More than just a name: Scott Rowe

When interviewing Scott for his upcoming question and answer he told us the story of Zane and how his calls got their name.  I've heard this story before and was always intrigued by it.  I related to it in my own call making life as my personal calls were named after a close friend.  I think in a world of cupped, greenhead, cut'em, shoot'em style names out there in call making, when a name comes along out of the so called "norm." I find myself interested in how it came about.  Below is Scott's story we hope you enjoy. Scott Rowe-Z-Rowe Calls Anyone that has spent any amount of time around me has more than likely heard one or 2 stories about my cousin Zane Rowe May. Zane influenced, and to th

Michael Meredith: The Making of a Call Maker

Michael "Mr MiG" Meredith is a fast up and coming call maker who has exploded onto the scene the last few years.  He builds a great call with the quality and care you hope to receive from every call maker.  Mike is a great outdoorsmen and has personally given me feed back and advice along the way in my own call making career.  He was kind enough to give me some of his time to tell his story. The Making of a Call Maker-Michael Meredith For as long as I can remember, my family has been an outdoors family. I started out running beagles for rabbits with my father at a very young age. Gradually, we progressed to deer hunting. I'm now a diehard bow hunter, but something just seemed to be something

Wonders of Wildlife: a vision made a reality.

I remember touring the Wonders of Wildlife sometime in the early 00’s. It was a large building with a mock Forest set up and some wild animals running around. I thought how cool it was to have river otters running around and jumping down a slide. This was right next door to Bass Pro Shops Springfield Mo a place I had run around and played since I was a small child. Sometime mid 00’s Johnny Morris, Bass Pro founder, owner, and CEO closed down the Wonders of Wildlife.  As time went bye rumors started to swirl about when it would reopen. Seemingly a date would be set, pass then reset. Rumor was the project would get close and Johnny unhappy would ask it be pushed farther and bigger. It almost b

Kile Jones: Pursuit of a Title

Kile Jones of Paducah, KY is a call builder for Power Calls and an up and coming competition caller. Kile has 4 goose competition wins in 2017 and 7 other top five finishes. He is a caller that has the skills and talent to win any competition any day with three clean rounds. We have talked the last couple weeks about calling competitions and coverage of them from a media stand point. We both believe with more coverage available and information shared that competition calling can grow and regain some of the popularity it had in the past. While talking at the Southern US Open we discussed doing this sit down and talking about his calling career and where he sees it going from here. He was

Brad Samples: Reigning Champion of Champions Blindsides the Competition

I can remember the first time I saw a Brad Samples call.  In the world filled with flames, bright colored acrylics and camo swirls, here was a call that was perfect.  Dark red cocobolo barrel tipped in african black wood with a matching black wood band and insert.  Carved into the band was a tiny and intricate feather pattern I had never seen before on a call only up staged by the full length "three feather design" Brad carves into his inserts.  No detail was out of place nor ignored.  A true piece of artwork that I would be afraid to take to the blind like a proud new corvette owner placing a car cover on his prize at the end of every night. I knew from the moment I saw that call I'd be pla

Silhouettes: Not to be overlooked.

The decoys are too expensive and I have no way to haul them. This seems to be the most common reasons I hear when asking duck hunters if they are into hunting honkers.  In a world of "bigger is better" this is a problem that many hunters must face. A quality spread of full bodies in a high pressure hunting area can set you back thousands of dollars and leave you with a truckload of storage problems.  Personally, I love hunting over a big spread of fully flocked full bodies with the most modern bases. The realism and movement they add can be a huge advantage. That being said, the real question is do I really need this to kill geese and kill them consistently and my opinion and experience says

On the X: Sitdown with World Champ and owner of Black Timber Customs Trevor Shannahan.

We were fortunate enough to catch up with Trevor during contest season and get some of his story about beginnings and where he wants to go. He was a class act throughout the process and a pleasure to work with. BTB: When did you first start hunting and who was it that got you started? TS: I started hunting at the age of 4 with my father. He would take me out, land some birds and let me shoot them occasionally. Any other time, I was tagging along learning the ropes, like how and why to set decoys, why birds acted certain ways, how to brush blinds, etc. It wasn't until I was about 7 or 8 that he took me to shoot with others in the blind. BTB: When di

Top 5: Goose Callers in the circuit right now.

Honorable Mention Kile Jones Kile is winning and winning a lot lately. 5. John Walls John has 5 Contest wins in 2016-17 and 11 other Top 3 Finishes. John has ruled the State of Deleware for the last half decade taking 1st in 13 competitions. 4. Robbie Iverson 3x World Champ Robbie Iverson has 2 Contest Wins in the last two seasons and 7 top 5 finishes in recent contest. The Amount of contests he has competed in is down but always seems to show big on the biggest of stages with his most recent world title coming in 2014. 3. Teddy Hoover With 42 overall career wins 7 of which have come in the last two seasons, Teddy has been around the top of the game for almost a decade. Pair his recent win

Resident Honkers: nuisance or challenge?

September and October kick off resident honker season for many states around the country. We have all been to parks or zoos and seen Canada Geese or honkers, as I refer to them, taking over the grass. I love it as a way to hear ducks and geese during the offseason but many others tire from their poop and constant loud clucking. This affords us as hunters the great chance to harvest geese earlier than regular season and a way to tune up our skills. If you got to the park with a loaf of bread chances are you will be over ran with geese in a matter of a few minutes. You might be fooled by this thinking these geese are dumb and easy to trick. This is quite the opposite in reality. These ge

Knock Off the Rust: start the season in midseason form

The summer months can be long and hot. Working, fishing, floating, and camping are the joys of summer. Duck hunting is probably not at the forefront of our minds in July and August. All the sudden October arrives and we are left scrambling to get gear ready to go. Checking decoys, getting boats ready to run and cleaning guns signal the kick off to season. Opening morning arrives and the first mallards of the season fly overhead and you put air to your call and a flat series of quacks come out. You realize you haven't touched your calls since January let alone tuned them. Calls are a musical instrument and like every musician, you should tune them before going out for your performance.

Southern US Open: What you should know

In 2016 The Southern US Open was a highly ranked contest placing #2 out of 35 ranked contest with a power score of 38.06 for Goose Calling. This means people who attended and placed at The Open placed or did well in Worlds at Stuttgart. We expect this year to be no different and interesting once again. Our Coverage will begin on the 16th and wrap up on the 17th. You can watch on our facebook page for the live stream and behind the scenes. Last Years Winners: 2 Man Pit Goose David Damron- Currently Ranked #11 overall with 20 wins. Hunter Grounds- 3x World Champ and ranked #9 in power rankings 2 man Meat Seth Fields- #12 in Duck Rankings with 29 wins, 7 of which came this year. Cory Niccum-

What do I need to turn a duck call?

“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." -John Q. Adams What do I need to turn a duck call? A loaded and frequently asked question. First you must answer a couple questions of yourself. Why do I want to start making calls? How many calls do I want to turn? Am I going to turn and make my own inserts or buy pre-made inserts? Is this going to be a business or a hobby? Once you have those nailed down the first place you should start is a lathe because after all it's the main tool you will put hours onto. A wood lathe will get you started and do everything you need to build a call. You can research about lathe brands and si

Want to hunt on tv?

So you just turned off the most recent Avian X and want to be the next Fred Zink? It would be awesome to travel the country hunting only the best fields, sitting in the best blinds, and staying at the nicest lodges. Well hold up, how many shows can you name that return every season? How many are owned or sponsored by the title name of the show? (i.e. Avian-X, RNT-V, The Fowl Life) You have a few that have stuck without being owned by major companies like Heartland Bowhunter and Waterfowl but hundreds of others that come and go after one season. Costs. The cost of running a show can be astronomical. First you have your normal hunting costs which we all know how cheap hunting is as a hobby.

Competition Calling: A way to stay involved in hunting year round.

We have all seen the meme "I tried comp calling but I keep killing the judges." It's the number one argument hunters make while talking trash about those who do. That being said do you really think a world champion caller can't kill ducks and geese? That's a laughable thought at most. Competition calling is about mastering use and control of a duck or goose call, not about who is the best hunter. I have seen guys who couldn't call a lick kill limits due to minimal calling, proper scouting and sometimes just plain luck. Pass shooting a limit of ducks coming off the refuge or jump shooting off a farm pond makes a great picture for you to share on social media but hardly makes a great hun

Keep your gundog hydrated

The gnats, mosquitoes, ticks and humidity are all part of what make early season hunting early season. It's usually right at the end of summer start of fall time line and can be quite warm. Staying hydrated during a long day can be essential. Much like us our 4 legged hunting companions need water and replenishment as well. Bringing water to the blind is definitely an added annoyance and a lot of weight to carry in along with your other gear but can be one of your most important assets. A bowl can be a nice way to keep your pup with water but I let them drink from the bottle pouring it into their mouths for one less piece of gear to carry. Something as small yet crucial as this can kee

Improve your teal season success

1. Know where to find them Knowing where to look is critical, understanding what Blue Wing Teal like and where they feed can narrow down the places you can look for them. BWT feed mainly on aquatic insects and plants found in shallow waters. Marshes, sloughs, flood spill overs and even ditches around larger wetlands. Knowing where water depths and environments like this exist is key. 2. Show up on time Teal are early fliers and in the midwest tend to fly only in the first hour of the day. If you are not in place and ready to go well before shooting time you will find a very hard time being successful. 3. Teal are not shy Every year a new decoy is released by top decoy companies and mo

Perserverance(Noun)-see CAJUN NAVY

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in over one million were forced to leave their homes and 600 thousand were still homeless over a month later. Lives were ruined and lost for some. The country was surrounded by grief and many looked for blame to be placed on someone. The divide between rich and poor was never more apparent and in the national spotlight. Through all of this tragedy we saw hunters and outdoorsmen coming together with boats and supplies to aid in the rescue the thousands stranded in dangerous and rising waters. The "Cajun Navy" was born. They didn't just donate money to aid those in need which by all means is a great gesture, they donated themselves and their time. Now in

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