Custom Duck Calls
interest in waterfowl hunting and call making came as an adult.
In his younger years he knew little of the sport even though he
was born and spent some of his childhood years in Little Rock, Arkansas.
He spent the first ten years of his life in the backyard of some
of the finest hunting in the country, Stuttgart. What is even stranger
is that he was invited on his first duck hunt in 1992 while living
in New Mexico. That first hunt lasted twenty minutes as he shot
a Mallard hen, and pointed out for the day. It was this experience
that hooked him.
The same friend that got Roy into the duck
blind invited him to be part of the local Ducks Unlimited banquet
committee. Roy gladly accepted the offer figuring he could meet
others with similar interests. He made some good friends, two of
them being avid hunters, callers, and call collectors. Roy received
two calls as gifts from one of them, and acquired another at the
local banquet. He was able to purchase a few calls from the other
collector friend. This was the beginning of his collection.
These calls led to his purchase of two books
currently on the market about calls and call makers. They added
fuel to the fire and Roy soon wanted to make his own calls.
With a background as a machinist, the idea
of making calls was one that Roy knew he could follow through on.
One of his collector friends added the challenge that he thought
Roy couldn't do it. After working on the design and developing his
ideas Roy produced his first functional Arkansas style duck call.
The friend who issued the challenge liked the calls so much, he
put it in his pocket and would not give it back. It is currently
in his collection.
interest in duck hunting fueled the interest in calls. Roy knew
he needed a duck caller to call in the birds. New Mexico isn't considered
a duck hunting center and finding calls in the local stores isn't
easy. What he had purchased at the time came from a catalog and
came with an instructional audio tape. With a little practice Roy
was ready, at least he thought he was. What he didn't learn from
the tape was when not to blow the call.
His newer hunting friends invited him to keep
quiet and shut up in the blind. Roy didn't realize that he could
scare ducks away as easily as he did. One day while on a hunt with
another friend from his Ducks Unlimited committee, Roy forgot the
call he bought from the catalog. The friend had an extra custom
call with him that he let Roy use. They were sitting beneath the
trees on a river when a flight of ducks flew through. Roy was given
a chance to show his stuff. He rang out a long, loud comeback call.
They came around and came into the middle of the decoy spread. The
ducks were spared though, and left quacking as if they were laughing.
Roy realized how important the call was in calling in the birds
and this cemented his interest in making the calls himself.
Making his own equipment isn't anything new
to Roy. As a dedicated fly fisherman he has made his own rods, leaders,
and flies for years. He even tied flies commercially for ten years.
The involvement into duck call making was a natural. Roy thinks
he might to try his hand a decoy carving down the road.
Through Roy's and other committee members
work, the local DU chapter that he now heads is now sponsoring the
New Mexico State duck calling championships. In September of 1997,
Roy placed fourth with his own call. The friend who gave him his
first call took second with one of Roy's calls and the Junior Championships
were won with one of Roy's calls as well. Roy is encouraged by those
Today Roy's calls are donated to local, and
other DU chapters for their auctions and are well received. Roy
is also a member of the Call Makers and Collectors Association.
His making calls is viewed as a hobby and he says, "its worth
it all by just being able to meet and make friendships with other
duck hunters, callers, collectors, and call makers.