How to Cluck With a Mouth Call

First and foremost when clucking with a mouth call is to remember that the sound you create comes from tongue movement. Lock your teeth together and moisturize your lips to create moisture; practice clucking several times quickly without the call in your mouth.

Your call should rest comfortably in your mouth; trim its tape skirt if necessary for optimal fitting. Ideally, it should rest about half-an-inch behind the sounding lip in your mouth.


Clucking is an integral component of turkey calling. It can attract gobblers to your setup while simultaneously assuring them of an approaching hen in the distance. Clucking can be accomplished easily using a mouth call once you find your groove with it.

Make cluck calls by blowing and fluttering your tongue against the reeds of a call, applying more pressure for deeper clucks, or blowing and fluttering against both sets of reeds simultaneously. To mimic both sounds at the same time, use a cluck/purr call; make sure you practice both sounds on the ground prior to heading out in search of big gobblers!

Once you’ve mastered your basic cluck, it is advisable to experiment with adding purrs – low volume and quieter sounds that can draw birds in for chase. Purrs may serve as an effective lure and set the scene for chase. When ready to attempt yelping, start by locking your teeth together quickly while saying out “Chesh!” several times; this will teach your mouth how to control while calling while also providing the right tone when using mouth calls for yelping.

To yelp, place the tip of your tongue against the reeds of your mouth call and tighten its air passage underneath with tight tongue pressure. Apply more pressure for louder yelps while less is sufficient for soft, high-pitched ones; make sure the first note stands out loudly among its siblings.

Practice makes perfect when it comes to mastering the sound of a gobble with a mouth call. Reed placement is essential: when placing the call in your mouth, its reeds should fit against your lower lip and touch inside of cheek. Be patient as it may take hours or days before getting used to feeling of it in your mouth; gently bend an aluminum frame tube call as needed (but not too much!) until your roof fits the call perfectly; bend too far may compromise quality of reeds.


Turkeys use clucking sounds to communicate among themselves or their flock, while also producing purrs. To create these purrs, simply flutter your tongue against the call reed with increased pressure – this takes practice but once mastered can create various sounds to lure turkeys within shooting range.

Your mouth call can produce sounds such as clucking, purring, yelping and cackleing. A cluck typically consists of short notes while yelps have higher pitches with occasional drop in pitch. Finally, cackle is a series of rapid, varied clucking that resembles what hens make when running from their nest in springtime.

Cluck by pressing your thumb semi-tightly on the top handle and tapping with your other hand; or hold the call vertically and “close the box”. For raspy yelps, lightly press or move the handle towards its sounding lip or move to one side if necessary.

Proper tongue movement is crucial to making excellent calls. To huff properly, keep your teeth together and exhale from the diaphragm; your tongue should form a small gap against the roof of your mouth which allows air from within your diaphragm to enter and vibrate the latex reeds of the call and create its sound.

Many hunters struggle with producing the signature “kee-kee” run of a turkey as it goes from its roost to gobble, but this easy call could put you in an advantageous position when one finally comes within calling range. Simply repeat ‘ticka teeka” over and over while gradually increasing intensity each time.

Keep in mind that using a mouth call for extended periods can wear on both your mouth and jaw, so make sure you bring water and soft chewing gum when using one for several hours. Also be sure to clean them daily or before storing them – otherwise bacteria buildup could reduce sound quality dramatically!


Mouth calls aren’t the easiest to learn, but they are essential components of a turkey caller’s arsenal. They typically consist of latex between hard plastic pieces with various cuts to produce different sounds; many feature an air hole at the top where air can be released to create sounds such as clucks and yelps. You’ll find double reed, single reed, push-pin style callers on the market.

Yelping is a two-syllable call made up of two notes; high then low. Hens who yelp are communicating to their dominant rooster within their flock that she has moved into new territory or is enthusiastic about something; using an excited yelp may attract gobblers closer, possibly even making him gobble himself!

As opposed to daybreak’s thunderous gobble that travels far distances, roosted turkeys produce short-range noise called soft tree yelps that ruffle trees nearer to them. These sounds may consist of either muffled yelps or one louder one followed by soft clucks followed by silence; often used as contentment calls so gobblers keep moving in the right direction and don’t hang up outside gun range.

A simple cluck is all it takes to signal where turkeys are found, often followed by some yelps from gobblers. A gobbler may also be lured closer by making him believe a hen is approaching; this sound can be used year-round but is particularly effective during breeding season when used by female turkeys as part of their mating rituals.

To use a mouth call to call turkeys, place it in your mouth with its reeds facing forward and place your tongue atop, but not on, them – moving your tongue back and forth up and down like you were biting them as though biting at them with teeth locked together and exhalation occurring throughout this motion. Practice without using your call will help get this motion perfect when calling them in!


Mouth calls can be difficult to master for hunters. F&S caught up with Mitchell Johnston of Dead End Game Calls during the National Wild Turkey Federation convention in Nashville to get some tips from a pro on how to use and sound like an expert with mouth calls. In these videos below, Johnston demonstrates how to cluck, purr, cutt, and gobble using just mouth calls!

As you start using a mouth call for the first time, one of the greatest challenges will be getting past the gag reflex. While this process will take some time and patience to overcome, you can begin gradually working around it by placing it in your mouth and moving it back and forth to get used to it as well as find its optimal placement in your mouth. When this step has been accomplished you can then move it into the roof of your mouth by placing your tongue over it and playing.

Reeds on mouth calls are thin latex membranes that vibrate as air passes over them, creating sounds similar to what would be heard if turkeys were nearby. While some calls feature multiple reeds, others use one cut along its exposed edge in order to produce different tones and sounds.

To create the sound of a chicken’s clucking or purring with a mouth call, say “putt” and press your lips against one or more reed(s), making sure to vary the volume of air you force across them for maximum realism. For purrs, flutter your tongue quickly against one or more of these reeds to generate vibrating sound similar to that made by real hens clucking and purring.

To cackle, produce an irregular sequence of short clucks and yelps in an irregular fashion. Vary both intensity of your yelps as well as speed and cadence of clucks for more realistic sound; when done, add some soothing noises such as those produced by chickens on the ground or from above the roost to ensure you finish off with some comforting sounds that create a realistic cackle sound.

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