Skip to main content

Turkey Hunting Calls: Fake a Jake

At the right time and place, a jake call can bring in gobblers fast.

Turkey Hunting Calls: Fake a Jake

Mature toms do not like the idea of jakes breeding 'their' hens. A jake gobble used judiciously can lead to a quick response. (Photo by Terry Madewell)

When I'mpaying attention in the turkey woods I'll learn good stuff on nearly every hunt. Often those lessons occur in strange ways.

I was snuggled in tight to a big white oak, shrouded in shade and shielded with leafy cover. I conjured a mental image of an old longbeard strutting into the small woods opening I was watching at some point that morning.

But the gobbler I'd roosted the evening before had not responded to any of the plethora of calls I'd made. But I'd learned the value of patience and a few minutes later I caught movement and I though the old bird had approached in stealth mode.

But it was a jake that slipped in quietly. At 15 yards from my position he stopped, upped his periscope neck and swiveled it looking for a hen he'd heard but couldn't see.


Then he took his best shot at gobbling.


I felt embarrassed for the young bird. It was a horrendous attempt based on a mature gobbler's sound. I'm glad I witnessed it because I may not have identified it as a gobble had I not seen it.

But a series of events unfolded that forever changed my turkey hunting life. I heard a thundering gobble far off and from the direction of the bird I'd roosted the previous evening.

Several seconds later the jake gobbled again and this time the mature gobbler hammered a response that cut off the young bird's gobble. Moments later I saw the adult bird at about the same moment he saw the jake. The longbeard quick-stepped straight to the jake, stopped, double-gobbled and popped into full strut.

At this point I snapped back into the reality of the moment and shot the longbeard.




That's the day I added the jake gobble to my arsenal of calls. It's certainly not a ‘go to' call but neither is it a last resort. It's almost embarrassing to use a jake gobble in front of another hunter.I've had inexperienced hunters laugh, until a longbeard came rushing in to quell the jake's attempt to steal a hen. It's perhaps the only bad-sounding turkey call that is purposefully used to produce swift, positive results.

The time and place for a jake gobble use varies but essentially it works best when gobblers seem to be stingy with gobbles, but you know by sign and scouting adult gobblers are in the vicinity.

Also safety considerations are paramount, especially using a jake or adult gobbles on public land or any place where others could be hunting in your vicinity. My rule is when in doubt don't gobble in any form.


Jake gobbles vary tremendously and I've heard jakes produce a good gobble, but generally it's a recognizable but unpolished gobble-like sound. It's not a full gobble, it's abbreviated with poor follow-thru at the end, a ‘half gobble' if you will.Jakes usually don't have the final part of the gobble perfected; they get the “gobble” part decently but not the “gobble obble obble” trail off at the end.

But you have to produce this perfectly imperfect call on command when using it in the woods, so practice is mandatory.

The sound can be best learned by listening to jakes in the woods and even listening to tapes with jakes gobbling.

Gobble calls are sold commercially that make reasonably good adult gobbles and these can be manipulated to produce an abbreviated jake gobble sound. I use a mouth or tube call for a jake sound. I'll place the tip of my tongue on the mouth call reed and spring the tongue on and off the reed with a “ta-ta-ta” sound that starts out like a gobble and just stops. On the tube call I place my lips to the reed and rumble a short “tooka-tooka-tooka” sound.

I’ll employ the jake gobble call when I think jealously can be used against an older gobbler.

One technique I use that's reasonably dependable — and has little if any negative impact if it fails — is to run a couple series of hen calls with clucks and yelps on a frictions call. Then I turn my head to produce a sound from a slightly different location and I'll belch out a jake gobble.

The jake gobble is a great sidekick call along with the polished adult gobble. Adult gobbles are good for tempting an old, long-spurred monarch of the of the turkey woods. But a jake gobble has the potential to call in any adult gobbler, including 2-year-olds, that are sometimes hesitant to respond to a dominant adult gobble.

Having a jake gobble in your arsenal will occasionally swing success to your favor. Use it judiciously but know that it is natural to turkeys and when it works you have the pleasure knowing you were really good at making a bad-sounding call.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction.

A Bolt Action from Benelli?

A Bolt Action from Benelli?

We know what you're thinking: Isn't Benelli a shotgun company? Of course it is, but decades of shotgun manufacturing actually put Benelli in a unique position to redefine what a hunting rifle should be. Episode 1 reviews some company history to explain how this all came about.

New for 2021: Bear Redemption EKO, Legit RTH Compound Bows

New for 2021: Bear Redemption EKO, Legit RTH Compound Bows

Bear Archery's newest bows - Redemption EKO and Legit RTH - are light, adjustable and fast.

New for 2021: Mathews V3 27 & 31 Bows

New for 2021: Mathews V3 27 & 31 Bows

Bowhunter Editor Curt Wells had an exciting visit with Mark Hayes, design engineer for Mathews, as the pair looked at the new V3 27 and V3 31 bows.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use these proven bait rigs for stripers.3 Proven Bait Rigs for Stripers Striper & Hybrid

3 Proven Bait Rigs for Stripers

J.B. Kasper

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use these proven bait rigs for stripers.

The new bolt gun with a synthetic stock is available in several popular hunting chamberings.Accurate, Affordable, Rugged: CZ-USA 557 Eclipse Bolt-Action SHOT Show

Accurate, Affordable, Rugged: CZ-USA 557 Eclipse Bolt-Action

Game and Fish Staff - December 02, 2020

The new bolt gun with a synthetic stock is available in several popular hunting chamberings.

Expansion of Woodland Series targets continues fun, realistic way to practice.New for 2021, Rinehart's 1/3-Scale Moose Archery Targets ATA Show

New for 2021, Rinehart's 1/3-Scale Moose Archery Targets

Game and Fish Staff - January 07, 2021

Expansion of Woodland Series targets continues fun, realistic way to practice.

Check out some of the compound bows from this year's ATA Show.First Look at New Compound Bows for 2021 ATA Show

First Look at New Compound Bows for 2021

Game and Fish Staff - January 14, 2021

Check out some of the compound bows from this year's ATA Show.

See More Trending Articles

More Turkey

Wild turkey season is fast approaching. This expert advice will help you prepare for opening day.Spring Turkey Hunting Playbook 2021 Turkey

Spring Turkey Hunting Playbook 2021

Doug Howlett - February 24, 2021

Wild turkey season is fast approaching. This expert advice will help you prepare for opening...

The region is unique, unforgiving and loaded with such a variety of game a hunter might need three trips to fully appreciate the bounty.Destinations: Great Plains, Great Game in Nebraska's Sandhills Hunting

Destinations: Great Plains, Great Game in Nebraska's Sandhills

Josh Dahlke - December 16, 2020

The region is unique, unforgiving and loaded with such a variety of game a hunter might need...

Gobblers can be patterned much like you would a mature whitetail. Here's how.Pattern Tough Turkeys Like Big Deer Turkey

Pattern Tough Turkeys Like Big Deer

Paul Rackley - April 22, 2020

Gobblers can be patterned much like you would a mature whitetail. Here's how.

At the right time and place, a jake call can bring in gobblers fast.Turkey Hunting Calls: Fake a Jake Turkey

Turkey Hunting Calls: Fake a Jake

Terry Madewell - April 09, 2020

At the right time and place, a jake call can bring in gobblers fast.

See More Turkey

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now