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SHERIDAN, Ark. (KTHV) - Move over Duck Commander. A Grant County couple is receiving national recognition for their custom turkey call business.

"I think hearing the turkey's gobble is my favorite part," says Don Clark.

Nestled in the woods of Sheridan, is a tiny work shop. It's home to Clark-It Custom Turkey Calls.

"I retired from the Union Pacific railroad," says Don. "I worked there for 41 years."

He then began heavily pursuing his decade-long hobby.

"Well, I was a turkey hunter. When I first started making turkey calls. it was an obsession."

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Don's only employee is his wife Sarah; she's his bride and fellow turkey hunting partner of 42 years.

"He is my best friend," smiles Sarah.

"She is the best thing that has ever happened to me out here," Don adds.

"I can't imagine a boss being as much fun," she laughs.

The duo has made about 250 calls for hunters all across the country. Don builds them using wood from all over Arkansas. Some of it is even from South America.

"It's all done by hand. I don't use machines," he explains.

It takes about six hours to make a call, depending on the style.

"You just want to make that one perfect one," he says.

But for Sarah's part, her job is a lot more time consuming. Her pencil shading on the calls is incredibly detailed.

"It's just a real challenge to me. I didn't even realize I could do this." I would say, what do you think Don? Probably 40 hours?"

That's 40 hours of work for every call. Using pictures of real turkeys as a guideline, it has become a craft she takes great pride in.

"A turkey really really has 18 feathers, tail feathers, so I want to make sure it [the call] has 18 feathers."

The drawing is then burned onto the call. If the customer wants it painted, she does that too.

As for Don, you can bet, just like any another boss, he keeps his employee on a schedule.

"He's given me a limit," laughs Sarah. "He told me no more than a week."

Making it even more unique, each call comes with a little history written on the back.

Don explains, "A lot of people send me wood out of their grandpa's house and they say could you build me a turkey call out of this here?"

It's those kinds of details that make their work so special. They've been recognized with countless awards and featured in newspaper articles.

As for their future, this husband and wife team have no plans of slowing down.

"I am still a long way from where I would like to be," Sarah adds. "Every time I look at my last call I think, why didn't I do that or why did I do that??"

Regardless of its appearance, the birds most always seem to be drawn in. After all, it's the turkey's approval that matters most.

"Just getting them to answer the call," says Don.

March is the Clark's busy season, as it is just ahead of turkey season in Arkansas, which runs from April 19-May 4.

For more information on Clark-It Custom Calls contact them at 870-942-4279 or

dgclark@alltel.net

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