Do Gobblers Cluck?

CalTurkey

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Last year my long-time friend invited me up to Oregon on Thanskgiving weekend for fall turkey. No birds, just signs, not even sounds. Being born and raised in So Cal, being in the woods for the first time was awesome and I was hooked.

This year, I bought my own gear, gun, researched and hit the field in the San Bernardino NF. This is a high presure area for wildlife. Quads and 4X4's running most of the day. I found the birds shut down around 8 AM. Everytime out I had birds responding to calls. However, other than one long distance gobble, I have only heard only clucks, yelps and putts (late in the day). I know there has to be males out there.

I went back to Oregon this year and heard loud gobbling in the trees all around the valley we were hunting. We picked an area and a target Tom flew down, he did not come into range. Again no trophy, but another great weekend in the woods.

The last weekend of California shotgun season, I went back to a new spot in the SBNF on suggestion of a Ranger and called in a bird three times. The first time was blown by a blue jay, the second who knows, the third time again who knows? I think the problem was a bad setup where there was too much brush and the bird would not come into range. Later I found tracks and signs of dirt being turned up to feed, within 20 yards. Another failed try, but getting better.

This bird only clucked while responding to yelps and purrs. From what I can tell, these birds to not make much noise due to the amount of traffic. Here's the question; do males cluck or am I calling in hens?
 



spectr17

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Yup, toms and jakes cluck just like hens do. A cluck is a "pssst, where you at?" in turkey language. YOu have to answer with a cluck or call back or they get nervous since they are expectin to see another turkey they heard callin. They use it in close to make contact.

A cluck sounds just like a putt. The only way to tell the difference is if they are comin or goin.

This year I had a gobbler come in behind me off my right shoulder real close before he clucked. He was on me before I could get the gun up and he was fast walkin and never stopped to look around. He got out past 40 yards before I could move. I clucked back to him but he didn't like the fact it was pretty open where the call was coming from and he didn't see a hen.
 

CalTurkey

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I've figured out that clucks and putts are very similar. Like you said, it's the direction they are heading when making the sound.

One time I was out with my 9 year old son, a bird came over a ridge on the east and the sound was like a road runner cartoon. That sound was a definite, oh sh!! and the bird ran. We setup a blind 3/4's of the way around us, as I did not expect a bird to come from an open prarie or over a ridge. That being said, the bird came over the ridge within 10 yards and it was over.

I'm beginning to think turkeys are like Big Foot, you hear of them, maybe see signs, but an actual sighting is rare.
 

skeeterbait

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I would like to see clucks and putts played through a sound meter. I bet there is a consistant difference but we can't hear it.

Yes, gobblers yelp, purr, cluck, putt, cut and cackle. Generally deeper sounding than a hen.
 

ilovesprig

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My experience has been when I hear a loud cluck, it's an alarm putt. Softer clucks or putts (a little sharper) are when longbeards are nervous about something. It happened last week-end. 3 toms came in, but at 40 yds they saw something they didn't exactly like. No loud alarm putts, but soft clucks (putts) and a change in direction (more paralell instead of straight in). Also, the loudest yelps have always been jakes.
 

chompot

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Cal Turk.... It is good you are even seeing birds in the SBNF. Good job, keep at it next year they will be all yours....
 


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