Editor’s note: Here’s another great video and text feature from our friends at Best Turkey Decoy.
Basic fall turkey calls are the only ones you need to score in October. They vary slightly from hens with poults to tom and jake groups, and there is no need to get fancy on them. Fall gobbler turkey calls are easy to learn, but they’re different from the sounds of spring.
Fall Calls of a Gobbler
Just like humans, the male turkey has a deeper and raspier voice. As you listen to a bird’s fall calls, you can pick up on the tone and rasp variances from young of the year, adult hens, and jakes and toms. The same should be true of your calls. Identify which calls easily replicate the style of birds you wish to imitate, and mentally catalog them so you pick the proper calls when afield.
The first call you need to master is the yelp of a gobbler. When an adult tom yelps, it’s only three or four yelps in a series. The yelps are slower, deeper and raspier than that of a hen. Practice this slower cadence with a call that has a nice deep tone, and you will sound like one of the flock. Another sound an adult tom will make is a cluck. Again, it’s much deeper and raspier than a hen’s. Typically a single note, the cluck is a quick tone the birds use often. The third call I like to use is the fighting purr. I like this call when birds make eye contact with my jake decoy but will not commit to a fight. This toned-down purr will get big birds to attack a jake decoy in fall, as it challenges them to a duel.
Fall Calls Close the Deal
A classic fall turkey hunt often requires no fall turkey calls at all, and is more of a do-your-homework and pattern-the-daily-routine assignment. Fall turkeys calls can help close the deal when your plan is not perfect, and more important, learning the notes a mature tom make can be the difference between him coming in.