Really cool bio I found on him....was really surprised to see that he was born in Starkville!
BenRogers Lee, the man, the myth, the legend.
Ben Rogers Lee was born in Starkville, Miss in 1944 and lived in Coffeeville, Ala. until his tragic death. Ben Rogers Lee was killed in Oct 1991 in a car crash at the exact spot in the road that claimed his daughter two years ago to the day.
Ben was a character who could entertain all with his stories and his calling ability. He was well revered and liked by all, something that is hard to do in what can be a very cut throat industry. Ben is credited with being the first to develop and sell mouth calls, he built his with lead frames, won’t see that today with lead poisoning. He was a big man weighing over 400 pounds but he had gastric bypass before he was killed and was down to 170 pounds.
Ben story about the first calling contest he ever entered "You know the first contest I ever entered, up in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania—had to borrow the money to get there—I did the four required calls. Then for my fifth call I did my favorite, the cackle. Well, I got three zeros. I asked them judges afterward why they give me three zeros. 'Ben,' they said, 'we never heard that call before.' Oh, I educated people that day. Taught 'em a call that would make the turkeys run 'em over."
Ben started making his call full time in 1973. At first he made mouth calls and box calls on a little table in the kitchen of his trailer home, selling them for 50¢ each at hardware stores. Ben Lee Turkey Calls was on its way. Lee used his own products to become world champion in 1969, 70, '73, '74 and '77; Alabama State Champion in '74 and '79; Southeastern Champion in '73, '74 and '80; National Champion in '72 and '73; Southern Open Champion in '76; and Champion of Champions in '72, '73 and '74. But what set him apart from other turkey callers, what really made his reputation, was his ability to wax eloquent in the woods in gizzard-to-gizzard conversation.
Here are some of his stories;
Unlike domesticated turkeys—"Turkeys in barnyards is dumb," says Lee, "they's bad dumb"—the wild turkey is extremely crafty, capable of running 35 mph and flying 55 mph, and possesses remarkable hearing and eyesight. "The hearing of a turkey is 10 times as good as a man's," says Lee, "and the eyesight is as good as an eagle's. I've cut the pupil out of a turkey's eye, laid it on a dime and looked through. It made the dime look like a half-dollar."
The gobbler isn't the only one who's all worked up. "Most people get so excited, they get to shakin'," says Lee. "A doctor will tell you, if you've got heart problems, don't go turkey huntin'. You build up a tremendous amount of tension sittin' there an hour, maybe two. You got a weak heart, you don't wanna be "Callin' up a turkey is like makin' love to a woman; you caress her, you tell her how wonderful she is, and then it's all over. When you shoot that turkey it's one of the greatest releases in the world, just like after a great love affair. I tell people I would blow the breath back into every turkey I ever killed just so I could go through the whole experience again. When you kill one, that affair is over."
His yelps and puts grow more mellow as the darkness gathers. "You know, callin' is just like talkin'," he says suddenly, realizing he's been thinking out loud. "It just comes naturally."
One of Bens favorite tactics was putting a Gobbler to sleep thinking about that special hen;Deep in the woods all the turkeys are roosting up in the trees. There may be one gobbler out there who's having trouble settling down for the night, a gobbler whose red head glows in the darkness. Over and over he hums to himself a particularly bewitching remark he heard that afternoon, not so much a remark as a song; a song so sensitive, so expressive, it could only have come from a turkey hen whose irresistible beauty would be surpassed only by her astonishing passion. He spends the night, eyes open, waiting for daylight.
Some of Bens favorite quotes “you caint call to much to the turkey he likes it real good"
"I love to hunt deer, and I hunt them with all legal weapons, all legal seasons. When they open up a deer rock chuckin season, I will be doing that to."