One Call Away
The Winchester Life crew welcomes wild turkey season in Michigan. Locked and loaded with Winchester, the group splits up across the timber. It’s a quiet morning for Casey Keefer, Nikki Boxler and Taylor Drury. Chris Keefer and friend Shad Woodruff accompany Paul Sawyer, who warms up his Winchester and watches the feathers fall.
Spring. A season where the senses are heightened.
The colors are brighter.
The air is fresher.
The sounds are louder…a cacophony of change.
While a multitude of birds join in as a collective chorus, this spring symphony is incomplete without the sound of one bird in particular: the call of the wild turkey.
Throaty gobbles are authentic attempts made by strutting toms looking for love. But other calls? These are the makeshift sounds by outdoorsmen looking for luck during the spring wild turkey season.
To lure in a proud tom itching to show off his fan of feathers, hunters utilize a variety of turkey calls. There are several options out there: push button calls, box calls, slate calls, diaphragm calls all capable of producing alluring cutts, purrs, clucks and yelps that most gobblers can’t resist.
But the original turkey call is known as the wingbone turkey call. Made of—you guessed it—a turkey wingbone. The three bone pieces are boiled, before the marrow is removed. The remaining pieces are then cut, ground, sanded and glued to create the finished call.
The wingbone call is not typically found in most stores. But the craft of creating a wingbone call remains a nostalgic hobby for some that adds to the allure of the turkey hunt experience.
Outdoorsmen who make their own wingbone calls say it is a great way to pay homage to the history of wild turkey hunting. It also helps pass the time during those long winter months, as hunters wait with anticipation for the sounds of spring to return once more.