John's Journal...

Custom Duck Calls and Decoys and Catching Fall and Winter Catfish

Day 2: A Duck Call Tells the Christian Gospel with Brett Hall

Editor’s Note: In mid-October, I attended the Tiptonville, Tennessee, Fins and Feathers Expo at Blue Bank Resort (, 877-258-3226) on Reelfoot Lake. While there, I learned that hand-carved decoys and duck calls could be solid investments, that 1/80-ounce jigs were being made, and that good stringers of big catfish could be caught from September until Christmas Day. In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned at the Expo, but I’ll let the people I met there tell you more about why they do what they do through videos. Brett Hall from Russellville, Alabama, makes a wide variety of calls to support his Christian Gospel ministry and other non-profit groups.

Click for Larger ViewMy family and I made duck calls for many years. But 3-years ago, we decided to turn our duck-calling business into a vehicle to support our family’s ministry. We use the money we make from selling our duck calls to give back to non-profit organizations – both with a Christian emphasis and a non-Christian emphasis. We also do speaking engagements at wild game suppers and churches around the country. We tell the story of the Christian Gospel in a duck call. I work in the aerospace industry as a mechanical engineer. My family and I make duck calls and do speaking engagements as a ministry. My father and grandfather were cabinet makers who made turkey calls. So, my family has a tradition of being call makers for three generations. I wanted to carry on this tradition and pass it on to my children.

Click for Larger ViewWe make traditional duck calls from domestic and exotic woods, and we’re proud that we not only make those waterfowl calls but also make all North American animal game calls, including hawks, raccoons, predators, crows, turkey locaters and waterfowl. We do all our own stabilizing and dying, and we do castings that include calls with burlap and many grains (corn, etc.) in them. We do custom call making for the customer who tells us the type of call he or she wants. That individual helps us design his call, and then we make it.

Click for Larger ViewAs I said earlier, my love of call making came from my dad and my grandfather, and through the years, we all hunted together using those calls they had made. My love for making calls also came from working with my dad and granddad working in their cabinet shop. My wife and children are involved in Gospel Game Calls too. I do the wood turning, and they do the finishing and packaging of the calls that we take with us to shows.

Click for Larger ViewTo learn more about our ministry and our call making, you can go to We also create other outdoor products like wood-carved mantels. We’ve been making calls for about 10-12 years, and only in the last 4 years have we started making calls for the public. We conduct seminars too on how to make calls, blow calls and relate the call parts or hunting situations to Biblical messages for Christian organizations. For non-Christian organizations, our talks and demonstrations are on team building and motivational speaking.

To learn more, check out Brett Hall’s video at

For more information on Reelfoot Lake, check out the Kindle eBook and print book, “Reelfoot Lake: How to Fish for Crappie, Bass, Bluegills and Catfish and Hunt for Ducks.”

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About the Author

John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.

Tomorrow: Catch Catfish Fall and Winter at Reelfoot Lake with David Blakely

Check back each day this week for more about Custom Duck Calls and Decoys and Catching Fall and Winter Catfish

Day 1: Waterfowl Call and Decoy Investments with Rob Hurt
Day 2: A Duck Call Tells the Christian Gospel with Brett Hall
Day 3: Catch Catfish Fall and Winter at Reelfoot Lake with David Blakely
Day 4: 1/80-Ounce Bream and Crappie Jigs with Wade Mansfield
Day 5: Hunting Waterfowl Wearing Muddy Water Camo

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Entry 844, Day 2