Back when I first started turkey hunting, I was getting frustrated with the way these gobblers were ignoring my calling. I thought I was doing everything right as far as what I had seen other people do but couldn't figure out why these gobblers were eluding me.
I was hunting a family farm with a lot of cedar trees and decided to make a striker from the purple center of a tree I cut down. Once I was finished making it, I teamed it up with a HS Strut slate call and decided to give it a try. The biggest difference with this striker was its ability to really bite to the surface of this slate and make some super sharp loud cuts. I was completely blown away at the sound of this compared to some of the strikers I had been previously using.
I remember taking it to the woods where I had actually cut the tree down that next turkey season. I yelped a few times and still no response from a nearby gobbler. Then, I took it and made a few sharp cuts and had a bird gobble across the creek from me. I waited a minute or two and cut again and the gobbler responded again - only a lot closer. it wasn't long before I heard wings as he pitched across the creek into some thick honeysuckle. I never could see him so once again, I cut on the slate and he gobbled within 30 yards. He finally strutted into an opening and took a load of number 5's.
After that day I realized that it took more than just a yelp to get these gobblers fired up during the late morning/early afternoon hours. Since that first hunt with the cedar striker and slate, countless turkeys have been harvested by just changing my calling. I had been doing things right, I just needed to add a little more realism and a little more excitement to my calling. There's nothing wrong with yelping, but sometimes you just need to make a few cuts too.
- Brad Biddle