Decker was born and raised in the State of Kentucky and currently
lives in the small rural community of Webster, which is located
in Breckinridge County. Breckinridge was the 35th county to be established
in Kentucky and is known by many for its abundance of wild game.
Native Americans often frequented the area hunting for food, as
this is evident by the numerous arrowheads, spears and other relics
that have been found throughout the County. For Roger, this Native
American tradition holds true, as his ancestors were part Cherokee
Indian. When Roger first started hunting it was because he simply
loved the outdoors, but overtime his ancestral ties have been the
contributing factor that has kept him interested for more than 35
the spring of 2003 Roger found himself recovering from heart bypass
surgery and he needed to find something that could occupy his time.
Something that would not be stressful, but something he could enjoy.
Picking up a copy of Turkey Call Magazine he saw an ad for making
your own turkey calls from kits. With nothing to lose he ordered
the kit and quickly found it was the best therapy he could have
ever gotten. He has been hooked ever since and now makes his calls
the switch from kits to custom made calls is quite a difference
and Roger has made his fair share of mistakes. Fortunately for him
he had previously worked for a furniture mfg. and learned that different
woods have different characteristics and each have to be handled
accordingly. Another plus for Roger was he also plays the fiddle
and guitar, something that has helped him become sensitive to the
different sounds each wood makes. Roger's preference of woods to
work with is hardwoods. Even though they are harder on equipment
the sound that can be achieved is much closer to the sound of the
wild turkey. However, don't be surprised to see Roger working with
cedars and poplars two other types of woods he feels are hard to
beat. Roger's list of woods include: walnut, mahogany, yellowheart,
cedar, osageorange, purpleheart, popular, chestnut, persimmon, hardmaple,
butternut, and catalpa.
makes three different styles of calls which include: double-sided
box calls, long boxes, and friction calls. Although he likes the
double-sided box call and enjoys making them, his favorite call
by far is the friction or pot slate call. It is an easy call to
play and the sounds are as close to the real thing as you can get.
Each of these call styles is available in field grade or collector
grade or as Rogers's states, basically whatever the customer prefers.
Roger's calls go by the name Papaws Custom
Calls. This unique name just seemed to fit since Roger is a grandfather
of twin grandsons who are always asking Papaw this or Papaw that.
Roger has produced approximately 50 calls this year and anticipates
that number will grow. Even though he doesn't consider himself an
expert in callmaking he feels for the money he makes a fine quality