Slate turkey calls are one of the easiest calls for beginners to learn and are highly versatile. A slate turkey call consists of a pot (made of wood or plastic that holds a slate, crystal or glass surface) and striker.
Clucking a slate call requires striking its striker along a straight path across its surface and back and forth by three-eighths to half inch increments, creating a soft rolling sound.
Slate turkey calls are versatile calling tools that rival professional-grade calls in terms of sound range and ease of use, yet can be made for significantly less than purchasing one outright. Plus, creating your own slate call brings with it an added sense of accomplishment!
As soon as you start learning how to run a slate call, the initial challenge lies with mastering its grip and placement of its striker. It is key that both elements remain comfortably aligned so they allow you to create four basic turkey calls such as yelps, clucks, purrs and cutts; you may adjust their positions over time as your proficiency with them grows.
Grip your pot call lightly in your nondominant hand, placing the tips of your fingers lightly along its outer rim. Avoid pressing it into your palm as this will muffle the sound produced by it. For optimal sound production, place the striker over a surface like slate with the striker angle about 45 degrees toward it – slightly higher than a pencil and close enough that its tip lands directly on it.
When producing louder tones, increase pressure to the striker and move it across the slate with swift strokes. Vary how much pressure you apply in order to create different cluck sounds; to produce fighting purrs you may have to slow down and apply more pressure.
An ideal choice for hunters wanting multiple turkey calls at their disposal is a double-sided pot slate call. Simply glue its slate surface inside of a can’s lip and add a cap – or for even greater versatility consider removing one cedar sounding board for placing slate at the bottom of can – this allows for aggressive turkey calling while still producing soothing yelps. A striker that can quickly adapt to various sounds should also be available – it’s simple to make with hardwood dowel and some sandpaper!
Box calls require more upper-body movement and hand placement than diaphragm turkey calls, yet can produce a greater variety of sounds. They’re great for hunting in windy conditions or making quiet calls without being heard; plus you can use one to produce long-distance gobbles!
An effective and simple way to build a turkey call is with a pot style slate and striker. These types of calls can be found at most hunting stores or handmade. By using one, it allows you to practice all four basic turkey sounds: yelps, clucks, purrs and cutts.
Before beginning building a box call, locate an ideal slate surface. Most often this involves cutting sanded slate tile or shingle to size with a saw and should measure approximately eight”x12″. A good place to buy this section would be at your local hardware store.
Once you have your slate section, create a frame out of wood, plywood or another hard material. Next, cut a sheet of latex to fit over and wrap around it; make sure it includes an oblong hole at its center to accommodate for your mouth; cut to length before inserting it in its frame before folding over the latex and sealing with epoxy glue.
As a novice, start off by using a single-reed turkey call, as this will be easier for newcomers. Later when your skills increase, add double-reed calls. Before doing this, however, make sure that the callmaker has properly adjusted and set your reeds for sound quality – for deeper sounding calls you may wish to stretch them further out as desired.
To operate a turkey call, grab the striker and hold it a bit higher than you would a pencil (this is known as being “tilted a bit”). Pressing its tip against a slate surface produces yelps; to create clucks press down lightly while moving at an angular motion; for purring calls move slowly across slate surface making clucking sounds.
Woodworkers with woodworking equipment and time can craft their own slate turkey calls. Start with a flat piece of slate (such as tile or shingle), cut to size using a saw, then rubbed down with fine grit sandpaper until relatively smooth. Create a sound chamber out of polyvinyl chloride pipe. Secure the slate surface just inside the lip using liquid ceramic glue or silicone glue, before capping the end and smoothing any rough spots on its can.
An adjustable striker made of hickory, ash or rosewood can be used with this call to recreate all of the typical turkey sounds. To maximize hand position ease and for best results some hunters use this technique by dragging their striker across the call surface with less pressure used for soft clucks and more for louder or deeper tones such as fighting purrs.
One DIY turkey call option is the turkey pot call made of glass or crystal with a slate, aluminum or wood striker that produces all of the sounds a gobbler makes and is easy for beginners to learn. Some slate pot calls mount their striker in a base while others mount it at an edge on their surface.
Some turkey hunters like to place the striker of their call in the center so they can manipulate its sound by shifting up and down or side to side as a gobbler would do, making this type of call perfect for calling turkeys in from far distances.
To use a slate pot call, lightly grasp both the striker and call in your left hands, with the striker held lightly between your fingers in your right. Grip its tip using your thumb in the center for optimal striker movement over slate surfaces to produce all sounds associated with calling; to create all-call sounds such as clucking simply drag quickly over its surface with more or less pressure applied depending on desired clucking tone – apply more pressure for deeper and softer tones respectively, drawing agitated lines across it to emulate fighting purrs
Slate turkey calls offer hunters an effective and realistic calling method that can capture the attention of gobblers. A hunter uses a wooden striker and moves it across a slate surface, producing sounds similar to that of a gobbler’s gobbling call yelps, cuts and clucks which mimic its calls. Tone can vary depending on how the striker is held as well as pressure applied on it by hunters – easy and simple, slate turkey calls can often create convincing sounds which attract gobblers that otherwise wouldn’t respond as easily to more artificial-sounding calls.
Beginners looking to hunt turkey can build their own slate turkey calls using kits available online retailers and specialty turkey-calling supply stores. Each kit will include a pot with holes drilled in its base that allow sound waves to escape. The striker is constructed of wood – typically padauk or hard maple – that can be shaped to create sounds appropriate to its user. A peg will connect it to a stick for striking slate sheets. An experienced turkey caller can learn to create different sounds by manipulating the peg in different ways with every stroke of their call. To produce a cluck, the striker should be stroked in a straight line across the slate’s surface, leaving three-eighths to a half inch between its tip and the surface. For purrs, strokes must be slower and longer.
Slate is one of the more popular turkey-calling surfaces available to make noise, with its ability to produce an array of sounds with little effort required for use. Slate’s easy use and suitability for most weather conditions makes it popular; however it may become challenging with high humidity levels. Glass surfaces also work well but require good airflow in order to work effectively while producing lower sound output and wearing down hands over time.
Ceramic surfaces offer high pitches for long distance calling. Although easier than slate or glass surfaces, ceramic can still be sensitive to oils on hunters’ hands.