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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
can anyone give me some advise on using a slate call, i can only seem to get faint sounds out of them when I practice. My first year hunting turkey, and I am having some real trouble
 

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I suspect your call needs conditioning. Friction calls work by moving the striker over the slate surface at a downward angle. The surface of the slate and the striker head need to be slightly and carefully roughened so that the proper sound is produced. Factory produced calls often do not come pre-conditioned to do this. You'll need to use a little sandpaper or scotch-brite to do this. Do a Google search for "turkey call" and "conditioning" and you'll find some articles and videos on how to properly do this.

You can also try cupping the call in your hand differently. You may be holding it too tightly.
 

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IF ITS YOUR FIRST YEAR YOU MAY WANT TO TRY A EASIER CALL LIKE A PUSH BUTTON CALL OR A BOX CALL. THEY WILL ALSO HELP YOU WITH YOUR SLATE CALL BY LEARNING THE SOUNDS FROM THE OTHER CALLS
 

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You need to find someone who can run a pot call well. It's really easy when you get the basics down. Where is your location?
 

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as basdjs said, make sure you scuff up the surface. also, hold the slate in your finger tips. dont palm it. that deadens the sound.
 

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Dont grip the call too tightly, just kind of cup it in your hand, do not squeeze it. What kind of slate do you have? It could need conditioning or it could be loose within the housing which would really kill the sound. Your best bet would be to take it to someone who knows how to run one and see if they can make it work.
 

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What brand/model is the call? Is it a slate surface or something different? I know this seems obvious but many times I've heard all pots called slate (not that I care!).

Knowing a few details of the call might help. Also if slate, be sure to keep it dry. Unless its specifically made for use in wet conditions, moisture or hand oil could cause issues.

Other advice is good! Playing with more/less pressure and different spots around the surface might help as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Chizmo said:
What brand/model is the call? Is it a slate surface or something different? I know this seems obvious but many times I've heard all pots called slate (not that I care!).
call man made it for me and sent it to me
Knowing a few details of the call might help. Also if slate, be sure to keep it dry. Unless its specifically made for use in wet conditions, moisture or hand oil could cause issues.

Other advice is good! Playing with more/less pressure and different spots around the surface might help as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Chizmo said:
What brand/model is the call? Is it a slate surface or something different? I know this seems obvious but many times I've heard all pots called slate (not that I care!).
Knowing a few details of the call might help. Also if slate, be sure to keep it dry. Unless its specifically made for use in wet conditions, moisture or hand oil could cause issues.

Other advice is good! Playing with more/less pressure and different spots around the surface might help as well.
call man made it and mailed it to me
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
fall gobbler said:
You need to find someone who can run a pot call well. It's really easy when you get the basics down. Where is your location?
pittsburgh area
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thanks for everyones advise, I have a box call, but it needs chalked? Like I said this is my first year turkey hunting. on my slate call, I get sound but nothing real loud, is that normal?
 

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A slate typically lacks the volume of glass or esp a box. I fact, that is one reason they can be so effective. They really excel at soft sweet talk. Youtube has literally tons of videos demonstrating proper use of pot calls. No substitute for one on one instruction, though. I always grip my striker like i hold a pencil and tilt it at an angle with the top end away from your body and the tip closest. Drag the tip toward you and trace a small oval beginning near the outer edge of the pot surface and in toward the middle. That gives you the natural high/low rollover of the two note yelp that real turkeys make. Clucking is done by pushing down harder into the surface of the call until the striker "pops." Typically in a cluck your striker tip will only move half an inch or so. The amount of pressure exerted will regulate the volume. Purring is done while applying downward pressure and dragging the tip toward you till it "skips" over the surface. This can be done in a short straight line but I prefer a curve as it varies the pitch of the call and I think it sounds more natural. If i get a chance later today I will try and upload a video for you if you can't find suitable one that shows it well enough for you to pick it up. And like was said earlier, avoid touching the surface with your fingers to keep it free from moisture Nand oil which will both have a negative effect on how it functions. Typically slates only require light buffing with a fine scotch brite pad. It helps to sand in a uniform side to side direction instead of a circular motion. Dont overdo it. When the surface appears chalky or matte to you with no evidence of shine or glare it is good.
 

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Could be the slate needs a light sanding with fine sandpaper. Or that your striker is too smooth (try burning the end slightly with a lighter). Some wood strikers don't work well when it's wet or humid, which is why I switched to waterproof strikers.
 

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UBC, You want the head of the striker to "skip" across the slate. You need a rough surface to make this happen. You may have a scotch brite pad lying around. That is what I use to "condition" my calls. I always have a hunk with me. I use a circular motion, and only do about 1/2 the call (the part I'll use to make the call). I also use the pad on the striker as well. Sand paper works as well. Now, to make the call, I'm right handed. I lay the little finger of my R hand along the rim of the call, anchoring the hand like this thru the calling process. Your pressure on the striker is the key. I hold the striker like a pencil, but about 1/3 way up the shaft. To purr, apply light pressure to the striker while (either) pushing the striker away, or pulling it towards you. I also will drag the striker in a "J" motion to get a little different cadence. To me that is what it's all about, the cadence. I think you can have the sweetest sounding call, but if the cadence is wrong, it's just a sweet call. Clucks are just a quick push of the striker back towards you. Heavy pressure on the striker, and I just kind of "twitch" my pointer finger towards my body to make this happen. You can pull the striker towards you, but I like leaving my hand in one place, and just letting my fingers do the talking. Redundant to what others have said, but I hope this helps.
 

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ubcguy89 said:
Chizmo said:
What brand/model is the call? Is it a slate surface or something different? I know this seems obvious but many times I've heard all pots called slate (not that I care!).
Knowing a few details of the call might help. Also if slate, be sure to keep it dry. Unless its specifically made for use in wet conditions, moisture or hand oil could cause issues.

Other advice is good! Playing with more/less pressure and different spots around the surface might help as well.
call man made it and mailed it to me

Heres the best advice your going to get
Contact the maker of the call he should know how his calls run and need conditioned
 

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Deer Tag said:
ubcguy89 said:
Chizmo said:
What brand/model is the call? Is it a slate surface or something different? I know this seems obvious but many times I've heard all pots called slate (not that I care!).
Knowing a few details of the call might help. Also if slate, be sure to keep it dry. Unless its specifically made for use in wet conditions, moisture or hand oil could cause issues.

Other advice is good! Playing with more/less pressure and different spots around the surface might help as well.
call man made it and mailed it to me

Heres the best advice your going to get
Contact the maker of the call he should know how his calls run and need conditioned
Wow, it's a slate call, scuff and go!
 

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Do not touch the slate and put oil on it from your fingers this will lubricate the friction surface. I axually take a lid off a butter contatiner or or something that fits on the call and wash it as not to put any oils on the friction surface I do the same for my strikers also I've used the pencil erasers or go to autozone and get some vacuum caps made for carberators and such. I rarely have to condition my calls because I keep them covered and free from fingerprint oils. Just my 2 scents.
 
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