Scratch box???

Discussion in 'Turkey Hunters Forum' started by Squaller, May 1, 2016.

  1. Squaller

    Squaller Elite Refuge Member

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    Anyone use a scratch box?

    I just purchased my first one (from Lonnie Gilbert), and I am thinking it is going to be a more important part of me calling arsenal next season...

    It makes really good clucks, cutts, and purrs, and has that realistic resonating yelp of a live bird... Great for the soft stuff, and although it is not a loud yelper, it cutts and clucks hard.

    No doubt a box call is a lot easier to use, and I have become adept at using a box call one-handed (which I do not see as possible with a scratcher), but I would say there is similar motion as to a pot call...

    One thing I have always liked about a box call is the resonance... Hens in the woods have a resonance that both diaphragm and especially pot calls lack (they sound "flat" to me). The scratch box has that same resonance and in a much smaller package... Plus, different strikers give a different sound to the call.

    I will probably add another one to my collection before next season....
     
  2. mister gadwall

    mister gadwall Senior Refuge Member

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    I started with some forty years ago. I have taken a lot of birds with them. The best ones I have were made by Ray Sutphin, who was described by the author of The First Book as one of the best callmakers still alive at the time of his death. Those boxes were long like a harmonica shape and were made of ebony, with a white cedar striker piece. They are about to valuable to hunt with anymore as they can be easily broken. Ray also made some form cedar. SS custom calls still makes some similar to Sutphins but they only make fifty year. . The old Gaskins calls are also worthy.
     
  3. Squaller

    Squaller Elite Refuge Member

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    How do you like SS calls? I was thinking of ordering a box call and a scratcher from them next season...
     
  4. mister gadwall

    mister gadwall Senior Refuge Member

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    i have never used an SS call personally. Just the Sutphins, and some other locally made Appalachain scratch boxes. The scratch boxes are pretty common in the south
     
  5. Squaller

    Squaller Elite Refuge Member

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    I am surprised that more guys here do not use a scratch box... The more I have played with mine, the more I think it will become one of my favorites.
     
  6. Quarne

    Quarne Elite Refuge Member

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    They're cool and all and definitely have a time and place. I always have mine with me but the call I use 99% of the time if I call is an old primos alumislate. Imo I think we put too much emphasis on calling.
     
  7. Squaller

    Squaller Elite Refuge Member

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    I don't know about that...

    There are calls that generate responses... Or at least there are calls I have confidence in, and probably give me a higher level of patience...

    Mouth calls are the most versatile, and can be used with the least amount of motion. They take the most practice and skill, but there is always one in my mouth while hunting...

    Box calls have always sounded the most realistic (even coming from other hunters)... I can often pick out a pot call (cause it sounds flat to me), and a lot of hunters sound like a seal with a diaphragm (and I am not saying I am not one of those hunters), but with a box call, it is often the fact that the bird is too stationary which allows me to identify it as a hunter.

    A good box call has the resonance that a live turkey has in the woods... And I have found that a scratch box also has that "resonance." It is a considerably more difficult call to utilize, and while it does cluck and purr better than any call I have picked up, it is far more difficult to get complicated with (although I have no doubt it can me done).

    I'll still always have a diaphragm in my mouth, and will likely continue to go to the box to drum up a gobble (just cause it is loud), but I am thinking next season, it is the scratch box that I will likely use to sit down and try to call in a bird with.
     
  8. Quarne

    Quarne Elite Refuge Member

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    Marc I apologize, I thought you were talking about a box call. I just looked them up and realized I didn't even know that these calls existed. I just ordered two different ones from eBay. Lol thanks man, im always up for trying something new and different.
     
  9. tomturkey

    tomturkey Elite Refuge Member

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    I have a scratch box that was made by one of the members of the Michigan Wild Turkey Hunter Assn. I bought it mainly to have one that he made. I have never actually taken it to the woods even though I can make some pretty good calls with it.
    With my body being pretty well shot and knowing that this may be may last year chasing gobblers I decided to go simple this year. I only carried two calls. My Roger Latham True Tone box call that I started out with 30 some years ago. I had a Perfection diaphragm in my shirt pocket that I began using around the same time. That was all I needed to close the deal. I was in the woods less than 30 minutes before I pulled the trigger.

    I was going to use my Model 12 heavy Duck gun that I used when I started but when I pulled it out of the safe I remembered how heavy it was. I pulled out my 835 instead.
     
  10. WoodieSC

    WoodieSC North/South Carolina Flyway Forum Moderator Flyway Manager

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    I'm glad I clicked on this thread. I had never heard of a 'scratch box call' before. After watching a couple of videos I can see where I could easily use some of the wood I've been saving from our property here for future 'pot calls' (which I don't have a lathe for) and make some scratch box calls instead for a number of the guys I hunt with.

    I've been drying out some persimmon and cedar/juniper logs, and have wild cherry, hickory, maple, oak, sweet gum, pine and a few others readily available once I figure out which ones would be best to use. I think I've got a walnut or two around, but need to check my tree ID books first as I don't remember what they all are. We've got 20K +/- trees or so, so it's easy to miss some of the less prominent ones.

    Suggestions are welcome!

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016

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