Editor's Note: This is the first installment of the online-only series Getting Real With Your Calls.
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.
Always use the entire “sweet spot” on the lid when yelping. Whether you use the right or left side of the call, ensure that the lid is fully open before beginning the sound. From the open position, stroke the lid to the closed or center position on the call.
It’s imperative to create the high, whiney front note of the yelp and then break into the raspy second note, giving you the true two-note sound of a yelp. As you begin your yelping series, start with two to three small, short strokes to attain the clear front note. Then complete the remainder of the series with the full strokes.
Unfortunately, even some seasoned mouth callers never achieve the diaphragm’s full potential because they don’t achieve the front note of the yelp. Generally, they only produce the raspy back end of the yelp.
To achieve the first note, place the call in your mouth, and using light tongue pressure and a steady stream of air, move your tongue around from right to left until you discover a sweet high note to start the yelp.
When you’ve identified the spot that produces the front note, push out a larger volume of air, and relieve the pressure from your tongue. That will let the top reed vibrate, creating the lower, raspy note on the back end of the yelp.
The first step in attaining quality sound on your pot call is identifying the sweet spot. Generally, the area is all the way around the center of the call about an inch from the outside of the pot.
The next critical factor is ensuring the proper angle when placing the striker on the calling surface. Start it perpendicular to the surface, and then lean it slightly away from you.
To create the yelp, simply produce small counter-clockwise ovals about an inch long. Start the yelp closer to the edge of the call, and then drop the striker downward toward the center of the call to attain the back end of the yelp.
Never take the striker off the calling surface. That lets you maintain better rhythm and ensures constant sound.
— 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.