By Montana Grant

Posted: April 20, 2023

When a hunter calls in the game it is very exciting. Animal calls let the hunter talk to the animals. You can call all sorts of game close enough to get a shot.

My two favorite game critters to talk to are elk and turkeys. I have also called in geese, ducks, deer, antelope, and doves. When they answer the call of the wild, it becomes very exciting. Elk are HUGE critters weighing over 700 pounds. When a huge Bull Elk comes to the call, you better be ready and know how to stay calm.

Spring gobblers are so hard to call in. Turkeys may weigh around 20 pounds but are smart and have great eyesight. Calling in a turkey requires skill and patience. When a Gobbler comes close, the hunter needs to stay still and not even blink their eyes.

Sometimes a gobbler answers the call and then sneaks in without making a sound. Other times, they gobble as they come close. They also stop and pump out their chests and spread their tail feathers. When they do this, they make a Vroom, vroom sound. They also drag their wing tips on the ground.

To tag a turkey, a hunter needs them to be 50 yards or closer. Shotguns don’t have the range to shoot them further. If you try to take a shot at a longer range, you may just wound or scare the turkey. Getting the turkey closer is more sporting and makes a better target.

Decoys can help attract the turkey closer. When the gobbler sees a hen, they make a display. They stop, puff their chests, and fan their tails. Now they waddle closer to impress the hens. I prefer to use 3 decoys at 20 yards. One is a Jake, male, turkey and the other 2 are hens. The male is facing where I am sitting. Leave room in front of the male decoy so the gobbler can get face to face and display. He will have his back to me and let me get an accurate shot at his head.

If you let the gobbler, get close, a head shot will quickly kill the bird. Shooting at the body will just wound the bird. Some impatient hunters can’t wait and try to shoot too far and too soon. Sit still, don’t move, and wait for your shot.

The best turkey call for a close in gobbler is a diaphragm call. You can make soft calls in your mouth, without moving. These calls tickle a bit and require some practice. The best instructional tape is from Rocky Jacobsen who owns Rocky Mountain Game calls. You can see his instructions on his website. Watch and learn from a turkey pro!

The whole point of hunting turkeys and archery elk is to call them in close. This may be the most exciting hunting that you can experience. You need to calm down, relax, and enjoy the moment. Seconds will seem like minutes. Your heart will be pounding out of your chest. Focus on the head of the gobbler’s head and aim slowly. Since I am sitting, my gun is resting on my knee. When my iron sights are on his neck, where the feathers start, I make one last purr with my call. This will stop the gobbler and he will raise his head. Now is when you pull the trigger.

Turkey dinner!

Montana Grant

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