The Wild Turkey's Vocabulary
by David Blanton
Turkeys have simple brains and their "language" is pretty simple. The "yelp" and the "cluck" are the basic building blocks of most advanced calls. The two-syllable yelp sounds like "Kee-yawk" and the cluck is a single note sounding like "Pock" or "Puck". It often helps to mouth these sounds when learning a diaphragm-type call.

The "Lost/Assembly call" is a fairly long and rhythmic series of yelps given to assemble the flock or by a lonesome adult turkey. The "Kee-Kee" is the lost whistle of a young poult. The dreaded "alarm Putt" is just a loud cluck, the actual warning is communicated by the alert posture of the turkey making it.

"Cutting," which indicates excitement, is a series of loud, sharp clucks with a staccato but irregular rhythm. "Cackling" is a short series of rapid yelps given when the turkey flies. The "purr" is a low, quavering call that keeps the flock in touch. However, a loud purr is a threat.

Hunting In The Dark
by Michael Waddell
Turkey hunters often must go into the woods in pitch-black darkness, without using a flashlight, to set up close to a gobbler roosted the evening before. To do this successfully requires a real "feel" for the area.

You need to really understand the lay of the land. Where do trails lead? Are there alternate routes to a spot? How do the ridges, creeks and swampy areas relate to each other? Find fences, deep gullies, creeks and any other obstacle that might keep a gobbler from coming to you. By learning where the trails and obstacles are, you will know where (and where not) to set up to try to call a gobbling bird in order to call him and not flush him. The most important thing to remember is that in the dark, it often seems we are covering more ground than we actually are. A GPS unit is a real aid for the "in-the-dark" turkey hunter trying to get back to the perfect spot to call a roosted bird.

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