In the game of hunting, the smallest details can make the biggest difference. From preparing beforehand, to the moment you take the shot, there’s so much time and effort that goes into that split-second moment. Giving yourself any sort of slight advantage can greatly increase your chances of a successful hunt, instead of going home empty-handed without even seeing any birds out in the field.

When it comes to turkey hunting, a turkey call can be that one detail that gets you over the hump to help you reap the rewards of the hunt. 

There are quite a few different types and variations of turkey calls out there to choose from and their uses can range from subtle purrs, to thunderous and louder gobbles. Turkey calls help you speak the “language” of turkey, drawing them in, making your life just a little bit easier when it comes to hunting. 

Let’s take a look at the different types of turkey calls, and how they differ from their counterparts.

Push-Button Calls

H.S. Strut Push Button Yelper

Out of all the turkey calls out there, push-button calls have earned a reputation as the beginner-level call. While they are the easiest to use, with their functionality being just a button that you press, they are still effective for anyone to use and have their benefits. In public hunting areas, a lot of hunters will be using more sophisticated calls, and as the turkeys hear those calls more, they may begin to tune them out. A more simplified sound from a push-button call could be what grabs their attention and lures them to your area.

Push-button calls get their sound from the friction of two wood pieces that rub together once the button is pressed. You can create different patterns and levels of sound, depending on how hard or fast you press down on the button.

Box Calls

Foxpro Sweet Box Turkey Call

Box calls are another type of turkey call that are easy enough for beginners to use, while also being versatile enough for veteran hunters to use as well. In fact, many pro hunters claim box calls as their go-to call when they are out in the field. While they can easily create simple, high-quality sounds, a little experience and know-how can get even more use out of your box call.

With box calls, you can master different movements that will create unique sounds that turkeys will have a very hard time resisting. These can take some time to learn though, so don’t beat yourself up if you have a tough time mastering these variations. Once you do learn them, you’ll be golden when it comes to your turkey-calling game.

Most box calls are made with wood, however some are made in a weather-resistant metal frame. The metal ones stand the test of time with their durability, while also delivering an even more crisp sound for the birds. Using friction from the thin box and lid scraping together, wooden or metal box calls create yelps, clucks, cuts, purrs, and many more turkey sounds.

Locator Calls

Strut Commander Turkey Locator Call

Next up is one of those calls that every hunter should have on them when in the field, regardless of whatever your main turkey call is; the locator call. Locator calls don’t make turkey sounds, but instead imitate other birds like crows, owls, and woodpeckers, so that turkeys will hear them and continue with their business. It tricks them into thinking that they are surrounded by other birds, not hunters.

Turkeys will often respond to a locator call with a gobble, which helps you determine exactly where they are, without you moving around and disturbing the area. When using a locator call, it’s important to ensure that you’re in a good position yourself, because you don’t want to be spotted by the turkey and give yourself up.

Slate Calls (Pot Calls)

Final Roost Aluminum Pot Call

Slate calls (also known as Pot Calls) are a two-handed friction-based turkey call that can create a wide variety of turkey sounds. These calls feature a round disc, usually made of slate, ceramic, glass, or wood that you produce sound with by rubbing the striker on the disc with different pressure.

Slate calls can be extremely versatile to use, with a wide range of sounds you can make with them. You can create different sounds based on what material your call is, and how you operate the striker on the call. Your personal repertoire is the only thing holding you back from a huge range of mellow, raspy or crisp yelps, clucks, and purrs. The more you learn how to use a slate call, the greater your range will be.

The big drawback to slate calls would be that they require two hands for use. This makes them a little less convenient for close-range hunters, as every second counts when your game is tracking closely to you. You don’t want to be trying to fumble around and miss your chance at a shot trying to set your call down.

Diaphragm Calls

Woodhaven Ninja Turkey Diaphragm Calls

Last, but definitely not least is the Diaphragm Call. These calls usually require a higher skill level and take some time to master but if you are able to, they are a very useful call to use.

Diaphragm calls are smaller, mouth-shaped calls that you blow into, causing the reed to vibrate within, creating the sound. Since they are used with your mouth, and activated with air pressure, they are a hands-free call. That’s what sets them apart from others, since you are able to keep your hands on your weapon, while continuing to use the call until the moment you decide to fire.

As mentioned, these aren’t the easiest calls to master, and they take a lot of trial and error to get the right rhythm down. It’s best to play around with your call before you head out and try different cadences and pressures to create different sounds. These have a big learning curve to really nail the sounds, but once you do, you’ll get great results.

There are a lot of diaphragm calls out there, so you’ll need to shop around and find one that fits your mouth comfortably. You won’t want to be stuck with one that loses you an advantage because it doesn’t fit properly for you to create sounds.

Each different type of turkey call has its own benefits and features, but at the end of the day it’s all about what you prefer and what you’re comfortable with. If you want to achieve success when out turkey hunting, choose the one that you like best and stick with it. Once you master your turkey call, you’ll be creating purrs and clucks that even the strongest turkeys won’t be able to resist.

You can view our huge selection of turkey calls and turkey hunting gear online at, or in store at Fleet Farm near you.