It’s raining cats and dogs outside, but a lodge full of guests are beaming over the great duck hunts they’ve enjoyed the past few days. Following an amazing dinner and drinks, Ramsey visits with Harrison Banks about Arkansas duck hunting at Commander’s Corner, covering of host of interesting topics.


Related Topics:

Arkansas Duck Hunting at Commander’s Corner

Hide Article

Ramsey Russell: Welcome back to Duck Season Somewhere. Today I am in way down south in Arkansas, in Ashley County, Wilmot, Arkansas, maybe 3 miles from the Louisiana border. Today’s guest, Mr. Harrison Banks, Commander’s Corner, Arkansas. Hang on, folks, I don’t know where this podcast is going to go. We’re here at Commander’s Corner Camp house. Forrest and I pulled up today. We had a heck of an appetizer and I think I may have brought some old charter. And what a good time, I’ll kick it off like this right here. For a commercial operation what I hear from a lot of people that come here and hunt with Harrison and how I feel myself coming to a commercial operation. It really ain’t like showing up to a quick guided hunt. It’s like walking into an Arkansas duck camp, like if you’re not a member for the whole season, but you only got a weekend or a couple of few days, it’s like coming into Arkansas duck camp. And I think it’s got a lot to do with who Harrison is and what he is and what he ain’t, Harrison?

Harrison Banks: I’m sure there’s a lot of truth in that, Ramsey. This is exactly what we’re going for, though. The guys that spend all week working 9 to 5s, and in the city and don’t have a chance to get out and be in the middle of it all the time. It’s a lot better off just to come let us do all the work and enjoy your time. You do get to go shoot some birds.

Ramsey Russell: It is but you know, Harrison, the thing about you is you’re a guide this time of year, I guess, but you don’t do a 9 to 5 job. You’re into farming, you’re into a little bit of habitat, just a little bit of turkey hunting when you ain’t duck hunting. Little bit of crawfish farming. I mean, you know what I’m saying, you’re like this guide that full time does this right here. Do you live here? Do you live here in the camp house?

Harrison Banks: I don’t currently, but when I started out, right after I built it, I moved in. I didn’t see a point in paying rent nowhere else if I had a place to hang it up and be in the middle of what I’m doing every day.

Ramsey Russell: I’m going to start with this question right here. Tell me, what Commander’s Corner. What a name for an outfit. What is Commander’s Corner? Who is Commander’s Corner?

Harrison Banks: Commander’s Corner, well, that’s us. It’s family owned deal and operated. And my better half does most all the hard work. I’m just the mule in the fields out here.

Ramsey Russell: She’s the brains operation and the good looks.

Harrison Banks: Absolutely. Our daughters better take after her. But Commander’s Corner it derives its name from my grandfather, who was a commander in the Navy.

Ramsey Russell: Really?

Harrison Banks: US Navy, fella. And this little portion of land is the – the old Arkansas River, which is now Bayou Bartholomew makes a full circle around us. It’s a peninsula. One way in, one way out.

Ramsey Russell: Where we’re sitting right now.

Harrison Banks: Exactly. And sometimes, if you’re in spring, it might not be anyway in unless you use a boat. But this was his little corner of the earth. And I remember being a kid and him riding me up here and he let me shoot the slingshot at every road sign from here to Monroe. And this is where they were from. This is their part of the world. And right here on the Arkansas Louisiana line. Some of it’s in Arkansas and some is in Louisiana. Jones Louisiana, Wilmot. But this was his place.

Ramsey Russell: You’ve got property spread around here. I mean, 30 minutes that way, 20 minutes that way. But this is the epicenter. Was this your grandfather’s farm?

Harrison Banks: It was. It was kind of used a lot in operation –

Ramsey Russell: How long has it been in your family farm?

Harrison Banks: Late 1800s Ramsey. I couldn’t exactly date it, but they settled in the area and they have this. A lot headed east down the Kilburn Highway. Some in Louisiana, some on the Arkansas side. But they’ve been here forever. I mean, at one point, my cousin Jeff down the road, their property, at one point, both of my grandparents, both sides, great grandparents owned that place. So it’s been around, been with us for a long time.

Ramsey Russell: Where did you actually grow up? When you were a little boy, shooting signs with a slingshot out of truck. And I can just imagine, it’s like this dog hanging out a window with his tail, his tongue wagging and then a slingshot come out and shoot. But, I mean, where did you physically live? Here in Wilmot?

Harrison Banks: No, sir. Monroe is about 50 miles south. I live in Louisiana.

Ramsey Russell: Okay, you live – okay, Monroe.

Harrison Banks: Yes, sir. I grew up there and I grew up hunting just east of Monroe on Highway 80, where Lafourche Canal comes down into. I guess it’s Russell Sage is the management area there. My father had a place that backed up to Lafourche Canal and to Russell Sage and we had a – I want to say it was about 300 acre green tree. That’s where I cut my teeth.

Ramsey Russell: Really?

Harrison Banks: Yeah. Well, I’d say cut my teeth.

Ramsey Russell: I’ve hunted with your dad before, over in the sanctuary pit line. He’s been duck hunting forever. When did you start duck hunting?

Harrison Banks: Just as soon as they’d carry me. I remember being mad. I think I was probably not, but 5, 6 years old, being mad that they said they woke me up, but I really didn’t believe them. I think they just slipped out the door so they didn’t have to put me on their back or take the boat with them and make that trudge.

Ramsey Russell: Do you remember the first time they did wake you up and take you out? How old you’d have been?

Harrison Banks: I think it was around 4. And they gave me a BB gun and I thought I was knocking them dead, Ramsey. I thought I was incredible with that BB gun.

Ramsey Russell: I seen you shoot. Yeah.

Harrison Banks: Well, it was really my dad. He could time it up, see, when I was swinging and he’d kill the bird, make me think I shot it. I think that went on for the better part of my life.

Ramsey Russell: When did you literally hold a shotgun? What was that shotgun and where’d you hunt?

Harrison Banks: It was one of those Sears and Roebucks, bolt action, 20 gauge.

Ramsey Russell: Really?

Harrison Banks: That’s what I started with. And we got one shell.

Ramsey Russell: You still got that gun?

Harrison Banks: I do.

Ramsey Russell: You ain’t killing no ducks, wouldn’t you?

Harrison Banks: No, I’ve put it up since then. I’m still with the 20 gauge, but he would give us one shell and then as it got a little older, I’d start getting the clip and you get those Mallards inside the timber and you start learning to make those shots count when you have to shuck one and grab another one and go back with.

Ramsey Russell: Was it real green timber hunt?

Harrison Banks: Oh, yeah.

Ramsey Russell: Green timber. When’s the last time you hunted that property?

Harrison Banks: We sold that place probably – Well, the families grew and it got to be where there was a bunch of folks that were all hunting it. And it just kind of got a little crowded out, so we sold it. I guess this would have been the late 90S. And he bought a 600 acre cypress break in Tallulah or just 9 miles south of Tallulah. And that’s where I really started getting out on my own.

Ramsey Russell: Over there, close to the river.

Harrison Banks: Yeah.

Ramsey Russell: You told me about that break one time. Tell me about it now.

Harrison Banks: Man, it’s beautiful. It’s called alligator break. It’s right there on the side of 65 headed south out of Tallulah. Tensile refuge is on the west side of the road.

Ramsey Russell: Oh, boy.

Harrison Banks: And then right there and you’re not far from the river at all. So it was just a funnel.

Ramsey Russell: There’s a lot of habitats in America and I would say probably the number one most requested hunt, just in passing. Not Argentina type stuff, but like when I’m just sitting there to show or on the phone, people want to hunt. People elsewhere out of the deep south want to hunt flooded timber. And Forrest and I were talking about this on the way, I really, honest to gosh, love flooded green timber. But man, it’s something about those breaks, cypress and Tupelo. And I think if I really had to hunt just one or the other, it might be a break. I don’t know why. Is that kind of what you grew up hunting?

Harrison Banks: Oh, absolutely. There’s a lot of similarities because you have points of reference and the ducks are inside this tree and you can see versus a blue sky in a field where you can’t really gauge, he’s 35, 40 yards, but there’s nothing to compare him to.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah.

Harrison Banks: And it’s just a whole different atmosphere. But I feel you on the break. The cypress breaks liable to get more variety, different kinds of ducks to gadwalls –

Ramsey Russell: Gadwalls, wigeons, ringnecks, teal.

Harrison Banks: Right. And I think, honestly.

Ramsey Russell: Ancient cypress.

Harrison Banks: That’s what it is. It’s the ancient. I think it’s historical value.

Ramsey Russell: I look at some of these cypresses sometime and I wonder how big that cypress tree when they nail Christ to the cross, I mean cause I know it was here. I mean they’re ancient.

Harrison Banks: Monsters there’s one over there at alligator break that, I mean, it might take 10, 15 of us to get all the way around it holding hands. And I remember they did a bear study. They’d come over and check the den in that tree every year just to check the health of the cubs. They don’t really hibernate down here. They slow down, but they don’t stop completely. But they’d go in there every year and check the cubs and the sow make sure everybody was doing strong and who was out there.

Ramsey Russell: There’s a lot of black bears in this part of the world. A lot of black bears. You all have any out here on the farm?

Harrison Banks: I’ve seen him here one time at the gate, it was a juvenile male. And I think he was just cutting across towards the overflow woods to get into the big timber. But I’ve seen him around, but that’s the only one I’ve seen here.

Ramsey Russell: Do you remember pulling up a shotgun and pulling the trigger and knowing, sure and certain, don’t you know when you shoot the duck? Do you remember your first duck?

Enjoying the hunt amidst memorable companions and a lively dog.

I thought the trainer was going to shoot him at one point, his wife had to blow out of there and go save Wacky because he was getting close to getting in trouble.

Harrison Banks: I do. You had mentioned that to me the other day and I started thinking back on it and I remember we were hunting with a dog named Wacky. And he absolutely lived up to his name. I thought the trainer was going to shoot him at one point, his wife had to blow out of there and go save Wacky because he was getting close to getting in trouble. But I was with Danny Farmer and his wife and my dad and my brother and I was the only one that shot. And it was a greenhead, fell right in my lap.

Ramsey Russell: Banded?

Harrison Banks: No, I’m not that lucky.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah, I really, I struggled time and timelines. I don’t remember how long it’s been since I came over here and met you. I’m going to say maybe 10 years.

Harrison Banks: Yeah.

Ramsey Russell: It was that long ago.

Harrison Banks: Well, the first time we met was actually a few years before that in Nashville.

Ramsey Russell: That’s right. I remember that.

Harrison Banks: Yeah, we were working up there and I came over and introduced myself at your booth there. That’s been probably 13, 14 years ago.

Ramsey Russell: It’s been a while. And Forrest and I drove over. I think Duncan was with us that time, remember the boys both in high school. But we drove over here and you had just, I mean, it was still salt, us sitting in the camp house.

Ramsey Russell: Oh, yeah.

Harrison Banks: This place. I mean, it wasn’t even completed yet. And you drove us out here to the south around your farm. Bartholomew wraps around it. But we just drove out and it was early yet. Wonder water. You all grow cotton out here?

Harrison Banks: We have.

Ramsey Russell: It’s high ground.

Harrison Banks: Yeah, it’s a lot of silk.

Ramsey Russell: As we drove around, I just remember thinking myself, this ain’t duck. I just remember thinking, I think of ducklands on low line and willows and rice and heavy clays. And I just remember driving, we drove out to the smoke house and I’m like, this ain’t duckland. But it is duckland. I’ve hunted here since then and I know out there in smokestack we talking about, boy, it’s going to rain tomorrow morning. And I know you got ducks, Harrison, but I know good and well whoever goes that smokehouse blind is going to burn down the green wings tomorrow.

Harrison Banks: Yep, they’re here and they’re going to be active. The rain is going to get them stirred up good and should be pretty volatile.

Ramsey Russell: What is it about this part? Why is this farm? Right here in your backyard, right here, looking south. Why is that such good duckland? What’s around this area besides Bio Bartholomew mule and some of the associated wetlands? Is it the refuge?

Harrison Banks: It is. They put overflow National Wildlife Refuge in, in I think the late 80s, maybe 89 even. But before that, we’re right up against the western edge of the Mississippi Flyway as I see it. You have Felsenthal about 30 miles west of the ridge. But we are right along the conversion from Delta into pine country. And I’m not sure if it’s just a visual image the birds get or if it’s thermals or habitats or what, but they come right down the edge. And that 4000 acre federal sanctuary really gives them a place to set up shop.

Ramsey Russell: Well, on the east side of Mississippi Delta, it’s formed by the Laurel Hills and there’s not an R in that word. That’s just how you say it, but they really do, it is a guiding line. And Forrest and I were talking this morning. We were hunting a spot we drove by a spot we had hunted a few years ago at our field. And it was some of the last pintail, we had shot before this morning. And the ducks were migrating with a front and a half mile south of us, they were right over highway 3 coming right down the edge of that hill line. And we would call to them and bring them over into this duck hole. So they’ll run those hills like that. They can see that topography, they know what’s wood. It’s like a little guiding line, I call it.

Harrison Banks: Absolutely. And if you follow it all the way out, you zoom way out from the map, it goes from the boot hill of Missouri down through Louisiana, I mean, it’s distinct.

Ramsey Russell: I remember the first time I hunted with you. Now we’re leaving this farm and we go on about 20 minutes from here to what you call the sanctuary. And we got there, we couldn’t be no easier, park here, get in a 4 wheeler ATV, drive a little bit, walk 100 yards down a levee and jump into a massive pit blind with a roof on it and everything else. And right there, shooting time. There was freaking ringnecks, there were shovelers, there was wood ducks, there was green wings, there was gadwalls, there was left and right and boom, boom. A blind full of us picking our shots. And all of a sudden, we did a count and you yell, stop. And it’s like 20 minutes into shooting time. And Harrison says, stop. We all had 2 ducks species. He said, no more waiting on the greenheads. And I’m sitting there looking at this flurry, this flurry of ducks just going all which away. And I’m like, what? I said, well, when the greenhead is going to be here?  He said, 08:30. Where do you got an egg timer on? I mean like come on, get real. And I said, Harrison, I said, why? And you said, well, that’s how long it’s going to take them to come off the river, which is over by where this break you talk about hunting when you little boy?

Harrison Banks: Yeah.

Ramsey Russell: I said, no. And at 08:30, you said, look up. And at 50 yards and 100 yards and 150 yards and 200 yards and 300 yards and 400 yards from left to right, as far as I could see, there were wads of mallards forming. Like somebody kicked a beehive at all these different elevations, kind of starting to form over and I was like, wow. Now, I had some clients come here one time and I hunted with them just recently. And like myself, I like to hunt a lot of different places. And I really have a hard time conceiving of every morning of duck season, getting up and going, sitting in the same blind and looking at the same decoys and the same mojo and the same levee out in front of me. I just can’t even imagine that. And they told me, well, we hunted down, we shot ducks, but we went to the same blind every day. And I didn’t really like it. I go, that’s one of the best blinds I’ve ever been in when it’s on?

Harrison Banks: Absolutely.

Ramsey Russell: When it’s hot, it’s hot. And for the first time, that first time I hunted with you, I have said to myself, Harrison, I’ve said, I mean, for the first time, I imagined I could get up 60 mornings in a row and go sit in the same spot for that.

Harrison Banks: Oh, yeah. Well, good Lord gives you something new every day. But I’ve killed 2800 ducks in 60 days out of that box. I don’t know.

Ramsey Russell: In a 60 day season, 2800 ducks, mostly mallards.

Harrison Banks: I mean 60%. It’s something special about it. It really is –

Ramsey Russell: But tell about why you call that the sanctuary. Because that’s 160 acres between those 2 levees there about.

Harrison Banks: I’ve got 180 acres of water current.

Ramsey Russell: 180 quarter section plus 20 acres.

Harrison Banks: And I got it.

Ramsey Russell: What in the heck is it about 180 acres plus 20 acres. That attracts 2800 ducks to a decoy spread in a single season.

Harrison Banks: Corn. No, I’m just kidding. No, God put it together that way. It’s right on the edge of that hill and there’s a 4000 acre sanctuary.

Ramsey Russell: That’s the magic.

Harrison Banks: That’s it. They know they’re not going to be touched.

Ramsey Russell: The sanctuary ain’t your pit blind. It’s 150 yards across that other levee that’s in violate sanctuary owned by the federal government.

Harrison Banks: Right. They’ve put it in and October 31st, they shut it down to all entry. Nobody goes in there except for the managers and let waterfowl rest.

Ramsey Russell: You can’t see nothing. I have gone over there to pick a duck up at the base of that levee. You can’t step over it.

Harrison Banks: Right.

Ramsey Russell: But from the top of that levee, that 4000 acres looks exactly like your 180 acres.

Harrison Banks: Absolutely.

Ramsey Russell: How does the duck tell the difference?

Harrison Banks: I think that’s how we make a living, Ramsay. I think a lot of times they come out of there early in the morning, right at daylight, they’ll blow out. They’ll swarm like they did when you first visited. And sometimes you’re just too close to them to actually get into the ducks at that point. But let them go on. Let them make their journey. Let them go to the river. Let them go over the rice fields, wherever they’re going. And when they come back to loaf, it usually starts about 08:30. I’d bet we kill 80% of our ducks between 8 and 1.

Ramsey Russell: Wow. I’ve been on those days before and it’s just. I don’t know what it is about mallard, but you shoot mallard at daylight. You shoot mallards early. But something about a lot of these areas, these real mallard killing holes in the deep south, that seemed to be that later in the morning, up till about noon.

Harrison Banks: Yeah, I think there’s a lot of factors in that. I think a lot of times by then, the wind’s up and moving, decoys have got sun on their back or they’re at least dancing in the wind and the conditions just improve. I mean, there’s a lot of places that kill mallards right there out of the gate, but a lot of those places are the feeds. We’re not hunting them there. We’re really kind of hunting them on the loaf when they get back.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah. And they looking for somebody to lay up with.

Harrison Banks: Oh, they get fat and happy and absolutely slammed full of whatever they’re eating and then, oh, this is close enough. We’re coming on in.

Ramsey Russell: Out of all them ducks you shoot in a season, that season like that, when you shoot them big numbers in a season and you don’t always do. I know last year was a little slow, as warm as it was. It’s 830 New Year’s Day in Jackson, Mississippi. But how many bands might you shoot in a season like that?

Harrison Banks: 11, 12, 15, I think 17 is the most we’ve killed in a season and most all of them come out of Saskatchewan.

Ramsey Russell: Really?

Harrison Banks: Hmm.

Ramsey Russell: Any particular locations in Saskatchewan stick out in your man.

Harrison Banks: You know, I just kind of get the report. I think I’ve kept, maybe I don’t know that I’ve kept a band on a guided hunt. I think, I’ve kept one on a personal hunt, friends hunt type deal and I think, I’m pretty sure Jeff Simmons got one on his necklace that belongs to me.

Ramsey Russell: I’ve hunted with Jeff in that blind.

Harrison Banks: Yeah, I’m pretty sure.

Ramsey Russell: You all family friend. Did you all grow up, Hunt together?

Harrison Banks: I didn’t. Him and my dad knew each other for a long time.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah.

Harrison Banks: I didn’t meet Jeff till maybe about 15 years ago.

Ramsey Russell: I’ll be dang. Change the subject, Harrison. You grew up hunting that break. You grew up hunting some of these folks around here. when you went to miss?

Harrison Banks: I did.

Ramsey Russell: And I’ve never held that against just. I don’t know this for certain. I’ll ask you right now. I’d have guessed you was the social chairman in your fraternity.

Harrison Banks: No, I was in the running, but I didn’t make it. There were some guys that beat me out good, but I sure did my part.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah. When did you decide and why did you decide to get into outfit? Because that’s not always cracked up to be. Come on.

Harrison Banks: No, definitely. It’s worked.

Ramsey Russell: I mean, everybody listens like, oh, I want to be a guy in outfit now. You don’t. It’s a tough road to hope. It can be a tough road to hope.

Harrison Banks: Oh, man. It’s always something really.

Ramsey Russell: Expectations.

Harrison Banks: Expectations people machines managing others –

Ramsey Russell: Nature.

Harrison Banks: Nature. We can control the controllable, but that’s about it. Something’s going to break, something’s going to go wrong. And trying to roll with the punches. But as far as when I got started realizing that I was a guide, it was kind of after I’d already started.

Ramsey Russell: How so?

Harrison Banks: I remember being 19 years old and rest in peace, James Norris was my orthodontist. And my father, I remember him saying, Mr. James is going to pick you up, take your dog. You all are going to go to the break. He’ll have you at school by 09:30.

Ramsey Russell: Really?

Harrison Banks: Oh, yeah.

Ramsey Russell: Sign me up. I’ll do that every day.

Harrison Banks: Yeah, I’ll do it till they catch on to me. At least between that and my friends, I was always the one that I was fortunate enough to have a place to go and the means to do it. And my friends that liked hunting, they just liked hunting. They didn’t like any of the work or the aspect or making sure they had their gun or their shells or their boots. So I was kind of in charge from the word go as far as getting everybody in and organized and it just kind of stuck. I’ve always loved it and always enjoyed it so much.

Ramsey Russell: So you’d have been what, a freshman sophomore in high school when you took your orthodontist?

Harrison Banks: Oh, no. I want to say I was in Lees Junior High, possibly elementary.

Ramsey Russell: Oh

Harrison Banks: young.

Ramsey Russell: Wow.

Harrison Banks: And it wasn’t just him. My father, he always had clients and folks that he wanted to take, but he might be too busy practicing law, so I was the natural stand in. Well, he’ll take you.

Ramsey Russell: When you were guiding them hunts, were you still shooting a little boat, axe and tornadoes, serious and robot?

Harrison Banks: I moved up quickly to the 870.

Ramsey Russell: Okay.

Harrison Banks: Youth model 870. And then, I did that for a long time.

Ramsey Russell: What kind of call were you blowing back then?

Harrison Banks: Oh, man. Haydale, BDR 95, extra loud, hit them Tulis on the low, low. They’re coming.

Ramsey Russell: What do you blow now?

Harrison Banks: Well, I still got.

Ramsey Russell: I think you still got a Haydale.

Harrison Banks: I still got it on there.

Ramsey Russell: The exact same, exact one.

Harrison Banks: It’s missing a few pieces and don’t sound quite as good. But –

Ramsey Russell: It sounds good to me.

Harrison Banks: I can’t take it off there, so I’ve got it. I’ve got a Raggio that I love. A Josh Raggio that I love. Actually, Mr. Mike from Mojo that passed away, he actually

Ramsey Russell: Mike Morgan.

Harrison Banks: He gave me that a few years back. I love that call to death.

Ramsey Russell: Well, one time I was here, Raggio came over and had his portable shop right here in your parking lot.

Harrison Banks: That’s the one

Ramsey Russell: Turning out calls.

Harrison Banks: That’s the one they gave me.

Ramsey Russell: Wow.

Harrison Banks: He made it right here on site. That’s an incredible operation he runs with that thing.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah.

Harrison Banks: I’ve got those. Somebody gave me a Riceland and I really like it. It’s a high pitched pour a bunch of notes through it. I don’t know what they hear, what they don’t, but sometimes it’s all they want.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah.

Harrison Banks: That’s the old yellow, high yellow.

Ramsey Russell: Old yellow, high yellow.

Harrison Banks: Hot buttered acorns is what it’s named. That one, then I’ve got a Mondo that old snails and rice call. We call that.

Ramsey Russell: You still got enough lungs to blow that?

Harrison Banks: Barely.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah.

Harrison Banks: Barely. Yeah, I still get enough through it. I can’t like I used to. But that bark, for whatever reason they’ll 2500ft to the floor. Do not pass go. Looks like God’s pouring a bunch of bricks when they want it.

Ramsey Russell: Dumping a whole pallet out into the duck.

Harrison Banks: Here they Come boys. No passes. Get ready.

Ramsey Russell: Oh my gosh, I forgot the next question, I was going to ask you. Thinking about that. That’s what’s going to happen tomorrow, ain’t it?

Harrison Banks: That’s the plan. Well, they’re fat and happy. I don’t know if these are going to be flight birds, but we got some boys that are going to hunt the sanctuary. They hit them on the way back. We’re going to go out there where they’re feeding and hit them on the front end.

Ramsey Russell: Oh, okay.

Harrison Banks: Try to make that quick one. I know you’ve got places to be. Busy man and all.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah, I got to go spread the gospel and spread the cooties more. From what the rumor is around here.

Harrison Banks: Well, you can elaborate on that rumor if you want to.

Ramsey Russell: I never heard it until I was having my first cocktail tonight.

Harrison Banks: Well, there was talk last year or maybe it was 2020 that Ramsay might end up being patient zero.

Ramsey Russell: But I never had COVID until, like, 6 months ago.

Harrison Banks: That’s what you call a super spreader.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah.

Harrison Banks: You don’t show any symptoms, just run around giving it to everybody else. But I’m pretty sure it traveled back from Azerbaijan or some place around the world that you might have been. But it seems like Ramsey shows up and COVID shows up pretty close in the same timeline.

Ramsey Russell: Well, I mean, I can’t argue with that. I was 8 miles from the Iranian border, eating dinner, when my Azerbaijan outfitter announced to the table that Iran had just closed its border because of something.

Harrison Banks: Because Ramsay Russel is there.

Ramsey Russell: Hey, 2, 3 months later, there I was sitting there sleeping all day, watching Tiger King by night and shut down.

Harrison Banks: Man, it’s a different place today.

Ramsey Russell: You were talking about that. What was that dog’s name, were you growing up, the crazy one?

Harrison Banks: Wacky.

Ramsey Russell: Wacky.

Harrison Banks: Yeah.

Ramsey Russell: You’ve had some interesting dogs. But one of the most interesting dogs, one of the most iconic dogs, is a little dog named Flossy. Who and what is Flossy?

Harrison Banks: Man, Flossy is a tiny little terrier that just doesn’t understand that she’s 20 pounds. She’s got more heart than anything else I’ve ever seen.

Ramsey Russell: Where’d you get her at?

Harrison Banks: I found her. I was with a good friend of mine that we were down in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and we were turkey hunting. And we kept feeding the little camp dog, which was also named Flossy. And she was taking the food and running off with it. So of course, I followed to see what was going on. And she had 6 little white, brown eared pups.

Ramsey Russell: Was she astray?

Harrison Banks: Yeah. Well, she was an outside dog. I don’t know that she had a whole lot of love and care going on, but we were at somebody’s farm. I tried to get all of them. When I saw the 6 puppies, they were malnourished and covered in scabies. I wanted to get them all, but one was for the school teacher and one was for the bus driver.

Ramsey Russell: Where were they at? Like.

Harrison Banks: In a chicken coop?

Ramsey Russell: She dug up under a chicken coop, had a litter puppy.

Harrison Banks: Yeah.

Ramsey Russell: You got this little female?

Harrison Banks: I did. I got her, brought her home. I had to keep her in a cage.

Ramsey Russell: How big was she?

Harrison Banks: Tiny.

Ramsey Russell: Size of a gerbil.

Harrison Banks: Gerbil rat, I was going to say. Somewhere in there wasn’t much to her, but I could just tell that one was for me. And ever since she had to stay in quarantine, 2 weeks with scabies because people can get them, skin mite goes crazy at night. They just shake and itch. And it was poor and sad watching her. But the minute she broke quarantine, I started with squirrels and that was it. I mean, anything we wanted to hunt or chase or do or anytime I was headed anywhere, she was in the middle of it, we might get her cloned. My vet says it’s 12,000 to clone her, so we’ve talked about it, but –

Ramsey Russell: I don’t think you clone that little dog.

Harrison Banks: I’m just either going to clone her or I’m going to mount her. Like hanging off of that 168 inch dearest –

Ramsey Russell: Yeah, right.

Harrison Banks: Just taking him down, lying in there for the kill.

Ramsey Russell: Well, I know when I’m sitting there eating dinner and somebody’s sitting there eating dinner, like tonight, Chef Eric cooked. He started off with hot wings, then he went to, gosh, homemade Pico de Gallo. And then we had fajitas. And every time I saw her, she was like a little statue, laser beamed looking at somebody, not even blinking for minutes at a time, hoping she could will them to give her some food.

Harrison Banks: If you watch closely, she’s got a routine. She starts with the soft brown eyes and then she flicks one ear out to where it stands up and the other one’s flopped over. And then if that doesn’t work, she’ll flick them both out so she looks like a little 18. And that’s usually where people start to cave. Okay, you believe her? You’d think she was starving, but that ain’t the truth.

Ramsey Russell: I guess all that, you do carry to her duck blind. Do you carry her or she get in the truck when you leave? Is she going with you or are you taking.

Harrison Banks: I’m going with her.

Ramsey Russell: Okay.

Harrison Banks:  Well, it started out I wasn’t carrying her just because I didn’t know what she could do. But she started stowing away in the backseat and she’d wait till I’d leave the camp, get out on the highway and when she felt the road change, she’d pop up. She knew it was too late to take her back. We were committed at this point, so she was on the traveling team and she knew it.

Ramsey Russell: And every time I’ve ridden in the ranger out on the way out there, she’s like a little hood ornament standing up in the middle seat. Don’t get in her way.

Harrison Banks: No. Make sure there’s no rabbits or deer, skunks or something that needs chasing. Whoa. Now that.

Ramsey Russell: You left her out there.

Harrison Banks: Oh, man, it was a bad deal. It was a lot of confusion and there was not a trailer for my machine to get home. We hunted the evening and we came out. She ventured off too far hunting something. And in my rigmarole and all the hustle, I ended up leaving her.

Ramsey Russell: You forgot about Flossy?

Importance of communication and cooperation

I forgot she was there, honestly, that’s just what happened. You expect her to come on, Floss? Well, she’s 200 yards away chasing a rat.

Harrison Banks: Man, I forgot she was there, honestly, that’s just what happened. You expect her to come on, Floss? Well, she’s 200 yards away chasing a rat, kind of out of sight, out of mind. But I came in and, man, I came in and I was exhausted. I went straight to bed and I woke up the next morning. They told me, man, Flossy didn’t make it home. I said, lord have mercy. So we looked and looked and then I called the manager of the refuge and I asked him, I said, look, I left the dog out there by the gate and she’s my pride and joy. I’ve got to have her. He said, look, okay, I’ll make a ride through there. I’ll go unlock the gate and ride through there. But don’t have your people shooting ducks. If I’m riding around jumping, I’m looking for your dog. And I said, that’s reasonable request. I got off the phone, I called my guys that were getting to the blind and it was actually my cousin Jeff and they’re walking down the levee. He said, okay, we understand. We won’t shoot as long as they’re riding. But wait, hold, Flossie’s in the dog box.

Ramsey Russell: In the pit blind.

Harrison Banks: She went 2 miles from the truck back to the box, crawled into the box and had found a crippled teal or caught her own fresh teal. But she was having breakfast when they got there.

Ramsey Russell: I’ve seen that little dog when the labs are having to break through ice. She’s so light, she’s running across the top of the ice to get those ducks.

Harrison Banks: That’s the hard water specialist. She doesn’t slip and slide. She just prances out there and snatches them up.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah, and somebody showed me a picture. She fetched up a goose.

Harrison Banks: Oh, yeah.

Ramsey Russell: What’s the biggest she’s ever fetched up?

Harrison Banks: I’ve had some speckle bellies that the water is a little deep for. Because she, like I said, 20 pounds maybe what, 8, 10 inch legs. She’s not real big animal at all, but I’ve seen her get her back, feet on the ground and push speckle bellies, snow geese. I’ve also seen where I’d be pretty damn convinced that she had climbed up on top of it and was paddling it in because she can’t move them like that.

Ramsey Russell: Like somebody sitting on an inner tube, swimming, going down a creek.

Harrison Banks: floating around, trying to get it in.

Ramsey Russell: Speaking of speckle bellies, the sanctuary blind is really not speckled belly habitat. I mean, the times I’ve hunted it. And the speckled bellies are flying like from northwest way off somewhere, coming a mile high over the pit blind going to southeast somewhere, feeding areas and they’re just trading. And one time we hunted with Redbone. I didn’t know who Redbone was. I never heard of Redbone call.

Harrison Banks: Oh, yeah.

Ramsey Russell: Nathan.

Harrison Banks: Oh, yeah, Nathan’s the man. Nathan Wright.

Ramsey Russell: And Nathan would – He would listen to him for a minute, like me. I just make the same old couple of lousy notes. Nathan would break into a routine and the minute that sound touched those speckled bellies, they all turned upside down and plummeted, start coming in.

Harrison Banks: It was actually a funny story about it. I remember Nathan and you were hunting that same day, I believe. And I think you were on him. You were eager and excited. Hey, Nathan, call them speckle bellies. I think this is after we had killed a few. And you knew he could do it.

Ramsey Russell: Oh, he could do it.

Harrison Banks: Better than most. Nathan called him. He goes, well, Ramsey, I understand you’re from Mississippi, but don’t you want to listen to what they’re saying before you interrupt them?

Ramsey Russell: That’s exactly what he said. Because I noticed he was starting with a different note. It wasn’t just the something and I asked, said, why do you. He said, son, you got to listen to what they’re talking about before you interrupt them. It was amazing.

Harrison Banks: I didn’t know you could call a speckle belly goose until I met Nathan.

Ramsey Russell: He told me that white fronted geese make 20 something vocalizations. And he knew that and knew what they were saying. I don’t know what they’re saying to each other. Just up there talking to each other. But he knew. And he would inject himself into that conversation. And they would just like them center blocks you’re talking about. They just start –

Harrison Banks: Giving up.

Ramsey Russell: Turn it upside down and coming down into the decoy. And I can remember, we’d be scrambling to try to turn the Mojos off, I said, I don’t worry about it. And the Mojos would still be running here come impacts.

Harrison Banks: They would. He can do. He can talk them into giving it up when they really don’t want to give it up. I remember that day, I think there was – I thought he was working some snows. They call him the buzzard, because snows – he makes a call, I believe called the buzzard as well. And they respond just like the specs to him, I can’t even scratch the note out, but he can do it. And I remember, dang, what was that? Nathan, what was that? Oh, it’s a snow goose. Well, it went out there and he was working back behind me, looking behind me and I turned around to see what had happened. Lost it for a minute, lost it looking, looking. All of a sudden, I look out there and there’s a 3 foot white neck sticking up off the water and it was a trumpeter swan.

Ramsey Russell: Really?

Harrison Banks: I believe you were there with Terry and the Mojo guy.

Ramsey Russell: Never seen no swan out there.

Harrison Banks: Went out there and lit in the decoys.

Ramsey Russell: Golly.

Harrison Banks: That’s the first one I’d ever seen.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah. Ask you a question, how many days you spend in a duck blind? All 60?

Harrison Banks: No, not all 60. And it’s less now than it used to be. But I’m up for 50.

Ramsey Russell: We ain’t getting no younger.

Harrison Banks: No.

Ramsey Russell: Or better looking.

Harrison Banks: That’s for sure. These 3 girls, I have are making it get slower every day. It’s like a covey of quail when we wake up in the morning at my house. I mean, somebody’s going somewhere.

Ramsey Russell: Flossy ain’t herding them up like a sheep dog.

Harrison Banks: Well, she’s 10 now. She’s got a few miles, so she still looks like a puppy. But she’s learned. If I don’t grab my rubber boots, she’s okay to hang tight.

Ramsey Russell: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen in a duck blind all these days you spent all these years you’ve been guiding since you was in elementary school shooting a bolt action. What’s the craziest thing, funniest thing, craziest thing you’ve ever seen in a duck blind, not including a skunk.

Harrison Banks: Well, there was the skunk and then there’s some other stories that, I don’t know if we’re rated for this programming, but some of the coolest things I’ve seen is midair attacks by predators, birds of prey.

Ramsey Russell: Really.

Harrison Banks: I’ve watched the eagle take a raw scoop, take a mallard, bald eagles. But one of the coolest was right out here on the farm. We heard a whack and honestly, I turned to the blind. I said, did somebody just shoot and then splash, teal fell maybe 15, 20ft away. The other teal kind of went around and got right up next to the levee and I said, I don’t know what’s going on, but you all pick up, send the dog on this till I’m going to run down here and see if I can’t jump, shoot the other one. I get about halfway, it gets up, I shoot and it starts that death wobble where it’s still going, but it’s flopping and flipping and spinning wings. And here comes the falcon. And the falcon smacks him in midair and he had killed the first one, was coming back for the second one. Pretty amazing, those things. It got complete mastery of flight.

Ramsey Russell: What are some of the craziest PG version things you can or R rated version things you’ve seen in duck blind, you’re bound to seen some stuff, haven’t you?

Harrison Banks: Man, I’ll tell you what, I was doing the math on it because I needed to know exactly what to say to this guy the other day, this was about 2 weeks ago. I said, partner look, there’s been 5,500 people that have come hunting through here and we’re talking about geriatrics, we’re talking about 400lbs, we’re talking about children and you are the first one to take a leak in my duck blind.

Ramsey Russell: He took a leak in your duck?

Harrison Banks: Yeah. Well, there’s water in here, there’s got to be a drain. I said, no, that’s not how it works. If there was a hole in this blind, the water would be neck deep with this.

Ramsey Russell: I hope he tipped good.

Harrison Banks: Man, I must have missed it. Maybe it’s on the card.

Ramsey Russell: What’s the worst shot you ever seen? Talk about like these guys come in, they don’t see ducks like this ever. As somebody myself that gets to hunt with a lot of folks, I would really say and this is the guy’s honest truth, I hunt with, let’s say, 1000 people a year. I’d say most of them are way above average. I’d say they’re above average guys just by merit factor, spending money going on these trips and they’re so passionate to go travel around and do this stuff. I’d say they’re above average. But you can take the best shot in the world, myself included. And ducks do things to you that just make you rattle. What are some of the funniest things you’ve ever seen in a duck blind? I just heard you guys talking about it over dinner tonight. I mean, this young man right here, talking about 50 green wings coming in. Everybody shells out and the ducks not a teal falls.

Harrison Banks: Yeah, well

Ramsey Russell: That happens. But what’s some of the craziest stuff you ever seen? The worst stuff you ever seen? Have you ever have anybody just cannot kill a duck, no matter what?

Harrison Banks: Oh, yeah. I mean, we’ve had to absolutely call the hunt because we cannot do this all day.

Ramsey Russell: They’re out of bullets.

Harrison Banks: Out of bullets are just. Guys, I cannot subject my property to this. You all are just scaring the entire flight.

Ramsey Russell: Got to hire extra help to pick up all the folks.

Expressing concern about shooters’ readiness and efficiency.

And I told him, I said, Partner, look, man, you realize you shot 3 times before you ever got touch gun on your shoulder. He said, man, I’m having so much damn fun, it doesn’t matter.

Harrison Banks: I’ve been talking about getting something together, whether it’s a water bottle with some napkins in it, maybe some dummy ducks, something that we’re going to start doing straps that say opportunity. So we can show them what should have happened and show them what we got. But 30 shells at a single greenhead touching the mojo didn’t cut a feather seen it multiple times. One group, I watched it about the third time, I said, I’m going to watch the shooters instead of the duck. And I turned down there, and I guarantee you 8 out of the 10 guys in the blind, fired 3 shells before they ever shouldered the gun. And I told him, I said, Partner, look, man, you realize you shot 3 times before you ever got touch gun on your shoulder. He said, man, I’m having so much damn fun, it doesn’t matter.

Ramsey Russell: You’re shooting up in there at them.

Harrison Banks: Just let it rain. I got a rule. You hadn’t missed till you’re out of bullets. So give me 3 times every time.

Ramsey Russell: Like what Jerry Clower said, you shoot up amongst us, give one of us some relief.

Harrison Banks: Somebody’s got to have some relief.

Ramsey Russell: What would you say the average shell to duck ratio is on a guy coming down here and hunt? I mean, I never thought about that, but what would you just guesstimate based on the great shots and the bad shots, what would you say?

Harrison Banks: Man, I don’t know if I could even get that far.

Ramsey Russell: 10%, 15%?

Harrison Banks: The good ones?

Ramsey Russell: Yeah.

Harrison Banks: There’s some that are really bad. The limit is 6. And a fella’s got 2 to 3 boxes and start getting nervous.

Ramsey Russell: Oh, yeah.

Harrison Banks: And it doesn’t mean they’re not going to shoot them. We did a big goose hunt the other day at the sanctuary. I planted 60 acres of wheat right there in the middle of the farm just to get those geese’s attention. And there was probably 10,000 or 15,000 birds in it.

Ramsey Russell: Wow.

Harrison Banks: So we said, we’re going in the morning. We ended up sending 25 on the hunt.

Ramsey Russell: 25 guns.

Harrison Banks: Well, 21 clients. And then we had the guides and they were doing the math on it and I think it was something like $2,000 worth of shells were shot at that hunt.

Ramsey Russell: It’s 63 shells per valley. They read by shell –

Harrison Banks: They let it rip over and over. They killed a 21 man spec limit and then some snows and some extras.

Ramsey Russell: $2,000 worth of shell shot.

Harrison Banks: At least at that hunt.

Ramsey Russell: Wow.

Harrison Banks: That’s a good time, man. Everybody’s burning powder, having fun.

Ramsey Russell: Are you on Jeff Simmons Christmas card, atleast?

Harrison Banks: I should be. I need an account or something.

Ramsey Russell: He’s right down the road.

Harrison Banks: Yeah, he’s 30 miles down there and he’s been really good to me and helps me when he can. And we try to send everybody we can towards him, which we’re getting good at that, especially with the way they’re shooting.

Ramsey Russell: It’s a heck of a nice sport goods store.

Harrison Banks: I haven’t seen anything like it. No knock on anybody else, but it’s items that everyone uses. They’re functional. The products that I want for whatever sport I’m chasing.

Ramsey Russell: What’s the best shot you ever seen? You ever been in a blind with somebody you like?

Harrison Banks: Oh, yeah.

Ramsey Russell: Damn. Tell me about – I had some clients, Harrison. Both of these gentlemen are deceased. They were absolutely the best shots I’ve ever seen. I’m like, I’m spelled by, I’m like, holy. One of them with a big man from North Dakota and we get to a blind in Mexico one morning and he stops short of the blind and says, which side you want? I said, well, I like a left side, but you can have whichever side you want. You’re the client. I can shoot off either side. I don’t mind me. And what he meant is, number one, I do not ever remember the man missing a duck, ever.

Harrison Banks: Okay.

Ramsey Russell: From 0 to 60 yards. But he shot off of both shoulders. He could shoot off his left shoulder as well as he could shoot off his right shoulder. He was right handed. And I asked him, I said, Jay, how in the world did you learn to do that? He said, well, I was the fourth son and so by the time I grew up old enough to hunt in a boat with my daddy, I got to bow at a boat and either learn to shoot off my left shoulder or I didn’t get a shot. And I’ve tried to do that. He’s always tried. No, it ain’t no doing it.

Harrison Banks: Necessary will bring it out in you.

Ramsey Russell: And then the other gentleman just passed. He was a good friend of mine, he’s from Utah and his long game was unbelievable. I’m like, golly, I guess people just get this. And I went and hunted with him one time in Saskatchewan, where he’d been hunting for 25 years and he decoyed some, but his game was past you. And I sat down the fence row from him and watched him doing 80 yarders. I watched him do an 80 yard shot with steel 2s and it was just a heck of a shot. But you’ve hunted with a lot of people in these blinds. What are some of your best shots you’ve seen?

Harrison Banks: Some of the best that I remember were before I ever started guiding. My dad’s included.

Ramsey Russell: Those old timers. Those older, that last generation.

Harrison Banks: Yeah, they could really do it. They could all blow the calls. I remember him barking on the old. He lost his air after, not too long, after I started hunting with him. And he had to go down to a Haydale as well, but they had the rhythm and he would let everybody else shoot and then he’d kill one. And just to prove a point that he could still do it and that it can be done. These guns will do more than most folks are capable with. I learned in Argentina, those bird boys, at 100 yards, you can absolutely kill a dove. It doesn’t look right when you see the wading open up. It’s kind of like, you know that I don’t think you’re anywhere in the bulb. Okay. The dove fell.

Ramsey Russell: Wow.

Harrison Banks: But they could show you how to do it. And the guys down there, Argentina, my dad and John Ensminger. I’ll never forget the first guy I watched shooting a 20 gauge. That was just precision. He did not miss very little slack.

Ramsey Russell: What’s the game plan in the morning?

Harrison Banks: Man, we’re going to bust these birds, brother.

Ramsey Russell: I came to get down.

Harrison Banks: That’s it. Came to get down. We’re going to go get down, where they –

Ramsey Russell: Where they come up with that slogan?

Harrison Banks: Man, it has all kinds of meanings.

Ramsey Russell: Sounds like disco.

Harrison Banks: Yeah. We’re here to have a good time, always. And then it kind of evolved into get down and shut up. I’ve got some rules about the duck blind.

Ramsey Russell: Like Forrest Gump, get out, get up.

Harrison Banks: Absolutely. Lieutenant Dan would tell him that when he had a funny feeling. So when we start getting birds, I really, especially in those pit blinds on a cloudy day, I need their back on the wall. If we’re all hanging out pie facing in the open. And it’s tough to get them to do what we want them to do, they kind of get on me. I get a little bit Nazi like or I get a little bit just controlling just because I want everybody to have the best hunt they can possibly have.

Ramsey Russell: I hate hunting in cloudy weather. There’s no shadows, everything sticks out. It’s terrible. And you’re talking about hunting in some trees tomorrow. What’s that game plan going to be like?

Harrison Banks: Well, we’re going to kind of bank on. It’s kind of like shooting the moon in spades. If you’re going to catch one, you might as well catch them all. So I prefer the rain. I mean, honestly, no wind and clouds. They get to tip, tip, just pick you apart. See you, no shadows to hide in. They find you. But the rain makes them act a little bit different.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah.

Harrison Banks: They don’t like flying in it, just like we don’t like standing in it. So it feels like they want to get down and they act a little better with the rain.

Ramsey Russell: First and foremost, I hate hunting in the rain. I’ve hunted in the rain. Go hunting rain tomorrow. I hate hunting in the rain.

Harrison Banks: There’s better scenarios. Bluebird, 10 mile an hour, southeast, northwest. Any wind and the conditions aren’t as big to me as here.  

Ramsey Russell: What are your favorite conditions to hunt here?

Harrison Banks: Bluebird. Sunny days with big wind.

Ramsey Russell: Shadows, wind.

Harrison Banks: Yeah, you just get by with so much more. You can leave the traps down and everybody can see and you know birds just act. You can get them do cartwheels when they’re new birds in a new place and can’t see you. But anything with wind, I just hate clouds and I hate still.

Ramsey Russell: Where’d you find Chef Eric at?

Harrison Banks: Man, I got to thank my mother for that one. My mother and Chef Eric’s – So Chef Eric’s wife’s, her sister and my mother were for sorority girls. They were in Baton Rouge at LSU. And that was don’t know how long ago, not going to guess, just for my mother’s sake. But they ended up at a tailgate for the tigers and got to talking. And Chef Eric runs a marina up north in New York and when they close down, he migrates and not a whole lot going on in their world that time of year, so it was a perfect fit.

Ramsey Russell: Last time I was here, you talk about a marina. Last time I was here, one of the clients had a client ship him some lobsters. And that man started acting funny. I mean, like, making. He got excited about them lobsters that was right up in his wheelhouse. I didn’t realize he wasn’t from around here.

Harrison Banks: Yeah, no, he’s from up there. I think he’s originally from Connecticut and grew up in New York and somehow, he somehow married a girl from New Orleans. And I think he learned a lot of flavor and taste and southern culture there.

Ramsey Russell: Well, he’s drinking old charter. He must have been to the south. He told me this evening, out here by the truck. He said he was chugging on that old charter, saying, I’m trying to lose my northern ness. I said, no, that ain’t going to happen. So you drink all that old charter you want to, you’re still a Yankee.

Harrison Banks: It’s deeper than skin.

Ramsey Russell: He’s a hell of a cook, isn’t?

Harrison Banks: We’re very lucky to have Eric.

Ramsey Russell: Did he tell you about his political claim to fame?

Harrison Banks: No. I think you might have a story on this one, though.

Ramsey Russell: It was a pretty good story. I don’t know what the man, the politician, Buttigieg, show up. He didn’t know who he was. But he noticed some men out in the parking lot acting kind of strange, loitering. There’s a group of guys wearing tight white shirts loitering in his parking lot. And parking was a premium at the peak of tourist season. So he comes out there, he rounds up some help out of the staff. He said, you all come out here. We need to get these guys to quit loitering. He said the time he stepped out of the car, he said it took the man 2.2 seconds to realize he was right handed and disarm him with some kind of jujitsu pinch. And bring him to the ground. And realize they were all Secret Service.

Harrison Banks: He turned him into a chicken wing. And little did he know he was not going to ask them to leave.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah, that’s his political claim to fame. Don’t ask the Secret Service to quit loitering. That was the takeaway message I got.

Harrison Banks: Yeah, I think he learned a little bit about him. But, hey, he was doing his job. He had to get them out of there. Until he found out they were the Secret Service.

Ramsey Russell: Any parting shots, Harrison?

Harrison Banks: Man, not a whole lot. Just please stop spreading whatever you’re spreading these days. Ramsey, COVID, avian flu.

Ramsey Russell: I ain’t spreading up. But the gospel of killing ducks, man. The Gospel of GetDucks is all I spread anymore, Harrison.

Harrison Banks: Well, I’m glad you came back, man. It’s good to see it’s been a minute since we got to go hunting together. Schedules conflict. And I think you were taking some new ventures. And making sure you’re covering the bases on Duck Season Somewhere.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah, the thing about Duck Season Somewhere what that means is everywhere, all the time. I ain’t complaining.

Harrison Banks: No, it’s a good gig. We’re glad at it.

Ramsey Russell: But I do every time I come here to this old camp house, it’s just like my Australian buddy said, you know, Glenn Fowler was his name. And it’s just like Glenn said. Glenn had come to the United States. That’s where he and I met and became friends. Was right there in your sanctuary pit blind. He and I, Trent Lean, shared a blind with Mike Morgan, Terry Denmon and we all hit it off real well. And that’s how I ended up going to Australia. But they had come here and hunted with a very long trip, done a big road trip, hunted the Central and Mississippi Flyways, 4, 5 stops. I was in a deer stand one day, hitting them up with a text and I said, tell me about your trip. What’d you think. Well, I like this place and this place was pretty good and this place was kind of fancy. But, man, that place in Arkansas, we met you. That was the Arkansas or the American duck camp experience, because the food, the television –

Harrison Banks: The conversation, planning, everybody’s involved. I mean, that’s what we’re going for. If you don’t get to spend duck camp somewhere every year or even if you just want to come visit a new one, you fit right in. You’re part of the crew, you’re part of the decisions and try to get everybody involved.

Ramsey Russell: We parked a truck, walked in and within 5 minutes, knew 2 out of 3 of the groups here tonight. Like, we’d all been here forever. And there’s a lot to be said about that.

Harrison Banks: Like minded people.

Ramsey Russell: Birds of feather fly together.

Harrison Banks: Exactly.

Ramsey Russell: Harrison. I appreciate you. Folks, you all can check out US hunt list. Connect with Harrison at the Commander’s Corner, Arkansas duck hunting. Come to get down with Harrison, who may or may not have a more R rated conversation banner there in the duck blind. I’m going to say this, Harrison. I’m not picking on you, but I get in a lot of trouble off the podcast or when I’m not speaking in front of people formally, I do, like, when I’m just in the mic, ain’t running, I’m just talking to folk.

Harrison Banks: Right.

Ramsey Russell: My language is atrocious.

Harrison Banks: Yeah. Anita’s told me to watch that on you. I’m trying to help, but I think it’s just kind of, you know everybody’s getting there –

Ramsey Russell: I met some boys up in North Carolina last year and they go, man, you’re a lot different in person than you are in podcast. I go how so to go? Well, blankety, blankety blank for starts. I’m like, well, I’m in a duck blank, I mean, it’s one of the most last remaining bastions of political incorrectness where I can just.

Harrison Banks: Well, that’s part of the allure to it, Ramsey. Everybody can just kind of relax. They’re on vacation. There’s no judgment anywhere around here. Say what you want to say and we’ll all take it in.

Ramsey Russell: It’s duck camp.

Harrison Banks: That’s it.

Ramsey Russell: Folks, thank you all for listening to this episode of Duck Season Somewhere from Arkansas Commander’s Corner. See you next time.

[End of Audio]

LetsTranscript transcription Services

Podcast Sponsors:, your proven source for the very best waterfowl hunting adventures. Argentina, Mexico, 6 whole continents worth. For two decades, we’ve delivered real duck hunts for real duck hunters. because the next great hunt is closer than you think. Search our database of proven US and Canadian outfits. Contact them directly with confidence.

Benelli USA Shotguns. Trust is earned. By the numbers, I’ve bagged 121 waterfowl subspecies bagged on 6 continents, 20 countries, 36 US states and growing. I spend up to 225 days per year chasing ducks, geese and swans worldwide, and I don’t use shotgun for the brand name or the cool factor. Y’all know me way better than that. I’ve shot, Benelli Shotguns for over two decades. I continue shooting Benelli shotguns for their simplicity, utter reliability and superior performance. Whether hunting near home or halfway across the world, that’s the stuff that matters.

HuntProof, the premier mobile waterfowl app, is an absolute game changer. Quickly and easily attribute each hunt or scouting report to include automatic weather and pinpoint mapping; summarize waterfowl harvest by season, goose and duck species; share with friends within your network; type a hunt narrative and add photos. Migrational predictor algorithms estimate bird activity and, based on past hunt data will use weather conditions and hunt history to even suggest which blind will likely be most productive!

Inukshuk Professional Dog Food Our beloved retrievers are high-performing athletes that live to recover downed birds regardless of conditions. That’s why Char Dawg is powered by Inukshuk. With up to 720 kcals/ cup, Inukshuk Professional Dog Food is the highest-energy, highest-quality dog food available. Highly digestible, calorie-dense formulas reduce meal size and waste. Loaded with essential omega fatty acids, Inuk-nuk keeps coats shining, joints moving, noses on point. Produced in New Brunswick, Canada, using only best-of-best ingredients, Inukshuk is sold directly to consumers. I’ll feed nothing but Inukshuk. It’s like rocket fuel. The proof is in Char Dawg’s performance.

Tetra Hearing Delivers premium technology that’s specifically calibrated for the users own hearing and is comfortable, giving hunters a natural hearing experience, while still protecting their hearing. Using patent-pending Specialized Target Optimization™ (STO), the world’s first hearing technology designed optimize hearing for hunters in their specific hunting environments. TETRA gives hunters an edge and gives them their edge back. Can you hear me now?! Dang straight I can. Thanks to Tetra Hearing!

Voormi Wool-based technology is engineered to perform. Wool is nature’s miracle fiber. It’s light, wicks moisture, is inherently warm even when wet. It’s comfortable over a wide temperature gradient, naturally anti-microbial, remaining odor free. But Voormi is not your ordinary wool. It’s new breed of proprietary thermal wool takes it next level–it doesn’t itch, is surface-hardened to bead water from shaking duck dogs, and is available in your favorite earth tones and a couple unique concealment patterns. With wool-based solutions at the yarn level, Voormi eliminates the unwordly glow that’s common during low light while wearing synthetics. The high-e hoodie and base layers are personal favorites that I wear worldwide. Voormi’s growing line of innovative of performance products is authenticity with humility. It’s the practical hunting gear that we real duck hunters deserve.

Mojo Outdoors, most recognized name brand decoy number one maker of motion and spinning wing decoys in the world. More than just the best spinning wing decoys on the market, their ever growing product line includes all kinds of cool stuff. Magnetic Pick Stick, Scoot and Shoot Turkey Decoys much, much more. And don’t forget my personal favorite, yes sir, they also make the one – the only – world-famous Spoonzilla. When I pranked Terry Denman in Mexico with a “smiling mallard” nobody ever dreamed it would become the most talked about decoy of the century. I’ve used Mojo decoys worldwide, everywhere I’ve ever duck hunted from Azerbaijan to Argentina. I absolutely never leave home without one. Mojo Outdoors, forever changing the way you hunt ducks.

BOSS Shotshells copper-plated bismuth-tin alloy is the good ol’ days again. Steel shot’s come a long way in the past 30 years, but we’ll never, ever perform like good old fashioned lead. Say goodbye to all that gimmicky high recoil compensation science hype, and hello to superior performance. Know your pattern, take ethical shots, make clean kills. That is the BOSS Way. The good old days are now.

Tom Beckbe The Tom Beckbe lifestyle is timeless, harkening an American era that hunting gear lasted generations. Classic design and rugged materials withstand the elements. The Tensas Jacket is like the one my grandfather wore. Like the one I still wear. Because high-quality Tom Beckbe gear lasts. Forever. For the hunt.

Flashback Decoy by Duck Creek Decoy Works. It almost pains me to tell y’all about Duck Creek Decoy Work’s new Flashback Decoy because in  the words of Flashback Decoy inventor Tyler Baskfield, duck hunting gear really is “an arms race.” At my Mississippi camp, his flashback decoy has been a top-secret weapon among my personal bag of tricks. It behaves exactly like a feeding mallard, making slick-as-glass water roil to life. And now that my secret’s out I’ll tell y’all something else: I’ve got 3 of them.

Ducks Unlimited takes a continental, landscape approach to wetland conservation. Since 1937, DU has conserved almost 15 million acres of waterfowl habitat across North America. While DU works in all 50 states, the organization focuses its efforts and resources on the habitats most beneficial to waterfowl.

It really is Duck Season Somewhere for 365 days. Ramsey Russell’s Duck Season Somewhere podcast is available anywhere you listen to podcasts. Please subscribe, rate and review Duck Season Somewhere podcast. Share your favorite episodes with friends. Business inquiries or comments contact Ramsey Russell at And be sure to check out our new GetDucks Shop.  Connect with Ramsey Russell as he chases waterfowl hunting experiences worldwide year-round: Insta @ramseyrussellgetducks, YouTube @DuckSeasonSomewherePodcast,  Facebook @GetDucks