Call Care

Diphragm Like many of you Strut Zoners, I hunted a bunch of states this past
spring, and some turkey vest housekeeping is still in order, even at
this late date—especially regarding my mouth calls.

Of course mouth call care should begin as soon as the call comes out
of the package. During, and as the season comes to a close, keep your
diaphragms in good working order.

Wash mouth calls with warm water to remove any latex residue.

Then, if you prefer, soak them in a solution of one-part mouthwash,
one-part water for a few hours, before rinsing again.

Pat dry, then store your mouth calls in a plastic case or bag in the
refrigerator. This provides a cool, dark environment, which keeps
reeds tight, providing optimum sound. Diaphragm latex can expand, lose
pliability, and create too much vibration if not properly stored.
Freezing diaphragms works too.

A flat-tipped toothpick, gently run between the reeds to clean them,
helps maintain quality. Be careful not to tear the latex during this
process. When storing, place the tip of a toothpick between the reeds
so they won’t stick together when not used.

A well-fitting diaphragm, maybe one you’ve just bought for the
upcoming fall turkey seasons, doesn’t need tweaking. That good air
seal comes immediately. Otherwise, fine-tune that mouth call. If you
don’t have the right mouth for a standard call, you have to trim your
call’s frame:

(1) Using a small scissors, cut the frame’s sides first (a little at a
time), then the rounded back of the mouth call.

(2) Don’t snip off too much when altering the original.

(3) Don’t trim the latex reeds, only the frame.

(4) Try the call as you go.

(5) Once properly sized, make the same cut pattern on your other
diaphragm calls to have a consistent frame trim.

(6) Bend the frame only slightly to adjust it, if you do it at all.
Those latex reeds will be affected.

I’m hunting 2008 fall turkeys starting on September 15. How about the
rest of you guys? Any plans?C—Steve Hickoff