Why I think every turkey hunter should consider carrying a mouth call

Discussion in 'Turkey Hunting' started by DartonJager, May 1, 2018.

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  1. DartonJager

    DartonJager Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2016
    Four of my last 5 five Toms and 5 of my last eight Toms and two of my sons four Toms were all called into their demise by yours truly using a Primos True triple mouth call. While that in of itself isn't the least bit
    exceptional in any way, the circumstances that lead up to the filling of those 7 tags are.

    This years spring turkey hunt was shaping up to be the same as most of my hunts of the previous 8 seasons. After Setting up on 3 Toms I'd roosted the evening before, I sat in the
    dark of pre dawn and awaited shooting light. Unlike other land I hunted, I had never hunted this property for turkey before and wasn't sure of any of the Toms exact location and the property had no fields on it, so I had no idea what direction the turkeys would likely go after fly down.

    Long story I was unsuccessful in calling in any of the three Toms, who all gobbled while on the roost and the ground, but I suspect the dozen or more hens with them was the most
    likely reason the Toms wanted nothing to do with my decoys or my calling. The fact I was hunting in the woods that were mostly over grown with dense patches of multflora rose
    definitely didn't help.

    Once on the ground the Toms stuck around and gobbled on and off for about 2 and half to 3 hours, the last 30 minuets of which based on their gobbles were getting ever farther away from me until their gobbles became quite faint. By now it was about 8:30 in the morning. I had considered trying to close in on them through the thick woods, but there were
    hens all over the place that made doing so unadvisable.

    Considering close to if not half of my 30+ Toms and Jakes I have killed so far I called in after 9:30, I was not all that worried and did exactly what I do every time I find myself without a bird after 9am, I sat quietly until 9:45. At about 9:45 or so I first used my synthetic slate and tried some blind calling in the direction I new the turkeys went, and after about 40 minuets of calling sparingly with no results, it was time to go to my mouth call.

    What I love about my Primos mouth calls more than anything else is the shear volume of call I can make, I have used it to successfully call in Toms from 400 to 600 yards out on a calm day with little to no wind. Today would be no different. I let loose with a short strings of yelps and about 2-3 minuets later I got a response gobble, best guess at least 250-300 yards away.

    For the next hour at least one Tom would gobble 1 or 2x every 10-15 minuets, but I never called back to him, He then stopped gobbling. I then EVER so slowly and carefully moved loser but after about no more than 100 yards spotted a hen, and I'm sure the heavy cover and I only either crawled or duck walked on my knees kept me from being spotted by the, hen so I worked my way back to my original set up.

    It was now about an hour since the Tom last gobbled and I knew at this time of day Toms normally would be on the prowl for receptive hens and hopefully this Tom would be no different.
    So once again I called but went with the Primos mouth call first, and I called as loudly as I could. Sure enough I got a response gobble near instantly, but it sounded at least as far as before, best guess 300-400
    yards away, but could've been closer or farther I just couldn't be certain, but I know I personally almost always underestimate how far away a gobble is from a turkey on the ground. I waited about 10 maybe 15 minuets and called again, and again he gobbled, but this time it sounded closer, so I shut up. A few minuets later he gobbled again, he sounded like he might be closer but if he was it wasn't a lot. I got up and paced off about 70 or so yards farther away and called facing directly away from the Toms direction.

    He let out a gobble immediately and I quickly returned to my spot. The Tom was gobbling almost continuously now and was rapidly closing the distance, A few minuets later I could make out first one bright red head, then two, then three no less! Three Toms were headed to me but only the lead Tom was gobbling. Finally he was in the clear about 30 yards and I shot him.

    NO doubt what so ever in my mind I couldn't have called in that Tom using my slate call only as it simply doesn't have the volume to reach out 300-600 yards like my Primos mouth call can and has 7 times now. I will now no longer EVER turkey hunt without my Primos True Triple mouth call and I can not recommend strongly enough to every turkey hunter they learn to use a mouth call as IMHO, they are the loudest of all turkey calls, or at the least the Primos mouth call I use is definitely louder than my favorite HS Strut paddle call.

    Two seasons ago I used my Primos mouth call to call a Tom off a neighbors land that was strutting in his field to me and my LRF confirmed the tree line he was in front of was +/- 550-600 yards away from where I was set up on the farm I was hunting and about 125 yards on my side of the property line. Three seasons ago I called a Tom out of the same field but he was about 400 yards out. Two of my sons four Toms I used the same Primos call to call in birds from a LRF confirmed 300+ yards from the same field and the final 100 or so yards on the property I was hunting for nice close 25 yard shots.

    As I said I strongly advise all turkey hunters to learn to use a mouth call. Funny thing is although I taught myself how to use a turkey mouth call quite well at least 10 years
    ago it has only been the last 5 seasons I've been using one and only because I FINALY figured out my slate as well as my paddle call lacked the volume to call in Toms at the long distances I would spot them strutting out in fields, and now even in thick over grown woods.

    I know the saying "game changer" is a bit of an over used cliche, but mouth calls have become a game changer for me. Just figured my experience would be worth sharing and might help someone fill their tag.
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  2. Creedmoor shooter

    Creedmoor shooter Well-Known Member

    Oct 21, 2013
    I've really gotten into mouth calls this year. We're using Top Calls (from right there in PA) mouth calls this year for the first time. My dad became a part time salesman for them up here in the north. So far they've been very good calls. They're Woodhaven quality or better at a price point anyone can afford. They're developed by a competition caller. So far the Heart Breaker from his line has been awesome. We've had toms that wouldn't gobble at slates but as soon as we hit the Heart Breaker they'd light up.
  3. jimss

    jimss Well-Known Member

    Mar 30, 2013
    I started off with slate calls. I got tired of carrying and trying to keep track of calls plus strikers. In humid and wet conditions the slate also didn't perform very well. It's nice to carry a spare or different pitched mouth call in a pocket and another in my mouth. Hands are free to shoot and there is less movement with mouth calls! With practice it's possible to do a variety of different turkey calls with one mouth call. Also different intensities of calls depending upon calling super close or far..or when it's windy vs calm. Mouth calls are the bomb!
  4. GregBFL

    GregBFL Member LRH Team Member

    Jan 10, 2019
    My Turkey hunting buddy is incredible with a mouth call. I have seen him call in Toms that wouldn't even respond to any of my slate calls and on one occasion the Tom was charging at us so fast, I had a difficult time trying to make the shot. Unfortunately, I have a very difficult time using a mouth call. The first few times I tried to use a mouth call turned into a disaster. For some reason my mouth starts to water like crazy and then the gag reflex started to kick in. The sound produced is something akin to a turkey being strangled. I keep trying different mouth calls and working at it but in the meantime I have to stick to my slate calls or have someone else do the calling. On the bright side, I have managed to acquire a nice collection of custom slate calls (Hanks, Mac, etc.).
  5. markopolo50

    markopolo50 Well-Known Member

    Jan 26, 2013
    I've used mouth calls. I practiced to a tape and got pretty good at it. So off I go hunting. Got a tom to respond to me. He gets closer. I get excited and can't make my tongue work like it is supposed to!! I make a couple squeaks and game over :(. That was quite a few years ago and I like the idea of no hand movement, so I might give it another try. A few years older so maybe not so nervous, ha

    Thanks for the great story DJ
  6. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    Most experienced Turkey hunters that I know carry more than one type of call because turkeys can and do like different call sounds after a few weeks of being hunted.

    Mouth calls are just one call in the tool belt and different calls work in different conditions and seasons.I personally carry at least three different type of calls because I have found that Sometimes turkeys just won't respond to a call sometimes and switching to a different call gets there attention.

    Where I hunt, they are pressured and become weary of a call that they hear more than once or twice. buy switching calls with different tones some times they can be fooled.

    An example is that I use two different box calls(One small and one large) and times they will respond to one and not the other. I am sure that some of the reason is my prowess with the call. but sometimes the change can mean the difference in success or failure.

    Also once they get call shy, we will split up and call for each other so the turkey Is looking for the caller (Who is well hid and doesn't have to move) and and the shooter can get a shot. sometimes we have to resort to an electronic call placed 30 to 40 yards away if hunting buy our selves because the turkeys will come in without making a sound and will/can spot any movement the shooter has to make unless he is concentrating on the call.

    So I feel that one call is not enough or the best one on any given day and sometimes there just isn't a call they want, so I carry as many calls as i can to improve my odds.

    Bow hunting adds another challenge to turkey hunting because you have to move just to draw the bow and if the turkey is not distracted by the call location, you chances are slim to none.

    Some hunters are very good with one type of call or another, I am not very good with a mouth call but have had success with one at times. and other times with other calls.

    So I don't handicap my self with just one call, especially near the end of the season because they have heard every call.

    Mouth calls are very good at times but not where I hunt.

    Just a recommendation not to place all your efforts in one call.

    Just my opinion

  7. turkeyfever

    turkeyfever Well-Known Member

    Feb 13, 2012
    I never go to the spring woods without 3 box calls, 3 slate calls, 4 cluck boxes and 5 or 6 different mouth calls.
  8. GregBFL

    GregBFL Member LRH Team Member

    Jan 10, 2019
    I hunt with an Alps Long Spur vest which has pockets for all types of calls and I have at least one box call, 2 slate calls and 3-4 mouth calls on me at all times. As I stated previously the mouth calls are my weakest link but I have other options available. Great vest for Florida hunting because it has an open design which is cooler than the closed back ones I've used in the past.
  9. toecutter

    toecutter Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2013
    You know the snow is too deep when im prowling the internet to talk turkey. Cant freaking wait!!
    I generally just carry a few mouth calls and an aluminum slate with a few different strikers. Cant remember the last time i carried a box.
    New Indian creek tube just came today. Especially antsy.
  10. Hubby45

    Hubby45 Active Member

    Jan 8, 2017
    Im a big fan of the mouth call. Seems to get them talking when others won’t.
    I also like to hit a Box call and the mouth call simultaneously like a couple of Hens together.
    If you get one going with this combo , hit a gobble call once or twice on top of that to make Mr Tom think there is some competition. I did that last year and had two Toms come barreling in wide open and hopp’n mad. I smoked one who realized at the last instant he’d made a fatal error.
  11. jimss

    jimss Well-Known Member

    Mar 30, 2013
    I gagged when I first tried mouth calls but it was well worth the time it took to learn! There are a number of pros for mouth calls: Hands are free, can carry in mouth so you are always ready, no motion of hands when turkeys are close, don't have to set down to shoot, can use 1 call to use a variety of different calls, can vary intensity of call (windy conditions-louder, close-quieter), can carry one in mouth and other in pocket and you are ready to go....no bulk of several calls, cheap price. As you can see there are lots of advantages!