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Talking Turkey with the King of Strut, Paul Butski at Cabela's

Talking Turkey with the King of Strut, Paul Butski

Author: Mike Schoby

Bring your calling to the next level, with Butski Game Calls.

The King of Strut, Paul Butski.

If you have been around turkey hunting very long, then you probably have heard of Paul Butski. His calling repertoire is a pedigree of pedigrees; as a competitive caller Butski has won more than 100 championships including the prestigious Grand Nationals three times, the Levi Garret All American Open twice, six U.S. Opens, as well as the Grand National and U.S. Open Owl Hooting Championships. His development of the split reed cuttin' calls has not only dominated the calling circuit, it also has set the standard among turkey hunters and guides for raspy yelps, cutts and cackles in the field.

Butski started making calls in the late 1970s for numerous major call companies. In 1986 he went into business for himself and formed Butski Game Calls. Over the years I have used many different game calls, but it wasn't until this past season that I decided to give Butski Calls a day in court – or more specifically a day in the field.

Butski makes several calls for turkey hunters, and never knowing which calls, will fire up a turkey on any given day, I chose to get the Old Reliable Box Call, two different friction calls and a package of his professional diaphragm calls.

Paul Butski Game Calls.

Old Reliable Box Call – The sound produced from a quality box call is hard to beat. It has a deep resonating tone that not only sounds good to humans, but also is absolutely irresistible to gobblers. Butski captures the essence of this sound in his high-quality box call. Handcrafted from dense hardwoods, this box call sounds great and will last for years of hard use. According to Mark Nelsen, avid turkey hunter and Cabela's Internet Communications Manager, "I have used this call extensively, and without a doubt, it is the first call I reach for when trying to strike a bird. Its loud, resonating tone works great for locating a longbeard as well as coaxing him all the way in."

Friction Calls – Butski is currently offering two versions of high-quality friction calls. Both are wrapped in rich walnut, including Butski's Walnut Glass Turkey Call and Butski's Walnut Slate Turkey Call. While they both sounded good to my ears, I actually struck my first bird of the season using the slate model. Its realistic cutts and yelps, combined with the subtle putts and purrs, kept that bird hammering all the way into range. Since then, I have used this call with good results in several states and have been very pleased with its overall quality. Easy to use, great sounding and consistent regardless of weather, these slate calls are sure winners wherever you hunt.

Diaphragm Calls – The flagship of the Butski line is his awesome diaphragm call – a call by which all others are judged. The first thing I noticed about Butski diaphragms were their sharp, loud, realistic sounds – without a doubt the best-sounding diaphragm calls I have ever used. In addition to making seductive yelps, Butski's calls make sharp, powerful cutts and can transition from yelps to cutts to purrs with ease. The Competition/Pro pack consists of the Spring Shadow triple reed with a split in the third reed, Super Cutter III triple reed and Super Cutter IV quad reed with varying thicknesses of latex and a deep cut.

Author Mike Schoby with a nice gobbler.

The first time I used them was during the Nebraska early season, and I managed to call up several toms the first morning – to say I was sold was an understatement, but what really put the icing on the cake, was that after several weeks and several states later of constant day-in and day-out use, these calls still had the same great tone as when new. They didn't stretch, change pitch, become flat or lose their sound. If anything, they broke in and became even better.

I can't say this of other calls – I generally go through more calls during a season than I go through pairs of underwear. Even if the calls started out sounding good, after several times of getting wet, drying out, sitting in my pocket and being used again, they lose their quality. However, this was not the case with Butski professional diaphragms – they are the epitome of quality manufacturing.

In addition to the professional series of diaphragm calls, Butski also offers a Hunter three-pack and a Hunter Competition three-pack. All combinations are hand-tuned by Butski himself to ensure the utmost in quality.

According to Butski, "The Hunter 3-Pack is perfect for novice and experienced turkey hunters alike. It includes the Deadly Double, Sweet Triple and Raspy Whistler split triple reed.

"The Hunter/Competition 3-Pack is the ideal combination for the experienced turkey hunter and competition caller. It includes Hen In Heat split double, Cuttin' Caller III triple and the Cuttin' Caller IV quad."

After a season of hard use and calling many gobblers, one thing became very clear about Butski calls – not only do they win competitions, they also convince the best judge in the world … the wild turkey.

Click this link to view our entire selection of Turkey calls.