As most of us continue to trudge through the winter months, the end of January has me thinking about turkey season and some tips I want to share with our customers, friends and followers. If you can find a quiet place out of a throws reach of those that don’t revere the sound of turkey calling, winter is a great time to hone your calling skills. I especially like to practice my soft calling like purring, tree yelps, putts clucks and purrs, as well as, try to improve the more difficult calls like long series yelps, cutting and cackling. I know for me when I have a gobbler in close trying to call on a slate, my hands can get a little shaky and it is really difficult to hold on to the striker. With a mouth call, my tongue sometimes doesn’t seem to want to move right. Practice the flutter that makes the purr and the soft air flows that are required for tree yelps. Strive to find some real turkey sounds on the internet or from hunting shows and get yourself into correct rhythm as well. Real turkey rhythm is half the battle. In coming weeks before season, we are going to put some Youtube links and recordings on our website to help you with the important work of matching the rhythm of the wild turkey. With a little practice in the winter, the calls will seem easier in the spring, and your new Ozark Ridge Calls will be broken in and ready to go. I recommend some type of recorder to record the sounds you make which puts a little pressure on you to do it right, and you can then listen to yourself. Sometimes you might be surprised that you sound differently on the recording than you sound behind the call. With a mouth call never take a deep breath to make a sound. Just take in enough air to make that sound. Too much air will many times come out strained or out of pitch . A good way to practice is to run as many yelps in a row as you can without stopping, and then yelp the same way as softly as you can; then do a purr as long as you possibly can. Again use just enough air to make the sound; try to call as if you were talking. With a slate call, watch how tight you grip the striker and the call body. Never push very hard with the striker to make soft sounds. Now with the mouth call again do lots of yelps in a row and continues purring both loudly and then very softly. Now get your tape recorder and imagine you have a gobbler at 50 yards and you need to move him closer for a shot. Get a basic double or triple reeded call like the Ozark Ridge Pro ll Sweet and make several soft purrs then do the same thing with your True Hen Raspy Slate and listen to the sounds after you completed a purring, putting and yelping series. This spring when you have that big ole gobbler in close and you need to move him, you will be glad you practiced in the off season and it will give you the confidence to do those soft sounds of the wild turkey hen. Good luck in your winter practice and look for more helpful tips form Ozark Ridge as season approaches.
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