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Legends of the Call

They were developers, innovators, experimenters and, above all, waterfowl hunters seeking to create the most efficient tools possible.
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Story at a Glance
  • Learn how the biggest call makers got their start
  • The history of duck call making
  • A treasure trove of duck-calling literature

Ken Martin – Olive Branch, Illinois

Back in the 1930s, when quality goose calls were relatively hard to come by, Ken Martin began whittling away in southern Illinois. Having grown up in Canada goose country, Martin knew what geese sounded like, and his calls rang true. They were, and still are, coveted by both hunters and collectors.

Martin did not begin crafting goose and duck calls on a full-time basis until around 1960. Before making the jump, he toiled as a farmer, welder and boilermaker, and also worked on steamboats. Residences included Lemont, Illinois, and both Salmon and Idaho Falls, Idaho.

While most of his calls were made of walnut, Martin also used other types of wood, and was known to enjoy working with diamondwood, a laminate. His calls were often stamped with the name of the town in which he made them.

Martin's Horseshoe Lake Model goose call has been copied, in one way or another, by any number of call makers nationwide—the most sincere form of flattery.

Clarence and Dudley Faulk – Lake Charles, Louisiana

This father-and-son team once ruled the southwest Louisiana game-call-making roost. Clarence "Patin" Faulk began selling homemade cane duck calls to hunters and guides in the mid-1930s. His son, Paul "Dud" Dudley Faulk, entered the game as a high school student. By the early 1950s, they were working together.

Descended from hunters and trappers, the Faulks made quite a name for themselves in game-calling competitions. Dud won back-to-back World Goose Calling Championships in 1961 and 1962, and reigned as International Duck Calling Champion in 1954. Patin was the 1955 World Goose Calling Champion by virtue of a victory in competition in Missouri Valley, Iowa.

Highly regarded nationwide, Dud Faulk was featured in any number of national magazine hunting stories, was a guest on the American Sportsman television show, and also did a spot on the old "To Tell the Truth" television show. He served as a contest judge and also conducted game-calling seminars at Louisiana State University and local high schools.

In addition to the early cane models, the Faulks also made several varieties of wooden game calls, as well as some of the first plastic goose calls to reach the market.

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