When it comes to turkey calls, there’s not much new under the sun. Originally, Native Americans used every part of a turkey and made sucking calls with the turkey’s wings. Later some old turkey hunters used wing bones and an occasional Turpin trumpet, but these types of turkey calls have never been as popular in the Deep South or Mississippi.
With turkeys receiving more hunting pressure each year, hunters are always on the lookout for new calls or things that give them an advantage. More than a few turkey hunters are turning to wing bones and trumpets to give them a bit of an edge. While wingbones and trumpets are surely different, they’re not the easiest calls to master. However, when you learn to call on one of these suck-type calls, you can do things you never imagined.
Jeffrey Wood learned how to make wing bones from a veteran in Tennessee and Wood makes wing bones that are unlike most but very unique and deadly. His wing bones are slightly longer than most wing bones and are cut differently at the end, giving them a different sound.
If you’re not familiar with how to call turkeys with a wing bone, it’s unusual that you actually suck air into and through the wing bone to make turkey calls. Traditional mouth calls and snuffbox calls go out. Mastering the wing bone is not the easiest and takes a lot of practice, but if you learn to master the song, you can imitate various turkeys, from young hens to jake gobblers, mature gobblers and rough hens in the same sucking song.
It’s amazing to see pros like Swamp Boys’ Jeffrey Wood make wing bones sing. He can really get them talking and he does a few for the public every year.
“I started doing Wing Bones a few years ago after meeting an old mountain man in Tennessee while we were squirrel hunting,” Wood said. “I make my calls a little different as I cut the end off at an angle that allows you to put your finger over the end and cup your other hand and make a two-note howl like a turkey when you suck. You actually make a sound chamber with your hands, and it gives you that turkey sound.”
The Turpin brothers made the first popular trumpets, a favorite of many trumpet lovers, back in the late 1800’s and are still produced today by Steve Turpin of Memphis.
Trumpets are made from different types of woods, and they are also beautiful and deadly. Some are made from cane and Brandon’s Lee Steed makes a great cane call if you can get your hands on one. Steed’s baton calls are made in the style of the trumpet and are easy to play.
Mark Prudhomme is a 17-time world champion turkey caller who had to learn to use a trumpet in his competitions, so he eventually made his own to suit his hunting style. Prudhomme uses the call in the spring woods to mimic a flock of turkeys and will release some young hens kee kees, the hens’ hoarse purr and cluck and will also use a gobbler’s howl as well as a jake’s howl to convince the stubborn stubborn old that Forward. He is an expert in playing his style of trumpet and if he has the opportunity to attend one of his seminars, he will be at the forefront.
If you would like to learn a little more about where the wing bones come from and how to play them, call Jeffrey Wood at 601-479-3979 and he will give you some tips and information on his calling techniques.
Call Mike Giles at 601-917-3898 or email [email protected].