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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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