John's Journal...


Why I'll Bet on Calls That Haven't Helped Me Win Turkey-Calling Contests

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: This week Mark Drury, award-winning turkey caller, the creator of MAD Calls, avid hunter and outdoorsman and co-owner and developer of Drury Outdoor Videos, will teach you the secrets for hunting last-minute gobblers. Hopefully this season you won't lose your job, your wife or your sanity when you hunt turkeys.

I won the World Championship Turkey Calling Contest with a mouth diaphragm call, and it's still my favorite kind of turkey call. However, when I'm fighting the clock to find or call in a stubborn gobbler, I'll generally depend on the box call, the slate call or the push-button call. These calls are all higher-pitched and will cover a much greater distance than the diaphragm call will.

Click to enlargeMany times you can't find that last-minute gobbler because of a high wind. Or, you'll have a lot of highway noise around you that may keep you from being able to hear when a turkey gobbles. Many times, you'll find that last-minute gobbler right next to your truck or near the highway that you've driven in on to your setup site. So, the last call you make usually needs to be with some kind of turkey call that will really reach out and touch those birds, regardless of the noise level where you're hunting. The further out your call goes, the better your odds are for touching one of those last-minute gobblers and getting him to come in to you before you have to leave and quit hunting. For this reason, any time you're hunting right up to the last minute, remember that your last call when you get into your vehicle should be with a box call, a slate call or a push-button call - as loudly as you can make it.

Click to enlargeOne question I'm often asked in seminars is, "What should I do if I'm using a really-loud call and a turkey responds to it and starts coming to me? Do I continue to use that loud call, or do I switch callers and start using a call that's easier for me to call quietly?" My standard answer is, "If I have another caller who will be pulling the trigger on the bird, I'll stay with that loud call, because sometimes, if you change calls, the bird will suddenly become disinterested and won't come in to you." Now, if I'm calling the turkey by myself and planning to shoot that turkey myself, I may risk losing that bird and change to a mouth diaphragm call. Then my hands will be free to shoot the bird when he comes close. However, if I do change to a mouth diaphragm, and the turkey stops gobbling, or, I can tell by his gobbling that he's walking off, I immediately put down the diaphragm call. I and start using the call that originally has gotten the gobbler's attention. I just try to take that loud call, tone it down and then time my calling so that I can put my call down, get my gun up and be ready to take the shot when the bird appears.

Click to enlargeTemperature will often tell you where to find last-minute gobblers. If the weather's hot, the birds will often be in draws, canyons, thick woods and other shady spots where they can stay cool. If the weather's cool, the turkeys may be in fields or pastures trying to catch some warm rays of sun.
Something I've noticed is that during the spring, the weather seems to be getting warmer and warmer in March and April. And, that's why I like to wear Mossy Oak Apparel Base Layers and TrekLite. The Base Layer wicks the moisture away from my skin quickly and helps keep me warm in the early morning and cooler as the day warms up. About 9 or 10 a.m., I may take off my TrekLite gear and only wear my Base Layer t-shirt as an outer shirt.

You can log on to or call 1-800-990-9351 to order videos from Drury Outdoor Productions that feature the latest in hunting adventures and information and feature Mark and Terry Drury.



Check back each day this week for more about SECRETS FOR LAST-MINUTE GOBBLERS WITH MARK DRURY

Day 1: What the Hens Do to Gobblers
Day 2: Tough Last-Minute Gobblers
Day 3: Why I'll Bet on Calls That Haven't Helped Me Win Turkey-Calling Contests
Day 4: What to Do When You Miss
Day 5: Don't Miss Work


Entry 291, Day 3