re in the woods. The muffled tone makes it sound as if she’s inside a drum. Try cupping your hands to create a sound chamber, and them place them over your mouth. That creates a similar sound.

Primos Lil' Jack Glass CallPot Call

Tree call just like you would plain yelp, but reduce the size of the ovals on the calling surface to about ¼ inch, and stay on the outer edge of the sweet spot. That will help you maintain a clear, nasal tone throughout the yelp. Light pressure for lower volume is also critical.

— Scott Ellis is a 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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