Rural Missouri - November 2012 - (Page 14)

O U T D O O R S J by Jason Jenkins ohn Koepp vividly remembers the collection of duck calls that hung from his dad’s lanyard. None of them really sounded like a duck, but they did the trick most of the time. From his first hunt as a 15-year-old, John fell in love with sitting in a stand of flooded timber, listening for the sounds of wood ducks and mallards, and hoping to hear the echo of shotguns ringing out through the trees. So when he fired up his lathe and let the wood chips fly five years ago, he had no aspirations of becoming an award-winning duck call maker. Instead, John simply wanted to combine two of his passions — woodworking and duck hunting. It wasn’t long, however, until a new passion emerged. Today, John and his business, Addiction Calls, have quickly gained notoriety for producing custom waterfowl calls that are both functional and beautiful. “It’s got to sound like an old mallard hen,” Watch as John Koepp says the the SEMO makes a custom duck call Electric Cooperative in the online edition at member of his calls. “It’s got to be low and raspy, just a nasty sounding call that gets them hooked in. I’m trying to push the envelope of what you can do with a duck call as far as looks and performance.” Produced in his basement workshop in Benton, John Koepp has made a name for himself as one of the country’s up-and-coming custom duck call makers. After John’s calls today can be found both in hunting earning Rookie of the Year honors at the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Grand National Callmaking Competition blinds and displayed on collectors’ mantles across in 2010, the owner of Addiction Calls was named the 2012 Hunting Duck & Goose Call Maker of the Year. the country. The realistic sounds his calls produce have received the acclaim of the waterfowl industry. He’s won numerous local and regional callmaking contests. And — after earning Rookie of the Year honors at the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Grand National Callmaking Competition in 2010 — he was named the organization’s Hunting Duck & Goose Call Maker of the Year this year. “His calls are phenomenal,” says David Baden, a lifelong waterfowl hunter and call collector from Hughesville, Md. “The personalization he offers is guys charge, but the calls are just as good, if not “You make about a thousand of awesome. He’ll take one of his basic models and better,” he adds. them and end up throwing threetune it to suit you. And, he won’t charge you an arm The cost for a custom duck or goose call fourths of them in the trash can and a leg to do it.” because they didn’t work right,” says the can vary widely based on the materials Duck and goose calls essentially consist of two 35-year-old. “You change a little bit here, used and extra embellishments added. parts: an insert and a barrel, sometimes called a keg. John says he recently turned a duck call see what it does. Then you end up going The insert contains the tone board and reed and is yellow cedar burl, too far and throw it in the trash and start Benton • out of Alaskan alone cost $165. and where the sound is produced. The barrel is the part just the wood again. After about a thousand or so, you through which a hunter blows sending air over the Other exotic and rare woods — such get it down pretty good.” reed and into the insert. as cocobola, African blackwood, spalted Prices for John’s basic calls range from Earlier duck calls, known as Reelfoot-style calls, river birch, black palm, red elm burl, marble wood, $65 for a molded plastic call to $115 for an acrylic are longer than today’s calls, which are known as monkeypod and Madagascar plum — also command goose call. “My prices are under what the big-name J-frame or Arkansas-style calls. The higher prices. length of the Reelfoot call makes it John says he enjoys producing these harder to control. Another difference is high-end calls that allow him to comthe shape of the tone board and reed. bine natural woods and metals with Reelfoot calls feature curved metal manmade composites such as acrylic reeds and flat tone boards, whereas and Micarta and experiment with inJ-frame calls have a sloped tone board lays and embellishments such as ivory. and a straight Mylar reed. While his standard calls are available “The Reelfoot calls had a tinny through the Addiction Calls website, sound,” John explains. “The Mylar John uses the company’s Facebook gives them a ‘duckier’ sound. Shortenpage to show off — and sell — his ing the calls made them more recustom calls. sponsive, easier to run and a lot more “At least half of my business is oneefficient. You get more volume to reach off duck calls. You’ll never see another out on a windy day.” one just like it,” he says. “Not only are Today, the Addiction Calls line-up they pretty, they sound amazing.” includes four duck calls, four goose calls and one turkey call. John says To learn more about Addiction Calls, finalizing the designs required a lot of Whether handcrafted from domestic wood, acrylic, metal or an exotic or rare material, visit or call 573trial and error. 587-6228. Addiction Calls crafts duck and goose calls that are as beautiful as they are functional. Addicted to duck calls Thanks to a passion for waterfowl and woodworking, John Koepp is a national champion call maker 14 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2012

Rural Missouri - November 2012
Doing away with the ‘old scrub bull’
Cooperation among co-ops
Addicted to duck calls
Out of the Way Eats
Redefining rustic
Best of rural Missouri
Hearth and Home
Sleep like the grain
Around Missouri

Rural Missouri - November 2012