2013-10-16 / Columns

Driftwood Outdoors

Wooden Calls Still Built One-By-One
by Brandon Butler

On a recent trip to Lake Charles, Louisiana for the annual Southeastern Outdoor Press Association conference, I had the pleasure of touring the manufacturing facilities of Faulk’s Game Calls. What I found was a family business that’s throwback to days gone by when calls were still made of wood and still produced one at a time.

Canaan Heard beams with pride when he speaks of his grandfather, Paul “Dud” Dudley Faulk. Dud is a true legend of waterfowl calling and manufacturing. He won the International Duck Calling Championship in 1954, and won back-to-back World Goose Calling Championships in 1961 and 1962. His passion for calling waterfowl remains evident today in the calls bearing his name. Faulk’s has been successful while staying true to their roots.

Art LeJeune demonstrates one of Faulk’s calls, while Canaan Heard looks on. Heard represents the fourth generation of the family business. (Courtesy Photo) Art LeJeune demonstrates one of Faulk’s calls, while Canaan Heard looks on. Heard represents the fourth generation of the family business. (Courtesy Photo)

Heard is determined to keep the family legacy alive. He believes the modern market still has room for small American companies adhering to tradition. It was his great-grandfather, Clarence “Patin” Faulk, who first started making Faulk calls in the mid-1930s. Patin was no slouch at calling, and won the 1955 World Goose Calling Championship. Patin’s early calls were made of cane, and hunters and guides from across south Louisiana would do whatever they could to get their hands on one. Faulk’s Game Calls was formally born in 1951 under the guidance of the Patin and Dud, a fatherand son team.

Today, Faulk’s manufacturing facilities remain surprisingly simple. The entire company consists of a couple of small workshops in the backyard of a small house on two city lots in Lake Charles. The inside of the main workshop looks like a museum dedicated to call making. It’s dusty and dim. Old machinery lines the walls and there’s an ashtray on the lunch table where call maker Arthur “Art” LeJeune has been taking smoke breaks for over 45 years. Kwanchai Madith has been joining him for over 30.

“I was 22 years old when I started here,” LeJeune said. “I’d just gotten back from the service and needed a job. Dud hired me on, and I’ve loved it from the first call I turned. I’m 68 now and I still love coming here and building calls. That’s important you know; doing something you enjoy. It’s never felt like work to me.”

Watching LeJeune turn a block of wood into a duck call is a lot like watching a President give a speech. He is authoritative, accomplished and confident in every movement. It’s as natural as walking for him. And the calls are beautiful. The low-volume tone of a wooden call hums through the shop each time LeJeune tests another before dropping it in a box destined for a marsh somewhere.

Over the years, Faulk’s expanded their game calls beyond just waterfowl. They now produce waterfowl, deer, elk, turkey, small game and predator calls.

“It means a lot to me to carry on my family legacy,” Heard said. “People around the world know the name Faulk’s Game Calls and that means a whole lot to me, because we are just a small Louisiana company making calls in a traditional manner.”

See you down the trail...

Return to top

© 2009-2018 Spencer Evening World, Inc. | Privacy Policy
No commercial reproduction without written consent. 
Electronic reproduction of any kind forbidden without written consent.

Click here for digital edition
2013-10-16 digital edition


It looks like Spring is almost ready to stick around. What activity are you looking forward to the most?