Clarke County

Custom Instruments & Turkey Yelpers

James “Winky” Hicks grew up hunting turkeys and listening to his father play guitar. Naturally, he became a musician himself, learning very early to play the banjo. Using his “gift of the ear,” Winky first made turkey yelpers of old cedar and hard rock maple. He saw a direct correlation between musical instruments and turkey yelpers and a few years ago he decided to learn to make what he played and his first mandolin was created.

Winky begins his instruments with salvaged wood from the depth of the Great Lakes. Long exposure to the cold water causes the cell structure of the wood to expand, which allows sound to travel more evenly. Winky taps on the wood before using it to test the vibration; better vibration means a higher quality of tone. Other woods, such as curly maple, are used for the back, sides, and neck. A Peterson 12-wheel stroke tuner is also used in the tuning process, but Winky knows that it is his ear that does the most important work.

Winky’s instruments can also be seen on the musical stages of Nashville and in the hands of world-renowned musicians.

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Turkey Caller Combo James, "Winky", Winky, Hicks, Turkey Caller Combo, Turkey, Call, Hunting
Turkey Caller Combo Price: $60.00
Availability: In Stock
Item #: 46 -

This turkey caller comes in a package and each caller is numbered and signed by Winky Hicks. Hicks, an accomplished musician and musical instrument maker, had recognized the correlation between the sound of a turkey gobble and music with his keen ear. So in 1995, Hicks combined his passion for hunting and outdoors with his ear for music, and began making turkey yelpers.Winky explains that "Turkeys have a musical voice and being a musician I can recognize that. I feel like that gives me an...