Realistic calling kills turkeys, and realism in the woods often means imitating several turkeys that are talking at the same time.
This season, mimic the vocalizations of multiple turkeys by running several calling instruments together. Using two or three calls concurrently takes some practice and coordination, but after you do it enough, the technique will become second nature. Best, these tried-and-true calling combos might put a gobbler over the edge and bring him running.
Probably the easiest way to sound like two turkeys is to run a pot-and-peg call while huffing on a mouth diaphragm. Often, I’ll run the calls alternately, trying to sound like two turkeys feeding, purring and softly yelping while traipsing through the woods. You can also ratchet up the intensity by sounding like two hens getting upset with each other and cutting and aggressively yelping back and forth.
Provided you’re in a blind or otherwise well-concealed, you can also switch between several friction calls to add more depth to your calling. Just make sure the pots and pegs don’t fall or bang together when you change instruments.
A Two-Sided Can Equal Three
Take the previous scenario to another level by using a two-sided box call and a diaphragm. The two-sided box already has two turkey sounds in it, and the mouth call adds a third. Again, create the scenario of a group of hens chatting, or get aggressive to provoke a strong response. The latter often works best with a box, as those calls are typically better for louder vocalizations.
Gobblers and jakes also figure into multiple-turkey scenarios, so don’t be afraid to mimic those situations by running a pot or box call in conjunction with a tube. Often, I’ll start a sequence with a few hen yelps on a slate and then add some jake yelps or jake gobbles on a tube. This can provoke the ire of a nearby boss gobbler or even play on the curiosity of bachelor birds. As always, when mimicking the sounds of male turkeys, be absolutely sure you’re alone in the woods, and follow all NWTF setup safety precautions.
Really, calling combination possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Run a wingbone and a scratch box together. Back up a series of mouth yelps with an aggressive sequence from a long box. Throw in a gobble from a two-sided box after some lost yelps from a glass call. Heck, Grand Slam king Jeff Budz even keeps two diaphragms in his cheeks at all times; one for loud, raspy yelping, the other for softer stuff.
Just make sure you stay concealed, keep movement to a minimum and can use your go-to yelper without hesitation when a gobbler gets close. By using several calls to sound like multiple turkeys, the odds of that happening are high.