The best turkey hunters have lots of different calls in their arsenal. Most new hunters start out with a box call and then add a slate call. And finally, the hardest to use correctly is a mouth call. Therefore, many never move to that. They just stay with the two basics. The slate call is a wonderful and versatile call. It’s called a slate call because it uses a thin piece of slate rock as a surface to make sounds. The slate is held in a piece of wood or plastic, called a pot. For the best and loudest sounds the slate is elevated in the pot around the edges instead of laying directly on the pot’s base. This gives it more of a stereo sound instead of a monotone one. The slate surface is manipulated with another part of the call, called a striker. It is a round dowl, usually made of wood as well. The striker is raked across the slate to make a sound. And nearly every sound a turkey makes can be duplicated on a slate call. If the slate has been prepared properly, the sounds are true, and rich, and sweet. If it has not been prepared, the sounds are shallow and unconvincing. To prepare the slate, a piece of sandpaper is used to rough up the clean and smooth surface. And when its ring begins to sound unauthentic and shallow again, the process is repeated. The key to it being convincing is in how much it has been roughed-up.

It is the same with men and women. Those who have been roughed-up by life, have the sweetest sound. They have come to understand that pain, suffering, failure, and loss are the lot of every person. And what people need during those times is understanding, forgiveness, love, and acceptance. What they don’t need is self-righteous judgement and condemnation. I’ve noticed in my own life, when I have been sanded by circumstances, I make the sweetest sounds. They are authentic and convincing. I also know, sometimes I can lose the depth of concern and compassion. It’s then God has to allow a little sandpaper into my life so I can, once again, sound as close to the authentic Jesus as possible.

I would love to speak at your next game-dinner or men’s conference. Contact me. 

Gary Miller