I spent years thinking I wasn’t interested in duck hunting. Getting up before dawn to wade through freezing water or sit in a damp, cold blind? Sounded crazy to me. Then my nephew talked me into going with him one morning. I was hooked almost before the sun came up. I bought all the “stuff” a duck hunter needs – warm clothes, waders, a gun, decoys. All that other stuff that catches more hunters than ducks. At first I was so bad at using a duck call that one of my friends asked me to put mine in my pocket. But I kept practicing until I got better.
Once I was fully addicted to duck hunting, I started itching to make my own calls. I studied a lot of styles and did a lot of research. After a few experiments, I came up with a style that looked good to me and fit comfortably in my hand. I call my line Wing Stalker Calls, each one made by hand and fitted with a brass ring.
Learning to tune the calls involved a lot more practice. My family walked around for weeks with their hands over their ears while I blew calls in the kitchen. Once I was satisfied with the design and the sound, I started experimenting with different woods and finishes. I’ve talked before about how much I like working with different woods. I’ve made duck calls out of both common and exotic woods and I like the way they all look. I’ve sold calls for hard use and others for display by collectors. Different woods and finishes are better for different conditions and uses, depending on the needs of the hunter.
For a shiny, “showy” finish, acrylic and CA finishes look really nice. My own preference is an oil finish. They’re durable, relatively easy to care for (just dry well and re-oil after use – but don’t oil the tone board), and they develop a nice patina with age and handling. For a call that’s strictly for display on a stand or plaque, a shinier, harder finish might be preferred. There’s a lot of personal taste involved in choosing the right call, and I like to work with my customers to make sure they get the calls that best suit their needs.
Wing Stalker Calls are completely handmade, one of a kind, and guaranteed satisfaction. I’ve shipped them all over the country. If you’re interested, send me an email and we can talk about what call would be best for your purposes.