One of the others, not as well known, but still very common is the “churl.” It’s a note with a rising inflection on the end that has a definite questioning sound to it. One time I was hunting with a hen decoy placed in a power line clearing with a two track road leading off from it. I was sitting in front of a very large oak at the apex of the “V” formed by the intersection. I’d roosted a gobbler the night before and he was about seventy-five yards away. Even before it broke dawn, a very dominant hen started “kakking!” Yes, I said kakking and I’ve heard it a number of times. It finally got light enough to see and I started kakking back at this old biddy. She was infuriated! She flew down and came marching up to my decoy. Churl? Churl? She said, “Who are you? And what are you doing in my territory?” Then she spread her fan and strutted around like a Tom. The gobbler, in the meantime, had flown down and come strutting up the power line, hoping to add another hen to his harem. A charge of 4’s spoiled that plan! At the shot, the old kakker went straight up in the air and flew out across the river, vigorously voicing her displeasure along the way.
A few years ago I was bow hunting for deer from a tent blind, in the Fall of course, when I suddenly found myself surrounded by at least one hundred turkeys. Talk about a lesson in calling! All sixty sounds and then some. Young hens were “kikiing,” jakes were yelping, which sounds for all the world like a dog barking, and even old gobblers got into the act, blasting out their challenge.
The important lesson here is these seldom heard sounds may work on hard hunted turkeys that will shy from the usual calls used by most hunters. A friend of mine, who is a very successful turkey hunter, makes noises that don’t mimic any turkey I’ve ever heard. It gets the Tom’s attention; and he thinks, “What in the world is that? I’d better go check it out!” So if you think your calls are a little strange, don’t worry about it!