You play it just like you'd play a pot call, the tongue on it is the same as a surface on a pot call, that you play with a striker. You have to keep the tongue chalked up good just like a paddle on a box call. They produce a sound very similar to a box call because your playing wood on wood. You surface them with a little sanding and chalk to make them play. The bare is trying to find combos that play well together and a rough enough wood that won't slicken up to fast, a really dry rough wood works the best. If the wood has an oily texture to it, it won't play worth a dang, a very straight grain is a must on the tongues, if the wood has any figure in it, it won't play very good, no matter what type of wood it is. The secret is in the thickness of the tongue, if it's to thick they produce a high pitched sound that doesn't break very well in the yelps, if it's to thin then you get a deep dull sound, more like a jake/gobbler sound.
Dana, does your calls all have a hole drilled on the tongues? I know his early calls had a solid tongue with no holes, but his later calls had holes drilled in the tongues.
I've don't a few with some good sound and some terrible sounding ones
. Still learning and trying to figure out what woods work well and what grains work well. Having never seen one or touched one it's been all trial and error for me. I've found the size of the holes in the tongue also makes an importance in the sound of the call, and where the hole is drilled also has an effect on them. I've done a couple that sounded good in a glued box design, now I'm working on some with a hewned box design, I'll keep you guys in touch what I find out?