Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

I'd like to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving. I'm very thankful to have you here to share my ramblings in the field. Please don't drink and drive or let anyone else either.

I usually venture out every Thanksgiving for a quick hunt and this year had no joy in the local San Bernardino National Forest . This was a small Merriam's hen I shot with my shotgun in the Kaibab National Forest AZ in 2001 during a November hunt.

I'll be heading out this weekend one more time to try and lure in a turkey bird. I actually like hunting turkeys almost better in the fall than the spring. There are less hunters out and not quite the pressure. The turkeys are usually bunched up and more vocal than in the spring in my opinion. Plus you can shoot a hen or tom so your chances of potting one are higher.

I like taking small hens, called "Jennies", in the fall so I can make use of their wingbones for making wingbone yelper calls. The smaller hen bones make a higher pitched sound then the bigger tom turkey wingbones. Here's an example of a wingbone yelper made by my buddy Jim Groenier from Wisconsin.

Native Americans have used wingbone yelpers since as early as 6500 B.C. The first wingbone design of the Native Americans used just the radius bone or mouthpiece of today's designs. In the late 1800's, a call maker named Charles Jordon helped the wingbone yelpers gain popularity with hunters by mass producing the yelpers. Hunters later added cane or the humerus or ulna wingbones to make a new style of 2 bone call. At the turn of the 20th century, callmakers started using trumpet-like bells made of cow horns or wood to make the 3 section calls we know today. Some refer to these trumpet wingbone yelpers as "Turpin" calls. If you'd like to learn how to make a wingbone yelper call click here.

If you're headed out, good luck on pulling a sneak on a fall bird. Let us know how you do by dropping by our Turkey Hunting Forum.

P.S. We're also have a Fall Turkey Hunt Pic Contest on the Turkey Forum. It's here
The winner will receive a nice custom JHO glass call made by Gene's Custom Turkey Calls.