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The Hunter’s Journal: The Drama Queen’s Slate by Tony Barner

Halfway through demolishing rooms for a renovation at The Greenbrier 8 years ago, I heard the unmistakable sound of a wild hen turkey. I dropped everything and went down the hallway in search of the source of the yelps. A few rooms down, I found a gentleman practicing turkey calls. After a brief chat about the call he was using and where he got it, I knew I wanted one. Turns out, this gentleman was Howard Fraley III, owner of “Satisfaction Turkey Calls”, a local business in White Sulphur Springs, WV.

Calls alone won’t put a turkey in the pot. Successful turkey hunting requires woodsmanship.

I don’t believe in accidents or coincidences; I’m certain the Lord arranged our meeting that day. After getting with Howard later after work, I left the parking lot with more than a new turkey call; I walked away with a friend for life. Our passion for turkey hunting connected us. Our connection spiritually has enlightened me just as much.

I’m a no-nonsense hunter. I don’t buy every new, trendy gadget on the market.

I’m a no-nonsense hunter. I don’t buy every new, trendy gadget on the market. If it isn’t light-weight and functional, I won’t use it. Calls alone won’t put a turkey in the pot. Successful turkey hunting requires woodsmanship. Knowing how to “set up” in the timber is 95% of harvesting a bird. In other words, you have to understand why and how turkeys travel and read the terrain to determine the best ambush sight. Calls and weather conditions will always influence the rest of your hunt. I learned from Howard, if you’re not confident in your calls, the first 95% of turkey hunting doesn’t matter. He’s absolutely right!

While hunting last spring, I lost one of my best strikers (a stick used to scratch on a slate to create a hen call). I have more than a few, but I’d matched this particular striker to a specific call (the Drama Queen Slate) and found the perfect combination for the best sound. I knew I couldn’t continue my season without buying a new striker from Howard. My patience paid off and I was rewarded with a phenomenal season.

This year, I was honored when Howard asked me to join his pro staff team. Naturally, I accepted. I was thrilled for a couple of reasons. First, I believe his turkey calls are exceptional. I’m also proud to promote a quality, American-made product handcrafted by a local outdoorsman with upright morals. I can tell you from experience, “Satisfaction Turkey Calls” lives up to its name in every respect.

So, If you’d like more information or just want to have a cool conversation with a skilled hunter and terrific guy, give Howard a call at (304)-661-0967 or visit his website at Now, like lots of locals, I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of bow season. Happy Hunting!

– Tony Barner, LBSPY #41 (Sept 9-23, 2013)

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Publisher/Editor in Chief at HashtagWV | + posts

HASHTAGWV ART & ENTERTAINMENT Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Christina Entenmann-Edwards has been a WV resident since September 2008. She was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is no stranger to hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, she graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut), Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History. In 2010, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia). In February 2012, Christina launched HashtagWV as the area’s first full-color, free arts and entertainment tabloid + online platform. Christina completed the Leadership West Virginia class of 2021, which is an innovative program that grows, engages, and mobilizes leaders to ignite a life passion to move West Virginia forward.