By: Bears Butt


Let’s make us a wing bone turkey call.

I’ll have to admit I have only made a couple of these things and they are very easy to make.  I also believe that with all the calls that are on the market being used on the turkey’s out in the field, by the turkey’s out in the field, that something just a bit different than they are used to hearing just might turn the tide in your favor…who knows for sure.

To begin with you have to have a turkey wing.  I have read on the internet that domestic turkey wings don’t work…hmmmmm….I tend to think that a turkey is a turkey is a turkey and that the domestic wing bone will just have to do.  So, next Thanksgiving, don’t throw those wing bones away…make a call like this.

Sherry and I cooked up a smallish (14 pound) turkey a few weeks ago and I saved the wing bones just for this story.  I rinsed them off and let them dry on the counter until today.


Try not to get the rights mixed with the lefts, you probably could still get the job done, but I’m not sure about that.  I think that the first people who ever made these calls each had a whole wing in their lap…let’s just go with that theory.

The bones need to be pretty clean and so I like to boil them for about 10 minutes.  Boiling makes the job of stripping the cartilage and excess meat off a lot easier.  These bones have been boiled and are ready to go.  I will leave one set as an example of what we started with and you will see the transformation into a wing bone turkey call as we go along.


As you can see from the picture above, the knob ends are not cleaned too well, that is because we are going to cut them off and toss them away, there is no need to spend time cleaning those ends.  We have better things to do with our time.


Where to make the cuts is up to you but let me warn you, it’s better to have the parts too long than too short, even though you will still be able to make a pretty decent call, I think longer is better at this point and we will make adjustments later on.  The key here is to get those ends cut off so we can clean out the marrow that is inside the bones.


To accomplish the cleaning out task use a stiff wire to push through the inside of the bones.  Look closely at the smallest of the bones, the wire I had to use on that bone was quite small.  Bigger turkeys have bigger wing bones…and bigger wing bone calls have a deeper sound when you use them.  So, clean out those bones.  Get as much of the stuff out of them as you can.  A hollow tube is the goal here.  Rinse them out when you think you have all the marrow out of them and let them dry.


The largest of the three bones has some rather tough bone like material criss crossing through the ends and that needs to be worked out.  I take my wire and press it sideways to break the material out.  You could use a pocket knife or awl to do the same thing.  Make sure they are hollow tubes when you are done.


Now take your pocket knife and ream out the ends of the bones.  Don’t forget the smallest bone as well and be careful with that one so as not to split it.  When that is done, it’s time to use some sandpaper and smooth off any rough edges that were a result of the sawing off of the ends.



Nice and smooth.  I like to round off the outer edges while I’m doing this.  It makes for a nicer looking finished product.

Ok, now is the time we begin fitting the pieces together.  The largest end of the smallest diameter bone will fit inside the smaller end of the middle sized bone, the opposite end of the middle sized bone fits inside the smallest end of the largest bone.


In the picture above, the middle bone will have to be cut off some more in order to fit inside the larger bone.  How much needs to be cut off?  I like to look closely with both bones side by side until I can see a point on the one needing to be cut that almost exactly matches in diameter.


Once you are happy about the cut, sand and smooth it and don’t forget to ream it out a bit.  Now press fit the parts together.


It looks pretty neat at this point and is perfectly capable of being used, however it will fall apart if you are not careful, so let’s glue it together.  In an emergency situation you could tape it, or lash it together with leather, string or what have you.  Even using grass or leaves as compression joints would work.  Just wrap the grass or leaves around the end of the one being pressed into the other.  Push hard and there you go…turkey hunting!

I like to use Gorilla Glue as it forms a tight seal around the joints, it’s water proof and just plain is stronger than the bones themselves.


Keep in mind a little Gorilla Glue goes a long way.  Just some small dabs will do.

Now you have to wait until the glue dries enough that you can work with it and not get sticky old glue on everything.  Once it’s dry, you can paint it, scrimshaw on it, add a strap or just stick it in you pocket and head on out.

I have added a leather strap to the one I use in the field.  It just hangs around my neck and is ready when I need it.


The one I use came from a 24 pound domestic turkey…of course the died in the wool turkey hunters who make their own wing bone turkey calls say it doesn’t me it sounds just fine.


OK, so there you have it.  Simple tools (opps I forgot my pocket knife and the glue) to do a simple job and create a very nice sounding turkey call, one you can call your own creation.

So, how do you make a sound using this little devise?  The sounds you are trying to emulate (big word for “sound like”) are those of hen turkeys or young turkeys and the internet is filled with folks making those sounds.  But the bottom line to using this call is to place your lips on the smallest end, cup the larger end in your hand and sort of “kiss” the end.  Some people say you are to make a sound similar to getting your dogs attention.

This is a video that I find very interesting and makes the sounds you will most likely be using in the field.  This guy’s name is Curtis Terrell, and he adds another dimension to turkey calls by his cow horn call.  Really a cool idea:

Enjoy and I hope you get your bird!

Bears Butt

April 21, 2013

Written on April 21st, 2013 , Hunting/Fishing/Trapping Stories

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man is proudly powered by WordPress and the Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS). | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man

Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.