Ebb Tide Calls, located in New Kent and owned by New Kent Middle School student Tate Estis, recently celebrated its first full year of making mallard duck calls. Estis demonstrates the process of making the calls.

According to his father, there are still some sportsmen who see the quality of Tate’s work and don’t believe that a teenager produces such high quality calls.

“He just has a passion and a talent for it,” he said. “He’s out working on the calls every day and he manages the business. I just serve as quality control.”

Tate’s passion for duck calls and duck hunting has blossomed since he became a duck call craftsman.

“Before I started making duck calls, I would enter calling contests and come in second to last, but now I have won a few contests and I’m always getting better,” he said.

According to his mother, it’s with that same determination that Tate has built his business. He is not discouraged by the “scrap bucket” of broken wood and nearly finished calls, but uses them to inspire his next great design.

“Like using a duck call, making them takes a lot of practice. It’s not something you can just pick up and do,” she said.

Tate guarantees that only the best quality duck calls leave his shop. The calls must be completely symmetrical. If they're off by even 1/16 an inch, they go into the scrap bucket.

“I can’t put my name on something that isn’t 100 percent perfect,” he said. “That’s part of being a good businessman and building my character.”

For more information on Ebb Tide Calls, email: ebbtidecalls@gmail.com.

Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.