The primary challenge to every spring gobbler hunter: How do you convince that gobbling bird that you are sweeter, sexier and more desirable than any hen he may have hovering around him at the moment?
The hunt hinges on how well you can carry off this deception.
You have to fool a trout into believing that the dry fly you have just cast onto the water is in fact a real insect. So, not only do you have to create the fly accurately, your presentation of it onto the water must also be pretty good.
Same goes for calling turkeys. You have to go afield and make a gobbler believe that your calls are the real thing. Much more than just luck, your success at luring a gobbler close enough for a shot depends on how well you have learned to deceive him. Not only with reproducing the sound and tone of the calls but in how convincingly you present them. Can you actually make a 20-pound gobbler believe that you are the most desirable hen in the woods, the one he ought to forsake the humdrum hens he has right with him to look for?
Spring is the breeding season for the wild turkey. Their hormones are whirling in high gear; hens are looking for nesting places where they will lay eggs. Gobblers are eager to locate willing and available hens. Toms begin each morning just before daylight gobbling from the branch where they roosted the night before to advertise to every hen within hearing their location. They then expect the hens to come running to them. When they do, the party begins.
To interrupt this daily program, the hunter has to insert himself into the scenario by offering calls that will fool a gobbler into believing he (the hunter) is the most willing, most-anxious-to-consort-with-him hen in the woods. How well you handle a turkey call is how you do this.
After the mechanics of learning how to make the sounds, one has to learn the nuances, the innuendoes demanded by good calling. This is something no video will teach you. Common sense is your best friend here. It's called" putting emotion in your calling." When you have a stubborn gobbler out there 50 yards away that is answering your calls but is reluctant to leave a couple hens that are with him, just cranking out technically-correct yelps won't persuade him to move closer. But some pleading, whining, soft and sexy yelps probably will. You have to figure out if that will fool him and how to do it. I have a small slate call, a Primos Super slate call that I have used for years for just this purpose.
This little slate stays in my vest until I need some extra-sexy persuasion and then out it comes. I've called in a lot of balky gobblers, for others and myself by talking "sweet nothings," on that super slate. Tube or wingbone calls are great for deception too. On them, you can reproduce pitches that turkeys don't hear often, and when combined with a pleading attitude, will often deceive an otherwise super-cautious gobbler to come on in. After all, how can he resist if you promise the right things?
Women, once they are bitten with the turkey-hunting bug, make good turkey hunters because we know instinctively how to make those persuasive, promise-laden tones that deceive gobblers. After all, we have been doing it in the human realm forever and we just translate it over into turkey talk. Guys sometimes have a bit more of a problem trying to learn this tactic but it is well worth the knowing.
Just parking under a tree and cranking out some program of yelps and clucks, with no emotion or promises attached, won't be of much value in the woods this spring.
Only if I can deceive a gobbler into believing, by my calls, that I am promising delights above the average, will he come to me and not to you.
Only you can put the emotions and pleading into your tone. I find that I can vary the intensity, tone and whining, pleading notes I want on a slate call better than on any other type call. My advice is to get one from a known manufacturer and then stick with it.
Get to know that call intimately. Most every friction call has a "sweet spot," The place on the call that seems to make the calls the best. Mark that place somehow so you can get it in an instant.