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Sharing the Hunt

SzstrawserpatmackenziePat Strawser, a custom call maker out of Millersburg, Pa., gets a lot of opportunities to share his turkey hunting knowledge with other hunters. And while Pat has enjoyed the chance to hunt with countless others and enjoys pulling the trigger himself, he says there is no greater experience in the woods than to experience a hunt through the eyes of a child still learning the tradition. Fortunately, Pat got the chance to help a number of kids take longbeards this spring, including this big Osceola taken by McKenzie Mull of Wichita, Kan.

This was the 14-year-old girl's first Florida bird. It boasted a 10-inch beard and 1 3/8-inch spurs. McKenzie shot the tom using a 20-gauge Benelli, a good choice for a young shooter as it offers minimal recoil while using loads that provide more than ample punch.

Hunting in Florida this year, Pat also got the chance to share a few hunts with adult friends including a successful day afield with Wayne Vickers of Ohio. The two scored on this nice Osceola during a March hunt.

SzstrawserwayneAnd finally in what is perhaps the best framed pic of the group, Pat shows off a bird he killed back at home in Pennsylvania. Look closely at the call and if you know anything about custom turkey calls, you'll note that the box in front of him is not his own work, but that of the late, great Neil Cost.

"This was one of the first turkeys I ever killed with one of ol' Neil's boxes," Pat writes. Not unusual since the value of some of Neil's calls since his death have kept them more on shelves where they are safe than out in the woods. During his life, Cost always believed in making calls that were functional first, then attractive, but with some going as high as $11,000 and up since he passed away, yeah, I'd be hesitant to take mine afield.

Not Pat, he used this gem to call in this Pennsylvania bruiser that tipped the scales at 21 pounds and sported a 10 7/8-inch beard and 1 1/4-inch spurs.

Congrats on a great season Pat and for most of all, Szstrawsersolo introducing the sport to others.



Hey! What's your favorite mouthcall. I've been using the same one for years and would like to expeirment.


Hey Alabamahunter,

I have a few that I've really taken a liking to over the past couple of years.

Woodhaven Custom Calls has a slew of mouth calls that are some of the best you'll find on any store shelf. I like a triple-reed with a half-moon cut to the side or the V-cut in the middle for a fairly easy blowing call that has a good deal of rasp.

Paul Butski, the former three-time Grand National Champ from way back, also makes some darn good mouth calls. You can see what Paul has to offer on his Web site at http://www.butskisgamecalls.com.

Of course, my favorite call this past season was one that Steve Cobb made for me when we were hunting in Florida the spring before. As long as I've been hunting turkeys now, I've yet to take the time to learn how to make my own mouth calls. But it's something I need to do and something I encourage other guys to do as well if they have somebody they can learn from firsthand. Every handmade call I've ever been given, I've liked the way it played. There are a lot of GREAT calls on the store shelves out there, but as is the case with most everything, if you can build it yourself with the level of detail you desire, you're usually happier with the end result.

Hope this helps.