Q&A with Matt Van Cise
Get to know the 2013 NWTF Grand National Calling Champion
Turkey Country: Congratulations on winning another Grand National Championship. How did you get started in competitive calling?
Matt Van Cise: I saw a flier for a turkey calling contest at an outdoor show in Erie, Pa., in 1995. Over the course of the next year, I met Doug Labolle, from Pleasantville, Pa. Doug took me under his wing and got me ready for my first calling contest in Bloomsburg, Pa., in January 1996.
TC: Tell us how you prepare for the NWTF Grand National competition.
MVC: My preparation for the Grand Nationals starts in December. I start building calls, trying to improve on what I have had in the past. I spend anywhere from 15 minutes to two or three hours a night calling.
TC: Do you have a favorite call you use?
MVC: My favorite call is my M.A.D. Precision Plus diaphragm. It features a 3.5-reed combination cut.
TC: What is the most challenging call for you to make?
MVC: I don't really have a call that gives me too many problems, but if I had to pick I would say the cluck and purr.
TC: How long do you plan to compete?
MVC: I have no intentions of retiring any time soon. I still have some personal goals I would like to accomplish.
TC: What are your goals for your future in competitive calling?
MVC: I hope that I can continue to improve. I am always looking for an edge on the stage and in the woods. — Gregg Powers
See more of Matt Van Cise in the May/June issue of Turkey Country.
4 calling tips from the champ
- Be the turkey
The best way I know to get better at calling is to study wild turkeys, listen to their sounds, their cadence, how their voice flows from one note to the next. It is important to watch how their mouths and bodies move when they are talking.
- Pay attention to details
Notice how a turkey's voice changes when it is walking and calling. A turkey can sound completely different in different situations. Paying attention to the little things is what separates the best callers from everyone else.
- Big mistakes
I think a lot of callers put too much pressure on the birds they are hunting. Some hunters park in the same spot, walk into the woods the same way and use the same calls every day.
Good hunters and callers learn from the birds they are hunting and use that experience to harvest the birds.
- The bottom line
The most important thing to remember when calling to a turkey is to listen. It will usually tell you what it wants just by how it responds to your calling. If you are not confident in your ability to read a turkey, remember less is always more.