Quaker Boy makes our giants list not for the size of the company as much as for the number of innovations and the legendary status of the original owner and founder Dick Kirby. Dick along with his wife Beverly came up with the idea to start making turkey calls in 1974 and never looked back. Starting the call making process in their home with family and friends and turning it into a business that competes with the huge producers of the industry is as American as it gets! All of the products in the line still carry the “Made in America” label and for that we salute you.
Though I never had a chance to meet the man himself he has played a big part in what we do here at Bad Poncho Outdoors along with how and why we do things the way we do. If you have never seen any of his videos you owe it to yourself to find them and spend some time watching how hunting should be done. His enthusiasm for the sport and respect for the outdoor sports is infectious if you can watch Dick hunting and don’t get exited there is something wrong. Seeing him take a turkey or deer is like watching a kid at Christmas. When we decided to make the move from fishing to include our hunting exploits the first company to call on our list was Quaker Boy. The research began with a list a mile long from the big guys right down to one man custom shops. Quaker Boy kept rising to the top in most categories.
To be a true giant innovation is the most important thing, its hard being among the greats without some firsts on your resume. Quaker Boy has a long history of firsts.
- The first ever Raspy Style Mouth call, the “Old Turk”.
- The first ever Double Reed Raspy Mouth Call, “The Quaker Boy Special”.
- The first Pot Style Slate call to the industry, the “Double Slate”.
- The first ever Notch style call to the industry, the “Cutter”.
- The first Aluminum surface Pot Style Call, the “Aluminator”.
- The first full wire frame headnet, the “Bandit”. This was followed by the first ever 3/4 length headnet, The “Bandito”. Both share patents.
- The first ever double sided pot style call, the “Double Face”.
- The first turn over style bleat call, the “Bleat in Heat”.
- The first ever adjustable box call to the industry, the “Clover Leaf 10-Sider”.
- The first ever 3 surface pot style call, the “Triple Threat”. One of my personal favorites.
- The first ever Freeze Proof grunt call, the “Ridgerunner”.
- The first ever Curved-Lid Box call. “The Curve”, Boat Paddle.
- The first ever, squeeze style bleat call, the “Squeezin’ Bleat”.
Value is another important factor to be considered, Quaker Boy seems to set the industry standard for value with a fair price on something that will last for many years and many memories. You won’t find anything too extravagant to waste your money on in their catalog, just solid tools to help you enjoy the hunting experience.
Quality is the thing that can never be ignored. The way we see it there are at least a couple of reasons Quaker Boy’s quality hits the top of the charts. One being the people at Quaker Boy are hunters that use the products, if it’s not good enough for them it’s not good enough to sell to you. Many of the 35 workers have been there since the beginning, they know what they are doing and have been doing it a long time. They must be happy workers to stay for so long and we all know happy workers make products that make happy customers. Another thing to note is the growth rate of the company; products are only added to the line when they are ready, innovations without gimmicks, that’s what we look for in a giant.
For those of you who don’t know, we did lose Dick Kirby in 2010 but his memory will be with us for a long time to come. Though he will be sorely missed he did leave the company in the very capable hands of his wife and son who we are sure will keep up the tradition of quality and value with their American made products. One of these products that we have that we hold dear to our hearts is the Dick Kirby commemorative box call. As expected the sound is super sweet with three different American woods in a classic design. What really makes this special is the laser etched picture of Dick with a fallen gobbler and that big smile we all have grown to love. Despite this great loss the Quaker Boy company has chosen to look towards a bright future with an expanded relationship with another giant, Mossy Oak, bringing out the Turkey Thug line of products available since Dec 1, 2011.
At Bad Poncho Outdoors we have had the privilege to use many of the products in the Quaker Boy line from the classic calls, and the camo to the mounting kits to proudly display our trophies. Remember Quaker Boy is not just for turkeys anymore. The line now includes calls for most any game in the United States. Some other highlights are things like the Outline Buster, we use these on our camera guys, callers, and hunters for that extra camo edge. Video is a bigger deal now than ever before and they have a way of doing shows that feels very real. Yes, we are looking forward to even more video from the Turkey Thugs and others.
With the right people making the right products at the right price Quaker Boy looks like they will just keep getting better I wonder what will be next!