Turkey Hunting: Where You At?

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The sport of turkey hunting is one that is centered on gear.   We begin each turkey season with our turkey vests slam packed full of gear that we feel will make us a successful hunter.  Looking like a walking sporting goods store, our obsession with gear rivals our love for the sport itself.  The hunters that enter the woods armed with nothing more than a suit of Mossy Oak, a shotgun, and a mouth call are certainly in the minority these days, and many of their gear-laden fellow hunters chide these basic hunters and assure them they will not be successful if they do not have the latest and greatest gear.

While turkeys can still be killed in this simple fashion, having quality gear can impact a hunters’ success in the spring woods.  One category of gear that certainly has a place in every turkey hunters’ arsenal is quality locator calls.   While most hunters have at a minimum the tried and true owl and crow calls (if they cannot replicate these calls with their natural voice), some hunters also employ calls such as a wood duck call or a coyote howler in their attempts to get a turkey to sound off.  The bottom line is that locators are crucial pieces of equipment because they can get a turkey to shock gobble and give away their location, allowing hunters the ability to target the best place to set up without having that turkey approach them as they move into position.

Harold Knight is a man that needs no introduction among the turkey hunting community.  A true legend of the spring woods, Knight has had the same impact on the sport of turkey hunting that Vince Lombardi and Jack Nicklaus have had on their respective sports.  If you have watched his companies’ Ultimate Spring video series as faithfully as the crew at Wild Turkey Report has, you know that Knight and hunting partner David Hale lean heavily on locator calls to pinpoint spring gobblers.

Knight recalls the first time he gave a seminar in upstate New York and gave a demonstration on using an owl call as a locator.  “There was a lady sitting in the crowd who was quite perplexed when I began hooting like an owl,” laughs Knight.  “I had to explain to her that when you use an owl hooter in the turkey woods, you are trying to get a turkey to shock gobble so you can pinpoint his position, not call in owls.”

Knight said that the key to being successful while using locators is to consider what part of the country you are in and be diverse in the offering you give turkeys.  “The owl hooter is a favorite call of mine because it tends to work throughout much of the country.  Crow calls are the same way.  I like to be diverse in the calls I use and am willing to try different calls to find one that will get a gobbler to sound off.  Sometimes off-beat calls such as a coyote howler, a wood duck call, or even a goose call are effective in getting a turkey to gobble that wouldn’t gobble at some of the more common locators.  But if I had to pick one call to use when I am trying to raise a gobble, I would go with loud cutting from a two-reed mouth diaphragm.  That seems to be the most effective tactic from what I have experienced.”

Knight and Hale raises bar on locators for spring 2012

Given Harold Knight’s affinity for locators, it should come as no surprise to see the company that bear his and longtime partner David Hale’s names rolling out two new locators just in time for the 2012 spring turkey season.  The Knight Owl is a barred owl locator that is built out of aluminum, giving the call louder, crisper sounds than those produced by plastic or wood-made calls.  Also new for 2012 is the Hale Damage crow call, which like the Knight Owl, is made out of aluminum, which will give you the volume and pitch needed on those windy days or when you are wanting to strike a turkey from long distances.

For more information on Knight and Hale Game Calls, visit their website at www.knightandhale.com!
Wild Turkey Report Staff
Wild Turkey Report is the internet's new destination for information on the sport of turkey hunting. Follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wildturkeyreport and on Twitter @wildturkeyreprt!
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