|Learning to properly use a mouth diaphragm turkey call can
be a frustrating experience for many hunters. Some, especially youngsters, learn the
process quickly. Others never will.
|Almost anyone can master a mouth call by
following this step-by-step process:
|Start with a Single Reed and
call, with thin latex or rubber reeds. These types of calls are the easiest to operate
for beginners. Purchasing a Selection of
these type of callers is often the best and least expensive way to get started. Also a good way to practice is by listening to the
audi tapes by Dr. Lovett E. Williams, Jr
Real Turkeys Audio
CD / Cassettes - by
Dr. Lovett E.
Serious Turkey Hunter's Audio Guides for Learning and Duplicating
the Voices and
Vocabulary of Wild Turkeys.
|Put the call in your mouth, with the
open end of the horseshoe-shaped frame pointing out, and move it around with your tongue.
Move it back and forth from one cheek to the other, and onto and off your tongue, to get
accustomed to the feel of it being in your mouth. When you're not moving it around, keep
it in your cheek. This sounds silly, but try to talk, eat, and drink
with it in your cheek. Don't swallow it!
|After you're comfortable with it in
your mouth, which could take several hours or days, move it into the roof of your mouth,
about half way back, with your tongue. Hold the call gently in place with your
tongue, with the open end out. Then move it back into your cheek. Continue doing this
process until you get over the "gag reflex". You can gently bend the aluminum
frame of the call to fit the roof of your mouth if its a bit too wide. Bending it too much
will loosen the reed(s) and make the call difficult to operate and ruin the quality of the
sound . There needs to be distance between the latex reed(s) of the call and the roof of
your mouth. If the frame is bent too much, and the reeds are touching the roof of your
mouth, you won't be able to make any sounds.
|Note that you have made no attempt to make
any turkey sounds up to this point!
|After you're over the gag reflex and the call is adjusted
and comfortable in the roof of your mouth, you're ready to make your first sounds. While
holding the call gently in place with your tongue, exhale air from your chest or diaphragm
in a steady stream. It's not like blowing out a candle on your
|Exhale the letter "H"
in the word HOT as you exhale. Done correctly, you will
experience a tickling sensation on your tongue with the reed(s) hitting your tongue and
you'll hear a high pitched Squealing
Sound (audio). Believe it or not, you're now on your way to perfecting the
mouth diaphragm. Continue your practice by putting more pressure on the reed(s) with your
tongue to obtain a Higher Pitched
Squeal (audio) and less pressure to obtain a Lower Pitched Squeal (audio). Learn
to control the sound with pressure from your tongue.
|Next, you'll learn how to make the two syllable sound of a
Yelp. A yelp consists of a single high
note, followed by a second lower note. You will learn to make
an exaggerated yelp first, then speed it up to make the correct snappy yelping sounds.
Start with about 2 seconds of the high-pitched squeal you have already learned, followed
by removal of your tongue from the reed(s), or simply opening your mouth, either of which
will produce the second lower note. It sort of sounds like the mewing sound of a young elk
calf. It should sound like This (audio).
After you have mastered that sound, all you have to do is speed it up, going faster and
faster, until you reach the snappy yelping sound. The general progression of your practice
may sound like This (audio).
|A SECRET to perfect the proper
tongue/breath combination is to practice calling with your teeth locked. All of the
sound comes from exhaling air from your diaphragm and the movement of your tongue.
Remember the word "Chuck" while practicing your
yelping. Lock your teeth together and say the word "Chuck"
several times in a row fast without the call in your mouth.
You'll notice your tongue moving up and down against the roof of your mouth. This is the
correct tongue movement, while exhaling air, that will produce a perfect yelp when you put
a caller in your mouth.
|To make a Cluck, simply say
the word "Putt" with your lips moistened and teeth
locked. Should sound like This (audio).
|To make a Kee Kee Run, start
with 2-4 of your high-pitched squeals, followed by 1-3 yelps. This is a good spring call,
although most hunters use it only in the fall. It should sound like This (audio).
|To Purr, flutter your lips
rapidly together like a child does, while exhaling air, with your tongue tight against the
reed(s). You should sound like This (audio).
|To Whine, simply exhale air
while holding tight tongue pressure, then drop your tongue away from the reed(s). Sounds
like This (audio).
|To Cutt, simply make a long
string of Clucks loudly and fast---like This
|Once you perfect turkey calling on
the single and double reeded diaphragm, which imitate smooth-voiced, or mellow sounding
turkeys, you'll want to advance to Raspy Mouth Calls which have thick reeds and more than two reeds. They will imitate a
raspy voiced older hen which is the sound often preferred by experienced
hunters. They take a bit more practice and are harder to blow than single, double
or triple thin-reeded calls.
|When you want even more variety of sound, which is
preferred by Master Turkey Hunters, try
Call. Excellent raspy and smooth-voiced sounds can be produced on one of
these diaphragms, but you'll have two calls taped together in your mouth to contend with.
|Learning to use a mouth call will be fun
if you follow the above process and don't rush yourself. Once you master it, it's like
riding a bike.....you'll never forget how to do it.