One of the things most turkey hunters want to know before hunting turkey is making their DIY turkey calls.
Making your turkey call at home is a fantastic way to ensure the hunting obsession and hobby can play out all year round. Turning and testing your turkey call as you make it will fill your garage or workshop with both memories and sounds of turkey season.
Even though building your very own turkey call is nowhere near as exciting as carrying your rifle into the wild and taking down some gobblers, using a call you made yourself to harvest a huge gobbler is quite a rewarding feeling.
A well-built homemade turkey caller can also be something you pass down to your children and can be turned into a family heirloom.
Yes, it’s way easier to just go online and buy a ready-made turkey call, but it doesn’t feel nearly as good as when hunting with a call you built with your bare hands. Furthermore, it’ll help you save some money. Besides, making your turkey call can be a fantastic way to keep the hobby alive even during the off-season.
Let’s take a look at some of the turkey calls you can start making today.
1. Pill Bottle Turkey Call
Pill bottle turkey calls are things all turkey hunters can make for themselves. They don’t need any special tools, and there’s a high chance you have the items needed lying around the house.
Things You Need:
- Pill bottle
- Disposable latex gloves
- Rubber band
- Permanent marker
- Sharp cutting knife
- Cut off the end of your pill bottle.
- Draw a half-circle on the cap of the pill bottle and then fill it in
- Cut out the half-circle of the pill bottle’s cap.
- Use your scissors to cut a 3×3-inch square from your latex gloves.
- Close the bottle with the cap and stretch the squares you made from the latex gloves over the hole, leaving a quarter inch on the half-circles flat part.
- Fix it in place using the rubber band.
You now have a turkey call made from a pill bottle. Using it is pretty simple. Just hold the cap with the latex, put that end to your mouth and then blow. You can make yelps, clucks, and even gobbles.
2. Wing Bone Turkey Call
Why not use parts from the last gobbler you took down to make a turkey call?
Things You Need
- Turkey wings
- Sharp skinning knife
- Cooking pot
- Dawn dish washing soap
- Wire brush
- Hack saw
- Epoxy Glue
- Take out the wings from your last gobbler. If you’ve just caught one, you’ll need to skin its feathers and then remove the flesh. It requires you to have an extremely sharp knife.
- Get your cooking pot, use it to boil some water, and then let it simmer for some time on low heat. Add Borax and Dawn dish washing soap.
- Add your de-fleshed and skinned turkey wing bones to your simmering water, and then leave them in the pot for about an hour or so.
- Use your hands to clean off any meat, drain your cooking pot, and add some more clean water.
- Boil the clean water you’ve just put in the pot and let it simmer for a while, once again, before you add the wing bones. Let them simmer inside the pot for about another hour or so.
- Drain the pot of the dirty water and clean the turkey wing bones thoroughly of all their meat and fat using a wire brush or a very sharp knife.
- Take 3 bones from a wing and then carefully cut both ends using a hack saw. Make sure you don’t use too much force because you might end up cracking the bone.
- With the larger bone, cut the smaller end of the bone close to where it starts so that you can flare it out. On the larger part of the bone, cut the widest point.
- Remove all the bone marrow by blowing through the bones like a straw. For the bigger bones, use a screwdriver to get all the marrow out.
- Carefully attach the bones from end to end. The small bone’s largest part will go into the medium bone’s smallest part. The medium bone’s largest part fits into the large bone’s smallest part. You’ll have to sharpen the ends using your knife so the bones can fit together properly.
- Make a permanent seal using your epoxy glue and fill in all the other gaps using the same glue. If you don’t do this, your call won’t work properly. It needs to be sealed. Ensure you’ve sealed around all the connections as well.
- After about ten minutes or so, add your superglue and then wrap all the joints with thread for a clean overall aesthetic.
This wing bone turkey call is great for producing realistic yelps. It takes a bit of practice, and you do not need to blow so hard.
3. Can Clucker Turkey Call
Some people make these turkey calls for sale. However, it’s something that can be made by literally anyone, especially if you have a spouse or buddy that chews or if you chew yourself.
Things You Need
- Empty chewing tobacco can
- A thin piece of cedar that’s been sanded and formed into circles so that it can fit comfortably in the can
- A slate cut that’ll comfortably fit inside the can
- Glue. What will work best, though, is a heated glue gun that has glue sticks
- Remove the can’s lid and then drill 5 holes into the can. One hole should be in the middle, while the other 4 should be in a square pattern equidistant from the middle hole.
- Glue cedar about ½ an inch down the lid of the can. This you can do by applying hot glue (a single bead) around the can’s insides, and then while the glue is cooling down, press the cedar into it.
- The way you’d glue the cedar sounding board, do the same for the slate surface that’s inside the lip of the can.
- Sand any of the can’s rough edges, and then add the cap.
This turkey call version is a homemade model of the turkey pot call. You’ll need a striker, which is something you’ll probably have access to if you’ve been hunting turkey.
You can also make one using a hardwood dowel. Just sand the dowel’s end, so the contact point is smooth and rounded. You can also use something other than a cedar sounding board.
4. Hand Jig Mouth Calls
If you want to use a special jig designed specifically to make turkey mouth calls, this option is definitely for you.
Things You Need
- Hand Jig (Feather Ridge Hand Jigs are preferable)
- Three latex pieces for the mouth call
- Place some pressure on the hand jig you’ve chosen and lay your latex pieces between the clamps.
- Clamp the latex pieces and then remove the support.
- Use the dial to set the side tension.
- Turn the hand jig to the side, take the frame and then bend it slightly on its metal side.
- Turn the hand jig back upright.
- Remove the paper and then crimp the frame. It will allow the frame to slip over the latex comfortably.
- Crimp the metal frame that’s been covered by the latex
- Reduce the clamps’ tension and then remove the latex. It will result in a turkey caller that doesn’t have any back tension.
- If you want to get back some tension, pull gently on the latex pieces behind the U-curve shape until there’s a small ‘smile’ or curve in the latex.
- Use your pliers to hold the U and bend the tab a little to keep the back tension in place.
- Pinch the tab using your pair of pliers so that it’s flush up against the metal frame. It holds the back tension.
- Use your scissors to trim off all the excess latex. Make all the cuts you want to make.
- The tape cuts an oblong-shaped hole and then wraps it around the frame. It will give a good handhold grip that’ll fit comfortably in the mouth. Don’t allow the tape and latex to touch each other.
Wild turkeys talk to one another using purrs, putts, yelps, gobbles, and several other sounds.
If you’re looking to hunt turkey, then you need to be able to speak a bit of their language so that you can attract them to you. One of the best ways to do this is by using turkey calls.
And guess what? You don’t necessarily have to buy one. You can make one for yourself. Hopefully, this article is all you’ll need to do so.