And, idiots across the world will still clamor for the $300, mass-produced marketing gimmick.
Did you know, reader, that truly-custom turkey calls are being made right now by hard-working, hometown hunters? Did you know these calls are painstakingly crafted by hand, effective as hell and designed to last a lifetime? And, did you know these calls cost far less than $300? Of course you did, because you’re on this website and you’re not a f**king moron.
Unfortunately, the world is still home to plenty of morons, and the brain trust at MeatEater is counting on at least 1,400 of them to pony up the cash for the mass-produced “Line 1” turkey call. Made from Black Walnut (pot) and Osage Orange (striker) woods, this call is steeped in history because, well, Steve Rinella and Jason Phelps tell you it is.
“It’s a beautiful, good for the rest of your life kind of thing,” Rinella says. “Folks will love having something they can refer back to a specific tree in a specific place, with a specific collection of people that sawed it, milled it, dried it, crafted it.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK CUSTOM CALL BUILDERS HAVE BEEN DOING THIS WHOLE TIME, STEVE? When you consider the fact this series of MeatEater calls is made on a CNC machine, there’s literally nothing custom or special about them. It’s merely a piece of wood that 1,399 other people own. And, by doing some simple arithmetic, it’s easy to figure Rinella and the gang stand to make about $420,000 from this bad boy. It’s worth mentioning a portion of that nearly half-a-million dollars will end up in Peter Chernin’s pocket (if that doesn’t strike a chord with you, do some some research).
This is what happens when you sell your soul to corporate America. You’d be hard-pressed to convince me a younger Rinella would ever spend $300 on a turkey call, yet here he is, marketing a piece of shit to the audience he values most – the blissfully ignorant.
MeatEater has been dipping their toes into corporatism for a while now, but the Line 1 is one of the first glaring indicators of a business model gone askew. It’s a testament to the fact MeatEater, Phelps Game Calls, First Lite and FHF Gear have abandoned their core base of dedicated hunters and set their sights on a larger, uninformed audience that simply doesn’t know any better.
Will the Line 1 call in a Tom? I’m sure it will. But, so will a $25 “Raspy Ol’ Hen” (ask me how I know). If you’re looking for a true custom turkey call that will serve you well in the field, allow me to present you with a few options:
- Liford Custom Calls
- Clay Townsend
- David Halloran
- Woodhaven Custom Calls
- John Sinclair Custom Calls
- Lights Out Custom Calls
- Steve Reeves
- SS Custom Calls
- Southern Drawl Game Calls
There are many great call makers out there and I’m sure I missed plenty of them. If you know of a good custom turkey call maker, please let me know in the comments here or on Instagram @theangrybowhunter. I’ll be personally supporting one or more before I head out on a turkey hunt this Spring. And, if you buy a true custom call between Feb. 27, 2022 and March 30, 2022, please email or DM me your proof of purchase and I’ll select one person to receive a limited-run TAB Richardson 112 trucker hat for free. It’ll be OD green, leather-patched and perfect for hunting.
As always, I’ll remind you to know where your dollars go and support the real hunters out there. AND, SHOOT TURKEYS IN THE FACE WITH A SHOTGUN, NOT WITH A BROADHEAD. TAB OUT!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank @copper_plated_sixes for his work in highlighting many of the outstanding custom call makers out there.