BY Larry Whiteley
Now some of you probably read that headline and your mind drifted off to another kind of foreplay. However, this is not that kind of foreplay. This 4-Play is something though that can get a turkey gobbler all excited and coming in looking for love.
Let me begin with how this kind of 4-Play started. You see, 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 with 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 4-Play is a turkey box call like no other you have ever seen or used.
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 all have sounds rails made of walnut, eastern red cedar, sassafras and poplar. If you’re a turkey hunter, you have to have one of these. For more information, watch videos, read reviews and order visit https://4playturkeycall.com/shop. Or, just give them a call at 610-984-4099. They would love to visit with you.
“It really is a versatile call, says Eric. “With a little practice you can make an almost unlimited number of tones and pitches. I just want hunters to use it and then hopefully send us pictures of them and their Gobbler. That’s what would make me feel really successful.”
Eric has since 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 makes me take my 4-Play and practice out in the barn?
If you are a turkey hunter, you might try hinting to your wife or girlfriend that you would sure like to have 4-Play under the tree for Christmas. If they look at you like you are weird or something you might have to just order online or call Cutting Edge Game Calls and order one for yourself. But, if they smile this could be a very merry Christmas in more ways than one.
Larry Whiteley, is the longtime host of Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Radio