This year’s turkey hunt has brought with it many changes and learning experiences for me. One thing I truly enjoy about hunting, not just turkey but any type of wild game, is that it is a continuous learning experience. There are always different situations and scenarios that occur which are completely new to us as hunters. Reacting to these scenarios and learning what to do or maybe what not to do next time is all part of the hunt. This year I tried a different method of calling turkeys. I purchased a slate call and so began a new learning experience.
For the majority of my turkey hunting career I have hunted using mouth calls as my main tool for calling in my targeted harvest. The mouth call was introduced to me from the get go of t
urkey hunting and I always enjoyed being able to create the sounds and calls of wild turkeys straight from my mouth. Using mouth calls always allowed for my hands to be free so I was always able to have my shotgun at hand and ready to be in a shooting position with little or no movement. This seemed very important to me as I learned early on about the keenness of a wild turkey’s eyesight. I enjoyed trying different brands, types and designs of mouth calls and found it quite easy to practice and learn the different sounds which could be created from this type of call.
This year however, I was convinced by my father to try a slate call. He had recently purchased his own slate call and was quite excited for me to hear the sounds which it offered. The call he had purchased was from a custom- made line which was sold at a local hunting/fish store. After listening to the sounds from the slate call and recognizing how closely the call could imitate the sounds of real turkeys, I was immediately impressed. Shortly after I drove down to the local store and purchased my own custom made, double sided slate call and began practicing.
I find the slate call quite easy to use and am truly impressed with how realistic the sounds are that resonate from the call. Using the slate call does require some adjustment in the steps taken while hunting. You have to make sure you are able to stealthily put down the call and then bring your gun into position without alerting nearby birds.
I enjoyed using the slate call this spring and began using it more and more frequently. There are still many situations however, where I prefer having my hands free from a call and I revert back to using my mouth call. Using the slate call has made for some exciting experiences this hunting season and I quite enjoy watching how the birds react to the different sounds made by the call.