Author Topic: Making an owl hooter  (Read 16131 times)

Brent Winingear

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Making an owl hooter
« on: April 21, 2013, 11:06:31 AM »
I have seen a number of requests for a tutorial on how to make an owl hooter. Since there doesn't appear to be much on the web, I decided to show how I make them. Like any call, there are lots of different ways to make a hooter. This is the way that works for me.

I start with two 1-1/2" by 3-1/2" blanks that I bore 5/8" on the drill press.

I then chuck a blank on an expanding mandrel and round off the blank. This will be the barrel. The next step is to mark the blank and make the cut for the band. I make this cut so that the band will over hang the end of the barrel by about 3/16". This will hide the seam later when we couple the two halves.

After the band is fitted, I cut a lanyard groove with a parting tool and taper the barrel to the mouthpiece.

Now it's time to reverse the barrel on the mandrel and flair the inside of the mouthpiece. I like to use a 3/4" skew for this.

Now I'll set the barrel aside and go to work on the exhaust. It is done like the barrel, except I only make a 3/16" cut on the end so that it will slide under the band attached to the other end.

With the band cut made, the lanyard groove cut and the blank tapered, I then round the end. I don't flair the inside of the exhaust, because that will reduce the back pressure and I need it to make the call sound right.

Now I make a piece to hold the reed and couple the two halves of the call together. You could cut a tenon on the end of the exhaust, but I prefer to use a piece of delrin rod. This gives me strength in the weakest part of the call.

I cut a piece of rod about 1-1/2" long and put it in a collet chuck. I use the lathe to drill 9/32" hole in the rod. At this time, I also cut a couple of O ring grooves in the rod.

Now I put the exhaust back on the mandrel and slide the rod in the exhaust. I then dry fit the band and barrel on to the delrin rod and use the live center to hold everything tight and in alignment.

Now its time to sand to call down starting with 120 grit and stepping down until I get to 800 grit. I burned some grooves and put a coat of BLO on the call to give you some idea what the finished call will look like.


Now it's time to install the reed and dry fit everything one last time before the barrel and exhaust go in a jar of BLO for an overnight soak.

After the BLO dries for a few days, I'll dip the call in thinned spar varnish. When the varnish dries, I'll JB weld the band and the delrin insert and call it done. I'll post a final pic when it's done.

I almost forgot, some call makers make a plug with a 1/4" hole for the end of the exhaust create back pressure. I don't do this, because I think that it cuts down the volume to much. Instead, I hold my fingers partially covering the exhaust to get the back pressure needed to make the call sound right.

Here's a picture of the call after an overnight soak in BLO and a couple of swims in the spar jar.

As I said at the start, there are lots of different ways to make a call and I don't want anyone to think that this is the definitive way. I hope that it will help get some of you started to making your own style call.

« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 06:43:30 PM by Brent Winingear »


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Re: Making an owl hooter
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2013, 11:20:04 AM »
Brent Great Job   Just completed my 1st  Made it some what the same way with different bore sizes.

Offline Pure Hunting Custom Game Calls

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Re: Making an owl hooter
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2013, 10:32:19 PM »
Thanks for doing this.  One question...where do you get your reed set?
Vegetarian - that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter”

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Offline Mac Dietrich

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Re: Making an owl hooter
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2013, 12:14:59 AM »
Are those reeds the JC100?

Brent Winingear

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Re: Making an owl hooter
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2013, 11:55:54 AM »
The reed is a JC OHR100. I get them though Hut Products, they are higher, but only 10 miles from my house. You can also get them through

You can also use Al's reed kits. You just have to bore your blanks 3/4" and use 3/4 delrin rod, bored 1/2".

Offline VECtor Calls

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Re: Making an owl hooter
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2017, 06:53:09 PM »
Thank you for posting this Brent. I am going to give owl calls another go this weekend and see if I can build on top of my last research to find a call/sound I am happy with. I may need to get some of these reeds to give a try too. The reeds I have currently been playing with are the ones Al sells. That is what I will use for my research this weekend.
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