Tyler Hall: Call Making in the Delta
When I approached Tyler for an interview he jumped at the chance. Quickly and professionally communicating much like his reputation for customer service. He is a true outdoorsmen from what I refer to as the "Real South" Slidell Louisiana. I say this after being stationed an hour away in the US Navy and people that far south take pride in it. Check out Tyler's story below.
BTB: When did you start hunting and who got you into it?
TH: I first started duck hunting in 2009. I was an avid deer hunter at the time, and ended up going with my next door neighbor and his Dad on my first hunt. What really got me was a trip I had made down to Scarsdale, LA. It’s right along the Mississippi River in Southeast Louisiana, and we stayed at Mr. Mike Benge’s camp, who is a friend of my Dad’s. The atmosphere at the camp was what you’d expect. Camp members were all around with there dogs, great food and college football. It’s where I picked up my first DU magazine, and where my duck hunting career really started.
BTB: What was your first call?
TH: My first call was a Haydel DR-85.
BTB: Did you have any mentors or teachers?
TH: I can't really nail down who my biggest teacher or mentor was when it comes to call making. I can tell you that I owe so much of my success to a number of people who have helped me out over the phone. A few to mention for sure would be Colby Leonard, Aaron Wingert, Brad Samples, Ryan Watson, and I'm sure I'm missing a few. It's guys like them who have taken the time out of their day to help me out with questions on call making etc. and for that I'm forever greatful.
BTB: How did you get into call making?
TH: I turned my first barrel at the Echo Calls shop in 2013. I was on their Field-staff at the time and they were nice enough to let me come up to the shop every now and again to hang and help out. One day I had asked them if I could turn a barrel, and they set a blank up for me on the lathe and I went to town. My first full call was complete around May of 2014.
BTB: You exploded onto the call making scene a few years back quickly going from a guy hand shaping toneboards one at a time to having a waiting list, what was that like?
TH: I was absolutely blown away by the response I received from other hunters and call collectors following my first sound file of my toneboard on the Facebook Page, "Duck Calling Video Showcase". I had checked my message inbox on Facebook and had about ten or so guys asking to purchase one of my calls. It was a really special moment for me and since then I've been so thankful for anyone who inquires about having a call made. For me, making a duck call for a customer has always been something I've found to be a very personal type of interaction . I enjoy getting to know my customers and building a friendship with them that will continue on after they receive their call.
BTB: We as call makers have an all time favorite call, which one is yours?
TH: My favorite call is probably the call that started my call making journey for me. The insert was drilled crooked, it had no lanyard grove, it's about as ugly as you can imagine. It has a Hedge barrel that's also ugly as well lol. But it reminds me how far I've come, and that's why I like it so much.
BTB: Who pushes you to grow as a call maker?
TH: I think that my competition pushes me the most. There are so many incredibly talented call makers out there right now who are producing some absolutely beautiful calls that sound amazing. Guys like Brad Samples, Aaron Wingert, Stump, and Ryan Watson continuously remind me of how much more I have to learn about making calls, and I'm thankful that they are there to keep me motivated.
BTB: What's the future of Delta Duck Co.?
TH: I'd be just fine with continuing doing what I am with Delta Duck right now. I love making calls for other hunters who are going to use them in the field, but would really like to focus on producing some higher end collectible type calls as well if time permits it. As long as I'm able to make calls part time and continue to build friendships and relationships with others I'll be a happy camper.
BTB: From the outside you seem to have a lot of irons in the fire. Between call making, hunting, working for Higdon, and now filming. Some people claim to live the waterfowl life because they hunt on weekends but what does it mean to you to be truly engrained in the outdoors and hunting?
TH: As a young boy I spent most of my time at our deer hunting camp in Livingston, AL and that's where my passion for the outdoors really started. I can remember sitting around the fire listening to my grandfather tell me stories of his time hunting in Africa and growing up hunting and fishing along Mobile Bay. These camp fire stories created the framework for my passion and love for the outdoors. Waterfowl hunting has without a doubt been the number one passion in my life. To be honest the killing aspect of it has grown to be less and less important to me over the years. Yes, that's what we are there for really, and I love shooting limits of birds, but my gosh there is so much more to it than that. We spend all Spring and Summer day dreaming about it and preparing for it. Each morning we go out, we get to experience something completely different and unique from the morning before. You never know what you are going to see or what's going to happen and that's a pretty cool deal I think. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love killing limits of birds, but as long as I get to laugh and have fun with my buddies, that's all I'm worried about. The photo and video aspect of things has been somewhat new to me. I really found a love for photography in high school, and have been on an off over the years. It wasn’t until about a year or two ago that I wanted to really start to get more serious with it. The video scene is something I’ve had no experience in at all, so I’m excited to see where I can go with it and what all I can capture.