Make the Call

Poquoson native Brian Watkins has a special gift for crafting duck calls.

Photos by Watkins Duck Calls LLC

Duck hunters have filtered through duck calls for generations, searching for the perfect sound. And while you can spend a ton of money on a call—a device used to lure flying ducks into the water near the hunter—many never really translate into killing any birds. But Brian Watkins is known to have the Midas touch of duck-call makers, pursuing his craft since the age of 12. 

“I take pride in the craftsmanship; no corners are cut to produce a product,” says Watkins, 43, who grew up on the shores of the lower Chesapeake Bay in Poquoson, a place with ample opportunities to hunt and fish. Watkins learned to make duck calls from his father. After college, Watkins married his wife, Kristin, and together, the couple started their business. 

All of his duck calls are “100 percent handmade, one at a time,” says Watkins, adding that custom calls are his specialty. His calls, which start at $40, have won numerous awards, including first place in the acrylic duck call division at the 2018 World Waterfowl Callmaking Championship in Easton, Maryland. DuckCalls.us


This article originally appeared in our Best of Virginia 2019 issue.

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