The cluck, cluck and purr, and basic yelp calls are going to be your bread and butter to spring calling.
Everyone who is out hunting turkeys can either push a box call or draw a striker across a slate call. The difference is, someone who is a great caller of turkeys is going to have a better command of the “turkey language.” Knowing what the different calls mean and understanding when to use them is vital in getting birds to respond properly.
For example, a putt call consisting of three sharp notes is an alarm signal. If you are trying to get a turkey to feel confident and come into your decoy setup, but instead sound the warning bell, the birds are going to run away.
The cluck, cluck and purr, and basic yelp calls are going to be your bread and butter to spring calling. According to the NWTF, they signal contentment and help a tom know that there is a hen waiting for him.
This website on Wild Turkey Sounds by the NWTF is the best resource I have found for basic calling knowledge. You don’t have to be able to identify and perform every call, but if you can master those 3 basic calls and use them sparingly, you can call in a turkey.
For a great primer on using a slate call, this short video should give you everything you need to know to get started: