Early April, 09, and I set out for the woods to scout out a spring turkey hunt. I've seen plenty of turkey in these woods and figure I aught to take one home. I just needed to find the best place to hunt. So, off I went with my rifle and a new slate turkey call I made. I figured I could practice my calls and see if I was any good.
My new slate call had a few problems. I wore it on a lace around my neck. With the hollow cedar sounding block, it made a lot of noise whenever it bounced off somethin' solid, like my powder horn or knife cap. I didn't have any convenient place to carry the striker, so I stuffed it into my belt bag with the end hangin' out. Somewhere along the way it wiggled loose and dropped out.
Luckily, there was no shortage of dead cedar limbs to choose a replacement from. I'll have to make a cover for the call, with a sheath in the back for the striker and maybe a pouch for the dressin' stone.
My slab of slate came from a creek bed. The hollowed-out sounding box was split out of red cedar. For my striker I used a cedar stick with a cob on the end to balance the stick, helping it skip across the slate.
In the fingers of my left hand I hold a small sandstone rock with one smooth side. I use this to dress the slate for the best friction. I have a hard time getting good sounds out of a smooth slate, so I dress the slate with the sandstone, rubbing in a circular motion, leaving the dust on the surface.
Different strokes and pressures make a wide variety of calls. I bored sounding holes in the back to help the sound travel. Even the soft purrs come out strong enough to carry.
I just planned on huntin' turkey with my .54 cal. Hawken, not even thinkin' there might be a law against huntin' with a rifle rather than a shotgun. Not wantin' to spoil a lot of meat with a large round ball, I decided I should shoot the turkey's head off. I figured aimin' for the neck would be the best shot. I wasn't convinced I could pull that off, so I threw down on a small pine about as big around as my thumb. I eased off the round, and to my surprise, the small pine dropped like it had been felled by Paul Bunion. I hate to sound so surprised, but I didn't expect to make it on the first shot. So I tried again and lived up to my expectations by not even barkin' the next one. I'll practice before I buy the tag.
I may not be goin' anyway, 'cause my wife is goin' in for knee surgery the day before spring season starts. But, if I get a chance, at least I'll be ready.