Tag Archive | "Game Calls"

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Michael Waddell Endorses Flextone’s FIVE New Turkey Mouth Calls

Posted on 02 January 2010 by Tom Wiley

Flextone Game Calls proudly welcomes the Michael Waddell Series of turkey mouth calls to its turkey call line up. His years of competitive turkey calling contests have landed him numerous state and national calling championships. This along with his years of hunting experience across the nation calling to the meanest of gobblers, have caused Flextone and Michael Waddell to join forces and create his favorite and most successful turkey mouth calls ever. Flextone’s new “Blended Latex” makes the calls not only very responsive, but super easy to use. No more stiff latex reeds that takes days to break in, as Michael’s new calls start singing to Thunder Chickens the first time you try. Flextone and Michael Waddell are introducing five new mouth calls to its arsenal.

SMACK DOWN tm          Triple reed w/ Half & Half Cut

KUNG FU CHOP tm       Triple reed w/ 3.0 Cutter

FREAK NASTY tm            Triple reed w/ Double Bat Wing Cut

SPUR COLLECTOR tm   Triple Reed w/ “V” Cut

BLACK BETTY tm             Triple Reed w/ Ghost Cut

The new Michael Waddell Series Mouth Calls from Flextone Game Call, not only creates soft tree yelps or seductive clucks and purrs, but can shake leaves out from the tallest of trees with the loud cuts, cackles and yelps. The new Flextone technology of “Blended Latex” not only is responsive to soft calling but has the back bone to scream back at the loudest of gobblers. This spring, don’t enter the woods with just any turkey call, use the Michael Waddell Series of Blended Latex mouth calls from Flextone Game Calls and give those Thunder Chickens a tongue lashing that they’ve never heard before.

Michael Waddell on Flextone's 5 new turkey mouth calls

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Deer Calling Tips

Posted on 13 November 2009 by Tom Wiley

Tom’s Tips for using the flextone All-N-One Deer Call – or using two or three calls of another brand at the same time.

Let’s start with Early Season, or bow season in most parts of the country. This is one of the toughest times of the year to call a buck; luckily it is also one of the best times to catch a buck out feeding while his defenses are still down from going all summer without being pressured. That does not mean that I don’t call at all during this time of the year. It does mean that I don’t get to aggressive with my calling. I generally stick with the social type grunts, and playing on a deer’s maternal response.

Buck Collector from the Bone Collector series

Buck Collector from the Bone Collector series

All deer are conditioned to respond to the maternal grunt of a doe. This conditioning begins when fawns first hit the ground. It is the method that a doe keeps up with its fawns and simply means I am over here and stay close. As deer mature they will continue to use and respond to this type of call although the meaning may change to a small degree. Instead of the demanding stay close or get over here meaning to a fawn, as deer mature it starts to be more of a “I am a deer and I am over here”.  If my goal is to call a doe I pretty much stick to doe grunts, however I have had good success calling in bucks with the doe grunt as well, again I think the response is just a conditioned response from birth. If a buck is my primary focus I may use a social grunt of a buck to elicit the response of a buck’s nature to be in a bachelor group during this time of year. As the season moves toward the pre-rut period I start using the young buck grunt so I don’t intimidate subordinate bucks and may get a territorial response from the dominant buck if he has started defending his turf. If I am hunting over a food source I believe that the social grunt of both the doe and a young buck are interpreted as I am a deer and I am over here scarfing up all of the acorns or food. This gives a deer a couple of reasons to respond, one the maternal response and two they don’t want to miss out on all the grub. To produce the social grunt just blow into the call while squeezing the appropriate button (D) for a doe, (YB) for a young buck or don’t squeeze anything for a mature buck. It should be blown conservatively, two or three grunts in a series spaced out over about 30-45 seconds. It should sound something like this Uurrrp,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Uurrp,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Uurrp.  I generally give it at least 20-30 minutes before using the call again, as it sometimes takes a while for a deer to respond. I once called at a deer while it was feeding in a green field. It heard the social grunt as I blew it and looked in my direction but continued feeding. About fifteen minutes later, just about the time I had given up on it responding it started walking directly to me looking for the deer it thought it heard. It is also important not to blow the call while a deer is looking for the location of the deer it thought it heard because you don’t want to get pinpointed. When it is getting dark I may get a little bit more aggressive and call a little more often in an effort to make something happen before it is too late.

During the Pre-Rut Period (two to three weeks prior to the peak) I use a bucks desire to breed against him. While a lot of people are rattling and grunting, trying to take advantage of a buck’s dominance and territorial responses, I am imitating the sounds that you would hear during the peak of the rut. It is not that I don’t believe that the territorial theory doesn’t work, because it does especially in places that have a high buck to doe ratio, but you can get the same response as well as a breeding response by using peak of the rut sounds that incorporate buck grunts and doe estrus bleats. If you will use a call like our flextone All-N-One Deer Call you can produce the sounds of a tending buck hot on the trail of an estrus doe that is about to “stand” for the buck. This method elicits a territorial response, from the areas dominant buck, by sounding like another buck that has invaded the dominant buck’s territory. But even worse he is attempting to “steal” one of the dominant buck’s does. Using the call in this manner also plays on the bucks desire to breed, since a buck is ready to breed long before the does come into estrus. All the bucks are waiting on, is the time when a doe will stand for him. If it is a couple of weeks early, it is all the better for the lucky buck. Also, if you have ever witnessed a buck hot on an estrus does trail, this is definitely the time that they are the most venerable, indicating to me that the desire to breed is the emotion that I want to use against him. To use the flextone All-N-One Deer Call to produce the sounds of a tending buck and an estrus doe I start with a series of about 5 to 10 short grunts of a mature buck (to do this with the flextone call-just blow into the call without squeezing any of the buttons). It should sound kind of like this Urp, Urp,, Urp, Urp Urp, Urp, , Urp. When blowing the tending grunt, you can imagine the deer grunting at about the same time interval that one of his legs would be hitting the ground as he walks on the trail of a hot doe. Then without delay you can squeeze down on the (D) button on the call and blow one or two estrus bleats. They should sound something like this Neaaaaa,,,,Neaaaaa. I usually follow this with another series of Buck Tending Grunts. I would suggest giving it about 30 min. just to be sure there are not any cautious bucks in the neighborhood trying to spot the deer that he thought he heard before repeating this calling sequence. Last year I used this method to call in several bucks, one of which was starting to bed down in the middle of the day in a CRP field but once he heard the buck tending an estrus doe he left the bedding area and walked into the edge of the woods to within about 5 yards of the end of my muzzleloader barrel. I have the scenario on video but I chose not to shoot the buck. He was a nice 2 ½ year old 8 pointer that will make a good deer soon. Had he been on a piece of property that was not managed quite as well, it may have been a fatal mistake. I hope he falls for it again this year.

During the Post-Rut Period (the following month) I pretty much follow the same school of thought. With the exception that I am not using the (D) button for the estrus doe but instead I squeeze between the (D) doe button and the (F) fawn button to imitate the sounds of a doe fawn that may be coming into estrus for the first time during a secondary rut. Take in mind that most of my experience deer hunting is in the South where we often get to hunt a secondary rut that occurs in late January and we have a low Buck to Doe ratio. In this circumstance there may not be enough Bucks to breed all of the estrus does in the primary rut and some of the first year does may not have been mature enough to breed during the primary rut.

Happy Hunting!


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Lessons Learned in the Hunting Industry: Ten Things in Ten Years

Posted on 11 November 2009 by Tom Wiley


Editor’s Note: The following is a reprint from a profile article from the National Association of Hunting Clubs web site. We thought this might help you get to know Tom a little better.

NAHC member Tom Wiley works in the hunting industry as the Principal of a sales rep agency (Professional Marketing Inc.) and as a member of the New Product Development and Sales Team for Wildgame Innovations.

Many years ago, Tom was working the graveyard shift as a nurse at the Oktibbeha County Hospital when he had a 4 a.m. epiphany. He picked up a piece of left over surgical tubing and thought, “I bet this would make a good duck call.” Thus, the Flextone Game Call was born.

Tom turned a spare bedroom into a workshop and began making duck calls from this tubing. The first Flextone calls were made in that spare bedroom in late 1997.

Everyone who heard the calls was impressed at how the flexible tubing produced a truer, more natural sound by more accurately mimicking the soft, flexible tissue of an animal’s neck and tongue. Tom later began to sell the calls to local stores and trade shows. Sales grew rapidly, and Tom was forced to quit his job as a nurse to keep up with demand. He established Wiley Outdoor Products, LLC in 1998.

Tom began to develop more calls. He created a deer call out of flexible tubing, which has become his best selling product to date. The deer call’s flexible call body allows the user to change tones by simply squeezing the call at various, labeled pressure points. Also, the call is silent if accidentally coming into contact with the user’s gun or bow.

Tom received a patent on flexible game calls in August of 2000. His new call is named Buck Rage Plus, the combination of calls includes an All-In-One deer call and a Snort-Wheeze call, both combined on a lanyard.

The brand has gone from just a few calls to over 100 products, and has grown from duck calls only to calls and gear for all types of hunting and is currently owned and managed by Wildgame Innovations of Broussard LA.

Tom is married and has 2 boys ages 2 and 4. He currently resides in Starkville, MS.

The following article is written by Tom:

TEN THINGS IN TEN YEARS- Lessons Learned in the Hunting Industry

1- Give it a shot.
You will not succeed if you never try. During college, I was presented with a few opportunities, but I didn’t take advantage of them. I was scared to lose the little money that I had. Guess what…that little bit of money got spent anyway and on things that I would have been better off without.

After college and a few missed opportunities, I found myself working as a registered nurse in the emergency room of Oktibbeha County Hospital. While working the night shift I came up with the idea of making game calls from flexible surgical tubing. This time I wasn’t going to let an opportunity pass me by, so I gave this idea my best shot.

2- People will recognize and support a good idea.
The advantages of making game calls from soft flexible tubing are not always immediately recognized, but once you think about the anatomical design of an animal’s vocalization system- hard cartilage voice box and the soft flexible tissue of the neck and mouth- a light bulb goes off, and people say, “Wow that really makes sense.”

Not only does the design give you a more natural sound by being more anatomically correct, the design also allows the user to control volume and tone by squeezing the call in various locations. For example, the Flextone Buck Rage Plus will make all known whitetail vocalizations simply by squeezing the marked areas of the call while you blow. It was definitely the design that got Flextone Game Calls off of the ground.

3- Accept help
I learned pretty quickly that I needed help, and I was fortunate when some good folks offered some great help.

Looking back, I am amazed at how naïve I was. Heck, I was pretty sure I was fixing to make millions selling flexible duck calls even though I had no idea what I was doing.

The first support I got was from my college friend who provided me with some start-up money and a tiny space to build calls.

Next, I met someone who will remain a lifelong friend. He had some serious marketing savvy and too much time on his hands. If he hadn’t volunteered his time to me, Flextone game calls would have been nothing but a short lived “neat idea.”

I also learned I was not going to be able to make enough calls with a modified key copying machine and tubing cutters to make a living in the industry. That was about the time that I met the owner of Consolidated Plastics, an injection molding company in Bloomfield, MO.

I am thankful for all of the people that have helped along the way, from my wife to many friends that have put together thousands of calls (usually for nothing more than pizza and beer).

Later, I met some good folks with a desire to invest in Flextone. It was their help, along with the hard work of friends and co-workers that propelled Flextone to the next level.

4- I was wrong when I thought I was the one in control.
I was having a little success doing what I wanted to do: traveling, hunting, selling calls, partying, and thinking that I was steering the ship, but I was going in all the wrong directions. Eventually, I ran aground, but luckily I did not sink. I let God have control and he righted the ship.

5- Hunting is my passion, making hunting videos is not the same.
It seems odd to people when I complain about filming hunting  trips, but it’s harder to make good TV than people think. In fact, about the only way to ruin a great day in the duck blind, deer stand, or the turkey woods is to get bad video. A camera malfunction can turn a once in a lifetime hunt into a day you would rather forget. Props to those in the industry that have the patience to make good TV.

6- Working in an industry you love is still work.
It’s a tough, competitive industry- you have to fight for every success. There are only a few pegs in each sporting goods store for each category of products, and there are many people and companies that want those pegs. Sometimes I have to remind myself why I got in the hunting industry and make an effort not to let the business get in the way of my passion for hunting.

7- Prioritize.
I once thought that if I made enough money everything would be fine. Now I have two young boys and my eyes are beginning to open. If I put God first, family second, and work third- everything really will be fine.

8- Wearing too many hats will make you loose your head.
Managing a small company that’s trying to operate like a larger company means everyone has to fill many roles and wear lots of hats. Switching from the product development hat to the production hat, the quality control hat, the marketing hat, the sales hat, the customer service hat and even the janitor hat, can really make your head spin.

9- Choose the hat that fits you best.
In March of 2007 I took off a few hats. Flextone brand game calls was sold to Wildgame Innovations, LLC., and I joined the Wildgame Team in an effort to take Flextone to an all new level. Wildgame has already proven that they can successfully develop and market great products. You only have to take one look at their flagship products such as Acorn Rage, Acorn Rage Infused, and Acorn Rage Feeder Fat to see this.

I look forward to seeing Flextone game calls highlighted on the Wildgame Nation TV show every Saturday afternoon on the Outdoor Channel. I am also excited to get rid of a few hats. It is the sales process that I have found to be my favorite part of the hunting business, and I have recently created Professional Marketing Inc., a rep agency and as a result, I will get to remain in contact with the many friends I have made within the industry.

Now when I put on my salesman’s hat I will continue to sell Flextone game calls, but I will also get to add some other great products to the mix. I am now the Nikon Sport Optics rep for Mississippi and Alabama as well, so I will also be out showing what makes Nikon the “Trusted Name in Optics.”

10-  I don’t even know what all I don’t know.
When I look back I realize how little I knew when I got into this industry. I have a feeling that ten years from now I will look back and realize how little I know now. There is one thing, however, that I’m sure of – I have been very lucky and blessed.

Learn more about Flextone Calls and Wildgame Innovations at www.wildgameinnovations.com and www.wileyoutdoorproducts.com.

Original Article in North American Hunting Club Magazine

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