Flight Control: Our sit down with Master Call Maker Alan Whitson
I first met Alan Whitson in 2015 at an expo in Springfield Missouri. I admired his table full of calls one more impressive than the other. I remember a couple of fishing tackle calls I had never seen anything like before. As time as gone on, I've seen more and more of his work and contest entries each time pushing the limits of call making skill. I knew he was someone I wanted to interview from day one and I hope you enjoy it and one day check out Flight Control Custom Calls.
BTB: When did you get into hunting and who got you in to it?
AW: I started hunting when I was a little kid with my dad and papaw. Rabbits mostly. After a few years of being asked by my buddy Buck, I finally gave in and went on my first duck hunt in my mid twenties. Besides the occasional buck, It’s all I have thought about ever since.
BTB: When did you get into call making?
AW: I started making calls in 2011.
BTB: Who has mentored you along the way?
AW: That's a pretty lengthy list.....Ron Gould has always been a wealth of knowledge and quick to help with any questions I've had. Brad Samples has been really instrumental in helping me to get started carving. Without his help, I certainly would not have gotten near as far as I have. We have had some lengthy conversations and many late night text-a-thons with him telling me to "thin the neck up" more. I'm honored to call these guys friends.
BTB: Do you have any call that’s more memorable than others?
AW: There are certainly a few calls I am extremely proud of. Sadly, it's in my nature to bite of more than I can chew. The first time I really thought that was the case was the "Lucky 13" fishing lure call. I had never attempted anything like it before. The call body was difficult in it own right, but having never picked up an air brush before was scary. The first attempt at airbrushing was a success. But when I hit it with automotive clear it turned the entire call a pasty white. So, I had to sand it all back down and start over. Fortunately, the second attempt was successful.
BTB: the first time we met was in 2015 at an expo, I remember checking out some of your calls an immediately noticed the lure call and the bobber call and thought how cool they were. You won a couple NWTF medals with them if I do recall, how was that like?
AW: That's was the first contest I had ever entered. I was blown away at the talent and quality of work in one room. I was extremely nervous, and I had zero expectations. I was blessed to walk away with a first-place finish with the Lucky 13 call and third place with the bobber. I also received a 3rd and 5th place finish in the working class that year and was awarded Rookie National Champion. The best part about it was sharing the experience with one of my best friends and one of the best all-around hunters I know, Shane Chronister.
BTB: Who pushes you progress in your call making?
AW: Honestly, everyone. I don't think that there is a call maker out there that doesn't showcase their best work for the public to see. I love seeing what the next guy has worked so hard to build.
BTB: What are you pushing for in your call making goals right now after winning reelfoot?
AW: I'm not sure that I have any set goals in call making. But I would certainly like to become faster and a more efficient carver.