Old Calls Still Work

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When it come to turkey calls some of us have only one or two. Then there are the ones that have and can't go in the turkey woods without at least a dozen or so. Remember that old calls still work. Just take a little time and freshen up your old style calling tactics.There are most likely more than a hundred types of turkey calls out there on the market. Just waiting for you to pull out the green and spend it on them. From Hunter's Specialties, Lynch, and even the famous Drury brothers calls known as the Mad Calls. What's your favorite call that you just can't live without? 

Remember one thing that turkey hunting is more than just the calling. One thing that calls do for you is to help bring them in just a little closer. Which on hand a good decoy set up will make or bust the chance you have at bringing that old tom in closer also. The way you hunt in the turkey woods is most likely the number one thing. I have said this on many occasions 

"you are turkey hunting and not turkey calling"

The set up that you make one day may or may not work for you two days in a row. Don't be afraid to change the set up a little also. But the call you just spent forty dollars on may be all you will need. One thing that I have learned is that when I buy a new call I try to find one that makes a new sound to what I have in my pack already. For instance a mouth call may work for me in the early morning set up but may not work for me in the evening. I always carry at least three or four different types of calls to the woods when I go. This give me an upper hand in more ways than none.

The locator calls we use can also play a big factor in locating a lonesome gobbler. One morning I was out on my property trying to locate a certain gobbler that I knew was in the area and when I used the owl call he never responded. After about ten minutes I threw in a few soft purrs and about three soft notes of yelping followed by a crow call. It didn't take him long to break silence and let me know that he was only across a creek. I never did kill that bird until a week later. He tipped the scales at seventeen pounds and had a 9 3/4 inch beard along with 3/4 inch spurs. I was very happy with taking this bird.

My old calls usually consist of a Lynch Fool Proof box call and a small palm sized scratch box call. I do find myself using a mouth call or a glass slate call to locate birds when other locator calls want work. I try my best to use the locator calls more to locate instead of the mouth or slate. The reason for this is because I have had birds be within twenty- five or so yards and not be able to see them only to see them come in silent and bust me before I'm in a set up position.

So remember to not just leave those older calls that you may never have had any luck with at home. They can be the one or two calls that pays off big when you least expect it. You never know when that old bird is lurking around by himself. Just because he may seem to be by himself doesn't mean there aren't any hen eyes watching also. So use the old calls you have stashed away this season and your rewards may be higher than expected.

Good Luck!



groovy mike's picture

Good luck everybody!

It is the night before our turkey opener in the fall here in New York Sate.  I just for the heck of it goy on Youtube and searched turkey calling tips.  There are a lot of videos out there with sound.  It might be worth a look.  Good luck out there guys - go get them! 

ndemiter's picture

that's good advice to follow.

that's good advice to follow. i guess i'm one of those guys who's armed with half a dozen or more calls when i go into the woods. hopefully this weekend will be my time to harvest a gobbler this year. i'm tired of looking at jakes on this over-hunted public ground i've been going to. it's time to get away from the city and hit something less traveled.

congrats on that bird. it's always nice harvesting something you've put some effort into.

numbnutz's picture

Great tip. I would like to

Great tip. I would like to expand this though to elk or deer calls too, just because you get a new one doesnt mean the old one doesnt work. I myself dont have any turkey calls yet but have 5 elk calls and a bugle. I carry all whith me in the field cause you never know which one or two will work that particular day. Thanks for sharing your insight.

Deer Slayer's picture

 That is a great tip. Thanks

 That is a great tip. Thanks for sharing it. I know my dad and I haven't thrown away any of our old calls even though we purchase new ones from time to time. We have learned it may just take a different pitch on a grunt call and it may get that buck to respond. I haven't done much turkey hunting but I'm sure the same thing can be said about any call. Just that fractional change in pitch might be all it takes. So, don't throw them away change up your calls every now and then and you might be surprised at the results. 

Rem2arms's picture

Thats a great tip, I myself

Thats a great tip, I myself found that out by using many different sounding mouth calls after using the slate to locate. I'm not up on the box yet, I still seem to have a problem with consitant calling with it. Thx for that tip.

ShannonWood's picture

Box Call

It does take a lot of pratice to learn on a box call.This I know from experience! It is what i learned to call on.In fact it is like my master card or visa card i never leave home without it when I head out to the turkey woods.Just keep praticing and it will come to you naturally like the mouth call.Good Luck!

ManOfTheFall's picture

Great tip. Sometimes even the

Great tip. Sometimes even the same type of call, but a newer one will be a different pitch. Just that difference in pitch may be all it takes. I would like to expand this to deer calls as well. Old grunt tubes, snort wheeze calls, rattling antlers, or rattle bags. No two calls will make exactly the same sound. Even though we may not detect the animal or bird we are hunting may say there's that boss hen I was looking for, or there's that matriarch doe bleat I was wanting to hear. So change up your calls every now and then or just take a couple along with you when you go out in hopes of nailing your big game.

groovy mike's picture

Any call is better than none, but you can even use none.

Those old calls can be useful for sure.  Even in my limited experience I have found that sometimes one call will work, and sometimes you need another one.  Any call is better than none, but you can even use none.  My brother in law once called in a turkey with a squeaky sling swivel.  It was just a little bit rusted and “squawked” when it moved.  His sling “squawked” and a turkey clucked back from a thicket he happened to be near.  He froze and worked that noisy bit of metal to chirp back a few times and a curios jake came looking for him.  Some guys have all the luck!

arrowflipper's picture

So Right

You are so right Shannon.  We all tend to try out what's new and leave our old behind.  When I first started turkey hunting, I went out and bought several calls, one of which is the exact Lynch's Fool Proof call you have pictured.  I played around with it for a while and finally ended up leaving it in my safe and using other products. 

I had a moderate amount of success and even called a few toms in to their doom.  I ended up using a mouth call mostly because it left me with both hands free.  I don't know this for sure, but I often wonder if turkeys get hip on certain calls that they hear most frequently.  I have sat under a tree and called to toms that I could see very clearly.  They could hear me and would occasionally give me a gobble just to keep me happy.  BUT, they didn't make any move to coming my way.  I would switch up to a different call and sometimes they moved but I think they were on to knowing I really wasn't the real deal because of the mouth call.

This past spring, I switched up and took the old box call out of the safe and carried it along.  I set my hunting partner out in front of me and started using that box.  The old boy didn't let us know he was coming but out of nowhere, there he was at 15 feet.  He came in from behind us and was headed silently, straight for our decoy.  My partner caught movement and before the old boy could sprint out of sight, Dave dropped him with a shot from his Browning Auto.

I agree with you... take several calls along and don't forget the old ones.  Half the fun of turkey hunting is calling and trying out new things, or in this case, "old things".  Thanks for the tip to remind us that most of us have those trusty old calls still laying around.