A guitar riff, like a fresh run of turkey yelps timed just right, can make all the difference in a song.
Using an aluminum pot call can be like that. Sometimes, you need to make such a progression in your call sequence, even if it’s like a solo improvisation on a concert stage — in your case, the turkey timber or fields you hunt. The switch in sound qualities is sometimes sweet music to a tough gobbler.
(Photo Credit: Steve Hickoff) Here's a selection of Pat Strawser's black and anodized aluminum calls. The black and orange pot wood is Pernambuco and wenge. The lighter call is chesnut and hackberry. The striker is laminated oak and black ebony.
Quaker Boy introduced its legendary Aluminator in 1986. An aluminum-surfaced pot, it arrived when slates were the dominant call. Some traditionalists even thought aluminum calls were a gimmick. They weren’t.
Through many decades, other companies built and sold aluminum pots. M.A.D. Calls entered the mix back when, as did Woodhaven, among others. Even custom call makers have matched exotic woods with metal surfaces, elevating their craft to fine art.
Run right, yelps on aluminum surfaces have a piercing bite. One can cut through the stiffest spring wind — gusts you face in states such as Oklahoma. Far-off gobblers can hear it in places like Wyoming. And yeah, even back East, where mountain hollows hold distant birds.
An aluminum call can locate a shut-mouth tom and also pull it into range. And these surfaces are gaining popularity with turkey hunters and the guys who build calls.
“The evolution of the aluminum call has been great for all turkey hunters,” said Pat Strawser, an award-winning custom call maker from Pennsylvania. “The combination of being able to reach out farther on a windy day and still call soft with little to no rasp makes a very potent call.”
Strawser builds his with black anodized aluminum. Any wood works well with aluminum, he said, but as a rule, the harder and denser the wood, the better it is for building these calls.
“I have a lot of turkeys respond to an aluminum call when I can’t make them talk with anything else,” Strawser said. “In fact, I won’t give up on an area until I’ve tried an aluminum call.”
Pull out an aluminum call this season when you need a distinctive fresh hook to your turkey music.
And bird in vest, on the way back to camp, you’ll have an aluminum call to credit as maybe old-school Metallica plays a celebratory jam on your truck’s sound system.
Aluminum Call Conditioning Tips
To make those long-distance yelps and up-close soft calls, you need to keep your aluminum call conditioned. Pat Strawser recommends gently using a square of Scotch-Brite for priming your aluminum call’s surface. And to keep the aluminum surface clean and smooth, use isopropyl alcohol wipes.