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Mastering the Diaphragm Call

The diaphragm call is a great tool for those who know how to use it effectively. For those that do not – it is a choking hazard. Of all the calls we will look at this month, this may be the most difficult to master and yet it is one of the more popular.

Its popularity arises in its lack of movement necessary to use the call. When gobblers are close, gun ready and all that is needed is a good breath, the diaphragm is a great call to have in your arsenal. However, as stated above it takes a lot of practice.

The diaphragm gets its name from the muscles needed to get the call to work well. The hunter places the call in the roof of his mouth, and with a burst from his diaphragm, a blast of air passes over the reeds making a sound. This is pretty easy. Getting a desired sound however takes a lot of work. The control of air passing over the reeds can simulate the sounds of Yelps, Cutts, Purrs, Cackles, Kee Kee, even gobbles.

Getting a Yelp is the easiest sound to master and the most used because of this fact. It is not difficult to get the yelp, but it can be difficult to get the desired volume of the yelp. For many, as easy as the yelp is, the cluck is just as difficult. This is due to the crispness that hen turkeys are able to make the cluck. Imitating the cluck can be difficult because of the abrupt stopping of the note.

Putting some Yelps and Clucks together makes a good call combination. Tommy Sample of Travelers Rest, SC uses the diaphragm almost exclusively and he says the distinction of the call is the way the reeds are cut. He prefers triple cut reeds that are known as a “bat wing” cut because of the resemblance of the flying mammals wings. This cut in the reed enables Sample to make soft sounds, and purrs with his diaphragm. “The Purrr is the most important call when the birds are close, and being able to do it without any movement is a great benefit.” Sample says.

The diaphragm call is a great call to learn to use. It is not for everyone, but it is a great tool for those willing to master the call.