Offbeat: Turkey Call Maker - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Lynn, AR--Bob Snell Reports

Offbeat: Turkey Call Maker

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LYNN, AR(KAIT)--Gerald Howard of Lynn, Arkansas can talk turkey with the best of them. He's killed dozens of long beards, ever since the season first opened in the bottoms of the Black River back in 1973.

" I had an old box that sounded terrible," said Howard. "It sounded like anything but a turkey, but ut that's how we started. I've been hooked or crazy ever since." Crazy in search of that perfect yelp, cluck, or cackle. Crazy in search of producing the perfect call.

"That's a big challenge, to make the call and call up a turkey and kill it," said Howard. "That's the big challenge." A challenge, passion, and obsesson with Howard who hand makes all manner of calls.

At first you're gonna throw a lot of calls away, I don't care what kind of call you make," said Howard.  But after 30 years and plenty of trial and error, Gerald has got it down to a science, sort of.

"That's a redneck assembly line, I guess that's what you call it," said Howard.  He uses maple for the top and bottom of his box calls and mostly poplar, butternut, or cedar for the sides.  But for Gerald, making these calls isn't just about the bird hearing the call, it's also about the caller hearing the word.

"I put a bible verse in most of them," said Howard. "It might convict em when they open it up. Somebody might read it, cause people are not saved without the word. They got to hear about it before they can believe it."

No matter what happens with the caller, it's obvious the gobblers are hearing the gospel according to Gerald.  Last year one of his friends took a four bearded gobbler, with 38 inches of beards in all, using one of Gerald's calls.  He makes box, slate, glass, and mouth calls.

If you'd like more information about how to buy a Howard Call, just give him a ring at 870-528-3985.

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