Local man teaches Rotarians about the art of turkey callingPublished 11:00pm Wednesday, July 17, 2013
“Come Heah Tuh Me.”
How many times has Donnie Richards said those words that are music to his ears and a jingle in his pocket?
Richards is the designer and creator of the “Come Heah Tuh Me” turkey calls that are the preferred call of turkey hunters all across the country and north and south of the border.
Richards’ turkey calls are so sweet sounding that they will call a gobbler to the gun, smiling all the way. That is, if gobblers can smile.
Richards just might be as good at storytelling as he is at crafting turkey calls. Which he enjoys more, he’s not sure.
But as the program guest of the Brundidge Rotary Club Wednesday, Richards was in his element with both his turkey calling and his storytelling.
“God made the gobbler more beautiful so the hen would come to him,” he said. “With a turkey call, we are doing the reverse. We’re bringing the gobbler to the hen. So, the call has got to be a sweet sound.”
Richards crafts his turkey calls at his home in the Tennille community. He never lets a turkey call go out of the barn until he teaches the hunter how to call the turkey “heah tuh me.”
And, for two reasons. To guarantee that sweet sound that has made Richards’ turkey calls the calls of choice and to chew the fat with the customer.
Turkey hunters seek Richards out at outdoor shows, on the Internet and on Tennille Road.
His first box turkey calls were made from a cedar tree that grew out of his great, great, great, granddaddy’s grave. Today, many of his calls are made from wood that comes from Africa and South America.
The calls made from butternut wood are among his most popular.
“I had a hunter from north Wisconsin bring me some butternut wood – butternut like your grandma’s cake,” Richard said. “The wood was still green and I didn’t think it would work. I didn’t even charge him for the turkey call. I made one for him and one for me. I put mine on a shelf and forgot about it for a while. When I thought about it again, it had dried. I dusted the sawdust off and the sound it made was so sweet that the hair on my neck stood up. Butternut makes great turkey calls.”
“Come Heah Tuh Me” turkey calls are among the most popular in the country and Richards said he has been richly blessed to find a “hobby” that brings him so much pleasure and so many opportunities for friendships.
“I’ve been more blessed than I ever thought I would be,” he said. “I’ve always known that whatever I do has to include God. No matter how much money we make or what kind of houses we have or how well dressed we are, we will never be as good as we can be unless we seek God’s blessing on what we are doing.”