Good Cluck!

More toms have been seduced by various forms of the yelp than any other sound. If yelps are so successful, do you really need to know any other call?

Understanding the lowly cluck should help answer that question. A cluck, as uttered by a hen or hunter, is a single-syllable, non-aggressive sound meaning, “Here I am,” or, “I’m over here. Where are you?”

The one-syllable alarm putt can be mistaken for a cluck, but a putt is sharper and is usually repeated while a turkey decides whether to flee or relax.

When you cluck, imagine you’re a hen going about your business calmly, and you won’t usually putt by mistake. Even if you do, it’s not a disaster. A putt-like cluck won’t alarm turkeys provided you don’t repeat it too often.

The value of using clucks in addition to or instead of yelps is a subtle message to a tom that indicates you’re the real deal.

When a tom is fired up by yelping, switch to clucks, assuming you keep calling. It’s true that hens yelp a lot, but they cluck just as often, and that’s another sound every turkey is used to hearing daily.

Use sounds other than calling to gain or maintain interest. Make fake wing beats, scratch in the leaves or try to duplicate the noises turkeys make as part of their regular routine. To cap off the sequence, add clucks and purrs, sometimes individually, sometimes one after the other.

When dealing with turkeys, variety is often the key to success. It’s worth knowing how to produce several sounds with every call you have in your vest. And in some circumstances, the hen cluck can be as seductive as any other call.

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