Carrying Multiple Turkey Calls in Your Vest

When I first started turkey hunting more than three decades ago, I had two mouth diaphragm calls. I shot the first two birds I called in on opening day.

The same happened the next spring season.

During season three, a number of birds responded to my calls, but I couldn't pull them within range. Then I bought another diaphragm call and a box call. A couple weeks later, I got a slate call.

Late in the season I finally filled my single tag, and it took all my calls to convince the finicky tom to come in.

Today, I have a turkey vest, which I never had early in my turkey hunting career, and it's filled with calls. More than two dozen diaphragm calls, four slates, 20-some strikers, two box calls, a gobbler call and push-button call are all in my vest. I also have a homemade wing-bone call.

For locating birds, I carry two crow calls, a hawk call and a coyote howler. During the course of a season, I'll usually put every call to use.

In fact, if I'm working a bird that gobbles, but won't come in midway through, or later in, the season, it's nothing to go through both box calls, three pots and 15 or more strikers until I find the pitch the tom likes.

Do the math, that's often more than 45 different sounds I'll try from one spot on one bird.

Of course, that doesn't happen all the time. Sometimes, early in the season, I'll work a call one time, get a tom to answer, then not make a noise for an hour or more.

After the hens leave the tom, he'll often come silently seeking out the hen he thought he heard at first light.

The benefit of having so many calls is the diversity of sounds you can offer.

Have a tom that won't come in, but he keeps talking, and you can often get him to commit.

You just have to find the tone, frequency and pitch he likes, and that can be achieved only through having and using multiple calls.