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  • How to make a DIY Wing Bone Turkey Call from your Bird.

    The wingbone turkey call dates back to antiquity, when North American Indians made yelpers form the bones in a turkey wing (they also used turkey spurs for the tips of their arrows and the bird's feathers for fletchings). Early settlers quickly caught on and modified the calls to their liking, with wooden tubes or even bones from other animals.
    If anything, the wing-bone call's age can be an advantage on hard-hunting birds. That's because its unique notes of love are not instantly associated with danger by gobblers who think they've 'heard it all.' Beside, there's just something special about using natural materials to call in your prey with a Gizmo you made yourself. Like rattling with a pair of shed antlers from your hunting grounds, this 'organic' call brings more life to the hunt.

    The traditional wingbone yelper is made from a wild hen's wing. The wing bones of a domestic bird are just too thin and fragile, Mature Gobblers Wing Bones will work but a hens makes the best sounding call. We can't kill hens so I use Gobbler Bones myself.

    What you need: (Besides the Bones...DUH lol)
    Knife, steel wool or sand paper
    Tapered file or hacksaw
    Small rifle-bore brush or piece of wire
    Dish detergent, or other cleaning material
    Epoxy, glue or other type of adhesive
    Saucepan (for boiling bones)

    Remove the bones from the wing with a knife and scrape clean. Cut the bones with a hacksaw where the straight section meets the knob on the end. Make sure the marrow-filled center is completely exposed in the round section of the bone. Keep the diameter of the cut ends as close to the diameter of the rest of the bone as possible.
    Push a small rifle-bore brush or a piece of wire through the center and push out as much marrow as possible, being sure to go completely through. Boil the bones in water, and add a tablespoon of dish detergent to soften up the marrow. Boil until all of the marrow can be extracted or just blow it out like I do but it's kinda nasty lol

    Fit the bones together, placing the ulna over the radius and the humerus over the ulna. Cut and sand the bones as needed to obtain a tight fit. Turn the bones to achieve a shape that feels most comfortable to you when cupped in your hands for Calling before you epoxy them together. Also when you Epoxy the bones together, be careful not to block the passageway. Once Finished I use peroxide to whiten the call or some just leave them the yellow looking original..DON'T USE BLEACH!!! These Bones are thin and bleach will make them even weaker.

    The wingbone call is used by sucking air through the call with puckered lips and letting air escape at desired intervals. There's no question that it takes practice to master the wingbone, but what better way to satisfy the anticipation of the hunt than to drive your family to madness by smacking your lips against a handful of dried turkey bones lol?

    Hand position on the call is key. Place the larger end of the call at the top of your palm between your index finger and thumb. Put the top of your other palm onto the bottom of your pinkie. Bring your lower thumb up and curl your top pointer-finger down to the base of the thumb with the rest of your fingers following in suit one atop the other. Tighten your hands into a cupped position. You can then use your cupped hands to direct and control the airflow.

    Sound is made by the vibration of your lips when you suck air out of the call. It will be hard at first, but as you smack your lips against the call it will begin to make sounds. When your lips are good and sore and you're hearing sounds that are 'sort of' like a turkey, it's time to move on to the next step, which is working on the tone. Again...Practice!!

    The wingbone turkey call is ingeniously simple. Once the call is mastered you will find that turkey sounds can be made from almost any small hollow tube, including a straw or a pen. The different bones in the yelper vibrate different speeds and bring the air down increasingly small shafts, giving it surprising versatility and sound. And it's tone remains the same regardless of the whether being wet or dry. I carry 1 myself and in my opinion, It Could be your ace in the hole!!!

    And...Of Course...If your Not into this type of project, You can buy a Plastic China version of this Call at your local Sporting Store but I like doing things like this myself!!! Good Luck
    new project
    Your giving me too many projects lol. First the painting,and now a wing bone call that I'm putting on my list. If I didn't know better I would think you were trying to keep me occupied right thru turkey season,lol. I am definately gonna try making this call. Thanks for posting the instructions.
    Pretty cool
    I love that this site has a guy like GT.. Great stuff. Keep em coming
    lol Thanks Guys and Diane..You caught me!! Dang It lol I was trying to keep you out of the woods HeHe But seriously..It is a Fun DIY project and even if you don't 'Master' it you will still be proud of your project...I have them laying or hanging everywhere it seems lol...I cut a piece of Deer antler today and made it to where it will slide onto the wing-Bone and added another Hole to run lanyard through for carrying around my Neck...OR....Just hanging up for a conservation piece like the others lol HAVE FUN!!!!!!!
    Great Guy
    Yeah I agree fairchase, Gt is a great asset to this site.He's got enough stories and info on turkey hunting to write a book,lol. Actually I told him he should write a book,he has had some great experiences while turkey hunting. He has a lot of info to offer,to anyone who's willing to listen.Great guy all around.
    Calls DIY
    Awesome stuff GT!!