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Old Turkey Calls Still Work Today Day 5: Lyle Gilbert Takes His Toughest Turkey

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Editor’s Note: Often when a new call comes to the market, turkey hunters will put away their old calls and start using the newest, latest and greatest call. 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 to be one of the  most-productive turkey calls on the market. I talked with Gilbert, who grew up chasing deer and turkeys near Livingston, Al, to learn why today he’s producing tube calls, trumpet calls and wing bone calls.

Lyle Gilbert remembers, “The toughest turkey I ever had to hunt lived on Alabama’s Oakmulgee Wildlife Management Area (WMA). I’d hunted that turkey all season long. But every time I’d get close to him, he would hush and go to a little bench on the side of a hill. I couldn’t get to him without his seeing me. On the last day of the season, I took all the mouth calls and box calls from my turkey vest and put them in my truck. I only took my trumpet call with me.

“The first time I yelped on that trumpet call, the gobbler cut me off (gobbled before I finished the call), and he came to me like he was a two-year-old gobbler and had heard the first hen yelp of the season. When I shot him, I had sort of a sad feeling. I had chased that turkey all season long, and I realized I’d never get to talk to him again. So, even though I was happy to take him, I was sad that I couldn’t play with him anymore. I’ve always felt that when using a turkey call that no one else where you hunt is probably using, you drastically increase your odds for bagging a gobbler. That’s why I’ll always have a tube call, a wing bone call and/or a trumpet call with me when I’m hunting a wild turkey.”

Why Gilbert Started Making and Using Tube Calls, Trumpet Calls and Wing Bone Calls:

“I was turkey hunting in Georgia and working a gobbler that was coming to me. Then I heard another hunter start calling to that same tom, and he killed the turkey. But I didn’t. Once the hunt was over, I went over, met him and asked him what kind of call he was using. He told me he was using a wing bone call. I got his phone number and called him and said, ‘I’ve got to have one of those calls like you used when you called that gobbler away from me.’ When he told me the price of it – $180 – I knew I had stuck my foot in my mouth. Since I already had committed to buy it, I did. I learned what it was, what it could do, and how to make it. So, that was probably the best investment I ever made. On public lands particularly, I’ve really learned how effective wing bone, tube and trumpet calls can be.”

Looking for more content? Check out our YouTube channel and watch “How to Learn to Turkey 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.


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