How to Use a Turkey Mouth Call

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A turkey mouth call, also called a diaphragm call, is inexpensive, very easy to carry and best for hunters who want to keep their hands free on the hunt. As the name suggests, this horseshoe-shaped call is held inside the mouth and has a plastic reed that produces realistic turkey noises when air is huffed across it. The turkey's basic cry for attention is called a yelp, and mastering this sound, along with a few others, will have you well on your way to drawing in more turkeys during your hunt.

Step 1

Place your hand on your stomach and make a huffing sound with your breath. Don't purse your lips -- think of it as a long, forceful breath rather than blowing as you might blow out a candle. You should feel your diaphragm contract. This is the breath you want to produce when using your mouth call.

Step 2

Hold the call with the curved end facing backward and the flat end and reed facing forward. Locate the small tab or bead on one side of your call, and point that side toward the ground. If the reed of your call has small notches or cuts, which help to produce realistic sounds, on one side, those notches should face upward.

Step 3

Place the call in your mouth, pressing it up against the roof of your mouth with your tongue. No air should pass between the call and the roof of your mouth.

Step 4

Produce a huffing breath, letting the air pass between your tongue and the reed. Practice until you get a clear, high-pitched sound. This loud "kee" noise is the first half of your yelp.

Step 5

Huff breath across the reed while slowly forming the word "chalk" with your lips. Focus on creating a long "chahh" followed by a short "alk," which mimics the turkey's "kee-ock" or "kee-oak" yelp. Some hunters use "chop," "chip" or "shock," among other words. Practice with various words to find which ones work best for you.

Step 6

Huff in a short burst across the reed, then immediately close your lips over the call. This technique mimics a turkey's basic cluck. Try using the word "shut" or "puck" to create this sound.

Step 7

Increase the speed and intensity of the cluck. This call is known as a cutt, which is the sound of an upset or agitated turkey.

Step 8

Experiment with a series of yelps followed by clucking and then cutting. A variety of sounds will mimic the natural vocabulary of a turkey.


  • Listen to recorded turkey sounds to familiarize yourself with calls and help you reproduce those sounds with your mouth call.


About the Author

Lindsey Robinson Sanchez, from Bessemer, Ala., has written for the "Troy Messenger," "The Alabama Baptist" and "The Gainesville Times," where her work was featured on the AP wire. She has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida. She writes style, beauty, fitness, travel and culture.

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