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Be Prepared with Different Types of Turkey Calls

Mossy Oak ProStaffer Josh Grossenbacher from Sandusky, Ohio, has hunted turkeys for 25 seasons and has been entering turkey-calling contests for 17 years. Grossenbacher was the first runner-up in the National Wild Turkey Federation’s 2018 Grand National Calling Championship Senior Division and won the Head-to Head Grand National Calling Championship in 2017. 

Josh Grossenbacher | Mossy Oak ProStaff

box calling a turkey

This Nightmare Turkey I hunted several years ago was on public lands. I chased this tom around for five days, and every time I thought I was close to him, he’d either be gone or gobble from a spot well away from where I was. I never could get in close enough to get a shot at that bird. 

Finally on the fifth day, I pulled an old cedar box call with a very high-pitched yelp out of my hunting vest. I’d been using that cedar box call more as a locator call than to call in a turkey to me. This tom was henned-up about as badly as I’d ever seen a gobbler henned-up. Once I got close to a log landing (a place in the woods where logs were stacked up and then loaded on trucks and carried out of the woods) that created a fairly good opening in the woods, I could see the tom strutting with his hens. I crawled on my belly to try to get close enough to that log landing without the turkey seeing me to get a shot at the gobbler. While I was crawling, my box call worked its way under me, and I smashed and broke it, certainly not meaning to do that. However, I finally got close enough to the landing, so that when the gobbler separated from the hens for just a little while, I was able to take the shot. 

I loved that little box call because it was so high-pitched that often gobblers just had to gobble to it. I don’t even remember who made that box call, but if I did know, I’d try to buy another just like it. 

When I go into the woods, I’ll usually have one box call and two pot calls, either a glass and a slate or a slate and an aluminum. I want calls with different pitches, and I always carry about six mouth calls with me each day. I really love my mouth calls, but there are different times and various turkeys that won’t answer a mouth call that will answer a friction call. Being able to have a wide variety of sounds and pitches from different types of calls enables me to be better prepared for the various gobblers I try to take on any day I hunt. You never know which calls an individual gobbler will like each day you hunt.

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