David Edlefsen's Bag Limit calls were all made, tuned by hand
I often find it interesting how fate has a quirky way of entering our lives. This week's article on Bag Limit Calls is a good example. Back in the 1980's Dave Edlefsen conducted a Community Education class on his calls at the Tech College. For most participants, it was their first experience listening to an individual who made game calls for a living. I recall Dave demonstrating his deer call using the microphone. He was asked how it would sound in the woods. Dave turned off the mic and shocked everyone on how softly the deer call should sound while hunting. Many found it hard to accept but he assured all present his technique was correct. Even though that class was over 20 years ago, his methods were right on. Let's continue with dialogue on his duck calls.
Dave was born in 1948 in Minneapolis and grew up in the Richfield suburb. By the age of six he was hunting with father and grandfather. When Dave turned eight he received his first shotgun, a Hercules hammer single shot 16 gauge. His passion for the outdoors never diminished. Although Dave tried a number of different careers, his love for hunting brought him full circle to making game calls.
Disappointed with many commercial calls at that time, he decided to try his hand at making calls which "sounded right" to him. It didn't take long and Dave was winning awards at calling contests using his own hand tuned calls.
During his tenure as a call maker, he produced a variety of calls from waterfowl, geese, deer, turkey, elk and many others. Most calls were initially priced from $13 to $17 each. Dave's duck and geese calls are the most in demand. Many of his calls are made from cherry with mylar reeds. Models are too many to be specific here, but always look for the gold sticker on each call. It states, "Bag Limit Calls, hand tuned by Dave Edlefsen, Lakeville, MN." Calls have a glossy finish and are pleasing to look at.
There are a number of reasons why collectors search out Bag Limit Calls. Dave no longer makes or has any calls. Thus, the law of supply and demand becomes a factor. His calls work and as noted are of simple design, yet enjoyable to look at.
During his call making years, Dave had many opportunities to hunt with celebrities such as Roy Rogers and others. He was able to hunt using his calls in some of the most desirable locales in the region. Many people don't know Dave worked for Herters, in Waseca assembling and tuning calls before their doors were closed. He is an accomplished taxidermist and decoy maker. I could go on, but it's facts like those that motivate collectors to hunt for his calls.
Again, condition and rarity rule value of Bag Limit Calls. There are a number of different packaging methods used. A common one is a clear plastic case with instruction sheet. Always make sure the gold tag is present on the call. Generally speaking, duck calls are about 5" long. Get the complete package if possible. Value on a very good to mint duck call, proper packaging and instruction sheet should be around $20 to $25. Expect to pay more for his magnum duck or goose call.
Finally, you will find other Bag Limit products such as decoy wax, cookbooks, cassette tapes on calling instructions, presentation box with call and other items. All are delightful companion pieces to the collector of Bag Limit Calls. Until next time, may all your searches by successful.