Name: Charlie Miller
Address: 7479 NE Hicks Drive; Hamilton, MO 64644
Phone: 816-583-2543 Fax:
E-mail: charliescustomcalls@yahoo.com
Personal Website: www.charliescustomcalls.com

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 Charlie's Custom Calls

I was born and raised in the southeast corner of Iowa on the bluffs of the Mississippi River in the town of Burlington. I now have resided for the past 35 years with my wife, Kay, in Hamilton, Missouri, about one hour north of Kansas City. We have five grown children, of which two are sons who enjoy hunting with me. We hunt nearby Fountain Grove and Swan Lake Areas to the East and Squaw Creek Areas to the West of us for geese and ducks. Deer season is an event we look forward to and hunt on our own property. My Dad enjoyed hunting and fishing and as I reached the age of 8 or 9 he would take my brother and I along to the duck blind. My Grandpa loved to eat wild game and would take us (his grandsons) out to hunt and he would follow us around with a paper delivery bag over his shoulders and clean the game as we shot it.

When I was a Boy Scout and pretend Frontier Woodsman I would make my own predator calls from a plan out of Outdoor Life magazine, with two sticks and a rubber band. From that primitive beginning until I retired two years ago my attempts at call making could be described as crude.

I have always enjoyed working with wood since my early school days. As I could afford to, I would add to or improve the quality of my tools in a process toward improving the projects I would make. Today, I still have a great interest in each and every board I pick up. I eagerly enjoy the beauty in each piece as it develops while I work it into the variety of projects I make. I relish variety in the woods I use and the pieces I make. I presently have on hand several thousand feet representing at least a dozen species of local woods (i.e., walnut, oak, hickory, Osage orange and maple). You might say there is not a wood I don't like, just some I like better than others. Like so many others, I look forward to working a new species in the wood shop.

Several years ago, while attending a NWFT banquet, I purchased a friction call. It eventually replaced the diaphragm and box calls I was using. It sounded good but the pot was plastic. I was introduced to a new conservation officer in our area who produced friction calls, from him I purchased my first slate call, we shared ideas and therefore I got started making my own. I began with five friction calls; these first five were given to my sons, a son-in-law and myself. After several more experiments, I am making a call that sounds great and is also pleasing to the eyes.

I don't remember whether I had a plan from an outdoor magazine or had just seen one but I still have my first box call; I never managed to make it sound right. I had pulled the nails out of a 2X4 yellow pine board and went to work. As I look back now, it was probably a paddle problem. Today my box calls do sound nice but getting to this point was a long journey. My calls have to sound good first and then they can look good. I think they do both. When I find the time I'm always playing with new ideas to improve or produce something new and /or a little different.

Call making is a hobby for me that I nearly spend full time on, after retiring from the Fire Department (working 34 years). My calls are both field and collector grade (along with presentation boxes). Spending so much time alone in the wood shop, I do miss someone to bounce ideas off of. Another's prospective goes a long way in the development of new ideas or finding solutions to problems.

I produce a full selection of game calls: duck calls, single and double reed, goose calls, crow calls, deer grunts, predator calls, coyote howlers, and turkey calls, both friction and box. All these are available ready made or made to order to the customer's specifications. Somewhere over 100 calls a year are being made now, and I hope to increase that number. I'm a member of DU and past member of NWTF. My youngest son is a senior at the University of Missouri, Columbia, with a degree in wildlife biology. He is president of MU's chapter of the Wildlife Society and very active with the Columbia Chapter of DU.

With all this in my background it was only natural that Charlie's Custom Calls would happen. In order to help spread some of these good calls around the area, the website name www.charliescustomcalls.com was created and is currently being managed by my son-in-law. I have a "field staff" of five, my two sons, and two bothers, and a son-in-law that help in sales and product development.

I hope you have enjoyed my bio...Charlie Miller

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