Calls & Decoys photo

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_by Phil Bourjaily


_My family does not give me hunting and shooting gear for Christmas, as they believe, incorrectly, that I already have everything. (I don’t, I just have more stuff than I have room for). One thing I didn’t have was a gobble call, but right before Christmas a box showed up from Down n Dirty Outdoors containing a gift bag with the Haint, a gobble call, inside. I don’t use a gobble call and I would have to be careful with it in the public woods I hunt, but that said, the Haint is tremendous fun to fool with. A lot of people send me new turkey calls that are gimmicky and sound bad. The Haint sounds really good with some practice.

It’s a reeded call that requires a “tooka-tooka” breath sort of like a mallard feed call. You have to use a lot of hand pressure to make it sound right, too. I’m still learning, and only about 60% of my gobbles sound good, but when turkey season finally gets here I should be pretty decent with it. Whether I use it much in the woods is a different question, but I’ll have it in my vest.

Hand-shaken gobble calls have been around for a while and most people who use them use them as locators. Down N Dirty is promoting this call as a method of bringing gobblers to the gun by challenging their dominance. There’s no reason it won’t work. It’s exactly the same as the concenpt behind strutter decoys, which have become very popular and successful.

I did see a gobble call work spectacularly in the field once in an afternoon hunt in Texas. My guide hen-called to a pair of Rio gobblers who answered him half-heartedly, but they came on the run when he challenged them with a gobble shaker.

On the other hand, you have to be careful where and when you use a gobble call: as the Haint video shows, it could bring hunters running, too, thinking they’re coming up on a pair of gobblers that turn out instead to be a couple of XXL turkey hunters.

Thoughts on the Haint, and on gobble calling in general?