A couple of local duck hunters have turned their passion into a business. Flying Aces duck calls are hand turned by two East Texas men in a small garage in Tyler.
“I don’t use a tracer lathe, everything is free hand cut,” said Shannon Smith, Owner/Operator of Flying Aces Duck Calls and Guide Service.
Smith said once he starts turning, he enjoys the freedom of being able to make them however he wants.
“I remember as a kid, just being able to talk to an animal was like the coolest thing ever. To be able to talk to that wild duck and see his response to it,” said Smith.
While most duck hunters are always searching for that perfect sound, Smith said they have found it. He operates Flying Aces with his business partner, Jason Carsten.
“We’ve been with this jig for probably 4 or 5 years. It’s the kamikaze,” he said. “The right sound hits them and they will turn upside down and just dump air and so they kind of kamikaze, kind of dive bomb you. That’s how we came up with that.”
As an avid duck hunter passionate about the challenge it brings, he said there is also a challenge in creating. While using different kinds of wood and metals for certain custom calls, he has spent up to six hours on the details.
“Most of our sales are to the older hunters because they know what went into it,” he said. “About half of who we sell to are collectors.”
While they enjoy helping others find the flock, he said don’t kill ’em all!
For more on Flying Aces Duck Calls and Guide Service, click here.