Today pigs flew and hell froze over. Ok maybe not quite that dramatic but in the realm of turkey hunters I'm pretty sure this was an equally momentous moment. Driving down the road running errands this afternoon Alissa turned to me, smiled, and uttered the following phrase. "I kind of miss the turkey calls. You haven't clucked at me for a bit."
I know this is momentous because I clearly heard the expert warning in the HS Strut training video. "Wives hate turkey calls." I didn't buy the HS Strut calls because they are better or worse than any others, I've never used a turkey call so I haven't the faintest idea, but because it had an informative dvd. I wanted it so that it could give me such important nuggets as "wives hate turkey calls". Diligently following their advice I popped the call in my mouth and squeaked and squawked from Toledo Basspro, where I bought them, to Jerseyville. You'll be happy to know I resisted the temptation to answer the Customs Officials question of "do you have anything to declare" with a loud yelp.
I think I've made good progress. I had the yelp perfected by the time I came home. I could be wrong and I suppose I'll know come turkey calling time but I think I sound pretty convincing. I'll tell you the secret to getting your wife to like turkey calls as well. It's actually quite simple. All women respond to the language of love. You just need to know how to go about it. The first thing I discovered is that a wife that "gobbles" when you call is not the result you want and they respond only as part of a much larger calling ritual. Putts, purrs and soft clucks are the calls of choice to lure these hens in. A small yelp as you enter the room might be a good way to get them to stop what they are doing and pay attention to you but they find it a far more aggressive call than normal wild turkeys do and not part of the mating ritual at all. A second loud yelp would likely get a convenient blunt object thrown at you in a territorial display of dominance but the initial yelp is a useful attention getter.
Immediately switch to some soft clucks and purrs. Crouch a little in a turkey strut sort of fashion and start to cluck and purr softly. Maybe bob your head back and forth a bit as you circle her suggestively. Try laying your head seductively on her shoulder and give a small cluck as you gently kiss her neck just behind her earlobe. Cluck, purr and keep nuzzling until you get the response you are looking for. CAUTION, if you've been watching the youtube videos of big toms being called into turkey decoys it should be noted that while the wife hens can be seduced in similar fashion by clucking and acting a little like a tom DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MOUNT IN THE KITCHEN!!!. Seems they don't always think that's such a good idea and it traumatizes the kids.
So as you can guess turkey season is coming. I'm working hard to try and figure out how to sound like a turkey in heat. Thank goodness for long trips in the truck and an understanding family. I'm scheduled to take the turkey course at this spring's Sportsmen's show in Toronto. They tell me that I'll get a lot of information on turkey tactics from this because I'm at a loss. I have a blind ready to go and I know I have to wear black inside it. I'm at the range several times a week practicing with the bow because my current thoughts are that the hot set up is going to be a head shot with a gobbler guillotine or something similar. Right now I'm sighted in using 100 grain field points which means I either need to change points and start the sighting process again or use the smaller cutting surface of the 100 grain heads. I worry I'm not quite that good yet. Whatever happens one thing I know for sure. I might not get a wild tom out in the fields and forest this year but I seem to do pretty well calling a hen in the kitchen.