Welcome to the website of outdoor writer & speaker Steve Sorensen
The Everyday Hunter
Popular Sportsman's Dinner Speaker
Award-winning Magazine and Book Author
Home of The Everyday Hunter's blog, "Mission: Hunter"
Custom Turkey Call Maker
Field Contributor to Deer & Deer Hunting magazine
The Northern Scratchbox Turkey Call... "Gobblers buy it – you should, too!"
Cedar Soundboard on all calls
The body of the call is your choice—either Cherry or Maple. Both sound the same, because the sound comes from the Cedar soundboard. Of course, wood grain will vary so the pictures are only examples.
Don't wait until next season when supplies might run short!
Order yours TODAY!
I have developed an exciting new turkey call that is deadly on mature gobblers. I call it the Northern Scratchbox. It has been field-tested with great results, and is now available! Last season I barely kept up with the demand. This year, the demand will be greater, so get your order in now! (Available with a Cherry Body or a Maple Body.)
I am currently unable to take orders by PayPal or any other online form of payment. I'm working on that, but until further notice orders will be taken by check or money order only. (No shipping delays for orders by USPS money order.
To order by mail, send payment for $40 for each call—shipping is FREE to the lower 48 states. (PA deliveries add $2.40 for PA sales tax on each call. No sales tax for deliveries outside PA.)
30 Valley View Dr.
Russell, PA 16345.
I ship orders of 1 or 2 calls by First Class Mail. Please specify "Cherry" or "Maple." Orders that don't specify will receive a call with a Cherry body.
If you have any questions, please call (814) 688-2044.
About the NORTHERN SCRATCHBOX™ Custom Turkey Call
Why the Northern Scratchbox is Unique
Northern Scratchbox Instructional Video
The Story Behind This Innovative Call
In the spring of 2009, a friend of my father-in-law in South Carolina showed me a type of call I had never seen before. He called it a "scratchbox." Even though I had never heard of a scratchbox, they have always been very popular in the south. After I returned home he sent one to me, and the first time out with it I called in and shot a nice big longbeard.
On my next hunt I pulled the call out of my turkey vest and discovered that I had broken it. I was disappointed, but I thought I'd try to make one for myself — and was confident I could improve on it. I experimented with 7 different designs. You learn a lot when you're trying to design a new turkey call, and I came up with one that would be rugged, that sounded great, and that my dad and I could produce in his garage.
I've named my call the "Northern Scratchbox," because many northern hunters have never used a scratchbox and don't even know what a scratchbox is. After getting many compliments on its sound from hunters and callmakers, I began field testing it with great results.
Field Testing Success
While developing the Northern Scratchbox call, I gave a few to some hunters willing to field test it. Click here for success stories and photos.
Here's my own first field test of the Northern Scratchbox: On May 3, 2010 I was hunting at Miracle Mountain Ranch in Spring Creek, PA, and I called in a nice gobbler, not once but twice, using my own Northern Scratchbox custom turkey call. The first time he came to about 60 yards, and then to 50 before one of his lady friends came along and took him away. An hour after he left, I called him back again, this time to 40 yards, but I couldn't get a shot. Then two more of his lady friends came in, and went right to him. As the hens led him down over the hill, he was really turned on, answering every call I made with double and triple gobbles. (Knowing what I now know, I should have laid the fighting purr on him!)
After I got home from the hunt, Anthony Buffone called. I had sent one of my calls to Anthony to field test in the Punxsutawney area of central Pennsylvania. He harvested the first gobbler with my Northern Scratchbox, a nice 3-year old tom. Congratulations, Anthony! And thanks!
Now, you can buy your own Northern Scratchbox. The body of the call is Pennsylvania Cherry or Maple. The soundboard is Cedar, and the strikerboard is African Rubberwood.
Instruction sheet for the NORTHERN SCRATCHBOX™
I supply a printed instruction sheet with every Northern Scratchbox. You can download a copy here.
During field testing. the gobbler at right fell to my Northern Scratchbox. Twice, while coming to the call, hens flew down from their roosts and landed right in front of him. He ignored them and kept on coming! Click here to read about it.
"I fell for it like acorns fall from trees."
—A gobbler from,
Warren County, PA
"I know Kansas gobblers like your scratchbox call. I used the call I recently got from you to kill two birds this week. The second bird sports a triple beard bird that qualifies it for the record books."
—Ralph M., from Pennsylvania,
a well-traveled turkey hunter
"Snow was knee deep.... Since I had only planned this to be a scouting trip I wasn’t the best prepared. Fortunately I had your call, a Beretta 682 single barrel trap gun and two 1 ounce trap loads with number 8 shot. No more than 25 yards."
—George K., from South Dakota,
an old friend
"My favorite call is the Northern Scratchbox made by the Everyday Hunter. I purchased it over a year ago and it has accounted for several gobblers. Only a couple were mine as I lent it out to some pards. I told them this year to get their own, because they ain't going to wear mine out."
—a Wisconsin turkey hunter
"I recently purchased 2 scratch box callers from you and I already had 5 different ones from known call makers. I want to commend you on your call as it makes the easiest best sounding yelps, cutting, clucks and purrs of all of them. All callers had good workmanship but yours is the one I will go to next season."
—W. Scott, from Virginia,
a long-time turkey hunter
"Worked perfectly! Thank you. I purchased one for our spring season—was incredible. I'm buying these for my son and grandpa! Can't thank you enough for introducing my family to this fantastic call."
—Carl S. from West Virginia,
an eBay buyer
"This Northern Scratchbox of yours is awesome. It has a very nice tone and is quite versatile in making different sounds. I can easily say this is the best sounding scratch box I own. I may even convince myself that the ‘Northern Scratchbox’ is all I need to carry…and leave my sack of calls at home! Well done! I am very happy with it."
—R. Holt, from Texas,
a fan of scratchbox calls
"I received my Scratch box and I'm fascinated with it. Great call! It will be my main call this season as as I help my three oldest grandchildren fill tags. Thank you!"
—Terry P., from Kentucky,
a satisfied buyer
Why Buy a Custom Call?
Brand name calls from the big companies are mass produced, sometimes overseas by people who aren't turkey hunters. Maybe they've never even heard a turkey! Once the call is glued together, if it makes a reasonably credible sound it goes into the package. Sometimes very little attention is actually given to tuning the call, so when you buy most off-the-shelf calls, you're buying a call that's finished, but could be better.
The big companies come out each season with the latest and greatest, and each season hunters find out that many of these calls really aren't very effective. That makes it imperative that they come out with something new the next year.
That's why experienced turkey hunters often shy away from the big name calls and look for calls made by real hunters who know turkeys. They buy those calls because they work.
But here are some other reasons to hunt with a Northern Scratchbox™ custom call:
It's very unlikely that the turkeys where you hunt have ever heard it before.
Unlike mass-produced calls, it's individually made and hand-tuned.
It has the reputation of The Everyday Hunter® behind it, so I have a personal interest in each call I make.
If it doesn't have a turkey in it, it's discarded, so you won't buy a "lemon."
Scratchbox calls are generally low-volume calls... known for their softness. I found that out with the first gobbler I called in with a scratchbox. He was roosting in a tree less than 50 yards away. I had made three of the softest tree yelps I could make -- so soft I wasn't sure even MY ears could hear them. After gobbling on the roost for a half hour, the big bird pitched down to my right. He knew exactly where the call came from, and headed right for me. (I make every call with the memory of that gobbler in mind.)
When I designed the Northern Scratchbox... I made sure it could be played just as softly. But I also made sure it was more than just a soft call. I found a way to put two sound chambers inside the call, which adds resonance and volume. What I ended up with was a call that can make any sound a wild turkey makes except a gobble. Do you want high AND low volume? High notes AND deep pitches? Raspy AND clear tones? Gobbler yelps AND hen yelps? Those loud and deadly fighting purrs? Do you want a call with realistic purrs, clucks and cutts? All those turkey sounds are in every Northern Scratchbox I make.
You can buy
a NORTHERN SCRATCHBOX™
right here, right now!
Get the turkey call no gobbler in your area
has ever heard!
Gobblers buy it! You should, too!
Currently taking orders by mail only. (Please see above.)
"The call is very versatile compared to others I've used for many moons. You can almost carry on a conversation with its range of tone to give the birds exactly what they want to hear! Many thanks Steve for a great product."
—W. Fleming, from Nebraska
(Called in 5; only two made it out)
"Highly recommend the scratch box call hand made by Steve Sorensen. We have had great success with this call, had two gobblers going crazy the first day while using it. Best money we've spent in a long time on a hunting product, worth way more than what he's selling it for."
—Travis D., from Pennsylvania,
posted on Facebook
What's Unique About the NORTHERN SCRATCHBOX™?
Two-Chambered Design: The Northern Scratchbox, like other scratchbox calls, can be played very softly. But unlike most, it can also be played loudly, thanks to the unique two-chambered design. Yes, even though this call is small (about the size of a cellphone) it contains two sound chambers separated by a slotted baffle. This seems to add resonance and volume. No other scratchbox has this feature—and perhaps no other turkey call of any kind!
Strikerboard: The strikerboard functions much like the lid of a box call, except that the lid of a box call has one "sweet spot" where it strikes the soundboard on the box call. In the case of the Northern Scratchbox, the strikerboard produces many sounds, depending on where and how you scratch the soundboard on the striker board. It produces high and low tones, yelps, purrs, cutts, clucks, and even kee-kees. There is no more versatile call made from wood. It even works under damp conditions! If the strikerboard gets wet, just wipe it off and add more chalk. It's secret is that it is made from African rubberwood (the trees that produce latex sap). It holds the chalk very well.
Soundboard: I tested several different kinds of woods for the soundboard, as well as several thicknesses of the soundboard. Each wood has its own acoustic properties, but since so many tones (from high to low) can be made from one wood, and customers get confused by having to choose from too many, I have settled on using only Cedar for the soundboard.
The key to getting a pure turkey sound are the perfect arcs, or curves. The arc of the soundboard will be what determines the nature of the call, but it is only one of three important arcs:
The curve of the soundboard from one edge to the other.
The edge of the soundboard is carefully sanded to produce a tiny, off-center radius which assures that the lip of the soundboard slides across the strikerboard with absolute consistency when you tild the box slightly against the strikerboard.
The curve of the strikerboard.
Close attention to these three curves and all the places they come together is what puts a turkey into every Northern Scratchbox. In fact, once you've had a little practice, it will be hard to make a mistake on it.
Chalk: I have tested several different types of chalk. Carpenter's chalk works well, but doesn't last and it's very dusty, which turns your turkey hunting vest pink. I've tried several other chalks with varying success, until I settled on Railroad Chalk. It has a bit of resin in it which reduces the dust, and helps it to adhere to the rubberwood very well. It is marketed in several colors and is often sold as Sidewalk Chalk for kids.