The box call is a very effective turkey call, but after hard use, temperature changes and simple handling, many boxes need to be re-tuned and rejuvenated. With spring season fast approaching, there’s no time like the present to get started on tuning your turkey
I have tuned thousands of box calls in the manufacturing processes, at sports shows, seminars and for hunters in camp. But there is a fine line between tuning and ruining a call, and the last thing a call manufacturer wants is someone haphazardly messing with their box calls. OL
Most quality box calls are relatively easy to tune, however, there are some of today’s mass-marketed calls (plastic parts) that are far more difficult to tune. Several factors affect the loss of quality sound. With regular use, for example, lid screws back out slightly deadening sweet yelps. More often, calling edges will wear down or oil, dirt and grime will collect on the edges causing a loss in tone. OL
The best place to begin is to clean edges and the paddle surface with a very fine steel wool or very fine sandpaper. Use just enough to pressure to clean, not sand the wood. Now chalk your call lengthwise being sure to go with the grain of the wood. Now I listen to the sound of a call to adjust to how I want the call to sound. If your call sounds a little off or just doesn’t sound how it used to, a screw adjustment may be called necessary. OL
Start by marking the screw position with a black marker as a reference point. Because it is most likely that the screw loosened from repeated us, tighten it by turning clockwise just a touch. OL
Now try the call. If there is a worn spot in the lid or side rail, or the screw turned from use, you should now be good. Try the call again. Repeat the process until you hear the right sound. Typically, the calling rails on the bottom portion of the box is curved. There are two reverse radiuses where the lid or paddle meets the bottom edge of the call. Move the paddle, to the middle of the bottom edge’s radius placing the exact center of the lid’s radius to the center most part of the call-bottom radius. If properly tuned, the paddle should sit center of both radiuses. OL
These steps always bring life back to my favored box calls and should work well for you, too. OL
The time to get ready for turkey season is now! Here’s a down and dirty refresher course on tuning your box call.