Everything You Need to Know About Using a Raspy Turkey Mouth Call

Introduction and Video Demonstration

If you're an experienced turkey hunter, you know that having the right equipment can make all the difference in the world. One of the most important pieces of equipment in your turkey hunting arsenal is your mouth call, also known as a diaphragm call. In this article, we'll explore the different types of diaphragm calls and explain how to use a raspy turkey mouth call to get the results you're looking for.  In the video below, Jed Paronish explains what rasp means to him!

The Importance of Understanding Different Turkey Calls

Before we dive into the different types of diaphragm calls, it's important to understand why it's essential to have a variety of turkey calls in your toolkit. Turkeys are intelligent animals that communicate with each other using a wide range of sounds, so using the right call at the right time can mean the difference between success and failure in the field.

The Different Types of Diaphragm Calls

There are three main types of diaphragm calls: single-reed, double-reed, and triple-reed.

  • Single-reed: This type of call produces high-pitched, clear sounds that are great for long-range calling.
  • Double-reed: A double-reed call produces a raspier sound than a single-reed call, making it ideal for mid-range calling. Some popular double-reed options include:
  • Triple-reed: Triple-reed calls produce the most realistic, raspy sounds and are best suited for a soft sound and long-range calling. Some popular triple-reed options we offer include:
    • Run N Gun: This call features a thicker latex top reed over two prophylactic reeds
    • Rasp Attack: This call produces an aggressive, raspier sound that can bring in wary gobblers.
    • ThunderKluk: This call is designed for high volume, long range calling

When selecting a diaphragm call, consider the type of hunting you'll be doing and the distance from which you expect to call turkeys.

The Different Cuts of Diaphragm Calls

Each type of diaphragm call also comes in a different cut, which affects the sound it produces. The four main cuts are batwing, v-cut, ghost cut, and combo cut.

  • Batwing: A batwing cut produces a clear front end yelp that rolls into a raspy backend yelp.  Good for a soft sound and long-range calling.
  • V-Cut: The V-Cut otherwise known as split-v produces a raspier sound than the batwing and is ideal for mid-range calling.
  • Ghost cut: A ghost cut produces a very subtle, raspy sound that is excellent for close-range calling.
  • Combo cut: A combo cut combines elements of the other cuts to produce a unique sound that can be used for a variety of hunting situations.

Diaphragm Call Stretch Options

Another important factor to consider when selecting a diaphragm call is the stretch, which refers to the amount of tension on the latex reeds. The stretch affects the pitch, tone, and volume of the call, so it's important to choose the right one for your specific hunting situation.

There are three main stretch options for diaphragm calls: low, medium, and high. Here's a brief overview of each:

  • Low stretch: This option produces a higher-pitched call with less volume, making it ideal for long-range calling. It requires less air pressure to produce sound, so it's also easier to use for beginners.
  • Medium stretch: A medium-stretch call strikes a balance between high and low stretch options. It produces a mid-range sound with moderate volume and requires a moderate amount of air pressure to use.
  • High stretch: This option produces a deeper, lower-pitched sound with more volume, making it ideal for close-range calling. However, it requires more air pressure and control to use effectively.

The majority of callers experience these sounds with these 3 stretches, but it is not uncommon for the low stretch and high stretch be inverted in terms of sound. If you're unsure which stretch option to choose, consider the type of hunting you'll be doing and the distance from which you expect to call turkeys. For more information on finding the right stretch for your diaphragm call, check out our blog post on the topic.

How to Use a Raspy Turkey Mouth Call

To use a raspy turkey mouth call, start by placing the call in your mouth with the reed facing upwards. Use your tongue and the roof of your mouth to apply pressure to the reed and create the desired sound. Practice makes perfect, so spend some time experimenting with different pressures and tongue positions to find the right sound for your situation.

How Often to Call with a Diaphragm Call

The frequency of your calling will depend on the situation you're in. In general, it's a good idea to start with a few soft yelps and then wait for a response. If you don't get a response after a few minutes, try calling a bit louder and more frequently.

The Best Turkey Call Sound

The best turkey call sound ultimately depends on personal preference and the specific hunting scenario. However, there are a few calls that every turkey hunter should have in their arsenal:

  • Yelp: The yelp is the most basic turkey sound and is used to locate birds. It consists of a series of single-note sounds that gradually increase and decrease in pitch.
  • Cluck: A cluck is a short, sharp sound that turkeys use to communicate with each other. It's a great call, when done softly, to use when turkeys are within close range.
  • Purrs: Purrs are soft, rolling sounds that turkeys make when they are content or feeding. It can be a great call to use when turkeys are in close range and you want to coax them in.
  • Cutting: Cutting is a fast and aggressive call that mimics the sound of an excited hen. It's a great call to use when you want to create a sense of urgency and get a tom's attention.

How Loud Should You Call for Turkey?

The volume of your turkey call will depend on the hunting scenario and distance from the birds. If you're calling from a long distance, you may need to call louder to get the turkey's attention. However, if you're calling from close range, you'll want to keep your call soft and subtle to avoid spooking the birds.

How Long Can You Use a Turkey Mouth Call?

Using a turkey mouth call can take some getting used to, and it's not uncommon for beginners to experience soreness in their mouth or jaw after extended use. However, with practice, you should be able to use a mouth call for several hours without discomfort. We have found from personal experience and conversations with other turkey hunters that running multiple diaphragm calls is very common.  This is due to a call getting over saturated or moist and will result in altered calls or degradation of call sound.

Do Turkeys Respond to Calls?

Nate holding turkey from successful diaphragm call usage

Yes, turkeys do respond to calls. However, their response will depend on a variety of factors, including the time of day, weather conditions, and the turkey's mood. It's important to use calls strategically and be patient when waiting for a response.  A raspy call is often used when a tom is close by and has been spooked or is hesitant to come in. The raspy sound can give the impression of an older, more dominant hen and can help to put the tom at ease and convince him to come in closer. It can also be effective in mid-range calling scenarios, where a double-reed call may not produce enough rasp.

How to Do a Turkey Purr with a Mouth Call?

To produce a purr sound with a mouth call, start by exhaling softly and making a "huh" sound with your voice. Then, use your tongue to lightly touch the reeds of the call and vibrate them rapidly. With practice, you'll be able to produce a soft, rolling purr that can be very effective for coaxing in turkeys.


Using the right turkey call can make all the difference when it comes to a successful hunt. Understanding the different types of turkey calls and how to use them is crucial for successful turkey hunting. Diaphragm calls are a popular choice among hunters because of their versatility and ease of use. Learning the different diaphragm call cuts and selecting the right type of diaphragm call for the hunting situation can make all the difference in attracting turkeys. Remember to practice your calling technique and experiment with different sounds to find the one that works best for you. With the right turkey call and a little bit of patience, you'll be on your way to a successful turkey hunting season. Happy hunting!