Ed Botsford Goose Flute

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Ed Botsford Goose Flute

Postby Twisp » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:42 am

Anyone know anything about Ed and his flute? He apparently crafted calls in Eastern Washington state in my home town (Kennewick) under the name Columbia Call Co. some years back. DHC search produced zilch and google was pretty thin soup also. Appreciate any info/photos.
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Re: Ed Botsford Goose Flute

Postby zbotsford » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:41 am

Ed Botsford is currently retired and resides in the Portland, Oregon area. While he still hunts every year, he is unable to make calls. He may have parts (reeds, troughs, etc.) for the calls he manufactured, but if it's an older call, the odds are slim, as he moved from wood to acrylic towards the later years of his work. Hit me up if you're an old friend or need more info.
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Re: Ed Botsford Goose Flute

Postby Twisp » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:53 pm

What a surprise; I had given up. I assumed Ed had passed away, so it's great that he's still kicking and thumping honks.

No, I didn't know Ed, as I moved from Kennewick and waterfowling over 40 years ago. Last summer I bought a call on ebay from a big time flute collector, who has several of Ed's calls and thinks very highly of them. He volunteered the info, when he saw that I was from eastern WA. Anyway, since I like flutes, especially one produced by a fellow from my former home town, I decided to see if I could track one of Ed's calls down. Trail went cold several months ago. Are you Ed's son? Thanks for posting, a first post no less.

Ken
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Re: Ed Botsford Goose Flute

Postby zbotsford » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:39 pm

Yep, Ed's my dad. I was actually taking some down time at work, searching for a copy of one of the videos he made back in the day, when I found your post. The only copy he had was destroyed some two decades ago by the only thing more ornery than he; his Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Rusty.

I did my time hunting and calling a bit when I was young, but for me it was mostly eating junk food in the pre dawn hours with my dad. It wasn't until i was much older that I gained an appreciation for his hobbies. He is what most would consider 'hardcore'. He made calling look so easy. It wasn't until I stood in the open at the point below McNary (as he often did) alone, that I understood his miraculous ability to convince a bird he was one of them.

His cocobolo and later blackwood calls were works of art in both craftsmanship and functionality. Each one was never quite the same on the outside, yet marvels of precision on the interior. I have seen a call picked out of a marsh outside of Ephrata, where it was lost seasons before, get a good wipe off, tuning and subsequently used as if it had just left the drying rack in our garage the day before. There are those that will argue he wasn't a successful call maker, as he lost money on most of them (until he moved to shorter, acrylic designs later), but I prefer to think that they just don't make 'em like they used to.

It makes me very glad to hear that his name and craftsmanship are still remembered on the Pacific Flyway.
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Re: Ed Botsford Goose Flute

Postby Twisp » Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:07 am

Too bad your dad and I didn't cross trails, as I'm one of those hardcores myself, which is another way of saying genetically fated to hunt till the Lord calls our numbers. I started hunting Columbia ground squirrels with a BB gun in North Richland somewhere around 1950. At 70 I still backpack hunt solo for 2 week stints in the Absaroka Mts on the Yellowstone border for sheep most Septembers. My former hunting buddies gave it years ago and think I'm depraved, but not hunting is not optional. At any rate, if anyone puts up a Botsford flute up for auction on ebay, the search function will alert me. By the way that flute collector is searching for one of your dad's tapes too.

Ken
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Re: Ed Botsford Goose Flute

Postby noweil » Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:33 am

Can you guys post any pictures of Ed's calls? I am a flute caller and enjoy looking at calls from other parts of the country. Here in IL we had Olt's, Big Rivers, and Grounds flute calls when I was first getting into goose hunting in S. IL years ago.
CRP was responsible for 25.7 million additional ducks produced in the U.S. Prairie Pothole Region during 1992-2003.  Source DU.
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Re: Ed Botsford Goose Flute

Postby Kmo98 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:10 pm

How nice it is to find that people still remember and appreciate my dads call! Even though he may not have described himself as such, my Father is first and foremost an artist. He valued perfection over production. As a child I didn't realize that it was unusual to have a metal lathe in your basement, that every other little girl didn't spend hours in wood stores, or that sportsman shows were not the usual family outing. My brother who posted above is an artist of a different sort, my other brother is a musician, so imagine my fathers dismay when he had a daughter, not a son, who wanted to hunt & call? He wasn't qutie sure what to do with me. I was always the most popular girl at the Sportsman Shows as I'd walk up and down the rows with a few of his calls on lanyards around my neck. I still have one of his Goose Calls and will post a picture once I can get it out of the safe. It's made of Curly Maple and I knew the moment I saw the block of wood he was turning it from that it would never be sold, that it was mine. He made one '88 from cocobolo that when complete had the image of a monkey sitting on a branch in the natural grain of the wood. In the 90's he experimented with Desert Iron Wood. It was so hard that it would spark when he was turning it. You may have some luck finding his calls and videos if you search for Don Botsford. He's named Donald after his dad and went by his middle name most of the time, however is business he often used Don and I think his videos he's used Don as well. He was a Tule Lake Duck Calling Champion for many years running and people associated with that may have information on how to find some of his calls. Now, I'm off to take a picture of my call~ Kelly
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Re: Ed Botsford Goose Flute

Postby Twisp » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:53 am

Z and Kelly, so glad you posted stories and info to help put a face on your dad. I kinda figured he was a perfection/artist type, given the quality of his work. In line with Z's early dawns eating junk food as a child hunting with dad, my buddy and I took his 3 grandsons on a goose hunt last Monday. Moms substitute paleo food for junk food these days, but hot chocolate is still okay. It was a slow day and I would not have enjoyed the experience without all the goodies to keep the kids fueled and occupied. Kelly, neither my sons nor daughters had the passion, but if a daughter had, I would've been thrilled.

Noweil, I have an email photo depicting 4 flutes as I recall, but have no clue how to post them. Three of the flutes were wooden, but one was clear (colorless) acrylic, the collector's favorite because of its rarity.

ken
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Re: Ed Botsford Goose Flute

Postby Toothshucker » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:20 pm

Ed made some fine calls. Have a cocobola goose flute and short reed, and double reed duck. Also some of his acrylic short reeds and double reed duck.
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Re: Ed Botsford Goose Flute

Postby dustybrown » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:40 pm

I have several of Ed's calls too and my hunting buddies also do... goose- duck in delrin and acrylic... goose guts are easy to come by but the double reed duck guts are not.... I would love to re gut a few of my duck calls as would my hunting partners.... how could I buy some tone boards and wedges ???
503-551-0941 text
tell Ed hello
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I belive I have his VHS video
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