Talkin’ Turkey: Typical Behaviors


Look at beard hanging from chest!

Look at beard hanging from chest!


To be successful, hunters need to understand the behavior of the wild turkey.

Don’t let this bird out-psyche you! Remember, he has a brain the size of a walnut.

Maybe, with lots of repetition, you might even start to believe it!

Talkin’ Turkey

These fine feathered fowl don’t have a morsel of curiosity in their entire beings! If they become concerned about a sound, they leave — immediately.

Turkeys have sharp eyes and big mouths. It’s the big mouth that usually lands him/her on your dinner table.

I believe turkeys were the ones that created “Twitter” — they are very social and want everyone to know what they are doing. 😉

Turkey Calls

Our fine friends make a variety of noises that are understood by their companions. Let’s talk about a few of the basic ones.

Yelp – An important sound, especially during spring turkey hunts. Both gobblers and hens yelp; in the spring, hens use the yelp to attract the guys.

Tree Yelp or Call – This call comes from the hen while she’s still roosted.  Hunters use this call early in the morning. It is not really different from the regular yelp; however, it is a softer call.

Kee-Kee – This is a favorite of the juveniles and is also known as a whistle. Although mostly heard in the fall, hunters often use it successfully to lure a ‘big boy’ in the spring!

Clucks – All turkeys cluck; they just vary the tone and loudness. This is known as social chit-chat and a great way to call another turkey.

Cackle – Hens are the masters of this call and they use it while flying up and down from a roost. This is a difficult one to do well; most hunters learn the cutt call instead. Hens use this call when they are on the ground

All turkeys  purr. The sound is soft and shows contentment.

Alarm Putt – At the first sign of danger, this is the call a turkey uses to warn others.

Lend Me Your Ears!

I didn’t waste time describing the sounds of each of these because I have something better.  The National Wild Turkey Federation has a site complete – with sound effects. Take a listen here:


Come back for more exciting revelations about this beautiful, sneaky bird!  

Coming up: Mating Behaviors, Things a Hunter can do Preseason, Jakes and Hens: Should You or Shouldn’t You Shoot Them?


This blog is a companion to my website:

Published in: on January 14, 2009 at 7:38 am  Comments Off on Talkin’ Turkey: Typical Behaviors  
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