Looking for a custom turkey call that you don’t have to wait months for?
David Halloran Turkey Calls are readily available and affordable for most hunters. On top of that, he has a reputation for producing calls both visually and audibly beautiful. It’s no wonder that Halloran is one of the most popular names in custom turkey calls.
Do any amount of research on the best turkey pot calls and you will no doubt run across the name David Halloran. Still a young man, Halloran has been making turkey calls for more than 20 years. His Crystal Mistress call is the last sound that thousands of gobblers have heard.
If you want to learn more about Halloran and his calls, keep reading!
David Halloran’s Background
David Halloran is a turkey-hunting fanatic. Growing up in western New York, he started hunting when he was 11.
Like many other great turkey call makers (read my article on Will Primos), Halloran started making calls at a very young age. He produced his first call at 12 and kept making them throughout high school and college.
Halloran went on to win the NWTF’s DD Adams Award in 2010. This award is given to the best-sounding friction call.
Halloran met his wife Ashley at the NWTF Convention in Nashville. She helps him produce his amazing calls and joins him on his hunts.
Today, David is one of the world’s most well-known custom turkey call makers. He has recently worked in conjunction with Sitka Gear to promote their new turkey line.
Are David Halloran Turkey Calls Really Custom?
It depends on your definition of custom.
Some people do not consider Halloran’s calls custom, claiming they are made with a CNC (computer numerical control) machine. To these people, true custom turkey calls are turned individually on a lathe.
According to Halloran’s website, “these are custom calls and each one is hand made by David.”
Now I realize that Halloran is not making each call according to my exact desires or needs. In many cases, he’s not even making a new call to fill my order.
However, I do believe that Halloran is picking all the materials that go into these calls and that he tunes each one (and throws out the bad ones) according to his specifications. To me, that is a custom turkey call.
While the semantics of a custom call vs a production call can be debated, there is no debating that Halloran makes a really good product.
Positives of David Halloran Turkey Calls
- Consistent Quality-While Halloran does not make as large a selection of calls as some other noted call makers, you can be sure you are getting a quality product. He consistently produces turkey killers. I have never heard of anyone ordering a “dud” from him.
- Playability-David Halloran Turkey Calls are generally very easy to run. Even beginning turkey callers will not have much trouble getting a turkey sound from his pot and box calls.
- Timely Delivery- While many other custom call makers have long lists and take months or even years to produce and deliver their products, Halloran usually has most of his products in stock and ready to ship within a few weeks.
- Convenience-Many other great custom call makers do not have websites. Even the ones who do, require you to call to make your order. Halloran’s website is easy to navigate, provides quality photos and descriptions, and makes ordering easy with a typical online checkout process. You can also buy his calls from Mack’s Prairie Wings, Midwest Turkey Call Supply, and other smaller online suppliers.
- Customer Service- Halloran is not only a skilled call maker and turkey enthusiast. He is also a really nice guy. He and his wife are responsive to emails and phone calls so don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns about their calls. Keep in mind that it is just the two of them running the shop, so have a little patience during busy seasons (aka the spring and pre-spring). If you happen to run into them at a trade show, be sure to stop and talk turkey with them.
David Halloran Turkey Calls Might Not Be For You If…
- You need a call tomorrow.- While David Halloran Turkey Calls are easier to obtain than many other custom turkey calls, you’re probably not going to be able to get one if you waited until the night before turkey season starts. You’ll likely have to go with whatever Primos or Quaker Boy calls are left at the local Academy.
- You have to touch and play a call before you buy it.- Unless you run into Halloran at a trade show, you probably won’t get to go hands-on with the calls before you buy them. However, I have never heard of anyone who was unsatisfied with the sound of the call they received (though I’m sure there is someone out there).
- You want a one-of-a-kind or limited edition call- Halloran makes a lot of really great calls. He has found a system to consistently produce quality, even in larger quantities. But he doesn’t do a lot of limited distribution, made-to-order stuff. At least not for the general public. Maybe if you call him and ask really nicely, he’d do it just for you, Snowflake.
David Halloran Turkey Pot Calls
I personally own two David Halloran Turkey Calls. I own the Crystal Mistress and an aluminum pot call made by him.
Both pot calls I own are extremely easy to run. They’re pure turkey too. Even my wife raised her eyebrows in admiration the first time she heard me on the Crystal Mistress. (She’s usually yelling for me to shut up.) Speaking of the old ball and ch—errrr, I mean wife, the Halloran aluminum call is her personal favorite to use.
Here is a list of the pot calls Halloran currently has listed on his website (as of publication):
- Crystal Mistress
- Twisted Sister
- Double Glass II
- Metal Mouth II
- Sugartown Sweetness
- Top Shelf Ceramic
- Zebrawood Laminate Green Slate
- Cherry Slate
- Zebrawood Aluminum
The Crystal Mistress is the call that gets the most hype. It was the winner of the NWTF’s DD Adams Award back in 2010.
What makes it such a great call? Obviously, the tone is excellent. Many turkeys have died to the sound of a Crystal Mistress. On top of that, it is easy to use, especially for a crystal surface call.
Many consider the Twisted Sister an upgrade to the Crystal Mistress, but this can be debated. While the Crystal Mistress is a maple and cedar laminate, the Twisted Sister is poplar and yellow heart with a crystal surface over a slate soundboard. This is probably Halloran’s second most popular call.
If you’re looking for good value in a call, the Sugartown Sweetness is a double-sided pot call with glass on one side and slate on the other. Utilize multiple strikers and you’re carrying several turkeys in one small package. Not bad for 75 dollars.
In my opinion, it is hard to go wrong with any of his pot calls. Whether you’re trying to find a surface that you don’t have in your arsenal already (maybe a ceramic or aluminum surface), an easy-to-play call with proven results (Crystal Mistress and Twisted Sister), a good beginner’s call that produces great soft calling (either of the Slate options), or the Swiss-Army knife of calls (Sugartown Sweetness), David Halloran Turkey Calls has something to fit your needs.
David Halloran Strikers
David Halloran Turkey Calls offer both a one and two-piece striker. While I have tried all of his two-piece strikers, I have never used his one-piece strikers.
The two-piece strikers are pretty straightforward. The calling end is just a typical dowel. Current offerings include dymondwood, hickory, and purple heart.
While these strikers are not super fancy, they have always gotten the job done for me. I have used them on multiple surfaces with no issues. If they get slick, I’ll condition them a bit and they are good as new.
The one-piece strikers come in a wider variety of woods than the two-piece. Currently, he is producing ipe, yellow heart, purple heart, jatoba, hickory, persimmon, and bloodwood.
The one-piece strikers have the bulb on the end of them. If you prefer that style of striker, you should go with the one-piece.
While the one-piece strikers are a bit more expensive than the two-piece, they are a bit more unique so you can get a more custom sound from them.
Halloran also makes a waterproof striker from synthetic materials. This is useful on those rainy or moist days when you don’t want to ruin your nice wood strikers. It can help you get better friction on those slick pots.
David Halloran Turkey Box Calls
Though they are on my wish list (a very long list!), I do not actually own any of David Halloran’s box calls. However, having heard and seen them many times on Youtube and several times in real life, I can tell you that they are very good.
David Halloran Turkey Calls offers both a shortbox and a longbox.
The shortboxes have a really cool appearance with checkering on the lid and sides. The sides also have a pair of turkey tracks burnt into them.
Several of the shortboxes come with a Macassar ebony lid. This lid on a poplar box is great for the kind of loud calling you sometimes need from a box call. You can also get the ebony paddle on a black walnut box which gives you a high-pitched tone with some rasp. Finally, pair the ebony paddle with a black limba box and you get a very easy-to-use call.
Don’t want an ebony lid? No problem. Halloran also makes a walnut over butternut box which is great for soft calling. Additionally, a purple heart lid on a cedar box gives you a raspy box call that can do a lot of things well.
If you want a call that can really reach out there, you might want to get the longbox. Great for windy days and locating turkeys, the longbox gives you volume that sounds amazing. Listen for yourself in the video below.
- It’s All in the Details. Sitka Gear Web Site. (2022, March 7). Retrieved December 22, 2022, from https://www.sitkagear.com/experience/its-all-in-the-details
- David Halloran Turkey Calls Web Site. Retrieved December 22, 2022, from https://davidhalloranturkeycalls.com/
- SITKA Gear. (2022). Turkey Calling Tips with David Halloran. YouTube. Retrieved December 22, 2022, from https://youtu.be/BrXra6nej3g.