To many of today's' waterfowl hunters, the Eastern Shoreman has always been there. We have just passed our 25th Anniversary of this call and it occurs to me that you may want to know why it exists.
I grew up on Maryland's Eastern Shore, an area whose waterfowling tradition is the oldest on the North American continent. I was lucky to be growing up during a time when the Canada Goose population was growing exponentially. As a result, Maryland's goose guiding was in full swing during my adolescent years. My dad owned the Gun Shop in downtown Easton Maryland. We hunted geese, used calls and listened to the instructional records that the call companies of the day, Olt and Faulk's, sold for use with their calls. As we learned more, and the store's client base grew, we noticed that the guides who bought calls from us did things with calls that we didn't hear on the records, but did hear from the birds themselves.
I found a way to start working for a local guide service as a "go-fer" when I was 14, and listened intently to how the real guides used their calls. Eventually, I caught on, and later began entering the World Goose Calling Championship with my "doctored" store-bought calls.
I was never content with the limitations of sound and volume that the calls of the time produced. Even my "doctored" calls didn't get me where I wanted to go. I wanted a call that I could blow all day long with no effort, be heard as far away as a goose was heard, and produce a wide range of goose voices from smooth to raspy, high to low, and everything in-between.
With the help of my friend Dan Edwards, I began to move toward my goal in 1984. I brought the concepts and Dan brought the knowledge of machining needed to produce prototype parts. The prototypes were crude, but when I unveiled the first one in the field in 1984, the geese absolutely loved it! The judges in the World Championship that year weren't so kind. I didn't make the final round, but based on the orders I got that night, and the offer from Harold Knight to buy the call and the right to manufacture it, I knew I was on the right track, so I persisted in refining the design. It needed to be a little more mellow to seal the deal.
In 1985 I won the Mid Atlantic Goose Calling Championship, then the World Championship, the only two contests I had ever even heard of. I repeated those wins in 1986, and goose calls as the world had known them before were OVER!
Prior to the Eastern Shoreman (named for the first waterfowl guides in this country) there were two basic call designs and one radical one. The Olt 77 and 800 models were what used to be known as "conventional calls", and the Olt A-50 was known as a "flute call." The only call to vary from those two themes was known as the tube or diaphragm call, which was frustrating to learn and very quiet. Conventional calls produced a couple of notes, flute calls produced a couple other notes, and diaphragm calls produced a few more, but only if you could figure out how to get one to work. We attained the best that those calls had to offer, added more geese sounds, and put them in a call that anyone can use!
Shortly after I won World Championships with the Eastern Shoreman, a young man named Josh Neuwiller won an unprecedented, 6 World Championships, the International Goose Calling Championship and the International Champion of Champions with an Eastern Shoreman. In 1995 I became the first ever Champion of Champions using the Eastern Shoreman.
The rest, as they say, is history. I continue to tweek guts and reeds and my methods of tuning in an effort to challenge myself and the call. My goal is to give you the most realistic goose call made, and the easiest to use!