by Jon Draper - Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Every spring I hit the woods with my go-to turkey calls: generally an old custom slate, several strikers, a container of various reed mouth calls, and of course a cumbersome, noisy box call that seems to sound like a flock of juvenile hens pecking their way through a wheat field as I head toward the nearest gobbler. I have had my reservations for years about glass pot calls. All of us longtime turkey hunters have our superstitions and never want to stray from a path we created, but I can assure you that, right out of the packaging, two calls from Knight & Hale will make you want to beat a new drum.
The Knight & Hale Stranglehold is a glass pot call based on the classic “Long Spur” design from Knight & Hale, albeit with a few alterations. While it still bears the name “Long Spur" on the backside, the Stranglehold is worthy of its own recognition. The call's base has been thickened for added depth of tone and rasp. The glass surface has been coated with crystal, which delivers a variety of sounds when used with the all-weather striker. That’s right, I said “all-weather striker,” which means rain or shine, if the turkeys are out, you can be, too. And it’s not just a gimmick, I tested the “all-weather” ability by pouring water on the Stranglehold until a nice puddle pooled on its surface, and though the notes were a slightly muted, yelps and clucks came out effortlessly and sounded great. The only thing I would recommend for those picking up the Stranglehold pot call is to not be shy about scratching up your brand new call. The crystal surface is hard, and thus conditioning takes a bit more effort than you may be used to. Get to work with the sandpaper.
Initial examinations of the Knight & Hale Scarlet Fever shows a beautiful select-grade walnut pot, custom two-piece laminated striker, and a clear crystal surface just itching to be roughened by the supplied sanding paper. Deeper within the call is an actual slate sound board designed to create those sought-after tones we all like to hear. Another interesting feature the designers went after was a moister wood, which is claimed to aid with calling consistency—no one likes to have to relearn a call each time we use it.
My first strike upon the surface of this glass call produced a soothing sound, not too high pitched and not too raspy, just sexy—a sound we want every gobbler in the woods to rattle off toward in response. The call was easy to use, but I had to re-etch the surface more often than that of a traditional slate pot. The entire surface seemed to produce a variety of pitches. When struck hard, the Scarlet Fever bellowed across the mountain with a crisp squelch—a handy feature on those windy mornings afield. Some mature toms don't like noisy hens, and I found I was able to produce extremely subtle tones with the call. The latter helped NRA Publications Armorer Chris Olsen coerce five gobblers within spitting distance on the opening day of Virginia's spring season. If a dead bird isn't enough proof, just ask the judges of the World Two-Man Team Turkey Calling Championships about Scarlet Fever.
Proudly made in the United States, the Knight & Hale Stranglehold and Scarlet Fever glass pot calls are must-haves for even those seasoned turkey pros.
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