Last Saturday, marked the beginning of fall turkey season. On that day, I managed to get into the woods while it was fairly dark. However, it might not have been quite dark enough, because as I was entering the woods near I was planning to hunt I spooked some large sized bird out of a tree. Whether it was a turkey or an owl I do not know, for it flew directly away from me, which caused trees to block my view of it.
After, I got settled in at the base of the tree, I tried out my slate and box call. After about an hour or so of hearing nothing I saw a squirrel, so I decided I might as well try for it. While it was sitting on a log about 50 yards away, I put the scope of my .22 magnum on it and fired. Then it jump off the log no worse for wear and hid. Soon, it reappeared and I tried another shot at it, this time though it was smarter and after scampering off it stayed hid.
Since, I had not heard any turkeys I decided to move on, after I checked for the squirrel just in case I hit it. On the other side of the woods, there there is a field so I move over there and sat awhile, but still heard nothing. Before I left for home, I walked to the end of the field and found two nice animal trails leading out of the woods to the corn in the field. As I was assessing the spot to see if I wanted to trap it, I saw that about where the trails intersected in the field, where two piles of fox manure. Not only were there two piles, but one looked a few days older that the other. Right now I have my traps set up close to my house, but once I get permission again this year to trap there, that will be a good place for a couple of sets.
Turkey season is now over, but I had a very good last day. On the morning of the last day, I walked into the woods on an ATV trail to a spot near the area where I had spent the last Saturday hunting. After almost reaching the field, I set up next to the ATV tail. Because of the short ranges of the open areas near by me, I decided not to set up my decoy.
Around 7:30 am I heard a gobble about 200 yards away, so I answered him with my mouth call. Then the next time he gobbled he sounded a little closer. As before I answered him, but when I did I heard some other sound, but it did not register in my mind what it was. Then another gobble sounded out and as I answered I heard that sound again — it was a hen, but it was between me and the gobbler! I remembered how that some times if you copy a hen it will get worked up so much that it will come in to try to find you, some times towing the gobbler in behind it. So I start calling doing just what the hen did. This cared on for quite awhile, and as time went on I started thinking how much the hen sounded like another hunter using a box call. That thought worried me, because if it was another hunter, we were probably both over calling which would scare the gobbler away. After thinking that, I quit calling and so did the hen. Awhile later I started hearing the sounds of something walking in the woods, soon two turkeys appeared. The combination of 50 yards and the thick woods made it impossible to tell if either of the turkeys had beards. A few clucks from my mouth call made the lead turkey stop in its tracks and stare me down for a minute of two, after which it just mozied on, not paying any more attention to me. They proceeded to walk past me and go behind me purring as they went
A good while after the turkeys were gone I decided to walk in the direction of were I had heard a faint gobble, I set up but never heard anything more. After walking in a big circle I came back to where had I started out in the morning. Instead of having some one pick me up in a car, I decided that with a half hour left till noon and the end of turkey season I might as well walk home. On my very hot walk (1 mile+) home I jumped one deer in the edge of the woods by a field, I did not see if it was growing any antlers or not.
Spring turkey season is now over, but I look forwards to next year with more knowledge on hunting them.
The other day I was watching a video of turkey hunting and I kept seeing the people in the video using a box call. So, I got to thinking that it would be kind of nice if I had one of those to go hunting with. After looking on eBay for awhile I got discouraged at how much money some of the calls were costing. Then I noticed that some of those guys on there were selling calls that they had made themselves. Then the thought struck me, that I do not need to buy a box call, all I needed to do was make my own.
Googling how to build a box call I found customsawing.com that sells wooden kits for making calls for $25. Well, the whole idea of building my own call was to not be spending money so the kit was not for me, but the plans for building the kit they have posted on their web site are very exact and easy to follow. To substitute for the wood in the kits I cut up an old oak skid which I got for free.
After messing around with a band saw, router, and hand saw for a few days trying to downsize the width of the wood to the proper size, I finally figured out that a wood jointer was the best available tool for the job. Next, I copied the shape of each of the parts from the plans to the wood, then cut them out on the band saw. After some sanding I glued the parts together. I bought some chalk at Wal-Mart, chalked the call up, then tried it out. At first it made horrible high pitched sounds, but then after sanding down the sides down like the plans say to I now have it sounding pretty close to what it should be. Not counting the time I spent sanding the sides down it took me a little less than a week working every afternoon on it to build the call.
Hopefully with turkey season coming up this Saturday I can find some turkeys to test the call out on!
Box call assembly directions from customsawing.com
Double sided box call plans from customsawing.com.