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So I spent some time this weekend making turkey calls from the wing bones of the turkeys my friend and I took this year. It was

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  • So I spent some time this weekend making turkey calls from the wing bones of the turkeys my friend and I took this year. It was

    So I spent some time this weekend making turkey calls from the wing bones of the turkeys my friend and I took this year. It was really fun but they will clearly take some practice to use well. Does anyone have some experience or tips on the calling with this type of call? There are pics on my profile if anyone is interested. Many thanks. -chuckles

  • #2
    chuckles
    Nice looking calls!
    How did you prep bones?
    The smallest bone has a flat -ish end. Cut that end back very little. It leaves a "mouth piece". Once the bones have thoroughly dried, 200 or finer grit sandpaper smoothes rough edges nicely.
    I was always afraid that small, glued on ring would break or come loose and I'd lose my call. I use small rod guides and lash them in place just like on a rod.
    As far as "tips"? First one I made laid around the house three months unused. I was reading a turkey calling magazine article. It said, "...whether you're blowing on a diaphragm or sucking on a wingbone...!"!
    SUCK!? Yep! "Kiss it" to make it work!
    The smaller the bones, the better the call. I try to kill a hen in the fall season.
    Their wings make small, delicate, superb sounding calls.
    Handmade wingbone calls make wonderful gifts.

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    • #3
      Thanks FirstBubba!
      I scraped them then boiled and scraped and cut the ends off. One more boil and brushed out the marrow with a small brush. I took out the bony web in the humerus with a knife and file.
      Then I sanded them with 200 grit and gave a final polish with 0000 steel wool. I like the natural patina of the bone so I did not bleach them. I will try it on one just to see one of these days.
      I used quick set clear epoxy for the cement.
      I like the rod guide idea. This one is just for display so I am not worried about the durability of the bone ring and it looks nice to me.
      Thanks to Google and Youtube I can at least make a strangled yelp at this point using the kissing action you describe. Hopefully a hen will sound better and I will get better with practice. I can see how it would work and the experienced callers on YouTube sounded really good. I see a lot of practice in my future.
      Thanks for the kind words and the tips. I really like the idea of fooling a turkey with one of these. I am making up a half dozen with wings I have saved as gifts for the people that got me started turkey hunting. There is a hen on the list for fall turkey this year for sure.

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      • #4
        My problem with making wingbone calls is in FirstBubba's post---using a wingbone from a hen. It's illegal to kill hens here in AL, so I had to make do with a jake's wingbone and it doesn't work very well. Good luck with yours.

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        • #5
          chuckles
          My bone prep is two or three drops of dish soap in a pan of water and then boil the bones. Thoroughly "cooked", (boil about 10 minutes) I immediately scrape them clean and remove just enough of the ends of the two smaller bones to get the marrow out. I made a small "chisel" to get the webbing out of the humerus. I too love the patina of the 0000 steel wool polish.
          I use a good quality wood glue for assembly and haven't been disappointed so far.
          I've collected several toms who came to my wingbone. That adds an aspect to the hunt that's REALLY special! LOL!

          country road
          If hens aren't legal in the fall season, maybe consider talking to someone who raises turkeys. I'd just about wager they'd sell you a hen.That or pick out a small frozen turkey. I'm sure it'll still work.

          BTW! chuckles! Cup your hand around the "bell" on your call, just like you would a duck or goose call to vary pitch and tone. Two different calls will sound like two different birds.

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          • #6
            Chuckles - If you can't get a good sound out of it using how it is intended to be used, try it as a striker on one of your slates. I made one several years back, and it's the "go to" striker in my turkey vest.

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            • #7
              country road - the ones I have made so far are from jakes but am pretty sure that operator error is accounting for the poor performance to date. I will have to get my hands on bones from a hen to see what difference it makes.
              FirstBubba, what does the soap do? More than one of the sets of instructions mentioned doing that. I have been practicing a bunch and bumming my wife out but I can see how it might work at this point. The cupped hand thing does make a difference.
              Bioguy, I will have to try that too. Thanks for the tips, everyone!

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              • #8
                I'm not sure chuckles unless it's a "disinfectant" thing. It also leaves a bit of an aroma like the soap you use. GOT to smell better than rotting bones/flesh!
                I found the instructions in an outdoor mag in a doctors office. Once I got my hands on some wings, I couldn't find the article again!
                So, basically, I had to dig back through my sub conscience and drag up what I had read! LOL!
                About all I could remember was the "two or three drops of soap" and leaving the flat end of the smallest bone for a mouth piece.
                Once the call is complete, I like to scrimshaw the recipients initials somewhere on the bell end. The flat surface is easiest, but the rounded top shows up better. Scratch your design or initials into the bone with something sharp, color over everything with a black permanent marker then buff off the excess with the steel wool, leaving the etching black. Looks really nice!

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                • #9
                  Chuckles,
                  Let us know how they work. I need something to improve my odds. So far, I see most of my turkeys when I am deer hunting (about 25 in one flock), and I see the deer when I am turkey hunting. LOL

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    FirstBubba, I suppose so but mine don't smell at all. I tried to think of what it might do from a chemistry perspective but couldn't really think of anything. Even though many instructions say to use it they do not say why? I suppose it can't hurt.
                    jhjimbo I will definitely post back if I am successful using one either as a call or on the slate.
                    I always have a fall turkey tag in case one wanders by while I am after archery deer but I think I will intentionally hunt a hen this fall for the wing bones.
                    Good hunting to you both. I will be scouting bear stand locations this weekend. yaay!

                    Comment

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