Carved Crow Call of Red Cedar and Heart Pine

My wife reminded me that I’ve made several calls for friends and other members of the extended family who hunt, but had not for her son, Jason, who also likes to hunt. I did not have a previously made call to give, so I decided to make him one for Christmas. I’ve had the sketched design completed for this type of call for more than a year. It is definitely influenced by the early Tongue Pincher duck calls of Elam Fisher. A picture of this type of call can be found in James Bennett‘s collection online.

This call design is also heavily influenced by the Acadian traditional cigar style duck call typified by Louisiana call maker Loylley Allemond. Jason now lives in the New Orleans area so the Lousiana influence seemed appropriate. This call has a body of Aromatic Red Cedar wood saved from a tree that grew on Jason’s Great Grandfather’s homestead. The nibs are from heart pine salvaged from window sashes of the old homestead house. The call is reinforced with a hidden CPVC insert for strength.


Chinese Tallow Crow Call

I’ve been working on a refined shape for my enclosed reed crow calls. Today one emerged that I am quite pleased with. It definitely is influenced by traditional duck calls, which suits me just fine, as I have always enjoyed the evolution and heritage of these game calls.
Chinese Tallow Closed Reed Crow Call
This prototype call is 3 1/2 inches long and very loud, but still is not quite the sound I seek. I’ve solved the locking problem and now am working to fine tune the tonal qualities.

Chinese Tallow, also known as Popcorn tree, grows locally and is quite abundant. The wood is a beautiful creamy white when turned green, before it is dry, but the wood interior turns this darker color when dried in thicker blank form. It is a nice wood to turn, is very fine grained and finishes well.

I’ve created a page for additional pictures of this call here.

Enclosed Reed Crow Call in stained Holly

Crow calls generate their sound by a reed vibrating between two surfaces when air is forced between them. These surfaces are on nibs which typically are exposed and sticking out from the call’s barrel. This exposure can leave them susceptible to damage, fouling and malfunction. Here is one of my exposed reed crow calls.
Hickory Crow Call - cherry nibs
I’ve been working on a call design which encloses the nibs and reed. One challenge encountered is that when typical nibs are enclosed, the reed tends to lock up under higher air flows. This lock up is minimized in exposed reed calls by allowing air to escape out the sides, between the nibs under heavy air loads. Enclosed reed calls have no path for air escape except through the call and over the reed, thereby are susceptible to quick pressure buildup and locking unless changes are made in the design of the reed/nib/air channel combination.
Here is my prototype call made from a piece of Holly that was cut a couple years ago near Andalusia, Alabama but cured off color from the white so highly desired. It still has the very nice working characteristics though. The nibs for this call are made from Chilean Cherry and ebonized black to contrast with the light wood.

I’ve shared pictures on a couple related forums, here and here. You can see the feedback received.