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The Forgotten Gobble Call

Jimmy Little

By Jimmy Little, as told to Tim H. Martin

Jimmy Little is Jackie Bushman's right hand man when it comes to calling in wise old turkeys for the video camera. As a lifelong guide in Alabama and veteran Buckmasters cameraman, Jimmy has called in far too many birds to recall them all. In short, he knows more than a thing or two about bringing in those hard-to-fool toms.

Here's what Jimmy has to say about the seemingly forgotten method of using a gobble call:

To me, the gobble call is the most underrated and underused technique for calling turkeys. It's been around a long time, but you just don't seem to see many hunters using it anymore. I've been using the gobble call since I was a kid, way back in the days when old Ben Rogers Lee used his famous gobble tube to call in birds.

Nowadays, there are several kinds of gobble calls: the old fashioned box call with a rubber band, the rubber tube call, and Flextone makes a good one you use with your mouth.

I usually consider the gobble call to be a last-resort-method if the birds won't respond to anything else. Here are three scenarios where a gobble call can be deadly:

1) All Henned Up

You've seen this before. Your gobbler gets with hens and just won't leave them no matter how sweetly you call. Try the gobble call and one of two things will happen: either the Tom will leave immediately, or he will come running to you on a dead run.

 2) Late Season Bachelor Party

Gobblers are a lot like bucks at certain times of the year. At the end of most states' turkey seasons, after the hens are bred, the Toms get back together in something akin to whitetail bachelor groups. When Toms hear a gobble, they know a buddy is nearby and come to it. The largest-bearded bird I've ever shot fell to a late season gobble call - a 13 1/2-incher!

3) Locator Call

I love to use the gobble call as an afternoon or late morning locator call. Use the gobble call to get them to answer. Or, better yet, use two gobble calls!

Check Out Our Video TipsEditor's Note: Safety First

Jimmy highly recommends you be on the lookout for other hunters if you decide to use a gobble call. It's best to let all other hunters in your area know when and where you will be hunting, and that you might be using a gobble call. It's probably a good idea not to use a gobble call on public land. There are too many variables out of your control, and you never know when an overly excited or inexperienced hunter might be nearby.

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