Tips & Tactics

Curing the Wet Slate Blues

Curing the Wet Slate Blues

By Christopher Anderson

Here’s a question for my fellow turkey hunters.

Have you ever gotten set up on some birds just before sunrise; the hens and gobblers are all talking. You pick up your favorite slate call just as the turkeys begin to pitch down only to find morning dew has dampened the call surface and it won’t make a sound?

This has happened to me more times than I would like to remember.

Usually, I’d reach into my vest to find a mouth call or fumble around in the dark in hope of finding my box call without spooking the birds.

Some hunters can’t use a mouth call due to a gag reflex. And, if you are like me and hunt primarily with a slate, the frustration of not being able to call is almost unbearable – especially after all your hard work. You just got up at 3 a.m. for nothing!

One morning, my slate call was just damp enough from humidity that it wouldn’t work. Out of desperation, I picked up the piece of chalk I keep for my box call and rubbed it all over the face of my slate call.

You can imagine my joy when I dragged the striker across the slate and heard the sweet sound of my favorite hen call actually working well . . . VERY well!

I’ve learned that chalk will also work on damp ceramic and glass, as well as slate — probably aluminum, too.

The chalk-on-the-slate-call trick has been so effective I even use a little to clean up the sound of my calls when I am dressing them up (sanding the surface) after a hunt.

Try it, even on a dry call, and see if the chalk will sweeten the putts, purrs and clucks on your friction calls.

Remember to keep your chalk stick in a shirt pocket, or within easy reach, for those humid, rainy or heavy-dew days.

You never know if this little tip will mean the difference between one of your happiest moments in the turkey woods, or one of your most frustrating.

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Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd