How to Get a Turkey into Bow Range

How to Get a Turkey into Bow Range

Posted by KLUK Custom Calls on Apr 25th 2023

Turkey Calls

As an archery hunter, you know the thrill of the hunt and the satisfaction of a successful kill. One of the most effective ways to lure a big game turkey within bow range is by using a mouth call. Not only does it allow for more precise calling, but it also frees up your hands to handle your bow and arrow and to get up to full draw painlessly. In this article, we will explore the benefits of using a mouth call for bow hunting and provide tips on how to use one effectively for a successful spring season. We will also dive into box calls and pot calls as an additional option for bow hunting turkeys. We will also introduce Kluk Custom Calls and their selection of turkey calls for bow hunting.

Archery hunter heading out of the woods after turkey hunting

Choosing the Right Call

Before you can begin calling in big game turkeys, you need to choose the right call. There are several types of turkey calls for archery bow hunting, including turkey mouth calls, box calls, and pot calls. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it's important to find the right fit and sound for your bow hunting style. Here, we'll provide an overview of each type of call and recommend some options from Kluk Custom Calls.

Diaphragm Calls / Mouth Calls

Diaphragm calls are the most popular and versatile type of turkey call. They consist of a latex or rubber reed stretched over a frame and held in the mouth, allowing for hands-free calling. Diaphragm calls require practice to master, but once you do, they can produce a wide range of realistic turkey sounds, from soft purrs to loud aggressive yelps.

When choosing a diaphragm call, it's important to find one that fits comfortably in your mouth and matches your calling style. Kluk Custom Calls offers a variety of diaphragm calls, including the ability to choose different stretch options for each mouth call. They call this a starter package. The starter package allows you to try each call in a low, medium, or high stretch. Each stretch produces a unique sound, so it's important to try each stretch out to see which stretch works best for you.

To learn more about finding the right stretch for your diaphragm call, check out their blog post "How to Find the Right Stretch for Your Turkey Mouth Call."

Box Calls

Box calls are another popular type of turkey call, especially for hunting out of a blind. They consist of a wooden box and a paddle that slides across the top, creating friction and producing turkey sounds. Box calls are easy to use and can produce loud, realistic calls, making them ideal for windy or open areas where sound can carry.

When choosing a box call, look for one that is easy to handle and produces a range of sounds. Kluk Custom Calls offers the "Poplar/Walnut Box Call," which is made of high-quality wood and produces realistic turkey sounds.

It's worth noting that box calls can be more difficult to use in a still-hunting scenario because they require more movement to produce the sound. If you're hunting turkeys out of a blind, a box call may be a better option.

Pot Calls

Pot calls consist of a round piece of slate, aluminum, or glass and a striker. To produce a sound, the striker is rubbed across the surface of the slate, creating friction and producing turkey sounds. Pot calls can produce a range of turkey sounds and are especially effective for soft, subtle calling.

Brian calling on a cherry slate kluk custom pot call hunting turkeys

When choosing a pot call, look for one that is easy to handle and produces realistic sounds. Kluk Custom Calls offers Walnut/AluminumCherry/Slate, and the Zebrawood/Glass. Each surface produces realistic sounds of the hen turkey.

It's worth noting that pot calls require more movement than diaphragm calls, as you need to hold the pot in one hand and the striker in the other. They may not be the best choice for still-hunting scenarios, but they can be effective if you are hunting from a blind.

Preparing for the Hunt

Before heading out on your turkey hunting trip, there are several important steps to take to ensure you're prepared for the hunt. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

Scout your hunting area

Before your trip, spend some time scouting your hunting area. Look for areas where turkeys are likely to be found, such as fields, wooded areas, and near water sources. Pay attention to signs of turkey activity, such as droppings and tracks, and look for areas with fresh scratch marks where turkeys have been feeding. Also, look for strut zones. This is where you will find gobbler's wing tips dragging on the ground. You can usually find strut zones where the soil is dry and dusty.

Practice with your mouth call

It's important to spend some time practicing with your call before the hunt. Start by finding the right stretch for the diaphragm call and practicing your turkey sounds. Consider using an instructional video or guide to help improve your technique. You can also find videos on YouTube that will teach you mouth call mechanics.

Choose the right archery gear

Make sure you have all the necessary archery equipment for your hunt, including your weapon of choice, camouflage clothing, and any accessories, such as a set of 60X Custom Strings, you may need. For bow and arrow specific accessories, we recommend a guillotine style broadhead if anticipating a head shot. Depending on the hunting situation, having a lighter draw weight could be significant for getting to full draw quicker. A lower draw weight will result in a smoother draw cycle and will draw less of a bird's attention. If you're using a diaphragm call, make sure to bring a backup call in case the first one gets damaged or lost.

Plan your approach and kill zone

Think carefully about how you will approach the area where you expect to find wild turkeys first. Consider the terrain, the cover available, and plan your approach accordingly. Take your time and move slowly to avoid spooking any turkeys that may be in the area.

Using the Mouth Call

Using a mouth call effectively requires some practice and patience. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your mouth call:

Practice makes perfect

The diaphragm call is one of the most popular types of turkey mouth calls, but it can take some practice to master. Look for an instructional video or guide that can help you find the right stretch for the diaphragm call and improve your technique. Kluk Custom Calls offers " STARTER PACKAGES," which helps find the best-stretched mouth call for the individual. Once you figure out what stretch works best, you can move on to other mouth calls with different cuts in the latex. Finding the perfect stretch and cut will help to sound like a real hen.

Use the right cadence

When using a mouth call, it's important to use the right cadence to imitate the sounds of a real turkey. Start with a few soft, subtle calls to get the attention of nearby turkeys, then gradually increase the volume and intensity of your calling to make the turkeys more curious. Listening to real turkeys is the best way to learn the cadence of a hen turkey.

Know when to call

Knowing when to call is just as important as how to call. In general, it's best to call sparingly and only when you know there are turkeys in the area. Too much calling can scare off turkeys, especially if they sense something isn't quite right, but every situation is different. We like to call it “taking a bird’s temperature.” This is a gauge of how much the bird is gobbling in correlation to how much you are calling.

Adapt to the situation

The type of call you use and the way you use it will depend on the situation you're in. For example, using a diaphragm call is ideal when you need to stay still and quiet, while a box or pot call may be better if you're hunting from a ground blind. Be prepared to adapt your calling strategy based on the situation you're in.

Brian using a Crying Karen from Kluk Custom Calls after a successful shot placement turkey hunting

In the Field

When you're in the field, public land or your own private strutting turkey paradise, it's important to use the mouth call in a way that's effective and won't scare off the turkeys. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Be still and patient

When you're using a diaphragm call, it's important to be still and patient. Unlike deer, turkeys have excellent eyesight and can spot movement from a long way off. Find a comfortable spot to sit and wait for the turkeys to come to you in full strut.

Blend in with your surroundings

Turkeys are wary creatures and can be easily spooked. As a good rule, make sure you blend in with your surroundings by wearing camouflage clothing and using a turkey blind if necessary. This will help you avoid detection and get closer to the turkeys for a clean bow shot. Remember to hide behind the natural cover, like a brush pile, if possible and to sit in the shadows so you have better concealment and don't draw a bird's attention.

Use different calls

Turkeys can be unpredictable, so it's a good idea to use different calls to see what works best. Try different diaphragm calls, box calls, and pot calls to see which one elicits the best response from the turkeys. Kluk Custom Calls offers a wide range of turkey calls, including the "mouth calls," " Box Calls," and "Pot Calls," all of which are designed to produce realistic turkey sounds and are made of high-quality materials. Each call can be used in certain situations. When hunting pressured turkey with a bow, we often switch to pot calls to try and sound different from other turkey hunters in the woods.

Hunting Ground Blind with Decoys

When using a hunting blind, box calls and pot calls can be great options as they require more movement to operate, which is possible within the confines of a hunting blind. Turkey hunting from a ground blind over with decoys can be one of the best options to get birds into bow range. The ability to use realistic decoys either a hen decoy or a jake decoy gives the Tom a visual that he wants to see. The visual of decoys will calm the birds and allow them to come into bow and arrow range.

It's important to note that the hunting blind can limit your visibility, so be sure to position yourself in a way that allows you to see approaching turkeys. Once you've identified a turkey in bow range, use the diaphragm call, box call, or pot call to lure it in closer for a bow shot. Remember to keep your movements slow and steady to avoid spooking the bird.

Calling Strategies

Once you've chosen the right diaphragm call and prepared for the turkey hunt, it's important to use effective calling strategies to bring turkeys into bow range. Here are some tips to consider:

Start with Soft Calls

Begin with soft calls to avoid spooking the turkey. This can include soft clucks, purrs, and yelps.

Mimicking the sound of multiple turkeys can make the gobbler think there are multiple hens, increasing the chances of it coming closer. Use different calls and sounds to create the impression of multiple hens. Once you have a gobbler's attention, soft clucks, and purrs can bring him into shooting range.

Adjust the Volume and Tone

Adjust the volume and tone of your calls based on the distance of the bird. As that strutting bird gets closer, reduce the volume of your calls to avoid scaring it away. Adjusting the tones and the types of calls you use will add realism to your calling.

Use the Right Call for the Situation

Different calls work better in different situations. For example, use soft calls when a bird is close and use louder calls to get the attention of turkeys at a distance. Experiment with different calls to see what works best in your specific hunting location. Some gobblers are looking to hear the voice of a specific hen in the area you are hunting with a bow. This is where trying different calls can pay dividends. By following these calling strategies, you can increase your chances of bringing a bird into bow and arrow range.

Nate bow hunting turkeys in the Pennsylvania spring woods


Now that you have a better understanding of how to use numerous turkey calls for archery hunting, it's time to put your skills to the test. Remember to choose the right call, prepare for the hunt, and use effective calling strategies. And if you're in the market for a quality mouth call, be sure to check out Kluk Custom Calls for a wide selection of custom turkey calls. With their expert craftsmanship and attention to detail, you'll be sure to find the perfect call to help bring that turkey into that bow range. Happy turkey hunting!

No follow up shot needed from Tristian and Kluk Custom Calls when we hunt turkeys