When 'Haywood Calls' turkeys respond

  • Follow Rob Pavey

HARLEM — Tyler James wanted a career that would keep him close to the things he loves the most, including his family and the great outdoors.

Back | Next
Tyler James demonstrates how his slate-and-glass turkey call works . James, 22, began making calls four years ago as part of his senior project at Harlem High School.  ROB PAVEY/STAFF
Tyler James demonstrates how his slate-and-glass turkey call works . James, 22, began making calls four years ago as part of his senior project at Harlem High School.

“I grew up hunting and fishing, and I always wanted to make something in the outdoor industry,” he said.

The seeds of opportunity were planted four years ago, when he decided to design and build turkey calls for his senior project at Harlem High School.

“That was in 2010,” he said. “And I was very lucky to have Benny Briggs as a mentor.”

Briggs, a five-time world champion caller and renowned call-maker, was the inspiration for Haywood Calls, which James operates – in his parents’ backyard – with his older brother, Rusty James, and family friend Russ Winter.

“What we’re selling now is slate and glass calls,” he said, showing examples crafted from walnut, cherry, poplar and osage orange. Testing is under way now for a line of mouth calls, with wooden box calls already on the horizon, too.

His mother, Carla James, helped design a logo used on marketing materials, hats and T-shirts, which carry the slogan, “making memories one call at a time.”

The Haywood name, he added came from his grandfather, and is also his dad’s middle name. Both men played a major role in sculpting his love and respect for the outdoors.

“Hunting has been a major part of my life, but it isn’t all about the killing,” he said. “It’s about spending countless hours in the woods with those you love and making memories, both good and laughable memories, that you will never forget.”

For now, the fledgling company is marketing by word of mouth, at trade shows including the Augusta Outdoor Expo and at festivals, including the Oliver Hardy Festival held in Harlem, which proved to be one of Haywood Calls’ most productive ventures.

“This year has taken off bigger than we ever expected,” he said, adding that retailers, including Culpepper Outdoors in Evans and Waldens Outdoors in Martinez, are now offering his calls, which retail for about $40.

The men are also using social media, including Facebook and YouTube, to help share information and videos about Haywood Calls, which has also proven successful.

Comments (1) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
harlemgirl 04/17/14 - 11:08 am
What a great thing

Tyler is a great guy and a credit to Harlem! So proud of his ingenuity!

Back to Top
Top headlines
Farmers face devastating losses
BRANCHVILLE, S.C. - Thad Wimberly tugs on a clump of peanuts, shaking off the mud as he cracks the soggy shells to inspect his crop. But all he can do is sigh as his livelihood disintegrates ...
Search Augusta jobs