Slayer Calls debuts 7 Clearwater elk reeds, featuring a revolutionary frame design
The small, Idaho-based company field tested thousands of reeds over the 2023 hunting season. Slayer’s new Clearwater lineup will launch at the SLC West in ern Hunting & Conservation Expo on February 15, 2024.
EAGLE, Idaho — Back in November, Slayer Calls, an industry leader in wildlife calls, announced its newest product lineup: the Clearwater Frame and Series, designed by Idaho elk hunters and inspired by Idaho’s Clearwater Wilderness.
The series showcases Slayer’s die-hard dedication to pushing the envelope, featuring a brand-new, completely revolutionary elk calling frame and seven corresponding reeds. It’s the brainchild of Joe McCarthy (Slayer’s Product Innovation Lead), his son, Cody McCarthy (2021 World Elk Calling Champion and Slayer’s Head of Product Innovation), and Slayer CEO Bill Ayer.
Part of what makes the collection truly groundbreaking is the Clearwater frame’s unique design. “Everybody has their own frame, but they’re pretty much all the same, just tweaked a little bit here and there,” said Joe. “We actually changed the frame.”
Experienced callers can tell the difference instantly. In part, because the shape of the frame’s structural ridge is inverted on the bottom side, making the call fit more comfortably and naturally against the roof of the mouth. The frame also contains heavier aluminum than the average call, so frames don’t bend or flex as much when in use. As a result, the latex of each diaphragm stays put, producing a more consistent sound—welcome news to any hunter who’s been frustrated by the lack of uniformity in replacement reeds.
The whole process began in 2022, when Ayer and the two McCarthys began seriously talking about what a new elk call might look like. From there, the team hit the road, testing out thousands of different designs at archery shows and 3D shoots. They’d make ten different calls on the spot for a single hunter and take notes on what that person liked or didn’t like about each call.
“As an industry, we have a lot of signature series, built for the pro user. I don’t think we necessarily consider how different a typical customer is,” said Joe. “What we found was that by building calls for different people and trying little changes, we were able to kind of narrow down their requirements and preferences. We built out different classifications of elk reeds that fit different people, based on the way those groups use their calls.”
In 2023, the Slayer team set to work with a rigorous plan for field testing their new elk reeds. By now, they’d met with hundreds — possibly even thousands — of hunters, but that was just the beginning. Over the course of the 2023 elk season, they sent thousands of calls into the wilderness, relying on hundreds of experienced hunters to test out the new designs and submit feedback. The results were overwhelmingly positive, with hunters praising the calls’ durability, comfort, consistency, and performance.
“That led us to the seven elk reeds we have right now, that we feel will fit a very large range of people,” said Joe.
The reeds in Slayer’s new elk series pay homage to Idaho’s Clearwater region; specifically the area’s topography and industrial history. Joe McCarthy, who has multi-generational ties to the area, grew up hunting its rivers and valleys and is deeply familiar with its heritage. His family contributed to the region’s rich mining and logging past, which helped shape the landscape that today’s elk herds call home. He hopes the Clearwater series will appropriately honor the communities within the Clearwater region and their dedication to hunting as a way of life.
Slayer’s Clearwater Series is available online, with a variety of purchasing options. Customers can purchase reeds individually in packs of three, or try out one of the company’s multipacks. Shop Slayer’s elk calls and check out the lineup of Clearwater elk reeds.
Additionally, hunters can check out the lineup in person at the Salt Lake City Western Hunting & Conservation Expo on February 15, 2024. Bill Ayer, Cody McCarthy, Joe McCarthy, Tommy Sessions, and Tanner Hardy will be in attendance, answering questions and giving demonstrations of Slayer’s robust catalog of duck, goose, turkey, and elk calls.
About Slayer Calls: CEO Bill Ayer founded Slayer Calls in 2018 in Eagle, Idaho. The longtime hunters and expert callers at Slayer are obsessed with crafting the best duck, goose, turkey and elk calls, all made in America. Slayer gives back to conservation and preservation efforts by donating 10% of every purchase.