In this post, we’ll discuss how to use a turkey mouth call

“Mouth calls,” which are also called “diaphragm calls” or “mouth diaphragms” are essentially air-powered musical instruments operated on the roof of the mouth. 

All mouth calls are u-shaped rubber or latex diaphragms that vibrate by forcing air across them. The downside of these types of turkey calls is the learning curve, as proper technique is required to make convincing sounds. The main challenges with a mouth call are overcoming the gag reflex and then practicing your techniques. 

Place the diaphragm call in your mouth with the latex facing out. After you overcome the natural gag reflex, position the call on the middle or back of your tongue and press the call to the roof of your mouth with your tongue. Next, force air across the call by “huffing” hot air up from your own diaphragm. This causes the reeds to vibrate. The harder you press up with your tongue, the higher pitch the sound. Alternate between higher pitch to lower pitch to make convincing calls. The “yelp” for instance, is made by alternating from high frequency to low frequency. 

How to Make a “Cluck” Sound with a Turkey Mouth Call

One of the most useful calls is the “cluck.” To make a cluck sound, simply push a single, short burst of air over the call, controlling the sound with your tongue. Try saying “hutt” as you make the sound.  

How to Make a “Purr” Sound with a Turkey Mouth Call

One of the more difficult calls to make is the “purr.” There are various techniques to try. One is to gargle at the back of the throat, using your uvula. If that doesn’t work, try to make a flutter sound with the tip of your tongue. Some people even make their lips flap for a convincing purr sound. Whatever technique or techniques work for you are the ones to use. Like with yelps and clucks, alternate your purr from high pitch to low pitch with tongue pressure and air pressure. 

How to Make a “Cutting” Sound with a Turkey Mouth Call

Cutting is another great technique. Cutting is a type of cluck, just faster and sharper sounding. This is a great way to attract a gobbler, as it creates a sense of excitement that a gobbler can’t resist. 

Just like a musical instrument, a mouth call requires practice and experimentation, and can take years to truly master. But once you know how to use a turkey mouth call, you’ll be well on your way to having successful turkey hunts every time. 

Written by Frank Erwin