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Fall Turkey Calling: 6 Sounds You Need to Know

Calling turkeys in autumn requires the same skills as in spring: be lifelike, listen to the birds’ responses, adjust accordingly, and don’t overdo it.

Autumn turkey hunting typically isn’t associated with a lot of calling, as some believe is done more in spring. Common thought is that in autumn it’s just easy to scatter a flock, make a few calls and the birds come scampering back together for an easy hunt.

By Steve Hickoff
For Turkey & Turkey Hunting

That’s not how it works, though. Autumn turkey hunting involves strategy, tactics and calling just as in spring, albeit maybe with a few changes. Here are some of the calls you’ll hear in the autumn turkey woods and can use to pull birds in.

Roost talk: Roosted hens softly cluck, purr and yelp. Gobblers yelp and gobble, age depending. You’ll likely hear more fall turkey talk as birds converse right before and just after flydown than at any other time, with the exception of a post-scatter call-back session.

Kee-kee and Kee-kee run: The kee-kee is the maturing lost whistle of the young turkey in fall. The “run” part is a yelp or yelps added on the end.

Plain hen cluck and yelp: Hen clucks are typically high-pitched. Hen yelp cadence is steady. Lost yelps are longer, often louder.

Plain gobbler cluck and yelp: Gobble clucks are low-pitched. Yelps are slower, often three notes.

Contented and fighting purrs: Purrs indicate feeding contentment or spacing tolerance while eating and even aggression while fighting. Some are subtle; some loud. Fall gobblers often purr while fighting after flydown.

Gobbling: It’s the same one you hear in spring. Fall jakes often tag a gobble-in-progress at the end of a kee-kee run.

Editor’s Note: Steve Hickoff is the author of Fall & Winter Turkey Hunter’s Handbook. For more information on Steve Hickoff’s books visit http://hickoff.blogspot.com/ 

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