Rain. Wind. Gloom of day. Still carrying my two NY turkey tags. It’s open until Nov. 20 in the area where we hunt ’em and we’ll be back there soon. Other states will follow in a bit. Stay tuned. On downtime, I caught up with nationally competitive turkey caller, call designer, and hardcore Ohio hunter Josh Grossenbacher of Zink Calls to check his pulse on hunting fall longbeards and the best mouth call for kee-keeing.
SH: You’ve roosted a fall longbeard flock, and know their preferred food source. How does Josh Grossenbacher hunt ’em? Set up near the roost? Set up on the travel path? Set up on the food source?
JG: In a situation like this, the first thing I would put into perspective would be how much time I have to work on this flock of longbeards. If I only have a few hours to hunt before work, my approach would be get as close as possible in the pre-dawn darkness to these roosted gobblers while staying far enough away without being detected. Knowing where they are feeding I would setup an ambush between roost and feeding sights, trying to make it a quick successful hunt catching them right after they hit the ground on their way to feed making it a quick hunt. The disadvantage to this approach is the possibility of bumping these longbeards and ruining their predictable pattern for possible future hunts. With time to hunt this flock all day I would pack a lunch and snacks and find a nice cozy spot where I can sit with good cover and wait. If these longbeards are as predictable as they have been I will have no problem waiting all day for them. I will call very little, maybe 3-4 times per hour, with just clucks and gobbler yelps. The disadvantage to this type of setup is time. Most turkey hunters lack patience (myself included); long sits are hard to handle. I really like to cover ground and hunt aggressive, but in a situation like this the long wait will usually pay off if the birds have not been disturbed and are still on the same pattern.
SH: What reeds do you prefer in a diaphragm for kee-keeing? Single? Double? Others? Why?
JG: In a kee-kee call I prefer a double reed with the top reed being heavier latex and the bottom reed being lighter. With the lighter reed on bottom it makes it easier to control your whistles while the heavier reed on top makes it easy to get deep raspy yelps. Zink Calls does have a kee-kee style call coming out this year. It is a double reeded ghost-cut style call named the Lost Lady. These calls can be ordered at our shop by calling 1-(877)-LEG-BAND or check us out at: www.zinkcalls.com/