The best turkey mouth calls, also known as diaphragms calls, are one of the most popular ways to call turkeys in this day and age. The reason for such popularity is easy to see when they are mastered. They are small, light, cheap, and a hunter can carry as many as he wants to, more or less. They are about the size of a silver dollar, cut in half, and weigh just grams. They require little to no movement, and give the hunter the greatest amount of control when being used.
The other side of this coin is that they can be hard to master. Championship callers practice for years and years to get that perfect sound. I know, as well as you, that is not needed to call in a turkey, but to call in that old, wise tom it is much more likely if you have some calls perfected.
What To Look For
It is rather impossible to say what kind of turkey call does the most damage, but a good portion of serious turkey hunters prefer the mouth call to any other call. These are for the same reasons stated in the first paragraph. When making the switch to mouth calls from a slate, or box call, there are a few things to keep in mind. If you are a beginner, than ease of use is going to be an important one. For all hunters the sound, variety of calls, and realism are other points to consider when going to this call.
Ease Of Use
A turkey mouth call requires air flow from your lungs to work. Finding one that requires less air than others is a good starting point. A stretchable latex reed is located in a horseshoe shaped plastic piece. This is what creates the sound. A good reed construction will give you a good variety of clear sounds without winding you.
The size of the call is important, especially if you are someone who has a small palate, a small mouth, or a strong gag reflex. I want the call to fit comfortably, and if it doesn’t I will not use it. For the amount of time that these can stay in your mouth will make it unbearable if it is not a comfortable fit.
Many hunters, including myself, will say to remember the one, or ones, that you like. Calls can change drastically even within the same brands of calls, so when you find one that you are comfortable with, do not forget to write down the name when before throwing it out when it is used up.
The sound is affected by the latex material used for the reed of the call. The shape of the reed also is an important factor for the sound. Some have different shapes cut from the reed, giving them different sounds, and tones. Your tongue placement, and other factors also affect sound. Beginners should practice with every call they buy for a while to, at the very least, become versed in how the sounds are made, and whether a difference in reed or tongue placement and breathing changes are needed.
Breath, and the tongue are the two main things the hunter uses to create sound with a mouth turkey call. Technique is everything, even with the best diaphragm calls. Combine this with reed shape, density, and tightness, and you have all the factors that go into making the sound with a turkey mouth call. All these factors are what make it the hardest call to master.
Realism is determined by how realistic the sounds from the mouth turkey call are to a real turkey. There are many brands out now, and all claim to be the best, which, by any count, is impossible. Finding the right call for the turkeys in your area may take a little effort and time, but it is worth it. There is no call, when mastered, that can call in more turkeys than a mastered mouth call.
The variety of calls should be mentioned here, too. Some of the best turkey mouth calls have an incredible range, and variety. With one call, you could cluck, purr, and yelp with a single call. Some calls come with two or three calls to give the hunter even more range and scope with tones and calls. Again, this is more of a personal choice, depending on the needs of the hunter.
The last part of realism does not even have to do with the mouth turkey call itself, but rather it’s design. Turkey’s have some pretty good eyesight, and other calls require some kind of movement to make the sound. The turkey mouth calls need no movement except that which is inside your mouth. This is excellent for close range hunting.
The 4 Best Turkey Mouth Calls
Now that you are somewhat familiar with this form of turkey call, I will give some options I feel will work well for the novice, and the seasoned hunter alike. As with any hunting gear, sometimes the smallest detail makes the biggest difference, so if you find yourself having a hard time, keep at it. There are many instructional videos and other resources to help the novice become a good caller in very little time. However, mastering everything these little guys can do does take time, persistence and patience.
Primos Hunting Hook Hunter Turkey Mouth Call
This pack of two Primos Hook Hunters will surely get any hunter off in the right direction. The cuts in the reed are precision made by hand to give some of the best sounds of any call. It includes the Hook Hunter Spike cut, which is said to be by many hunters one of the most universal calls on the market.
These two calls fit good in the mouth. They can be worn for hours without being to bothersome. The reed stays nice and firm, where some other cheaper brands will go soft after a morning of calling. They take a little practice to master, more than some other brands, but once you get the “yelp” down, the rest comes quickly enough.
With two calls, the variety increases significantly. The green call has a good rasp sound to it, while the blue call is clearer and sweeter in tone. Between these two, a hunter should have a nice arsenal of calls at his/her disposal. A good buy, and Primos is a very respectable hunting company with years of expertise.
- Hand cut reeds
- Produces a good variety including: Yelps, cuts, clicks, purrs and others.
- At 2”, they fit well, and are comfortable
- Most universal calls on the market
- Priced fairly low
- Comes with two calls
- Uses very little air to produce good sound
- Blue call is a bit to sweet in tone
- Difficult to master
H.S. Strut Premium Flex Four Turkey Diaphragm Combo
With four calls in this pack that costs less than some single calls, it is a great starter pack, or an add on for serious hunters. These calls are the easiest to learn, and take the least amount of breath to use making them a first choice for many hunters. Each call has 2 to 3 reeds, giving them superior sound quality, and durability.
Each pack includes these four calls: deuce cutter, sickle cutter, smokin’ gun & li’l strut. Each of these has unique tones, and sound capabilities. They will produce nearly every turkey sound on the market, making you sound like a herd of turkeys and getting that wary, old tom to walk right up to the end of your shotgun.
H.S. uses a new kind of latex, referred to as infinity latex. It is known for its comfort, durability, and consistency. The flex frame makes it fit wonderfully inside the mouth for comfort that will last through the long hours needed to call in turkeys.
- Four pack of calls for the price of two
- Flex fit frame for comfort
- Easiest mouth calls to learn
- Great for beginners
- Two-three reeds in each call
- Enormous variety of sounds, and tones
- Infinity latex for durability, consistency, and comfort
- Super small frames for smaller mouthed people, and smaller palates
- Not as durable over long periods of time
- Might slide in mouth a bit if you have a bigger jaw line
Quaker Boy Turkey Thugs 4 pack Mouth Calls
Here is another four pack to give you more versatility and range within one order. This is a compiled effort of Mossy Oak and Quaker Boy. Very durable design, and will last throughout a few seasons if taken care of correctly.
This four pack comes with the “Gobbler Sniper”, the “Maestro”, The “Swamp Cut”, and “Just Bubba”. The first three are made with 3.5 reeds, giving them awesome range and tone. The fourth call, Just Bubba, has a two reed construction that still delivers and is better for long range hunting. These four are the personal favorites of the creators themselves, giving you extra comfort in knowing they are built by hunters in the USA.
Another sweet addition is the carrying case that comes with these calls. Even the best turkey mouth calls can be easily damaged, and having this added item without having to worry about ordering it separately is a nice bonus. A good, all around package that is sure to produce good “yelps”, “cuts”, “clicks”, and all the other sounds needed to fool the old toms.
- Enormous range
- Three calls have 3.5 reeds to give them a great sound
- Four in a pack
- Made by two trusted companies with over fifty years of expertise
- Comes with carrying case
- Wide variety of calls with four different diaphragms
- Price is nearly unbeatable
- Portion of price is donated to veterans
- The fit is uncomfortable for some
- Hard to master all the calls
- Can be too loud
Knight & Hale Judgment Day Diaphragm Turkey Call Pro Pack
Here is another great pack of three calls that can mimic a raspy old hen, to a wary tom. The triple reed design is renowned for its sound and range. When mastered, this triple pack can become a lethal arsenal in, and of itself. No need to buy another pack after this one.
The Preacher perfectly imitates a raspy hen to get that tom to come running in. The Peacemaker has a wonderful mid-range sound, and the Terminator is a 3.5 reed can produce the most realistic cuts ever heard from a call. This set really is a great addition or starter set.
They are precision cut and hand tuned by champion turkey caller Chris Parrish. All three are made from state of the art blended materials to make them last longer than many other turkey calls. They are not to big to be uncomfortable, and are easier to learn than other calls.
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The Best Turkey Mouth Call Is…
This was a hard decision. They are all good choices for turkey hunters, although some are better for beginners, while others are good all the way around. My least favorite pick is the Turkey Thugs Quaker Boy compilation series. These are just not as comfortable as many other calls. The H.S. Strut Premium Calls, and the Knight and Hale calls are nearly a tie for me, as a hunter. The Primos are right up there also, but the blue call in this pack suffers a little bit. With considerable deliberation, I have to pick the H.S. Struts Calls. They are great for beginner and seasoned hunter, the price is unbeatable, and the quality of sound(which is what I based my decision on)is great. They are also one of the most comfortable calls on the market. There you have it, the 4 best turkey mouth calls that are all sure to bag a bird or two in very little time. As always, happy hunting.