In the turkey quiz we published earlier this year, I did an extra credit question about how to make a trumpet call from a ballpoint pen, a shotgun shell and electrician’s tape. You can see the end result in the picture. How does is sound? Let me be perfectly honest: in my hands, it would be capable of calling in a turkey who had been on a long sea voyage, or in prison, on anyplace else where he would have been without the company of hens for an extended period of time.
That said, I only sound marginally better on the real trumpet call I made myself from the wingbones of a bearded hen I once shot.* Trumpet calls are hard to blow (although you don’t blow, you slurp to make a cluck or yelp) although they do have a sound unlike any other call. To hear one blown right, check out this video. With the exception of some stray squeaks, this guy sounds pretty good.
*I was sick, it was raining, I had half a day left to hunt. It was time to shoot the first legal turkey I saw and go home. Bearded hens do roast up nicely, and they have smaller wingbones than gobblers, which can be made into better, higher pitched calls._