Indiana Township native recognized for ability to imitate animal calls
For Shawn Kotchey, being able to imitate animal calls for hunting has turned into a successful personal and professional venture.
Kotchey earned third place for owl hooting in a calling competition in Harrisburg.
He also took seventh in the nation in turkey calling in the same competition. Those honors come after he finished first in slate call and first in the locator division at a competition in Minnesota.
Kotchey also took second place in crystal pot call and third place in box call in that competition.
The two competitions are among the top in the country. The four honors at the Minnesota show were especially gratifying for Kotchey.
“I only did four entries, and all four of them made the top three. That's pretty crazy,” he said.
The Indiana Township native, who is a 1995 graduate of Fox Chapel Area High School, opened Millcreek Valley Game Calls in Corsica in 2010.
His uncle and his friend used to compete in calling contests and got Kotchey interested.
After working for other game companies, he decided to start his own.
Calls are judged based on how much they sound like an actual animal and how appealing the calls are for customers.
Kotchey said he has recorded and studied actual wild turkeys to perfect the sound.
In addition to running the company, Kotchey also speaks nationally about game calls at various seminars.
He also participates in charity programs, including Wounded Warrior hunts and Hunt of a Lifetime, a program that grants hunting wishes for children fighting cancer.
Kotchey said the business has been growing steadily. He looks forward to what the future holds for the company.
“I'm doing what I love,” Kotchey said.
Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513, or firstname.lastname@example.org.