DIY Turkey Hunting: How to Build a Corn Cob Striker

Learn How to Build a Corn Cob Striker for Turkey Hunting

By
Material List

Image 1 of 5

1 | Material List

Here's what you'll need to build a corn cob striker.

  • Corn cobs from 4-6 inches long
  • Wooden dowels 1/4- to 3/8-inch in diameter, about 5-6 inches in length
  • Glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Hacksaw
  • Sharp knife
  • Drill with a 1/8-inch drill bit
  • Polyurethane spray

Click through this photo gallery for each DIY step.

Image 1 of 5

Cob Cuts

Image 2 of 5

2 | Cob Cuts

First, cut cobs to 4- to 6-inch lengths. Start long and trim the length later to adjust the sound. Drill a 2-inch-deep hole in one end of the cob to prevent the cob from splitting when the striker is inserted.

Use the hacksaw or a sharp knife to cut one end of the dowel at a 45-degree angle to make it easier to insert into the cob. Insert the sharpened end of the dowel into the pre-drilled hole.

 

 

Image 2 of 5

Glue Dowel

Image 3 of 5

3 | Glue Dowel

Next, use the sandpaper to soften the hard edges of the striker tip into a slightly rounded shape.

Try the striker out on your favorite slate call. If you like the sound, remove the wooden dowel and place a spot of glue on the sharpened end. Push the dowel back into the cob and allow the glue to dry.

 

Image 3 of 5

Drying Strikers

Image 4 of 5

4 | Drying Strikers

If you aren’t completely satisfied with the sound, try trimming off a bit of the cob to change the tone. If you don’t get the sound you like, try a different cob. Once you are satisfied, glue the dowel into the cob.

Once the strikers are complete, give them a quick spray with polyurethane to protect them from the elements. Stand the strikers in a block of Styrofoam to dry.

Image 4 of 5

Go Hunt

Image 5 of 5

5 | Go Hunt

Taking kids hunting this spring? Get the materials together and spend an evening assembling strikers with them. Using a call they built themselves always adds to the excitement.

Bonus Read: Build Pots and Pegs with Kids

More Realtree turkey hunting. Follow us on Facebook.

Image 5 of 5

Look back at photos of the early pioneers of turkey hunting. In a great many of them, the hunters are running a slate call with a corn cob striker. Over the years, these strikers gradually gave way to solid hardwood or plastic and wood models. These newer strikers held up to the weather better and were often louder than the old-school corn cobs.

But louder isn’t always better. Those sweet and mellow tones that came from the corn cob strikers still work on today’s calls. In fact, its slightly different tone can often be more effective.  

Just like those old-school hunters, you can build your own corn cob strikers. Find the cobs at your local feed mill, on a nearby farm, or in a bag of squirrel feed at your local hardware store. Simply flake off the dried corn kernels and feed them to the birds, squirrels or deer in your backyard.

The wooden part of the striker can be as simple as a 1/4- or 5/16-inch wooden dowel from a hardware store, or get creative and order several exotic hardwood dowels from Brookside Game Calls. They are inexpensive, ranging from 30 to 70 cents each, so order several and assemble strikers with different woods, then experiment with them on various pot calls until we get a good match.