DIRTY CREEK, Okla. (AP) - At his home on Dirty Creek, five miles north of Warner, Ron Jordan makes some of the finest wingbone turkey calls in the country.
Wingbone calls are the oldest known turkey calls. Yelpers from the bones of turkey wings have been unearthed in ancient Indian artifacts.
The Oklahoman (https://bit.ly/1Ssotcf ) reports that today, the wingbone mouthpiece has been replaced with modern calls by most turkey hunters. Jordan thinks that is a shame.
“Really very few people use them,” Jordan said. “It’s surprising how many turkey hunters don’t even know what they are. They may have heard about them but they don’t know how good they can be.
“Having a wingbone call just puts another tool within your reach when nothing else works. I think they are really good for public land birds because they don’t hear them every day.”
Jordan can make almost every turkey sound with a wingbone. The calls are really good at imitating a turkey hen’s yelp, but “you can cut, cackle and get a pretty decent gobble out of a wingbone,” Jordan said.
“It’s a really versatile call. It can be really subtle. I haven’t figured out how to purr with one yet, but I am working on it. The real beauty of the wingbone is you can get really, really soft. That is the advantage over some other calls.”
Wingbone calls are made from the three bones of the turkey that are glued together. The process involves boiling, cutting, grinding, sanding, gluing and more, depending on how elaborate the call is to be.
Wingbone calls are not only functional turkey calls, but they are also pieces of art. Jordan calls them “functional art.”
Jordan’s wingbone calls have won national awards for their artistry. He decorates many with the spurs and feathers from turkeys and creates pieces commemorating a hunter’s first turkey and first Grand Slam. Names of the hunter and turkey tracks are frequently inscribed on the calls.
“I really enjoy making turkey calls for people from birds they have killed,” he said.
It takes Jordan about a week to make each call. He has donated many of his wingbone calls to organizations such as the National Wild Turkey Federation for fundraisers.
A lifelong turkey hunter, Jordan started making wingbone calls 15 years ago. He retired four years ago from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and with a lot more time on his hands, his call-making went from being a hobby to a business.
Jordan, 60, takes orders from turkey hunters across the country on his website, mywingbone.com.
In Oklahoma, it’s illegal to sell wildlife parts, so any wingbone calls he sells are made with turkey bones that came from commercial farms.
He says the most special piece he ever made was the wingbone call he made from the brass casings taken from his father’s 21-gun salute at his funeral. His father was a master sergeant in the Oklahoma National Guard who served in the Korean War.
He threaded the wingbone calls in red and blue and inscribed his father’s name on them, giving a call to each of his siblings.
He personalizes many such calls for customers, but for Jordan, the wingbone call is more than just a showpiece. He carries it in the turkey woods for a reason.
“It’s my go-to call,” he said.
Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com
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