Calling involves imitating the vocalization made by female birds during the breeding season. A wide range of sounds are made by hens, and with practice, a hunter should be able to repeat them all. Knowing when to make which call is another part of the challenge that becomes honed with experience. However, a number of audio and videotapes are available to assist those with a desire to learn different calls and when to use them.
One of the most interesting things about turkey calling is that a certain device or vocalization may work perfectly one day but not the next. For this reason, veteran hunters often carry more than one kind of call. Also, they remain versatile for the duration of the hunt, changing the sounds they make until they find one that works.
Occasionally a hunter will hear success stories involving calls made from turkey wing bones, empty snuff boxes, and even drinking straws but most of the calls utilized by modern hunters are commercially made. These calls are widely available through sporting goods stores and catalogs.
Commercial turkey calls may be divided into a number of basic types and each may have its own advantages and disadvantages. A rundown of the most popular calls follows.