On the eve of my annual spring turkey addiction, I am a bit flustered.
I have misplaced my locator calls. I had four calls on a lanyard. Where they have gone I have no idea. I have looked everywhere.
For those of you who might not know, let me back up a bit. . . .
You do know Tom turkeys gobble in the spring. It is how they attract females. It is a huge reason I love spring turkey hunting. Nothing gets me going like a turkey gobble.
Of course the turkeys gobble at other turkeys and the sounds they make. A “hot” Tom might also gobble at any number of other loud noises or sounds. Some folks refer to those as “shock” gobbles.
Knowing this, spring turkey hunters often employ a variety of other calls that might elicit a turkey gobble. You cannot hunt a spring gobbler until you know where he is located.
Why not just use the turkey calls themselves? A person can and does do that, but at times you do not necessarily want to call a turkey to you until you are ready. Sometimes you just need a gobble or three so you can locate them and then move into position to call ’em in. At least that is the idea. That is the way it goes down when the plan comes together.
So, over the years there are several locator calls that I have used.
I have been known to lean on the pickup horn now and then to get a turkey to gobble. That only works if you hunt close to the pickup.
I can hoot like an owl with my own voice. I do not know if it sounds very realistic, do not really care. All I know is a turkey will gobble at it. Sometimes the owls hoot back too.
The absolute best locator call I ever heard was a sonic boom. I am old enough that I can remember a time when military jets would rocket across western Nebraska skies and exceed the sound barrier. When that happened a loud “boom” would roll across the countryside. My first morning ever turkey hunting I figured my Dad, Uncle and I would be lucky to hear a gobble or two the entire weekend. About mid-morning a sonic boom shook the ground. I will never forget the uncountable number of gobbles that replied up and down the Niobrara valley for as far as you could hear in either direction. Ever since that morning, I have been trying to figure out a way I could carry a sonic boom in my turkey vest? Does anyone have a hot-line number for the United States Air Force?
Thunder works that way too. More than once I have stayed out just a little too long because a Tom was gobbling his head off at an approaching thunderstorm. It ain’t any fun hunkering down in the rain and lightning. Come to think of it, I could use the hot-line number for Thor too.
I love listening to coyotes howl. A good coyote serenade will usually get the turkeys gobbling too. A coyote howler is on my lanyard of locator calls. Yes, I have used the howler for coyotes too, but I have to admit it has been used far more frequently for gobblers.
Crow calls are another locator call. There was a crow caller on my locator lanyard too.
On another Niobrara valley hunt, this one the middle of a warm afternoon, my Dad and I found a lone gobbler loafing around in a glen of pine trees below a steep ridge. We located that turkey because a redtail hawk was flying over him. The hawk would scream and the turkey would gobble. After a tough climb straight down and then straight back up, we were positioned on the correct ridge right above that Tom. A few soft yelps on the mouth call and he strolled right up to me. A hawk screamer call has been on my locator lanyard ever since.
The last call on my locator lanyard was a pheasant call. Spring is strut time for rooster pheasants too. At times I have seen roosters and gobblers trade cackles and gobbles back and forth. At the least, it is fun to use the pheasant call to mess around with the pheasants once in awhile.
My locator lanyard would be rotated between vests or other hunting gear as needed. I have looked through all of it, but I cannot find it. The lanyard should have been with my face mask which was located right where I expected it to be. But, no locator calls were found. I have no idea where they could be.
It is not a big deal. I can easily replace the calls, can easily get a couple to get me through the upcoming spring turkey season.
But I have to wonder what it means when a guy cannot locate his locator calls?
Surely, it does not mean I am getting old?
If you find my calls, please let me know!