Turkey Calls – The Best Turkey Call For Beginners

Video best turkey call for beginners

Hearing a a turkey gobbling in the distance as the sun begins to rise is enough to send chills down your spine. This unforgettable experience becomes even more intense as the turkey closes the distance on your location. There are many different types of turkey calls on the market and having the right turkey call to bring him in can make all the difference. With so many options, it’s not always clear where to start. Today, we’re here to help new turkey hunters determine how to select the best turkey call for beginners.

Serious hunters know that turkey hunting is just as big as deer hunting in West Virginia. However, this may come as a surprise if you are just getting started. The spring turkey season is a great way to get outside and shake off the winter blues.

West Virginia has both a spring and fall turkey season, but typically the spring gobbler season gets the most attention from hunters. If this is your first spring turkey season, then you are in for a real treat.

Before you head afield, however, you have some catching up to do. There is a lot of specialized equipment for turkey hunting to familiarize yourself with. First and foremost being the turkey call.

With the reintroduction of wild turkey across the United States, turkey hunting has exploded in popularity. As interest increased, so has product selection. With so many options available today on the market, it can be an overwhelming and expensive choice.

I remember my first turkey season and some of the mistakes I made. Hopefully after reading this article you’ll be more prepared and avoid those same mistakes. Read on and let me help you determine the best turkey call for beginners.

Best Turkey Call For Beginners

Types of Turkey Calls

Diaphragm Call

Diaphragm calls are also known as mouth calls. The reason behind this is because of the way the turkey call is operated. A thin reed is kept in your mouth at all times and sound is created by pushing the call against the roof of your mouth. When air is blown over the call, it produces a turkey sound.

The hands free operation of a turkey mouth call will eliminate all movement. As the turkey comes into range, you will already be in position to take your shot.

Diaphragm calls are an incredibly effective turkey call but are the hardest to master. If you are looking for an easy way to get started hunting turkey we should consider other options first.

Slate Call / Pot Call

Slate calls, also known as pot calls, are easier to use than diaphragm calls. A pot call is generally round and made of wood or synthetic materials. Inside is a round hard surface made of glass, slate, ceramic, or metal. Hunters generate turkey sounds with a pot call through friction. A striker is rubbed against the surface of the pot call to imitate the sound of a turkey.

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Varying pressure and patterns on the surface will change the sound that is made. Slate calls require routine maintenance to keep them working their best. They need to be free of dirt, dust and oil or their sound can be compromised. Occasionally, you will have to refresh the striker and surface of the slate call with sandpaper.

Unlike a diaphragm call, they require the use of both hands. In certain situations, like a nearby turkey, this can limit their usefulness. Slate calls are also one of the most expensive types of turkey calls available.

Turkey Box Call

The most often recommended turkey call for beginners are box calls. Many experienced turkey hunters started out using a box call. They are easy to operate, their vocals sound very realistic, and but gripping differently, you can sound like more than just one turkey. A turkey box call is usually made of wood and the sound is created by friction. The lid of the box call is struck against the bottom making its signature turkey noise.

Box calls are one of the loudest types of turkey calls. This can be helpful if you are hunting a large property like some of the public hunting land in WV. They are especially helpful for calling turkeys on windy days.

Turkey Locator Call

A turkey locator call does exactly what it sounds like. It helps narrow down the location of a nearby turkey. Turkey are very vocal creatures. Other loud noises provoke them to make an even louder noise. Common sounds that turkey respond to are owls, crows, and even loud cars.

Turkeys love being the loudest animal in the woods. This type of turkey call will make a tom “shock gobble” so that you can identify his location in the woods. You can’t kill a turkey if there are none in the woods. Bring your turkey locator call and make sure you can find one nearby.

Now that we understand all the different types of turkey calls used while hunting, we can take a look at the best turkey call for beginners.

Best Turkey Call For Beginners

Best Turkey Call For Beginners

It’s easy to overcomplicate things. With the abundance of information available to us today, going overboard is relatively easy. Ordering a turkey call online is simple. So is ordering 10 turkey calls. Before you know it, your turkey vest is weighted down with 15 pounds of turkey calls and you still have no turkey to show for it.

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Can you guess which type of turkey call we’re going to recommend from our list above?

Expensive and hard to master don’t seem like a good way for a beginner turkey hunter to get started. If you are still relatively new to turkey hunting my advice is to keep it simple. Pick two calls and build upon them as you gain experience hunting turkey.

Start off with a simple turkey locator call and a turkey box call. This will allow you to find a turkey with your locator call, set up a position to hunt from, and try and call the turkey into your effective hunting range.

Two easy to use examples are the Hunter Specialties Triple Trauma and the Primos Crow Call.

Why We Like Them

Turkey locators are just plain fun. Run and gun turkey hunting isn’t complete without a turkey locator call. An owl sound is very common in nature and can really get a turkey to shock gobble. A short blast and get ready for a reaction.

The Primos Crow Call is easy to use and creates a loud, genuine sounding crow caw. My daughter loves calling with it. She’s six and has been using it for a while – that’s how simple it is to get right. As a bonus, you can use it to hunt crows.

New turkey hunter or experienced veteran, don’t hunt the spring turkey season with a locator call.

I’ve been using the HS Strut Triple Trauma since 2017. I purchased the box call and a package of diaphragm calls because that’s what I thought I was supposed to be using.

First time I tried out the mouth calls I instantly started gagging. Not what I expected. For a few weeks I kept them in my car and tried, unsuccessfully, to work out a turkey sound. It didn’t happen. The West Virginia turkey season arrived and I still hadn’t sorted out the diaphragm call. The diaphragm calls stayed home and the box call came turkey hunting.

I was first interested in HS Strut Triple Trauma due to its versatility. The lid is designed with three different positions to create three different hen sounds. A 3 in 1 turkey call sounded like a great way to decrease the number of items I had to pack when going turkey hunting.

Additionally, it is well made and can be used in the rain since its waterproof. During the West Virginia spring turkey season I often find myself hunting in the rain. Despite the discomfort, it can be advantageous since at times I’ll have the WV public hunting land to myself. If my box call doesn’t work in the rain, it’s of little use to me. No such worries with the HS Strut Triple Trauma, its loud even in the wettest conditions. Check out the video below to hear it in action.

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Potential drawbacks to turkey box calls

While the turkey box call is one of the two best turkey calls for beginners, it’s important to remember that it does have some drawbacks. A turkey box call requires hunters to use two hands to operate it. This can pose a problem when bringing a turkey into hunting range. If you are hunting without a blind you are creating movement while calling that can alert the turkey of your presence.

Despite this drawback, hunting with a turkey box call can still lead to a successful turkey hunt. And it has, many times over the years.

However, if you feel that turkey hunting is something you’d like to continue doing then consider picking up a turkey mouth call. It will take time to become proficient with it. However, over time the results will be noticeable. The hands free operation of a turkey mouth call will eliminate all movement. As the turkey comes into range, you will already be in position to take your shot.

It may not be the best turkey call for beginners, but most experienced turkey hunters would agree – the diaphragm call is what you want to eventually work towards.

In Summary

With so many options available to you, a new turkey hunter, choosing a turkey call can be confusing. Whichever turkey call you choose to hunt with, the most important thing is feel comfortable with it. Learning how to use your turkey call can be challenging, and feeling comfortable will increase your confidence. Being confident is the first step towards a successful turkey hunt.

It’s important to remember that creating an authentic turkey sounds takes practice. Bringing a turkey into range while hunting is incredibly challenging. They have keen senses and are on high alert at all times. Luring them in and catching them off guard is a skill acquired over many seasons of turkey hunting .

Picking the best turkey call for a beginner is just the start of your turkey hunting adventure. As you progress, you will naturally want to try and experiment with others.

Whichever turkey call you choose, practice often. As your skill level increases, add new turkey calls to your arsenal. Before you know it, the turkey will be talking back to you.

WV Turkey Season

Remember, safety fist when you participate in the 2024 West Virginia turkey season. Success is important but so is coming home at the end of the day. To purchase your license before you go turkey hunting visit the WV DNR website at www.WVHunt.com

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>