A Turkey Box Call Like No Other You Have Ever Seen

A Turkey Box Call Like No Other You Have Ever Seen
January 22, 2021

A Turkey Box Call Like No Other You Have Ever Seen
Author:
Larry Whiteley

The first box-style turkey call was patented in 1897 by an Arkansas farmer and fence supply manager, Henry C. Gibson, of Dardanelle. Though there may have been box calls before his patent, Gibson sparked a new industry that led to many imitators creating box-type turkey calls.

For over 120 years the turkey box call has never really changed that much from the original wooden box and paddle design. Then along came avid turkey hunter Eric Steinmetz. Eric built his own box calls for years and had good success with them. He even sold a few to local hunters. He couldn’t get the thought out of his mind about coming up with one that was more versatile and more effective than the standard box call design. He would think about it as he drove down the road with his traveling sales job. When he was home and wasn’t turkey hunting he was in his shop tinkering with different designs and woods.

He finally came up with the idea of building one with a forward mounted wheel which would allow the paddle to be moved to both sides of the box. That way it could be used on any of four sound rails, each made with different types of wood so it would have four different tones. Thus came the name for his call, the 4-Play. He also found that since the wheel allowed the lid to be moved forward and backward he could strike the sound rails in multiple locations adding to the versatility of his box call.

The US Patent Office agreed that Eric’s box call was so innovative they awarded him a Utility Patent. 4-Play turkey calls are available with Cherry, Walnut or mahogany bodies and you get to choose which of these woods you want for the body of the call. All will have sound rails made of walnut, eastern red cedar, sassafras and poplar.
“Changing of tones is the key,” says Eric. “The 4-Play gives you the ability of mixing tones easily. You can make use of one of the four different rails or just move the lid to a new spot on a rail to change tones.”

“The one handed “thumb cluck” is a call that I love to use with it and especially for gobblers that are hung up and I can’t get them to come on in,” continued Eric. “The 4-Play lets me make great sounding Jake clucks to entice that gobbler into range. What’s nice is that it only ties up one hand so I can keep my other hand on my gun. In the end, you need to make the tom want to come over to see what’s making all the different sounds he’s hearing. When he gets there, it’s up to you to close the deal.”

Eric has sold the 4-Play patent to Brian Benolken but is still involved with the business, working shows, building calls and of course turkey hunting. He’s even won several calling competitions with his 4-Play. Brian is busy growing the business under the name Cutting Edge Game Calls and his goal for the company is to be able to offer you products for making you a better and more successful turkey hunter. Brian and Eric both are continuously thinking of new innovative ideas.

This old turkey hunter has never seen anything like it in all my years of turkey hunting so I just had to have a 4-Play. I love it! I just can’t believe all the sounds I can make with it. I’m clucking, purring, yelping and even fly down cackling with it. I can’t wait until spring turkey season and my wife can’t either. Can you believe she banned me from the house and made me take my 4-Play and practice out in the barn?

If you’re a turkey hunter, you have to have one of these too.
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