Meridian Star


March 28, 2014

Turkey calls galore

MERIDIAN — When it comes to turkey calls hunters can’t have enough of them and many people collect them. Local collector and aficionada Mark McPhail has been collecting them for many years and can’t resist another call. Most hunters simply want to call up a gobbler with them. They want a different call than everybody else in the area, something that the turkeys are not yet wary of.

    During my formative years I used a Lynch box and mouth call almost exclusively. The box was an afterthought; the mouth call was my primary call. Now, I rarely use a mouth call unless it’s my natural voice. I prefer the calls crafted out of wood and sometimes enhanced with slate, glass, copper or aluminum.

    Logan Sayer’s gobbler was called up with a box/slate combo.

    If you want to call gobblers any old call will suffice, if you know how to play it properly and know what notes to strike and just the proper time to do it

    But if you want to kill turkeys there’s nothing better than a handcrafted box or pot call and our area is home to many craftsman who are skilled in the art of call making. Some of these craftsmen make a few for themselves and friends and others custom make them to order. The number of call makers joining the turkey fraternity seems to grow continually and our area has more than its fair share.

    The old pro turkey hunter Gene Nunnery was known to make a few and was probably the first call maker whom I knew personally.

    Albert Paul makes about the finest box call you’ll ever pick up and play. It plays sweet music in the hands of a master or novice caller. I’ve called up many gobblers with his call. Albert Paul: One call that’s all!

    Mark McPhail got in on the action recently and started handcrafting his own version of scratch box, pot call and trough calls. They are very unique and deadly. Notably, his cane call was crowned national champion last year. I’ve called up and harvested gobblers with his scratch box call as well. McPhail’s trough calls are hard to beat no doubt.

    And there’s another young call maker who’s recently come on the scene. Joey Rose is making an assortment of calls but is becoming sought after for his highly effective pot calls. Turkey hunters from around the south are harvesting gobblers with his calls. I’ve yet to use one of Rose’s calls but they’re on my agenda for use soon.

    Mr. Ford Mangum, from Morton, has spent a lifetime making trough calls that are both unique and have a great sound. They’re easy to play and they have called up an untold number of gobblers. Count me among a fortunate number to have met him and used his call to call up an old tom.

    And finally, last but definitely not least is Paul Meek of Raleigh. Meek has been on the scene making and selling unique and deadly turkey calls for as long as I can remember. He’s the inventor of the Rock Pot Call, made from Rock no less. They’re beautiful, unique and deadly also. Long known for his vast assortment of box calls, Meek’s latest addition to the turkey call market is his Copper/slate call. I received one as a Christmas present from my wife. It didn’t make it by Christmas, but it was made on January 1st, and was used to call up two wise old gobblers for my nephews on my first hunt of the year.  If you’re looking to harvest a wise old gobbler then give one of our local call makers a shot and you just might harvest the bird of a lifetime!

Contact  Mike Giles at 601-917-3898

or e-mail him at

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