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‘Purring block’ combines slate, glass to make toms make fatal mistakes

South Carolina call-maker John Tanner gets ideas for some of his custom-made calls from interesting places, but none better than a deer stand.

Tanner’s newest call, the “Purring Block” showed up on his drawing board last December after an afternoon in the woods deer hunting.

“I was sitting in my deer stand, when a flock of turkeys came by, feeding up the edge of a cornfield,” said Tanner, who gained recognition in his home state when he started making calls out of ancient cypress that had been aged at 46,000 years. “I listed to them communicating, and they were making little quiet, soft purrs. I got to thinking, ‘I can reproduce that sound.’”

A couple of months of tinkering resulted in the Purring Block, a two-sided call – a slate trough on one side and a circle of bead-blasted glass on the other – made just for those instances when a hunter needs a soft purr or cluck to make a gobbler commit to those last few yards that might prove to be his undoing.
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