Wild Turkey Calls
of the NWTF National Convention,
Tom Turpin Award, 2004, 2005 and 2008
interest in call making history, along with his interest in turkey
hunting led to his desire to learn more about how these birds were
hunted in the late 1800s and first half of the 1900's. During his
study of that era's turkey hunting masters and their calls, Ralph
decided to make his own suction type yelper. Experimentation had
him trying all kinds of materials, man-made and natural. After some
time his calls improved to the point where they would imitate the
yelp of a hen turkey.
Ralph says the people most influential to
his call making are Earl Mickel for his encouragement,
Larry Proffit for his mentoring skills, and Parker Whedon for his
knowledge of turkey hunting, vintage calls and warm hospitality.
He had the honor of visiting with Parker and examining calls, first
hand, that normally are only seen in books on the subject.
calls are known for their quality of sound and the ability to break
in just the right place, which is so important to imitating the
wild turkey yelp. The smooth draw of his yelpers is another characteristic
commented on by hunters and collectors who own these calls.
Ralph makes many different styles of yelpers.
He has his own original designs but also creates interpretations
of vintage yelpers. His turned barrel calls have custom mouthpieces,
and brass ferrules stamped with the call's number and maker's initials.
Calls have consecutive numbers according to style. Low production
and high quality make these calls very collectable.