phelps game calls meateater
Photo courtesy: MeatEater

MeatEater Gets Bigger, Acquires Phelps Game Calls

The game call brand adds depth and corporate muscle with MeatEater’s wide range of hunting and cooking products.

MeatEater continues to expand its popularity as an all-around lifestyle brand, from media — including a Netflix series and a variety of podcasts— to written and cooking-focused content as well as retail brands like First Lite and FHF Gear. Now, MeatEater brings in another offering with its purchase of Phelps Game Calls last week.

Hunter and civil engineer Jason Phelps started Phelps Game Calls in 2009. The eponymous brand carries calls for elk, deer, waterfowl, predators, and turkeys, among others.

“It took 12 years, a few mistakes, and a lot of hard work and determination. But we have built Phelps Game Calls into an industry leader,” Phelps said. “And now with the stellar management team and massive built-in audience at MeatEater, we can scale the business like never before.”

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Phelps Game Calls will remain in its headquarters of Pe Ell, Wash. And Phelps will continue as the general manager. But with MeatEater’s venture-capital funding, the Phelps brand now has the full strength of a corporate team backing it. And at the helm of that team is MeatEater founder, and the brand’s Netflix and podcast host, Steven Rinella.

“I’ve been friends with Jason for years. I’m deeply inspired by the elbow grease and tenacity that he put into building his business,” Rinella said of the acquisition. “The MeatEater audience loves him too. He’s a fan favorite. And his products are deeply respected by skilled hunters. I’m thrilled that our friendship and mutual respect has blossomed into a business partnership.”

Nicole Qualtieri

Based in Montana, Nicole Qualtieri is GearJunkie's Hunt + Fish Editor. She also serves as a Board Director for Orion the Hunters Insititute, a non-profit promoting fair chase and hunting ethics nationwide. A DIY hunter, she comes from a non-traditional hunting background and began hunting and fishing in her 30s. She's been a voice for hunting, fishing, and conservation since 2014, when she got started working on the television show MeatEater. She's an avid horsewoman, bird dog aficionado, snowboarder, hiker/backpacker, food nerd, and all-around outdoorswoman. Find her online at @nkqualtieri.