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Custom turkey call recommendation

RaptortrapperRaptortrapper Posts: 94 Member
edited March 2019 in Hunting #1
I want to get a custom box call and pot call for a buddy of mine that LOVES to hunt turkey.  I know NOTHING about turkey hunting.  Surly some of you guys can recommend a "better than average" custom turkey call maker.  

Thanks for the help!
Some people are like a slinky-- not much fun till you push them down the stairs!

Replies

  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,149 Senior Member
    edited March 2019 #2
    I have a couple of excellent custom calls from small makers that have filled the bill nicely.  

    One is a Lonnie Sneed “Outlaw Hen”-  a beautiful, green glass pot call. It comes with a purple heart striker, but I prefer using a Matt Van Cise orangewood striker on it for great sound and easy clucks.  Here's a video of Lonnie himself using this call:



    Lonnie is an older guy who works out of him home shop in West Virginia.  No real internet presence.  His phone number is 304-425-3021. 

    Speaking of Matt Van Cise, I have a custom box call from him that is flame box elder with a Dymondwood top, and it sounds magnificent. It was used in the flintlock and modern shotgun hunt reported on here:

    https://forums.gunsandammo.com/discussion/36298/scored-a-smokepole-turkey-and-tagged-out-in-nebraska

    Matt is out of Brookville, Pennsylvania and you can find his page on Facebook. He shows a lot of his for-sale calls on the page when they are completed.  Not cheap, but well made and mine resulted in dead birds the first time out with it.

    NOTE: a true custom call order can take quite a few weeks to complete.  If you want him to have one in time for use this season, I would get to ordering ASAP.

    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,643 Senior Member
    NWTF would be a good source if you want to investigate further than Sixgun's suggestions, you probably do not need too.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    I have had some interesting conversations with turkeys by using a pocket-sized call made from a Skoal snuff can and a piece of thin aluminum sheet metal.  A turkey wing bone makes an excellent striker for that setup.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,149 Senior Member
    Teach said:
    I have had some interesting conversations with turkeys by using a pocket-sized call made from a Skoal snuff can and a piece of thin aluminum sheet metal.  A turkey wing bone makes an excellent striker for that setup.
    Speaking of custom turkey calls and stuff you’ve shown me around the house, I always remembered the wing bone call you demonstrated back when I chased gobblers up on your hill.  

    I was quite impressed with the tone and realism of that call, so much so that I made one from the wing bones of the bird that I shot on Monday!  Let’s see if I can dupe a lovestuck Tom into coming to this one before the season is out!


    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member

    Those wing bone calls serve double duty- - - -a "kissing" suction on the small end makes a surprisingly realistic sound, and the small end can also be used as a striker on a slate call.  In that method, the hollow wing bone acts as an amplifier, trumpeting the sound from the bell end.  Good hunting!

    Jerry

       

  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 2,056 Senior Member
    I collect custom turkey calls and probably have close to 100 though I've lost count, it could be a bunch more than that.  Lord knows there are a plethora of call makers out there.  When it comes to box calls Neil Cost was the master! His signature box calls were a work of function, art and tuned and sounded second to none!  If you can find one online it will fetch well over $1200 to $2000.  Before Neil passed away he had three people apprentice under him.  Albert Paul of Paul Calls, Steve Mann and Lamar Williams.  Both Steve and Lamar have an 12 to 24 month waiting list.  I think I'm down for five more calls from them.  

    Albert stays pretty busy and has a great shop.  Albert likes to do a lot of different wood combinations and his back log is usually 3 to 6 weeks.  His calls are about 1/2 the price as Steve's and Lamar's and just as pretty and great sounding.  He's retire and does it full time where Steve and Lamar do it part time.

    Al Showmaker and his son of SS Custom calls build's Cost style calls and is usually a tad cheaper than Albert with some calls in stock.  All of my SS calls are #1 as I keep coming up with different wood combinations.  He calls me when he's thinking of a combination and wants to know if I want the #1...which I always do :smile: His work is fantastic.  Jim McKamey of Twisted Creek make Cost style calls.  His website shows off the different type of wood combinations to give you an idea. I've got a few of his calls and again very good.

    For slate calls I love BB Custom calls.  He has some of the best sounding slates I've ever heard.  

    Feel free to send me a PM and I'll give you my number and we can talk.  

    Best of luck!

    Jeff
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • RaptortrapperRaptortrapper Posts: 94 Member
    Thanks for these names guys.  Think i found my guy though.  John Sinclair is who I decided to go with.  His buddy Jeff makes strikers, so between the two of them, I think I've found what I need.
    Some people are like a slinky-- not much fun till you push them down the stairs!
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,149 Senior Member
    Thanks for these names guys.  Think i found my guy though.  John Sinclair is who I decided to go with.  His buddy Jeff makes strikers, so between the two of them, I think I've found what I need.
    Right on!  Post some pics when you get you call.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • RaptortrapperRaptortrapper Posts: 94 Member
    They were originally going to be a gift.  But now I'm thinking I might pick some up for myself.  This research has me interested in turkey hunting.  

    But yeah, I'll post pictures when I get them.
    Some people are like a slinky-- not much fun till you push them down the stairs!
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,149 Senior Member
    Turkey hunting - and calling in a horny/angry gobbler - is one of the most cool, exciting and interesting experiences in hunting.  They are totally unpredictable animals and are sure to surprise you.

    Better still, once you get a bird, in adution to a great meal you can harvest and dry the fan to decoy birds in or conceal yourself with on a future hunt.  You can also make a truly custom call in the form of a wingbone call like I posted above.  
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • RaptortrapperRaptortrapper Posts: 94 Member
    edited April 2019 #12
    Talked with my buddy the other day.  Turns out he doesn't like pot calls, but prefers box calls.  Decided to go ahead and order a set of these for myself, and find some box calls somewhere for him.  My calls and strikers are supposed to be here by Thursday.  I'll post pictures when they get here. 

    Our season opens the 13th, which is 10 days away.  Hope I can learn how to use these sufficiently in that amount of time.  Jeff (call maker) and John (striker maker) seem to think I'll get it figured out.


    Some people are like a slinky-- not much fun till you push them down the stairs!
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    The most effective turkey call I've used in real-life hunting conditions was a simple, very inexpensive cedar box call that strapped to my shotgun barrel with a piece of velcro, and was operated with a loop of string attached to a fingertip.  It allowed me to keep a big gobbler interested right up to the time I pulled the trigger.  I've got enough pot calls, box calls, and other turkey-talking devices to fill a vest with bunches of pockets, but most of them stay there unused for the entire hunt.  "Fancy" and "expensive" doesn't always mean "good", and that can apply to calls, guns, cars, bows, boots, wives, and girlfriends!     
  • RaptortrapperRaptortrapper Posts: 94 Member
    edited April 2019 #14
    Teach said:
    The most effective turkey call I've used in real-life hunting conditions was a simple, very inexpensive cedar box call that strapped to my shotgun barrel with a piece of velcro, and was operated with a loop of string attached to a fingertip.  It allowed me to keep a big gobbler interested right up to the time I pulled the trigger.  I've got enough pot calls, box calls, and other turkey-talking devices to fill a vest with bunches of pockets, but most of them stay there unused for the entire hunt.  "Fancy" and "expensive" doesn't always mean "good", and that can apply to calls, guns, cars, bows, boots, wives, and girlfriends!     
    True.   But I do subscribe to the thought that most of the time, ya get what ya pay for.  And if nothing else, it won't sound like every other plastic call from Walmart that people will be scratching on out there.  A lot of times, something different is all it takes in hunting. 

    I could care less about the cars, bows, boots, wives, and girlfriends while I'm hunting!  The "guns", I'd beg to differ.  Expensive guns, 99.9999% of the time, are very good.  Everyone can claim to see an expensive gun that wasn't good, but it's usually a story of, "My third cousin's best friend's adopted second step sister had a father-in-law with a Krieghoff that had a bent barrel right out of the box".  Yet nobody's actually seen it happen in person.  And to be fair, of course not every gun is going to fit everybody.  That does not mean it's a bad gun.  Just means it hasn't been adjusted to fit properly, or doesn't fit that person's style.  There is a difference.

    But yeah, I do get what your saying.  I just have a thing for fine guns, that's all.
    Some people are like a slinky-- not much fun till you push them down the stairs!
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 2,056 Senior Member
    One morning out turkey hunting my buddy and I heard the worlds worst turkey callers.  Oh my gosh we wanted to strangle him or just yell through the woods give it and go home.  The high pitched scratchy nails on the chalk board squeakish yelps we're driving us nuts.  It was like a two year old playing with my box calls.

    However, the poor lad calling was getting closer to us, so we decided to wait and personally take away and break what ever call he was using.  Imagine our surprise to see a single hen coming through the woods calling with those gosh awful calls.  My buddy and I just cracked up and said no wonder she was alone.  We watched her move out into a field where a gobbler who wasn't gobbling came in from the other direction and join up with her!

    Big lesson learned that day.  Just like people, not everyone has a beautiful singing or calling voice!
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member

    I love custom guns too- - - - -but 40 years ago, with a low-paying job as a public school teacher and a family to raise, I couldn't afford 'em!  The logical approach, at least to me, was to learn to make them myself.  Been doing it ever since!

    Jerry

     

  • RaptortrapperRaptortrapper Posts: 94 Member
    Teach said:

    I love custom guns too- - - - -but 40 years ago, with a low-paying job as a public school teacher and a family to raise, I couldn't afford 'em!  The logical approach, at least to me, was to learn to make them myself.  Been doing it ever since!

    Jerry

     

    NICE!!! Would ya mind posting a couple pictures of them??!!  That's awesome!!
    Some people are like a slinky-- not much fun till you push them down the stairs!
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member

    Not on this forum- - - - -the picture posting procedure is like the rest of the software- - - -it sucks like a Dyson ball vacuum cleaner!  Drop me an email and I'll be glad to share a few pics!


  • RaptortrapperRaptortrapper Posts: 94 Member
    Sent!!
    Some people are like a slinky-- not much fun till you push them down the stairs!
  • Johnny rebJohnny reb Member Posts: 610 Senior Member
    Believe it or not a turtle shell calls pretty good. 
  • RaptortrapperRaptortrapper Posts: 94 Member
    edited April 2019 #21
    Got the calls and strikers, but forgot to post pictures!!!  Let's see if I can do this....



    The calls and bags are made by John Sinclair.  The top one is Granadillo with titanium on slate.  Middle one is cedar with slate on glass.  Bottom one is Walnut with bronzed glass.  The calls came with the three strikers in the middle row.  Not sure what the wood is on the first one.  The green one is an all weather striker, and the third is diamond wood, and is freakin loud!!!

    The other set of strikers were made by Jeff Harrison, and are Katalox, cedar, and hickory, from top to bottom.  So easy to use, and fit right with this set of calls.

    John and Jeff are great friends who work together very well.  They got me set up with my first set of turkey calls, then talked with me over the phone to get me started.  This set is awesome, and SO EASY to use.  I told them I wanted a set of three calls that would cover most situations, and I'm very pleased with the range of sounds these calls and strikers make.  I couldn't be happier, and they look amazing as well!  I've been practicing and practicing, and am pretty confident I can get a turkey called in. 

    Our season starts Saturday.  I'll keep ya posted....


    Some people are like a slinky-- not much fun till you push them down the stairs!
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,149 Senior Member
    Ease of use is definitely a huge factor for any turkey call.  Even the finest crafted call isn't worth a lick if it takes extremely perfection to make it sound right.  Looks like the set you bought a winner.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • RaptortrapperRaptortrapper Posts: 94 Member
    edited April 2019 #23
    Oh it was so easy.  My wife and I had two of em going and we both sounded like a turkey.  Even she commented on how easy it was to make the sounds, and neither of us had ever used one before.  We both sat down and made what John called "Jake sounds" in less than a minute.  Hands down, the easiest calls I've ever used for any species.
    Some people are like a slinky-- not much fun till you push them down the stairs!
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