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Old Turkey Calls Still Work Today Day 2: Turkeys Respond to Houndstooth Tube Calls 

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Editor’s Note: When a new call comes to the market, turkey hunters will put away their old calls and start using the newest, latest, and greatest calls. However, old turkey calls are just as effective, if not more effective, today than they were in the past. Such is the case with the turkey tube call, the wing bone call, and the trumpet call. I met Lyle Gilbert of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a forester, a turkey-hunting guide since the mid-1990s, and the creator and owner of Houndstooth Game Calls when I saw him blowing a tube call at a turkey showcase. Years ago, the tube call was considered one of the most productive turkey calls on the market. However, since using a tube call isn’t as easy as a push button call, a box call, and/or a friction call, it’s not blown much anymore. I talked with Gilbert, who grew up chasing deer and turkeys near Livingston, Al, to learn why he’s producing tube, trumpet, and wing bone calls today.

According to Lyle Gilbert, “I own Houndstooth Game Calls. One of the turkey calls we make is the tube call, a very versatile game call that requires some tuning and practicing with several different types of reeds. I practice with different thicknesses of reeds, like 4/1000, 3/1000, and others, which all allow you to get different turkey sounds. You can also put different types of cuts in the reeds to make the call sound even more different yet very much like the wild turkey.

“The tube call will produce raspy yelps, clear yelps, and kee runs, and you can gobble with it. One of the big advantages to the turkey hunter who starts learning to use the tube call is that he can blow a call that the turkeys he’s hunting probably haven’t heard because many hunters have never learned to blow one. As we all know, turkeys gobble to new and different sounds and gobble to the same sound that all the other turkey hunters use. I think one of the reasons that the tube call seems to have faded into obscurity is because it requires a strong learning curve. Thankfully, the good Lord has given us the summertime and the fall so we can practice turkey calling and learn new and better ways to call these birds. Then we’re ready to go into the turkey woods and take gobblers with new sounds and techniques.

“I’m often asked, ‘What makes the tube call so difficult?’ I think learning the mechanics of the call – how and where to put your lips on the call and how to draw the air across the call can be difficult. However, if you go to YouTube, where there are so many helpful videos that can teach you how to blow the tube call, the learning curve is much easier and faster than it has been in the past. With YouTube, you can see and hear how to blow the tube call instead of having to read and not see the mechanics of using this call.

“The tube call was originally named the ‘snuff can’ call because turkey hunters from years ago would cut out the bottom of a snuff can, cut out half the lid of a snuff can, and then stretch latex across the open end of the snuff can call turkeys. However, in the evolution of the snuff can call, instead of using a snuff can, manufacturers began to make a plastic device that gave the same or better sound than a snuff can did. We have some YouTube videos on our webpage, Houndstooth Game Calls, and with those videos, we teach the viewer how to put the reed on the tube call and tune the call. We are always creating new YouTube videos on how to call better with all of our Houndstooth Game Calls.”

Looking for more content? Check out our YouTube channel and watch “My Most Memorable Hunt” by John E. Phillips.

Check out John E. Phillips’ 12th book: “Turkeys: Today’s Tactics for Longbeards Tomorrow

  • hunting strategies with pros Will Primos, David Hale, Eddie Salter, Preston Pittman, Allen Jenkins, Terry Rohm, Paul Butski, Larry Norton and others.
  • information about taking turkeys with .410 shotguns.
  • box-call techniques.
  • strategies for moving on turkeys.
  • ways to hunt public-land gobblers.
  • the differences in calling and hunting Eastern, Osceola and Western turkeys.
  • the latest research on turkeys; and other information.

Click here to check out John’s 12th turkey book.

Expert Guidebooks on Turkey Hunting: Best Sellers

Turkey Hunting Tactics
This turkey hunting audiobook has entertaining chapters like: “How to Miss a Turkey”, “Hunting with a Guide”, and “The Turkey and the New York Lady”.

You’ll learn about all the subspecies of turkey across North America, how to use a turkey call, how to scout before turkey season, how to find a turkey to hunt, and what hunting gear you’ll need to put the odds in your favor to take a wily gobbler.


How to Hunt Turkeys with World Champion Preston Pittman
You easily can take a turkey if you don’t make any mistakes, but you have to know what the deadly sins of turkey hunting are to keep you from making those mistakes. If you understand how to hunt a turkey, you’re far more likely to take a gobbler than if you just know how to call a turkey.

Of course, calling is important, and if you want to learn to call a turkey, Preston Pittman will teach you how to call turkeys with box calls, friction calls, diaphragm calls, and other turkey sounds.

You’ll also learn why Preston Pittman once put turkey manure all over his body to kill a tough tom.

When you have turkeys that strut and drum in the middle of a field, when you know there’s no way to get close enough to get a shot, Pittman will show you some weird tactics that have worked for him to help you hunt tough ole toms.

But the main thing you’ll learn in this book is how to become the turkey.

Using what he’s learned while hunting wild turkeys, he’s also become a master woodsman who can take most game, regardless of where he hunts. To learn more secrets about how to be a turkey hunter from one of the world champions of the sport, this turkey-hunting book with Preston Pittman is a must.


The Turkey Hunting Guides’ Bible
The quickest way to learn how to turkey hunt successfully is to either hunt with a turkey hunter with years of experience or a turkey-hunting guide. These two types of turkey hunters have solved most of the problems turkey hunters ever will face. 

Just as one size of shoes won’t fit every person, one style of turkey hunting doesn’t fit each hunter.  Each turkey-hunting guide interviewed for this book has his own style of calling, hunting, and outsmarting turkeys.  

While listening to this book, make a list of the new information you’ve learned, take that list with you during turkey season, and try some of the new tactics. Then you’ll become a more versatile turkey hunter and prove the wisdom from The Turkey Hunting Guides’ Bible.   


Outdoor Life’s Complete Turkey Hunting (2nd Edition)
This Audible book will help you learn how to call turkeys with two of the nation’s best, longtime and well-known turkey callers, Rob Keck, formerly with the National Wild Turkey Federation, and Lovett Williams, a wildlife biologist who recorded wild turkeys giving the calls that you’ll learn how to make on various types of turkey callers.


Tomorrow: Wing Bone and Trumpet Calls for Turkeys

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