Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

November 3, 2013

MARTINO: Passion for turkeys leads to unique invention

Gobbler Gauge is made by Kokomo's Graphics Lab

Kokomo’s Robert and Matt Davis grew up racing dirt bikes. It was through this sporting activity the brothers became acquainted with Roger Willett of Covington. While on the track, they were fierce competitors, yet after each passing year they became the best of friends, a bond that forged stronger into their adult lives.

As with most extreme sporting activities, age has a way of diminishing active participation. Stamina seems to wane, injuries take longer to heal and gravity does us no favors. But the Davises always wanted to be involved in the sport they loved. The brothers formed a duel enterprise still centered on racing. They are the owners of “Graphics Lab” and sister business, “Throttle Jockey.” They produce various graphics for all types of racing equipment, as well as anything else requiring durable decals.

Willett, on the other hand, always has enjoyed hunting and with his racing career behind him, became entrenched in taking to the woods and fields.

“Although I enjoy hunting everything, I am really passionate about turkey hunting,” he explained.

Through the years, Willett has taken a good number of birds. Indiana requires every hunter who collects a wild turkey to forward recorded measurements to the Department of Natural Resources. These measurements include weight, length of spurs and beard length.

“Every time I took a bird to a state-approved check-in station, they always had a different way to measure the spurs,” Willett explained. That’s when he started thinking of a better alternative.

They say “necessity is the mother of invention” and Willett’s mind was continually picturing a measuring device aimed strictly at our largest game birds. After several months of drawing various designs and constructing prototypes, he settled on a specific design and the Gobbler Gauge was born.

With his concept finalized, he approached a manufacturing company in Noblesville about the possibility of producing the device that will accurately measure beard and spurs which are often times curved.

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