Hunting Stories: Piedmont Game Calls

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THEINSIDESPREAD STAFF

MAR 10, 2022

Hunting Stories - Piedmont Game Calls - The Inside Spread

Category: Hunting Stories

The rich deep history of American hunters is encased in the stories that are passed down from generation to generation. These stories are the lifeblood of the hunting legacy. In this day and age, many stories have since long been forgotten. We are working to bring these stories to life to connect you with hunters that have a story to tell. We desire to tell stories of the American hunter and help you explore the hunting landscape. The impact of these hunting stories will live on in all of us.

Welcome to Hunting Stories.

 

Meet Mr. John Peterson Jr.

He is a veteran hunter of the American Southeast as he hails from the great state of Georgia. If you don’t know, Georgia is steeped in hunting history and has a robust hunting culture that is often multi-generational. As many of us do, this is how John became a hunter. Let’s hear from John about his early years of hunting. “My father started taking me deer hunting around the age of 10, I was instantly hooked on deer hunting, and it started a lifelong pursuit. I doubt my father knew at the time what kind of fire he had started in his son, but it kicked off a never-ending pursuit of wild game.”

A tiny spark from his father, lit a fire to hunt as a boy has led him to become the creator and owner of Piedmont Game Calls. John makes all his calls in his shop by hand on his 4-acre homestead in Gray, Ga. Piedmont Games Calls makes grunt tubes, pot calls, and more.

The Passion Stirred

Here is a little more from John on his passion for hunting in Georgia. “My dad never really was a turkey hunter; he knew very little about it, but he acted as a chauffeur driving me around to various Wildlife Management Areas to turkey hunt before I could drive. I really didn’t know anyone that turkey hunted, so I learned to call while watching some of the old Will Primos VHS tapes. To this day, I think that man produced some of the best “how-to” videos there are.”

These young formative years have set up John to enjoy a lifelong passion for hunting wild game throughout his home state. “Over the years, the game animals I pursued may have changed, but my passion for hunting and fishing has not. I have hunted almost everything you possibly can in Georgia, from small game to predators to deer. During that time, I have met a lot of good people, formed lasting friendships, and had many cherished memories of my hunting adventures in the deep south.”

Getting into Game Calls

John had an interest in game calls in his teenage years because he went to bible study and met Len Yule, who was preaching that day. Len Yule is a part of a famous family of call makers; his father’s nickname is the “Michelangelo of Game Calls.”

That day lives in infamy for John as he remembers it clearly. “I didn’t really know who he was at the time, but Len was very well known in Louisiana for carving collector-grade calls, specifically duck and turkey calls. I remember him leaving some calls on a table for folks to look at; one was a fancy wing bone turkey call. The other was a very, very, ornately carved box call. It was a complete work of art, nothing you would ever take to the turkey woods.”

John continued, “It was the most beautiful craftsmanship I had ever seen. It looked like it belonged in a folk-art museum. I had never seen anything like it in my life and still haven’t to this day. I remember being fascinated by it, the idea that you could make your own turkey calls! I doubt Len Yule even remotely remembers me; I haven’t seen him since that day over 19 years ago, but his work made a lasting impression on me that I have never forgotten.”

After meeting Len Yule, John came across an ad in a hunting catalog for a build-your-own box call kit. He promptly ordered it and went to work on building his first call. “About a week later, I had a halfway functioning box call. Not horrible, but not great by any means. I kind of got disheartened with building calls and lost interest after that. Funny thing though, I used that box call for ten years and killed multiple turkeys with it before I accidentally left it on public land somewhere.”

A New Start

As the story goes, John’s passion for hunting would lead right back into making game calls. “The reason why I started making calls the second time is a testimony of an answered prayer more than anything else. I give God the glory for everything I have been given. The coronavirus scare is what started it all.”

John is a Mechanic by trade, he had worked for the last 11 years in the same shop and had one of the best jobs a mechanic can get in this region of Georgia. Due to his employer’s new policies, John’s whole world was completely flipped upside down. “I realized that I was completely dependent on my employer for my daily bread and that scared me. I told myself I had to come with some source of income for my family, but I didn’t know which direction to go in or what I wanted to do. I prayed hard about it for about two months.”

After months of prayer, God spoke to him and reminded John of the box call he made as a kid. He then thought to himself, “Heck, this could be something I could do. I know how to use every game call known to man; how hard could it be?” At this point in John’s life, he had never used a wood lathe and he remembers thinking, “This is probably going to be another one of my hair-brained ideas, but I got to give it a try.”

Shortly after that, John purchased the only book he could find to help him make game calls. Then a few weeks later, he ordered a small lathe and woodworking tools. “I started turning deer grunt tubes, rabbit distress calls, and squirrel calls. Out of all the calls I have made, though, turkey pot calls are the most challenging. I found out that initially there is a big learning curve and I made a lot of firewood before I got to the point where I could make good slate calls consistently.”

The challenge has not stopped John from honing his craft and starting Piedmont Game Calls. He started turning consistent and beautiful game calls in 2021 and has begun to sell them officially in January 2022. As mentioned, John does all his work in his shop. Each game call is unique as it is crafted by hand.

Piedmont Game Calls

John makes several game calls. He focuses on sourcing wood locally. Any of the native tree species John uses are traditionally found in the American Southeast. Each wood will give a slight difference in sound, but generally, he has found that they all sound good in comparing them with the animal it is emulating. He also uses some exotic wood, like mahogany, for his pot call when he can find it.

He makes a Grunt Tube, a Rabbit Distress Call, a Bellow-Style Squirrel Call, a Crow Call, and a 3 ½ inch Slate Pot Call with either a one- or two-piece Striker.

John enjoys nothing more than seeing people have success with his game calls. “People in today’s high paced society don’t get to spend much time afield, so when someone buys a call from me, I consider it an honor to serve them with a handmade call that will last a lifetime and help them harvest game and make memories with their friends and family.”

Piedmont Game Calls was started because of a passion for hunting when John was just a young boy. His father passed a passion for hunting down to him; this is something many of us can relate to because we have a similar experience. Someone has come alongside us at one point and stirred that desire inside us. John has taken that passion to the next level by creating a small business so that he can contribute to society in a meaningful way. John and Piedmont Game Calls embody the story of an American hunter.

These hunting calls are an incredible addition to your hunting gear and will help on your next hunt. However, John wants you to know, “Even if you don’t buy a call from me, look around your local area and see if you have a custom call maker near you that you can purchase a call from. It will have a lot more meaning than something you bought at a big box store and will be something you can pass on to your children to continue our hunting legacy.”

We are excited to announce that Piedmont Game Calls will be a featured store on THEINSIDESPREAD hunting marketplace. You can check out his calls here. You will be able to get all the game calls you need for your next hunt!

You can reach out to John at piedmontgamecalls@gmail.com, you can connect with him on social media by going to Piedmont Game Calls on Facebook or following him on Gab at @Longhunter89.

 

**If you have a topic or story that you would like The Inside Spread to write about, reach out at info@kennethf23.sg-host.com or contact us here.**

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