The Turkey Fever Epidemic

Does the approach of March 20th cause your heart to skip a beat & send shivers up your spine?  Well, you just may have a case of Spring Turkey Fever.  A condition marked by the opening day of turkey season in most of Alabama and will most likely subside by its closing day of May 2nd. 

For many, there is just no other hunting quite like turkey hunting. Ask an avid turkey hunter why they are so passionate about this sport and most will say that one must experience it to understand it’s enamor.  Turkey hunting has been described as possessing a sheer beauty; one that allows an up close and personal journey into the rawness of nature where one connects and communicates with their prey on a visceral level.  It’s an adrenaline-packed pursuit where skill, practice, patience, & a little luck can work in perfect harmony leading to the bagging of an infamous, hammering Tom. 

Calling All Turkeys

What do cluck, purr, and cackle have in common?   If you guessed a fight at the local zoo or the noise your breakfast cereal makes then you may want to pay close attention to the handy guide below.

Turkey Call Basics:

  • Box Call – a simple hinged-lid friction call made of two pieces of wood using chalk or rosin on surfaces to produce sound. This type of call is considered the easiest to master.
    • Best for yelping, clucking, & gobbling
    • Basic technique:  Lightly grasp the lid handle between the thumb and index finger of your right hand while holding the box in the palm of the left.  Stroke across the top edge while flexing the wrist. 
  • Slate Call (“pot call”) – Another type of friction call that is composed of a sounding board (“pot”) and a striker (“peg”) made in an array of materials.
    • Best for fly down cackling, purring, & yelping
    • Basic technique:  Grasp the board in the left hand with tips of fingers while holding the striker like a pencil in the right hand.  Draw circles in counter clockwise egg-shaped circles on the sounding board.
  • Mouth Call – A type of diaphragm call made of a thin latex rubber reed held inside of a horseshoe-shaped frame that uses the mouth to produce sound.  Has a wide variety of versatility and range of calls. 
    • Best for yelping, cutting, kee keeing,  fly down cackling (& more with practice)
    • Basic technique:  Place call in mouth with rounded side to the back.  Press to the roof of your mouth with tongue while “huffing” breath across the reed. 
  • Tube Call – Another type of diaphragm call that is composed of the latex reed stretched across the top of a round plastic or wooden tube.
    • Best for yelping and cutting
    • Basic technique:  Hold reed against lower lip and blow.

Turkey Language 101

  • Yelp – Here I am, come here.
  • Cluck –Here I am, where are you?
  • PurrAll is good.
  • Kee Kee – I am young and lost.
  • Cutting –WooHoo, I’m excited!
  • Gobble –I am King.  Where’s my Queen?

If you are looking for that perfect piece of land in Alabama with phenomenal turkey hunting, I would love to help!  Check out my website of current properties on the market at or contact me at 334-657-6707 or [email protected].