Ron Jolly | Originally released in GameKeepers: Farming for Wildlife Magazine. Come subscribe, click here.

You are watching: How far can you hear a turkey gobble


I remember being cold! ns remember the fog ~ above the Tensas river in northeast Louisiana hung like a thick ceiling in the air. The myriad that sound coming from the hardwood forest on the river’s bank was a little bit confusing to mine ears. The tide lapping on the side of an old Jon boat was an additional distraction. My Dad satellite in the stern the the boat and also I satellite on the center seat with his finest friend Mr. Sonny Hudnall. Ns remember straining my ear to listen a sound they were hearing the I can not. Their mission to be for me come hear my first wild turkey gobble. Again Mr. Sonny asked, “Did you hear that?” Sure, i thought. Ns hear water on the side of the boat, birds in the trees, water dripping off the trees into the river. “Did ns hear what?” was my answer. “It will sound choose oble, oble, oble,” said Mr. Sonny. 

I strained to hear the sound and finally believed I did. “Was the him?” i asked. Mine Dad leaned close to my ear indigenous behind and said, “Son, the was the turkey you just heard. He has gobbled 6 times due to the fact that we have been here. He is about a quarter-mile away. You just have to learn to different all the sounds from the sound you want to hear. Focus on that sound and also you will hear the clearly. The secret to hearing is in the listening!” 

That morning was the first time ns heard a wild turkey gobble. There have actually been many lessons learned about wild turkeys due to the fact that that morning over fifty years ago, but none as essential as exactly how to hear for, and hear turkeys. Right here are part tips the will help you. 

Know What You are Listening For 

Learning what to hear for is the an initial step come hearing an ext turkeys. The gobble of the wild turkey is one of the most distinctive sounds in nature. Come the skilled turkey hunter over there is no various other sound that have the right to be confused with a gobble. Come the novice it is a sound that can be hard to discern, specifically when it is far away. Even harder to detect are the an ext subtle sounds made by turkeys such together drumming, yelps, and scratching in leaves. All these sounds can tell you the turkeys room near. 

There space three places turkeys do sounds—when they room in the tree, when they are flying into or out of the tree, and when they room on the ground. Turkeys gobble, yelp, cackle and also drum in the tree and on the ground. Turkey hens often cackle as soon as flying up to or down from the roost. The thump of wing is one more distinct sound do by turkeys. In most situations a gobble in the tree has a different sound than a gobble do on the ground. It is clearer and less muffled. 

As a general ascendancy a gobble made in a tree deserve to be heard double as far as one made on the ground. That very same “twice-as-far” rule uses to all various other turkey sounds.

A gobbler in an open field will sound clear and also can normally be heard twice as much as a gobbler in timber.

Judging distance and coursing sound space other determinants in turkey searching success. Hear a turkey sound and also identifying that sound is action one. 

To efficiently hunt the turkey girlfriend must understand the direction the sound came from and also how much away that was. The first step come hearing much more turkeys is to understand what turkeys sound like. Experience and exposure come turkeys can teach girlfriend what to listen for. A far better way is come watch various other hunters. Videos and DVD’s put you in the woods with competent hunters. 

Listen to the sound on the DVDs and also learn just how turkeys sound in the wild from her living room. Some carriers offer videos taking care of nothing however turkey sounds and also identifying what every sound is and what the means.

Isolate and also Concentrate 

Cup your hands behind your ears and open yourmouth. This gathers more sound into your ears.Obviously, you can not hear behind you together well, but ithelps come collect more sound-waves and pinpointwhere the is coming from.

The 2nd step come hearing an ext turkeys is come isolate you yourself from any kind of distracting noise. If you are listening with a hunting partner, distance yourself from your partner. This will certainly eliminate any kind of distracting sound they do or the temptation to talk. It also helps come triangulate the sound"s direction. 

Choose a listening ar where you can stand or sit motionless and also be comfortable. I favor to remainder my back versus a tree or sit top top a log. I perform not shuffle my feet in the leaves and also I carry out not tinker through gear. I focus on hearing turkeys. You more than likely think ns am talk only around hearing a gobble, and that is true because that the many part, however eliminating any distracting noise applies when you room listening for turkey sounds in general.

Sound Advice 

Two-time world Turkey call Champion Larry Norton is an competent turkey hunter who has actually spent year guiding clients at commercial searching operations choose Bent Creek Lodge in Alabama. Norton provides some good advice on hearing much more turkeys. “I guide hunters who have hunted because that years and also hunters who are searching turkeys because that the first time. That is our task to gain each hunter top top a turkey and also hopefully get that hunter a shot. That all starts through hearing, coursing and also getting into position on a gobbler,” claims Norton. 

“I choose to start on high ground. From over there I can hear more country. Many of mine clients like to stand close or speak while we room listening because that a roosted gobbler. I simply tell lock in bespeak to start the hunt we have to an initial hear a gobble and I have the right to do that finest when there are no distractions. Most hunters understand this and also give me space.” 

“At this suggest we space listening at day break because that sounds turkeys make in the tree. Us are generally listening for a gobble yet other sounds can disclose wherein turkeys are. If i hear hens tree yelping, cutting or level yelping I understand where a flock is located. I hope come hear a gobble, but if I do not ns still assume a gobbler is near. If I carry out not hear a gobble at an additional location I will go to the hens and also hope a gobbler will fire up after the flock flies down. At least I understand I have actually put my customer near turkeys,” says Norton. 

“There room times as soon as you execute not hear turkeys on the roost and also this is when you have to readjust tactics. Ns go come an area wherein turkeys frequent and slow method down. I relocate a couple of yards and also stop to listen. I choose to slip to close to the top of a ridge wherein I can hear into the following hollow. I use the ridge to keep turkeys from see my approach. Now I am listening for sounds various other than gobbles. “I listen for the distinct swish, swish, swish of turkeys scratching in pipeline or for drumming. Turkeys room constantly make soft purrs, whines and also yelps. This helps save the i cry together and these sounds can not be heard from really far away. Numerous times if girlfriend hear this sounds and listen really very closely you will hear drumming. Once you hear any type of of this sounds collection up right there. The turkeys room close!” 

Cheat Norton likewise uses a Walker game Ear to enhance his hear ability. He warns that there is a discovering curve associated with mechanically hearing devices. “You have to learn to course with the video game Ear,” says Norton. “You also have to realize that sounds you hear using a mechanical maker are constantly further away 보다 they seem. I usage the game Ear to get in the basic area the a turkey then rely on my very own ears to close the deal but I know world who use them the entire hunt. It relies on you.” 

My wife, Tes, suffers indigenous hearing loss and also uses mechanically hearing gadgets made through E.A.R., Inc. “I put them in before I leave in the morning and also take lock out when my hunting is over,” said Tes. “I cannot do without them. It was frustrating at first because every sounds are magnified. The sound of your steps, the birds, the wind, traffic, everything! i really had actually to job-related at gaining used to them, yet it to be worth the effort.” 

Use topography to your advantage. Shot to locate from higherup when possible and from the leeward side of cover whenthere’s a wind.

“Coursing and also judging street were also challenging, yet in time the all came together. It really helped to go with someone who can hear well and compare what I believed I to be hearing to what that person was hearing. After only a couple of outings I got confidence in my capability to hear, course, and judge the distance to that sound. I never go hunting without them,” said Tes.

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There space other means to enhance the ability to hear more turkeys. Cup your hands behind your ears to gather an ext sound right into your ears. Friend will be able to hear far better in the direction you are facing however not also in other directions. Rotate your body to listen in every directions. Open your mouth while listening. This opens the ear canal and also allows an ext sound into the ear. Slow your breathing. Take it shallow breaths with your mouth open. This reduces the sound that air moving in and out of your lungs and also eliminates few of the noise the competes with your capability to hear. Close her eyes. This helps you concentration on hearing and eliminates intuitive distractions walking on around you. 

Avoid direct call with the wind if at every possible. On windy days hear from the down-wind next of a ridge or hill. Challenge into the wind and allow the wind to carry sound come you. I am blessed with good hearing capability but I lug a single over-the–ear device made through Woodland to whisper that i use as soon as I can not hear turkeys with my own hearing. Frequently that machine allows me to hear a gobbler that I could not listen naturally. Difficulty is, that turkey is generally too far away to obtain to. If that turkey is on the building I have the right to hunt I will certainly be over there to listen next time. 

Common Sense 

Never listen close to running water, traffic, or construction. Avoid any type of foreign noise the competes v your capability to hear turkeys. Move as far away indigenous distracting noise together possible. Be aware of the moment of day. Turkeys normally fly as much as roost close to sundown. Turkeys typically fly down from your roost as shortly as they deserve to see the ground. That is vital to know if a turkey is on the soil or in a tree since a gobble native roost can be heard farther than a gobble on the ground.

The an enig to hearing is in the Listening 

It is mine firm belief that the vital to turkey searching success is the capability to “hear turkeys.” once you hear and also identify a turkey sound you deserve to judge whereby the turkey is, how much away that is and the direction that is moving. This details tells you wherein you have to go. Very few turkey hunts end with a turkey in your vest the did not start by an initial hearing turkeys. Learn exactly how turkeys sound. Put yourself in the finest position to hear and concentrate. Do this and you will hear much more turkeys!