Duck call-making went from a hobby to a passion for Chris in just four years.
Chris, a longtime avid duck hunter, has always appreciated duck calls. It was about four years ago when Amy found some wood from a hackberry tree and brought it home. With a set of files and a mini lathe, Chris made his first duck call.
The motto for Acoustic Duck Calls is "Music to their Ears." The business soon grew out of the back porch area and into a small shop where the Acoustic Ducks Calls are custom made by Chris. Amy is also part of the operation and enjoys taking the calls, helping with the shipping, and polishing. She said she leaves the tools to Chris.
"We were fortunate enough to purchase Acoustic Duck Calls about two years ago," Chris said. "The original creator of Acoustic Duck Calls was Randal Floyd, who passed away in 2006. He started his business in 1979. Randal made an awesome call and I admired his passion for duck calls and hunting. He was a good mentor."
In addition to spending hours in his shop and a full time job, Chris takes time to teach kids how to blow a duck call. He doesn't care if it is one he made or not if a young person is interested in learning, Chris will work with him.
Chris and Amy are excited to have a young man from Paragould, Brayden Buck, competing in the World Duck Call competition with an Acoustic Duck Call.
"When I made that first one four years ago, I could not even imagine one I made on a world stage," Chris said. "Brayden is awesome."
Acoustic Duck Calls made in Monette have been sold and shipped to Atlanta, Ga., Tennessee, Illinois, California, Louisiana, Texas, and other places far and near.
Chris has a passion for making duck calls. It is an art form and it takes an eye and an ear.
"I want every duck call right when it goes out of here," Chris said. "If someone doesn't like one of my calls, I want them to bring it back and tell me what it is they don't like about it. I want my customers satisfied."
Chris makes acrylic calls and various wood calls. There are advantages to each. The acrylic will hold its shape. He makes two types of calls, a timber call and an open water call. The calls are laser-engraved and can display company logos, names, etc. He can customize the call for any occasion. He made 10 for the BIC FFA auction which featured a Mustang, the school's mascot.
Through the years he has been able to update the equipment and uses a computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine.
"It is a challenge to get the tones correct," Chris said. "It has to make the same sounds as a duck makes."
Chris and Amy recently held a duck-calling contest at the Big Lake Chili Cooking Contest in Manila.
"It was a great time," Chris said. "We had over 30 competing," Chris said. "We would like to do more competition."
Chris serves as the chairman for the Delta Waterfowl St. Francis Sunken Land Chapter.
The Hills have two children, Andrew, 5, and Riley, 8. They both enjoy spending time in the shop with their dad and are learning to call the ducks.
Needless to say, their favorite show is Duck Dynasty. Their phone ring tones are duck sounds. Chris is looking forward to duck season.
Anyone interested in more information on the Acoustic Duck Calls, or lessons, can call (870) 740-0441. Chris never charges for duck calling lessons. They are also on Facebook and their email is firstname.lastname@example.org.