Editor’s Note: Will Primos has convinced hunters today to call often and call loudly. Before Primos took this philosophy nationwide, most turkey hunters called rarely and sat on stands for a long time. Not only did Primos tell people about this technique in seminars, he proved how effective it was in his “Truth” videos. Today, most of the nation’s top turkey callers use this technique to find active gobblers. Visit www.primos.com.
I listen to turkeys. One year, when I got close to wild turkeys before the season and in the early season, I noticed there wasn’t much gobbling, but there was hen talk. I started calling like those loud-mouthed hens, and the gobblers went nuts over that calling. I also noticed that gobblers would come from all parts of the woods when a flock of hens was calling. In 1982, I made an audio tape of live turkey hens calling loudly and calling a lot. I used the best recorder money could buy to get these live turkey sounds. The recorder was a big reel to reel, and I bought special Nagra microphones. We took that recorder into the woods and I called turkeys. You could hear the owls and the crows in the mornings, and you could hear a turkey gobble from the roost fly down, my calling the turkey, the gun firing and the turkey flopping.
That cassette tape fell into the hands of Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, and that’s how we became friends. As I mentioned earlier, then Cuz came to work for me. We got a video camera powered by a battery in a backpack. Cuz put the camera on his shoulder or a tripod and wore the battery and the recording device on his back. That camera cost $16,000 back then, and the camera and the backpack weighed 85 pounds. When Cuz and I hunted together, we double called. I’d cut and cackle as loudly as I could, and Cuz would call as loudly as he could at the same time. Cuz called this type of calling the Rodney Shuffle. “Our kind of calling is like Rodney Dangerfield,” Cuz explained to me one time. “It doesn’t get any respect.”
While we were videoing, I was still trying to sell my cassette tapes. There was one big dealer in Greenville, Mississippi, who wasn’t carrying my tapes. So, I drove to Greenville and took a tape of a hunt I’d just recorded the previous day. On the recording, I cackled to the turkey about 8 consecutive times. There was another older gentleman sitting at the counter listening while I was playing my tape. When the recorder stopped, the old gentleman looked up and said, “You call too much, and you call too loudly.” I smiled and said, “Sir, I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but the gobbler you heard me calling to is dead.” So, that’s where we coined the phrase, “We call too much, and we call too loud.”
If you really want to hear some loud calling, put a tube call in Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland’s mouth, and he’ll make a turkey gobble when no one else can make a turkey gobble. I believe Ronnie Strickland can raise a turkey from the dead with that loud, crisp, continuous cutting and cackling he blows on a tube call. He is unbelievably loud, and he runs that call for what seems like forever. However, he sure can make a tom gobble and get him to come to you. Since we had audio and video of loud, long calling, we could convince people this calling would not only make a turkey gobble, but would call the bird within gun range.