Preston Pittman won his first turkey-calling contest when he was only 16, and he makes the sounds with his mouth. Sadler McGraw uses the "friction" technique. He pulls a "striker" - almost like a screwdriver - across a crystal surface. It sounds for all the world like a Wild Turkey, and it won him the world championship in 2009.
Written by Ellen Blackstone
This is BirdNote!
And today on BirdNote, we have a couple of past national turkey-calling champions. [Turkey gobble]
Preston Pittman won his first turkey-calling contest when he was only 16, (pause) and he makes these sounds with his mouth. [Preston gobble] Here’s a real male turkey. [Turkey gobble] And here’s Preston. [Preston gobble] Now, see if you can tell which is which. [Turkey gobble] (pause) [Preston gobble]
You want to be careful how you use this skill. Here’s what Preston said on the David Letterman show:
“I’ve been fortunate enough to live through two hunting accidents; I’ve been shot twice."
[David Letterman:] "So authentic is your gobbling, that somebody has shot you?"
Now, here’s Alabama's Sadler McGraw. He uses the “friction” technique - you basically pull a “striker” – almost like a screwdriver – across a crystal surface that's about the size of a saucer. It sounds for all the world like a turkey, and it won him the world championship in 2009. Here’s Sadler imitating the turkey’s “cluck-and-purr” sounds. [#2] And here’s the real thing. [#3 MacL 2375]
Now, this is the “kee-kee” sound that a young tom turkey makes. [#4] And here’s Sadler McGraw’s version. [#5] Can you tell which is which? [#4 Kee-Kee call] [#5 Sadler’s call]
Visit our website, BirdNote.org, to see some hilarious videos of turkey-calling. No foolin’.
Sounds of Wild Turkey provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Gobble  recorded by G.F. Budney. Cluck and purr sounds  recorded by D.F. Shreeve. “Kee-kee” call recorded by G.A. Keller.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Dominic Black
© 2015 Tune In to Nature.org April 2017/2019 Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# turkeycall-01-2011-04-01 turkeycall-01