John’s Note: Avid outdoorsman Jerry Lambert of Battle Creek, Michigan, has been hunting turkeys for almost two decades and has been a Mossy Oak (www.mossyoak.com) Pro Staffer for 8 years.
I’m often asked, “Why do you still use the push button call?” I use the push button call quite a bit, because it’s really easy to use. All you have to do is push the button, and the little box will make a yelp. My push button call has a really-raspy yelp. Too, making a bad call with the push button is difficult. Most turkey hunters, especially veteran turkey hunters, don’t or won’t use the push button call. They think it’s too simple or easy to use to call in gobblers. This little call also has its own unique sound. I feel like many gobblers haven’t heard calls coming from a push button caller, and perhaps that’s why toms respond.
I don’t use any diaphragm turkey calls, because I just don’t feel like I have the talent to blow those type calls. Besides the push button call, I like a slate call, a glass call and a box call. My theory on calls is: if the calls are working, why change? I’ve been very successful calling in turkeys with friction calls. I’m a little bit of a maverick also. If you’re going to call in a gobbler, most turkey hunters believe you have to use a diaphragm call. But I don’t like to do what someone tells me to do. I’ve proven to myself that I can call in a gobbler with friction calls without having to use a diaphragm call.
I just talked last year with Michigan’s President of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Tony Snyder. He makes a handmade wing bone call, and I hope to learn to use that call soon. Once I totally depended on my push button call to call in gobblers. But recently, I’ve been using my slate call. Right now, I use the slate call more frequently than I do the push button call. I started my turkey hunting career with two calls – a push button call and a box call, since I think they’re the easiest to learn how to use and call in a turkey. On windy days or when the turkey is gobbling a long ways from me, I’ll use the box call, because the box call can produce a loud yelp or cluck that cuts through the wind and reaches out a long way to speak to a gobbler. However, I’ve harvested the most turkeys with my push button call.
I really like to take other people hunting with me and share the sport of turkey hunting. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I go on the youth hunts every year and try to guide youngsters to their first turkeys. I’ve also taken my brother and several other people turkey hunting. I’m taking my 15-year-old daughter Lindsey with me. When I asked if she would like to go turkey hunting with me, she told me, “Yes.” I asked her, “Why would you go turkey hunting with me, but you wouldn’t go deer hunting with me?” She came out with a really funny answer. She said, “I don’t want to go deer hunting, because deer look too much like pets after they’ve been harvested. I don’t really mind turkeys being dead, so I’ll go.” She shoots a Remington 12 gauge. She’s already patterned the gun and is accustomed to shooting it.
To learn more about turkey hunting from the masters, get these Kindle eBooks and print books by John E. Phillips, including: “The Turkey Hunter’s Bible (available as an eBook or in paperback),” “PhD Gobblers: How to Hunt the Smartest Turkeys in the World,” “Turkey Hunting Tactics,” (also available in an audio book from http://www.audible.com/pd/Self-Development/Turkey-Hunting-Tactics), “How to Hunt Turkeys with World Champion Preston Pittman,” “The 10 Sins of Turkey Hunting with Preston Pittman” and “Outdoor Life’s Complete Turkey Hunting.” Click here to get these books.
To get John’s book, “The Turkey Gobbler Getter Manual,” for free, go to www.johninthewild.com/free-books to download.