Mclaughlin was born and raised in Hazen Pennsylvania. An avid hunter
since age 12 he has brought home his fair share of wild game to
include wild turkey, deer and an occasional goose. He has been a
member of the National Wildlife Turkey Federation (NWTF) for almost
10 years. Working with the NWTF he donates turkey calls to the superfund
banquets each year and during the past summer taught turkey-hunting
classes for the NWTF women in outdoors.
quest of making turkey calls began after he realized he was wasted
a lot of money on numerous production calls off the shelf and from
the outdoor shows. It seem that every call he purchased and took
home sounded completely different than what he originally tested.
With prices varying from bottom of the barrel to extremely high
end, he decided it was time he made a call of his own that would
give him the confidence he was looking for when he walked into the
woods. He goal was to build a call that was fair in price and something
the average guy with a family could easily afford and appreciate.
build a call one must first have the patience and understanding
that call making can be a long drawn out process. Mark realized
this early on as he began. He spent countless hours studying and
spent much of his time learning by trial and error. Once you have
started many of the steps begin to fall into place. Mark states,
You develop a feel for a block of wood and know what to expect
when the call is complete. Throughout the call making process
he learned a lot about woods and how each species has it own unique
characteristics, especially when it comes to reading wood grains.
This lead Mark to become heavily involved with the band saw operations.
By participating in this process he was able to watch and determine
the way he wanted each log cut. He has devoted much of his time
in this area and even shares his thoughts and ideas with pictures
of this process on his website.
calls are built under the name McLaughlin Game Calls. He considers
it a family business as both his brother Mike and his Uncle bud
help him on a regular basis. His father who was a huge influence
in his early call making years has since passed away, but Mark knows
he is with him every day and would be proud of his success. Although
call making is currently a hobby for Mark, he finds himself spending
more and more time in the shop and believes that it will soon develop
into a full time occupation.
Mark makes several different styles of calls.
He prefers to use walnut and red oak for his pot calls. Through
experience he has found he can obtain a very consistent sound quality.
Box calls are made from two of his favorite woods, which include
sassafras and butternut. Mark has several calls that he is very
fond of, specifically two of his glass calls, which are called Raspy
Red and The Deceptor. Both calls are very similar with only
slight differences in tone qualities because of the different woods
used. But his overall favorite call to build is his Pennsylvania
Long Boxes, which he only makes 25 of each year. Each piece of wood
used has its own heart and soul. He considers these calls a labor
of love and he often can loose countless hours in the shop when
he is working on one of these.
If you have never heard of McLaughlin Game
Calls you can get a first hand look at them soon. Mark is planning
to enter his signature long box call and his glass calls in their
respective classes at the NWTF convention in 2005. Make sure you
stop by and meet Mark and tell him you read about him at Custom