up in Virginia, Rick enjoyed hunting at a very early age. His father
introduced him to hunting when he was old enough to sit still and
retrieve the doves he shot. As he got older the days of supervised
hunting only with a BB gun eventually lead to the use of a shotgun.
But even then, through his father's watchful eye he was only allowed
one shell at a time. Times have changed and now Rick finds himself
in the same role as he teaches his children the same ethics he learned
years ago as a child. The time spent with his father and other hunters
in the community have given him a passion for the outdoors and a
hunting heritage, something he now strives to pass on.
passion of Rick's somewhat developed out of need, has been his interest
in woodworking. While in college he encountered the same problems
most students face, the need for extra spending money. It was here
he began making furniture to help furnish his apartment. After college
he continued woodworking and looking for ways to improve his woodworking
skills, by taking on additional projects. It just so happened that
making turkey calls became a means of combining his two passions
into one product.
Rick has found his niche in making a line of slate and glass friction
calls and box calls that go by the name Blue Ridge Calls. The name
Blue Ridge was chosen because of property his family owns in Bath
County, VA located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. You wont find a
better place on earth to hunt turkey, deer, grouse and other forms
of wildlife. Rick's early years of woodworking made it relatively
easy for him to start making calls, but he didn't anticipate the
detail that goes into making a call sound good. As time progress,
this obstacle would soon be overcome but not until he had culled
many of the first calls he developed.
Ridge Calls are made one at a time by Rick personally. Friction
calls are his favorite to make because they allow him to be creative.
He primarily uses cherry, walnut, and maple but he looks for special
characteristics in woods like curly, spalted, burls or unique grain
patterns. All woods used are air dried to insure the natural look
of the wood. Each call is made to look good but if it doesn't sound
good first and foremost it will be discarded. Callmaking is currently
a hobby with call production at around 200 a year, but Rick sees
the business growing as the demand for his calls continue to increase.
Many of his calls have been featured at NWTF banquets as well as
Ducks Unlimited and the Ruffed Grouse Society.