This interview was conducted by Kelly Feltault with Al Dager in Middletown, DE, on June 17, 1998. Al Dager is a competitive bird caller and avid hunter. In this interview Al Dager speaks about his involvement in competition bird calling, noting the various grades where the competitions are held and Sean Mann's call-making business. He also speaks about some of the more prominent bird callers, mentioning the celebrity status that some of them have achieved in their field. He recalls when goose hunting was really in its prime on the shore, between 1978-1991, with large hunting parties and many geese kills given the high geese limit in MD and DE. He also speaks about the various hunting seasons for the coming year, noting duck, dove, deer, and muzzle loading seasons and what he plans to do to prepare for each.
In part 2, he continues his discussion of hunting and bird calling. He tells some stories of the hunting parties he's guided, mentioning such blunders as hunters falling in mud and pushing their gun into the ground and another getting stuck waist-deep in mud after ignoring Al's warnings. He also continues talking about duck calling, speaking about the various types of duck calls between different ducks, demonstrating the different calls on tape (volume warning). He also shows some of his older calls, some from the 1910s and some made from antler, noting a man who has made calls from beer cans and PVC pipe. He's very proud of his collection of 4-500 calls and hopes to one day display them.
This interview is part of the Delmarva Folklife Project. For more information, see the Edward H. Nabb Center finding aid: