James Keith starting making calls in 1986.
His interest was peaked after reading an article on another call
maker in a magazine. His neighbor and hunting partner was a machinist
and help with the first attempts at making a call. The first calls
were not very good. James interest continued to grow while the helping
friend cooled off quickly. To continue in his call making James
purchased the tools and equipment he needed. James comments that
he made allot of fire wood as he started learning.
calls style is Arkansas, single reed. James produces two style
calls S2 and S3. Both work in all conditions. The S2 design has
the stopper and barrel contours blend together. This call cant
be banded. Its about 4.5" in length. The style of the
S3 in longer at about 4.75" and is designed to allow the call
to be banded.
All single species wood calls are all turned
from the same sections of wood. This way the grain matches and is
continuos in its pattern. Barrels are snugly fit to the insert
to insure that the call stays together while in the field. Favorite
woods include Cocobolo, Maple (Birds Eye) and Osage Orange. One
of James favorite combinations is a Birds Eye Maple Barrel
and a Cocobolo tone board insert. Additional woods are available
and very from time to time. In addition to wood James also works
with Acrylic. These calls are available in a number of colors including
clear, smoke, green, amber, blue, copper and ivory.
James calls are used across the country and
are gaining in popularity. In 1997 one of James calls won second
best hunting call in the Callmakers and Collectors Association Annual
Competition in St. Charles IL. All His calls are designed for the
blind and not as competition calls. Hence the motto of his calls,
"built for the blind". There isnt a duck on the
water that could win a calling competition. The ultimate goal for
any call and call maker is to bring in and work the birds in the
field. James needs people to understand that his call as it comes
from the box will not make anyone a better caller. Nobodys
call can do that. It takes time and practice. A caller needs to
blow his call and practice, practice, practice.
Call making is an extension of James interest
in waterfowl hunting. It adds that personal touch to his hunt. To
James the hunt is working the birds and getting them to land where
he wants them. Pulling the trigger is just the icing on the cake.
James comments that he has learned to like the cake even without
the icing. There are no limits to the amounts that can be had.