Working or Decorative calls: Both - Mostly Decorative
Trade Name: None.
Biography: I was born on November 10, 1946, in my mother’s hometown of Winnsboro, Louisiana. I am the eldest of seven children born to James Edward and Virginia Ruth Wylie Yule. When I was 2 years old, my parents moved to Nebo, Louisiana, about a mile from the famous Catahoula Lake. This property has been in the Yule family since it was homesteaded by Thomas Wilson Yule, shortly after the “ War of Northern Aggression”.
Being the oldest son of the “ Michelangelo of Game Calls”, I began carving before I was four years old. My grandfather, James Wilson Yule, was one of the pioneer call makers of Catahoula Lake. He ran two duck hunting camps, made fine gunstocks, and was considered the best boat builder on the lake. Since J W’s wife, Onie, was a Bignar, this marriage joined the largest two families of call makers in history.
Although I began carving at a very early age, my first love was horses. My family ran livestock on open range for six generations, so it was a natural surrounding for me. I began braiding leather and rawhide at age 16 and building saddles twenty-five years ago. My love of horses has remained the focus of my adult life, since I professionally trained horses for 48 years. I have also traveled the world teaching biblically based non-violent horse training.
In 1969, during a tour of duty in the US Navy, I began carving ivory. It was also during this tour, while stationed in Scotland, that I met a beautiful English redhead, Barbara Crutchley. She was studying classical piano at the Royal Scottish Academy. We have been married almost forty years, and have two children -Joshua, 38 and Natasha, 33. Our only grandchild, Kaija,made her first turkey call at age 7. Though I have been carving most of my life, I really got serious about call making in 1995. My first professional call was a turkey box call and sold for $2000. My turkey calls have won Reserve and Grand Championship at the NWTF show. This makes James and Len Yule the only father/son duo to win this show. My duck call entry also won the professional division at the Callmakers & Collectors Show in St. Charles, IL.
I now live in Oklahoma with my wife Barbara. She is a church organist and has recently taken up oil and water painting. Besides making collector grade duck calls, turkey boxcalls, yelpers, scratch boxes and terrapin shell calls, I still ride a few horses, build a few saddles and braid a lot of rawhide. All of my duck calls and most of my turkey calls feature a fancy lanyard, usually of kangaroo leather with rawhide knots. I also braid custom lanyards for other call makers.
Besides native woods like old persimmon, I like to work with exotic woods, ivory, oosik, horn, antler, amber and stone.
I was very fortunate to grow up with the greatest callmaker in history, who was also the best teacher. Like my father, I enjoy sharing that knowledge with others.