On this DVD, you will find duck calling at its best from some of the best duck callers that ever existed: Pat Peacock, Wallace Claypool, Tom Turpin, Herb Parsons, and Earl Dennison.
Pat Peacock was the stepdaughter of legendary duck call maker Chick Major. Pat was a legend in her own right. Among her many accomplishments, Peacock is known as the only person to hold all duck-calling titles offered at the Duck Calling World Championships in Stuttgart. She won the Junior World Duck Calling Championship at age 12, the Women’s World Championship five times, the World Duck Calling Championship twice and the Champion of Champions world duck-calling title in 1960. She also was the first Queen Mallard of the Wings Over the Prairie Festival in 1955 and was the first woman appointed to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in 1994.
Herb Parson was an internationally renowned exhibition shooter for Winchester Arms Company. He twice was the National and International Duck Calling Champion, as well as an All American trap and skeet shooter. He is member of National Trapshooting Hall of Fame, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, and Tennessee State Trapshooting Association Hall of Fame. His firearms are displayed in Buffalo Bill Historical Society Museum at Cody, Wyoming. A a hunter and sportsman, he popularized the aphorism “Hunt with your boy or girl, and you will never have to hunt for them.”
Tom Turpin—the great experimenter, crafted turkey calls before he got into the duck call game sometime in the 1920s. In the end, however, he was credited with making a significant impact on the development of Reelfoot-style duck calls. Turpin, it has been reported, spent hours in the field and in the marsh listening to birds and studying their habits, especially listening to and learning from the market hunters at Reelfoot Lake. He took his knowledge back to the shop adjoining his home and designed calls meant to reproduce the sounds he witnessed in the wild and from the mark.
Wallace Claypool—If it is not too lyrical, I hope to say that Wallace Claypool’s Wild Acres, located near Weiner, Arkansas, was one of the wonders of America during the 1950s. No place else on earth could ducks be seen and heard in such profusion during the 1940s-1950s. To go into the timber before daybreak, listen to the chatter of great rafts of ducks on the water, watch them as they soared gracefully in the sky with whistling wings, and see the morning sun bring out the brilliant colors of their heads, wings, and breasts–that was living. In December 1956, NBC’s Dave Garroway’s Wide Wide World broadcast by live television a seven-minute segment of some 300,000 ducks resting on Claypool’s Wild Acres’ reservoir bursting into the air by TNT fired above the reservoir. It was the very first-ever nationally transmit live duck hunt. During the Sunday broadcast, the NBC director pushed a button and four million viewers viewed on. With ducks in the air, Wallace Claypool began to call ducks in for Lynn Parsons, the son of Herb Parsons, who was celebrating his 13 birthday that month of December with his brand new shotgun. Claypool won the National Duck Calling Championship in 1940.
Earl Dennison—An outstanding call maker from the Reelfoot Lake section was Earl Dennison, known as the “Duck Call Man.” He made his first 50 or so calls with a jackknife and sandpaper by the light of a coal oil lamp. This was around 1912. Making calls and improving them as the years rolled on in his long career was a tedious job, but Dennison soon realized he faced a big assignment. To make his business a real success, he had to teach his buyers how to blow a duck call. So, in order to increase his sales, Dennison traveled all over the country as an instructor, beginning in the early 1940s, before WWII started. Timing his schedule so that he would arrive in a city just about two weeks before the start of the waterfowl season, he would appear behind the counters in sporting goods stores. In front of him were the new Dennison calls, tuned like a maestro’s fiddle. In later years, Dennison carried his product to the radio and also put on duck calling exhibitions at big sportsmen’s shows across the country. As an added attraction to his demonstration at sporting goods shows and on radio, Dennison performed with two important performers, a little English calling hen by the name of “Tootsie” and a drake by the name of “Toot.” These live decoys made the circuit with Dennison and helped him every fall in promoting his calls.