Name: Rick Hess
Address: 15 Shirley Lane; Boiling Springs, PA 17007
Phone: 717-258-6023 Fax:
E-mail: rlongbeard@aol.com
Personal Website:
www.longbeardcalls.com

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 Longbeard Calls

Rick Hess’s introduction to the wild turkey started at the early age of 12 when he went on his first PA Spring gobbler hunt with his father. That one hunt would impact his life forever. Now, thirty years later Rick finds himself spending time watching, photographing and hunting wild turkeys. He credits this love and respect of the outdoors to none other than his parents who instilled in him hunting traditions, values and respect for wildlife.

Rick was born and raised in Boiling Springs, PA, which is located in the South Central part of the state. He still lives there today and has no intentions of moving. He is a member of several organizations, which include NWTF, NRA, R.M.E.F. and Ducks Unlimited. He is particularly active in his local Michaux-Yellow Breeches NWTF chapter and annual donates calls to help in their fundraising banquets.

Before Rick began making his own turkey calls, he began collecting them. Over the past several years he has collected an array of these fine instruments from a variety of custom call makers. With each new call he acquired, it allowed him to gather the crucial information of what makes a quality call and what doesn’t. Through his years of hunting he often thought it would be great to call in a bird with a call of his own and the hobby of collecting lead him in that direction. Finally in June of 2001 Rick found himself in the shop building his own brand of turkey calls.

Call making was a new venture for Rick, especially since he had no prior woodworking experience. But with each session in his shop he continued to gain knowledge and experience of how to overcome the common pitfalls that all call makers face. Rick considers his call making to be strictly a hobby, but a hobby that he takes very seriously and this is evident in the calls he produces today. Rick’s calls go by the name Longbeard and he produces approximately 50 of these field grade calls a year. 50 calls a year doesn’t seem like many but Rick stands by the philosophy that quality should always take precedence of quantity even if it means a decrease in the number produced.

One of Rick’s favorite calls to make is the longbox. Rick feels this call has the ability to make loud aggressive clucks and yelps to fire a gobbler up at the start of a hunt, but is also capable of making soft calls that help finish it. His preference of woods includes butternut and poplar for the bases, which produce a quality sound, but he is also fond of mahogany, cherry, wormy chestnut and a variety of others. He uses cedar in many of his box lids and finds it consistently produces the best sounds when matched up with other woods. Other styles of calls produced include Sawn-and-glued and hewn-out-double-sided-boxes. Both collectors and hunters will be pleased with the craftsmanship and detail that goes into each call Rick makes. Each call is hand made my Rick and no call ever leaves his shop unless he would personally take it to the field for himself.

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