Yelping is one of the first sounds a turkey hunter learns to produce with their mouth call, and is an essential element for calling in gobblers. Combining it with other sounds such as clucks, purrs and cutts will create an explosive sound which gets longbeards moving towards you.
Finding the sound you’re after can be challenging at first. Here are a few tips to help you master yelps with mouth calls this season.
Make sure the reeds are in the right position
Mouth calls are an authentic way of creating turkey noises, yet can be challenging to master. Practice, practice, practice! Even while driving to work or cooking dinner you can practice on your call. Just have patience – once you take these steps your mouth call will start producing turkey calls in no time at all!
First, ensure your reeds are positioned appropriately. To do this, place the call in your mouth and place it halfway between front and back teeth on the roof of your mouth; press lightly with tongue; mimic opening/closing motion of a chicken’s mouth for added realism and create more realistic sounds!
Once you’ve mastered this step, it’s time to practice different sounds. A popular call used by turkey hunters is the cluck – a short but quick note often used alongside yelps and purrs as an alert call when hunting near shooting range.
Learning the cutt is also key; this call consists of making repeated short clucks. A cutt is especially useful when trying to attract someone’s attention when calling out from behind an object such as a doorway.
When you’re ready to try something more difficult, the kee-kee call can provide the ideal high-pitched call that’s great for fall turkey hunting season. To produce one, apply tongue pressure in front of the reed, narrow the air passage under your tongue, and blow brashly; this will produce an audible “kee-kee” sound that produces high-pitched tones perfect for creating this high-pitched sound.
If you’re having difficulty with producing sound through your mouth call, switching to a single-reed diaphragm call may help eliminate some of the variables that often thwart newcomers to turkey calling, like wind channel, reed sticking and air pressure. A diaphragm turkey call like the STRUTT’N Ridge Greenhorn may be perfect for beginners as its easy operation saves days or weeks of frustration for you and kids.
Make sure the call is in your mouth
Before using a mouth call, make sure that it is correctly placed in your mouth. Position the horseshoe end of the frame toward the back of your mouth with its latex reed pressing against your tongue for optimal sound production akin to that produced by hens. While practicing quality sound production will cause tickling sensations within your mouth – this is normal and will improve with practice. You may wish to move around the call within your mouth in order to gain better feel for it and experiment with various combinations of tongue pressure and air flow when practicing quality sound production.
Step two of turkey calling involves infusing air into your call to produce a whistle sound, before decreasing air pressure so the reeds roll over and produce lower notes. Finally, say the word “kee” into your call in order to replicate a yelp. With practice comes increased speed and more realistic sound quality as more hens yelp to communicate among themselves or lure gobblers into their territory; learning this technique will aid your hunts more successfully.
When calling turkeys, it is essential that your calls don’t become monotonous or boring for the bird. Clucks, purrs and cuts can help imitate other turkeys’ sounds; using different calls will enable you to create realistic sounds which attract turkeys while maintaining their interest in your setup.
Keep your mouth call clean and in good condition by regularly using mouthwash to rinse it after each use, and drying it after drying it before storing. Otherwise, it could dry out and start breaking down quickly; additionally, store in a cool location to reduce moisture that could affect its sound quality.
Make sure your tongue is in the right position
Though it may seem obvious, tongue positioning plays a critical role in how realistically you sound when using a mouth call. Your tongue should rest against the roof of your mouth behind your upper teeth and just in front of lower ones – any deviations could cause shifting teeth or jaw pain.
It is also crucial that when yelping, the appropriate pressure is placed on your reeds. Just enough should be applied so they vibrate freely while not so much that it becomes hard to control or creates unrealistic noise levels.
As soon as you find the appropriate pressure for your call, practice is key to mastering it. Recording yourself will enable you to listen back and hear how it should sound so that you can identify where there may be discrepancies between what is actually being produced and your own performance.
Keep this in mind when yelping: the snapping of lips is just as essential to creating realistic sounds as calling itself. Try imitating the sound of a turkey’s beak snapping shut; this will make your calls sound more authentic and help make them more convincing.
Mouth calling doesn’t have to be difficult! With these steps and tips, you’ll soon be making bird calls like an expert in no time!
No matter where you hunt or call turkeys from – be it the woods or from a deer stand – mouth calls can be an invaluable asset in drawing big toms in close. In this F&S video from Mitchell Johnston of Dead End Game Calls he provides the basics on using mouth calls for yelping, purring and even gobbling calls to attract turkeys nearer.
Make sure your breath is coming out of your mouth
To produce quality yelps, ensure your breath comes from within your chest or diaphragm rather than from the surface of your throat. To practice this step, say the word “Chuck” several times quickly without placing the call in your mouth with teeth locked together – this will teach the correct tongue movement and air flow needed for producing an outstanding yelp when you put the call into your mouth.
Once you’ve perfected the yelp, move on to other sounds such as purring and clucking to lure turkeys closer. Additionally, try and vary your calls as much as possible for realism; hens typically yelp to communicate or attract gobblers; you should be able to produce both notes of a typical yelp: one high note followed by one lower one resembling raspy mewing noises.