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Turkey Tips from the Drurys

Mouth calls require practice, attention to keep it purring

Turkey Tips from the Drurys
Practice with a mouth call leads to perfecting it. (Mike Suchan photo)

Regardless of what you call it; a diaphragm, mouth call or juice harp, every turkey hunter has one. That goes for the grizzled old veteran to the newest of rookies. This piece of equipment over the last three decades has become a “can’t-hunt-without” item.

Just because they have them, though, doesn’t mean they are proficient with them.

 “I would say mouth callers are the most difficult devices to perfect,’’ said Mark Drury, host of “King of the Spring.”

The Drury brothers are known for their expertise in the turkey woods. They use a variety of calls when they slip through the woods in the spring. But the most consistent piece of equipment they carry is a diaphragm.

Here are some of their tips on becoming a better user of this call.

Tip No. 1

“I think the way you become a better mouth caller is A: Buy lots of different diaphragms. 

Find one that works best for you and is the easiest to blow, and then start listening to everything you can of guys that are really good at it,’’ Mark Drury said. “Watch different guys on turkey shows, pick-up an instructional DVD or two and practice, practice, practice. 

“You can’t get better with that mouth call without logging time inside your mouth. In your car, by yourself, whatever, do it for friends, but you’ve got to practice in order to perfect it.”

Tip No. 2

Keep your mouth calls ready to use.

“You see guys that lay them on their dash,’’ Terry Drury said. “A good buddy of ours, Don Ship, was notorious for this. It would be sitting on this dash or sitting in one of those little cases. He’d pop it in, and because he was so proficient, he could always get it to work. That doesn’t work for everybody.


“So keeping that mouth call picked with tooth picks between those reeds is important, so you can pull the picks out, blow a little bit of air in there, maybe a little bit of slobber.

“Then getting them to perform. That is important because you never know when you might strike a bird and all of a sudden you may have to drop down and pop one in and make it run.”

Tip No. 3

Keep in mind personal hygiene and health.

“You have to keep that mouth call clean when you’re done with it,’’ Mark Drury said. “At the end of the day, you turkey hunt all day, you come in at 12 or 1 o’clock, clean that thing off with fresh water, pick it, let it dry, and then put it in the ice box.

“The worst thing you can do is leave that thing wet, particularly with the saliva from your mouth and put it in a case where you take the air away from it.

“You’re basically creating an environment that breeds bacteria and you know things are going to grow on it. So keep them clean, keep them dry, then store it.”

For video on the "King of the Spring" finale, CLICK HERE.

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