One of the questions I am asked most often when it comes to turkey hunting is: How do you make your own turkey call?
Learning how to make a home-made turkey call is a great way to help extend your turkey hunting obsession into a year round hobby. Testing and tuning your call as you build it will quickly fill your workshop with the sounds and memories of turkey season. Although making a homemade turkey call isn't nearly as exciting as talking to a gobbler with your gun at your side, it is a rewarding feeling to harvesting a huge gobbler with the help of a call made with your own hands. A well made homemade turkey call can also become a family heirloom that your kids and grand kids will cherish.
The box call is perhaps one of the easiest calls to make at home. The key to a good box call is very dry wood. (Hint to hunters it is also important to keep your call dry in the woods). Hardwoods with tight grains will give your homemade call the best tones. One excellent source of wood for a turkey call is old furniture. Old furniture is typically very dry and in the good old days furniture. Old furniture made of Oak, mahogany or maple all are excellent choices. If you don't have any old furniture that can be turned into a home-made turkey call check with your local thrift store or even land fill. One of the best calls I ever created was made from a old table I found at the landfill. Old cabinets also make great turkey calls.
Once you find your wood you will need a bandsaw to cut the wood with the grain into strips 1/4 inch thick.
Now that you have prepared the wood to make your call, the actual construction of your homemade box call is fairly simple. A lot of plans on the internet call for the call maker to cut slots in the bottom of the call to join the sides, but with the quality wood glues on the market today this is a unnecessary step and really only adds to the call aesthetically.
Once you have your wood cut into strips print out our homemade box call pattern sheet and cut out the patterns. Trace the patterns onto your blocks of wood and cut them to shape. When you have completed all your cutting you should have 6 pieces of wood that look like the drawing on the right. Use a belt sander to shape your paddle and give it the rounded bottom.
Glue the ends and sides together into a box and then assemble the paddle to the top of the call with a wood screw and a small spring (the spring supplies tension to the paddle as you move the paddle to generate turkey sounds.
Making a Turtle Shell Turkey Call- Some cool instructions on how to make a slate call from a turtle shell from our friends at the NWTF
Making a Wingbone Turkey Mouth Call- Makeing a mouth call for turkeys was never so easy. Here is another great tutorial from the NWTF. Winboe Turkey Mouth Calls are sometimes also called suction turkey calls.
Here is a video on makeing a turkey call:
In this video John Boley demonstrates how to call a turkey without a conventional turkey call. Results may vary from state to state.
Turkey Call Made From A Rubber Glove & Pill Bottle
Homemade Turkey Wing Bone Call
Making A Turkey Box Call At Home
What's the most common mistake new turkey hunters make when calling birds?- "Overcalling with out a doubt. Guys I hunt with may hear me call a lot, but only if that's what a particular bird wants." - Matt Van Cise 2006 NWTF Grand Champion Caller