In 1957 when I was 13 years old, there was a 3 day turkey season south of Hwy 24 in my home county, Amite County, Mississippi. I had just finished making my first box call and on opening morning I called my first gobbler up using my new call that my best friend, Roger Lowery killed for his first turkey !! On the second morning of that season, I called my Dad up a turkey, which he killed. The third and last day, I called up # 3 and killed my first turkey !! Back in those days, there weren’t too many folks that even used a turkey call much less knew how to use one so I felt like a 13 year old HOT SHOT !!!!
In 1958, as a 14 year old boy, I knew Mike Lynch,was coming to hunt in my hometown, Liberty, MS, so I approached him with my home made box call. Tentatively, I asked for a critique from the master. Lynch was perhaps none too gentle with this 14 year old, and STERNLY told me NOT to copy his box calls !!! He gave me one of his calls to use instead. This encounter lead to my being able to hunt with Mr. Lynch every year from then until he died in 1974. In 1970, a dozen years after first meeting Mr. Lynch, I purchased the M. L. Lynch Company. After a long period of time, Mr. Lynch let me know that he had indeed been impressed at our first meeting years before, with my skills making a box call and calling techniques. Mr. Lynch “reluctantly” finally let me know that he was impressed with my ability to ‘cackle’ on a box call because in his words, he couldn’t do it as well as me. He said he was intrigued that with my youth, I learned how to ‘talk turkey’. HIGH PRAISE coming from this man. I still feel that pride today.
In 1973, I was asked to be a Founding Director for the National Wild Turkey Federation. I accepted and immediately became a life member of the National Wild Turkey Federation and provided a mailing list of 25,000 names of the most recent hunters who purchased a Lynch turkey call. Over the next 5 years I included approximately 300,000 leaflets with every Lynch turkey call that sold letting hunters know about this new organization for turkey hunters.
In 2006, I retired from the Lynch Company and through the urging of many, in 2008. began making my own brand of calls, Allen Jenkins Turkey Calls.
It has been almost 60 years since I asked my mentor to critique my carefully planned handiwork. In that time I have produced over 3 million box turkey calls. Every single one of these box calls has been handmade and hand-tuned.
Today, sportsmanship, craftsmanship and the hunting tradition are more important to me than killing a bird. After calling and taking scores of gobblers, it is much more satisfying to me to share my love of the outdoors and the art of turkey hunting with youngsters and new turkey hunters. It is time to light a spark of excitement in the eyes of my children and to pass the thrill of hunting to a new generation.