By Hope Harrington Oakes
Brian Lollar likes to hunt. So when he stumbled across a new hobby of making duck calls in recent years, it seemed like a match made in Heaven. In 2010 he started his business, DDT Game Calls with the help of his friend, David Dees. They wanted to make calls that would appeal to the hunter and the hunted. With the hugely popular series “Duck Dynasty” a favorite show of so many, it seems to be a business that’s found a huge market (although DDT Game Calls was a business long before Duck Dynasty first aired). Having spent years in the field, he was always thinking of how to make his game calls look and sound better. They offer custom calls that use Echo inserts. The different call types are for Duck, Goose, Deer, Turkey, Coon, and Squirrel. The company uses all manner of materials to make the calls such as wood like Bois d’Arc, Maple, Oak, and exotic woods like Cocobola from Nicaragua and African Blackwood to laminates and acrylics. The company motto is “If you can think of it, we probably can build it”. They actually hope to eventually get to the point of using mostly local woods, except for the few exotics they currently offer. According to Brian, different woods elicit different sounds. The harder the wood, the louder the sound because hard woods don’t absorb sound as much as the softer woods do. He has just started experimenting with Persimmon wood, and thanks to new equipment, is trying to add dye to white woods to play with shade variations of coloring. Brian is a little “old school” himself, because he likes a good wood one with a natural finish and polished with beeswax. He begins his process with a block of wood or laminate and drills a hole through it. Of course, the block becomes heated and expands, so they have to stop periodically to let the it cool down. It has to sit and cool overnight and then the band is put on. With certain ones, they have to take several days to dip repeatedly and cure. Their basic calls cost around $30, but the price increases according to what custom touches are required. He recently sold one to Philadelphia Phillies pitcher (and former Mississippi State player), Jonathan Papelbon. Something new he has been experimenting with has been an acrylic mold he created. He’s taken a little break, now in the off-season, from doing as many turkey calls. Plus, T-ball season has just started up, so any extra time will be eaten up with practices and games.
It’s a process that can be a little time-consuming, but the company manages to put out approximately 50 or so calls a year. Brian thinks the entire process of going from a tree to something useful is pretty cool. He likes to call it a “self-sustaining hobby” that he hopes his children, 10 year old Drew and 7 year old Alyssa, will develop an interest in, and maybe expand the company, one day. He also stated he appreciates the fact that his wife, Susan, is a patient woman. He and Susan also own the Columbus business, Sewing World, though they are concentrating on selling it, soon. He’s happy with the size business that DDT Game Calls is now. They receive orders through the company website and also on their Facebook page. As far as expanding the business, he says that “If the Good Lord wants it to happen, it will. Right now, we’re just having fun with it”.