Photo by Cliff Gardiner & John Keller
Skip the chalk this spring and give your box call a raspy ring by treating it with rosin made from the sap of a pine tree. This sticky stuff creates the right amount of friction as you draw the call’s lid across the sides. Unlike chalk, the rosin works when wet and it’s simple to make enough to last a lifetime in just a few minutes.
1. Find a pine tree on which sap has leaked and hardened around a broken limb or knot. Scrape off enough sap to fill half of an empty soup can.
2. Place the can on a grill, camp stove, or other outdoor heat source and carefully melt the pine sap. As it liquefies, stir with a small twig until the sap is fully rendered and all moisture is removed, approximately 5 minutes.
3. Using an oven mitt or pair of pliers, lift the can from the fire and filter the resin through a patch of screen into a tinfoil mold. Once the resin hardens, break off a small chunk and work it into the lid of your box call to create a raspy sound boss toms can’t resist.