Dust Off Your Decoys and Start Practicing Your Calls–Turkey Season is Coming By: Misty Wells

 Now that we are wrapping things up with Whitetail season, it’s time to turn your attention to turkeys.  Just like many other species that we hunt, turkeys can be tough and you need to bring your “A Game” to harvest that perfect tom.  A few things that we hunters need to focus on more are turkey calls and decoys.  Let’s get started with the wide range of sounds turkeys make and why it is important to know what they mean before heading out for the hunt.

The yelp is the most heard sound from turkeys from both male and female. It is commonly a locator saying “I’m over here.”    The purr is another sound you may hear a lot from turkeys–it usually means they are content.  When they are feeding or communicating with one another, they will often use a purr. This is why a Purr Pot is important to have in your calling collection.  Cutting is another important sound they make. It is a series of slow and fast clucks with a few yelps thrown in.  When a hen is fired up and wants attention, she may start cutting. This will usually get a tom’s attention pretty quick.  Let’s not forget the gobble, the sound all turkey hunters want to hear. This is a clear indication that a tom is excited and looking to attract a hen.  This is also used by a tom to let the other males in the area know he is there and is trying to deter them from coming in.  My favorite brand of calls is Woodhaven Calls. The owner Mike Penetecost is a genius when it comes to designing them.  Mike is an avid turkey hunter and an expert call designer. He has also teamed up with a few other experts to bring some new items to the line-up this year.  The Black Reactor was designed by three-time Grand National Calling Champion Scott Ellis, the Blue Cutter/Vyper was designed by Grand National & World calling Champion Bill Yargus and Mike designed the Hyper Ninja.

Why are decoys important?  Turkeys see in color and have eye sight three times better than humans. A decoy can give you a chance to take the focus off the hunter and on the decoy.  A decoy is also important for a turkey to associate the call with. If a turkey comes in from a call and does not see a decoy, he may get confused.  You defiantly want to have a hen and a tom decoy. This might help bring in the bird a lot faster.  Toms want all the hens to themselves; so, if he sees a tom with a hen, he may move in fast to get rid of him, then get careless and give you a shot.  I use Mojo Outdoor decoys. They have some great features and the price is right.  For something different, I will be using my Mojo Outdoors Scoot N Shoot and my Tail Chaser Max. I think they are going to give me an advantage I didn’t have before. I will keep you posted.  Good luck hunting this season and send me your pictures and hunting stories.  I will be giving away a Woodhaven prize pack on Facebook this month, so make sure to like the Let’s Take it Outside page and comment Woodhaven to WIN.