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Mountain Home Magazine

The Call Girl

Feb 01, 2016 05:22PM

Sheri Baity is a hunter, and she talks about her rural life as though it were a precious gift. “The Baity farm has been here since 1848,” she beams, “but I was lucky enough to marry into it. My husband got me hunting and I just took to it.”

The saga of the farm is true. At one time the State Road ran by the farm.

That was when the byway that would become Route 6 ran from Troy, past the Baity place, and down to Covington, where it cut the Williamson Road. Since those days, the town of Mansfield picked up the Route 6 and Route 15 crossing. Today, the Baity Farm is very rural indeed. And Sheri Baity is an accomplished hunter.

The perky blonde with a lively laugh and keen sense of humor smiled when she talked about hunting. Her pale blue eyes twinkled at the telling ofhertales.Truthbetold,shewasabit of a local legend. And the homeboys bragged on Baity enough that, in time, she became nationally known.

Asked how it all started, she smiled, “When I married my husband and came to the farm...well, everybody around here hunted. So I started in 1993. My husband bought me a .243 rifle, and I had the stock cut down to fit me. I added a scope and went with the men. I went the whole first year without getting anything but a couple of feathers and a miss. Then, in the next deer season, all the men decided to line up and push a drive to me—just me. Suddenly, I heard them all shoot. Then they all yelled at me, ‘Shoot! Shoot it!’ I was expecting a deer, but it was a coyote. I knew enough to lead it. Might have been luck, but one shot and it was down. Everybody, even guys who were not in our gang, wanted pictures of me and my coyote. Then, I started taking care of the coyotes that were a problem on the farm. I started winning coyote contests.” And she kept on winning.

Then Sheri, who has presented hunting seminars for Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Gander Mountain, private hunting clubs, and high school science classes, the gal who holds superstar status in the hunting community, confessed that she is extremely shy. “I said to myself, ‘Okay, I’ll write a book and hide.’ I wrote down my stories and coyote knowledge and tried to disappear.” She did write a book, Coyote Hunting Farm Style, and tried to disappear. But her fame kept calling—just as she keeps calling, and talking calls, and teaching calling.

Madd-Lehman Game Calls placed Sheri on their pro staff for seven or eight years. In that capacity, she traveled all over the country. She tried coyote calls from far and wide.

“I brought the calls home from out west, but they didn’t sound like the coyotes here,” she explained.” Our coyotes have a lower tone. I worked with a Pennsylvania manufacturer to get the calls I knew would work here. I tried different reeds and materials and settled on a wooden call with a reed. Then came crow calls.”

She didn’t like fishing in her pockets to change calls, so she hung three on a lanyard. She didn’t like the weight on the lanyard line cutting into her neck, so she designed a padded and floating call lanyard—in camouflage, of course.

Sheri began using crow calls in her coyote hunting—an unheard of tactic at the time. She explained that crows have (Guess what?) a bird’s-eye view of the country. She learned that coyotes used crows to discern what was going on in the wilds. They watch for them, follow the caws and calls. Coyotes always know where the crows are and what they are eating. She talked about her love of crows so much that fellow hunters dubbed her “Crow Woman.”

“I don’t hunt crows,” she added, “but I use them to help me hunt coyotes.” She said that she always answered her phone with a smile and, “You’ve got the Crow’s Nest,” so Crow’s Nest was a fitting name for her line of calls.

She has her own Sheri Baity Predator Series calls available through her company. When talking about her calls, she grinned and said, “You could call me a call girl...even better; I was once a centerfold for a hunting magazine...Woman Hunter.” She giggled and added, “They paid me to keep my clothes on.” Then she laughed aloud, eyes a-twinkle.

She beamed when she told of her contacts with coyotes. She noted that, “Just before dark, the clan’s Alpha male starts ‘roll call’ with a bark...just one. Then all the other males will respond in their pecking order, one by one, a bark at a time. That lets me know how many are out there and where they are.” Later, an adult will give that long, mournful howl, and all the juveniles will yip, yip, yip in response.

Her house is filled with mounts of trophy white tail deer, mule deer, gobbler turkeys, coyotes, and big brown trout. She points to the monster trout and says that her dad caught them, then points to his bamboo rod. He taught her how to fish for trout. Is she familiar with GNR Sporting Goods down the road? “Oh, yeah,” she responds, “I’m helping them with their events....oh, and I won their big buck contest this past deer season.”

The lady does it all.

Some duck hunters in Louisiana started a line of custom duck calls. They got filthy rich selling their calls and now are featured on a popular TV show, Duck Dynasty. Sheri smiles and says that there are no television producers asking her to star on her own show, Crow Dynasty. But hey, you never know.