Now 80 years old, Sid “Boweevil” Laws has only been away from his Lake Washington home in the Mississippi Delta home for 8 years of his life. The river is integral to Boweevil’s life and lifestyle. “Nowadays, it’s about just being there,” he says emotionally about duck hunting after first describing memorable times on the river, the few years spent away from home, “masacrating ’em” back in the day, finding out his name was number 3 on a list you don’t want to be on, and more.

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Getting the Moniker Boweevil

I was rooting around in my crib and my daddy walked up and looked over in there and said, damn, don’t he looked like a little Boweevil and that stuck.

Ramsey Russell: Welcome back to Duck Season Somewhere, I am in Washington County, Mississippi, my home county Mississippi here in the Mississippi Delta. And today’s guest is the world famous Sid Boweevil. And Sid, the first time I heard your name, we had our old buddy Hank Burdine on and he was talking about the old duck hunter dinner and I heard your name back then, you know Hank?

Sydney Iverson Law III: I’ll tell you a little story about Hank, Hank is the Minister of Sin and Debauchery for Lake Washington. He is so good, he now holds statewide office as the Minister of Sin and Debauchery for Mississippi.

Ramsey Russell: And you’re one of the deacons?

Sydney Iverson Law III: Yeah, I’m one of the deacons.

Ramsey Russell: I’m going to ask you this, how in the world does a man get the moniker of Boweevil?

Sydney Iverson Law III: Well, that’s kind of a interesting story when I was about 18 inches tall, maybe 2ft tall, I don’t know, I was rooting around in my crib and my daddy walked up and looked over in there and said, damn, don’t he looked like a little Boweevil and that stuck. I’ve been Boweevil for 70 something years, I had people that worked for me for 35 years saying call me Mr. Boweevil. I’ve been Boweevil all my life, my real name is Sydney Iverson Law the III. Boweevil does way better.

Ramsey Russell: I know you grew up down around Lake Washington, did you all farm cotton growing up?

Sydney Iverson Law III: We were cotton farmers and way back in the old days if it was ice cream dirt, cotton dirt, it had cotton on it, if it was bucks shot, it had cows on it. We were as much cattle farmers as cotton farmers, but as tractors and technology got bigger and better, we became 100% row crop farmers years and years ago. We were one of the last farms around that had a few cows and that was because we had some lake bank and we could pass your cattle on it and derive a little income off of that. But other than that, we were row crop farmers and finally it got down to where, well, now, I don’t know what it takes, I guess it depends on your debt load, but if you’re not farming, 4500 acres per family, you don’t have enough land to farm.

Ramsey Russell: Did your family go back to Lake Washington a long time ago? Because some of the first settlements in the Mississippi Delta was right there in Lake Washington.

 The King Of Foote, Mississippi

You could go anywhere and go hunt and it was fine and dandy 50 years ago, 60 years ago. 

Sydney Iverson Law III: Yes, sir. As a matter of fact, you all talking about Swan Lake Hunting Club, the jump off point to Swan Lake Hunting Club was a little place called Foote, Mississippi and my grandfather Sydney Iverson Law number one was the pretty much the king of Foote, Mississippi. He had a big farm there, he had a big commissary, he had a room and house, he owned the doctor’s office, his brother Law was a doctor there and he was the depot manager. So when everybody would come in from Chicago or wherever to go to Swan Lake, they would literally get off at Foote, Mississippi and Swan Lake Hunting Club is right straight down the road called Susie B. Law Road.

Ramsey Russell: How long you been duck hunting?

Sydney Iverson Law III: Since I was about 13 years old, I remember my daddy was a product of the depression, he did two things, he worked and he thought about working, all he did was work like a dog all his life. But anyway, I started a duck hunting when I was about 13, I’d ride my bicycle up home back to the back of the farm you could ride as far as the ice cream went when you got to the buck shot them wheels, quit rolling on that bicycle. And you would hump it on down there and we had one of the areas now that I managed for ducks had a ring of willows around, it was just a low hole out in the pasture and you could go down there and massacre mallards. But I would, didn’t shoot very much because my family had a closet full of old double barrel shotguns and they all had a whole lot of drop in them, every shot was a busted lip. I shot at ducks on the water and I line them up and I was pretty successful as that.

Ramsey Russell: You don’t have to lead them as far.

Sydney Iverson Law III: No. And when you pull that trigger, you’re going to have a busted lip, you want to make sure that you get something. So anyway, I started when I was a very young man and when I was a very young man too, hunting and hunting related activity was kind of looked up to here in modern times when I was a young man, every house in the Delta, in the very front room, the living room, whatever, they had a gun cabinet and every man there could tell you they had the grand papa’s gun, the uncle’s gun, they could tell you stories about all those guns. Now, with the government and shall we say not only a political but social pressure, everybody’s got their guns on a gun safe and hunting was just everybody did it and thought nothing of it. You could go anywhere and go hunt and it was fine and dandy 50 years ago, 60 years ago. Now, if you want to be a successful hunter, it’s kind of like you’re going to have to spend some money to do it. Like poor folks, don’t ride in Cadillacs, rich folks ride in Cadillacs and the reason why is money. But if you can afford to do it and I was kind of born to it, you can do it. And its kind of a fraternity of people that we are here in the Delta, we all know one another and we enjoy each other’s company. You and Hank were talking earlier about the Mississippi River, I’m going to interject something right here. The allure of the Mississippi River to me is the wildest place you can be in the south. Any other place like I built a boat a number of years ago and I ride one of my hobbies in the summertime was riding up and down rivers, camping out and just cruising rivers and looking. If you start, let’s say out in Allison Illinois where the that’s the last lock and dam from there south of Mississippi is as wild as it can be, it’s channeled and this, that and the other. But you’re coming down to Mississippi from about Memphis south on the Mississippi till you get to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the only traffic out there is commercial traffic. A few barges, you see 2 or 3 of those a day, you might catch a couple of old geezers like me out there running a trout line and enjoying themselves, retired. But you can put in a gravel and go to Venice, Louisiana and you won’t see two pleasure boats in three days, it’s wild, you can do things you can do as you please. And when I was a young man, it was really wild. Now, every inch of ground out there spoke for some kind of way and there’s trail cameras everywhere, it ain’t as wild, it used to be, but you can still camp out on sand bars and do this and do that and do the other and you’re fine and dandy. There’s no other place like that on all the rivers I’ve been on. I took my boat from Grandma, Mississippi to Catoosa, South Dakota where we ran out of water, we went up to Saint Louis and took a left and went on up to Missouri River, the lower parts of the Missouri are kind of Mississippi, but you get way up there, it’s kind of like, I spent a couple of years in Montana, it’s clear water rocks, it’s nice. But even there you’ll see people like fishing in say, Baleshed, Mississippi, which is a sand bar below, there ain’t nobody out there for miles, you can just do as you please. That’s what years ago, I really enjoyed doing that.

A Tom Sawyer Life

And these guys are shoot up all the ducks and ragged and that’s one of the fun parts of it is just being in the blind with some shown enough buddies and agitating one another.

Ramsey Russell: You grew up in a different time, when did you start jumping on a river by yourself on the boat?

Sydney Iverson Law III: I’m an only child and only son, my mama was terrified of me going out there which helped things and my daddy would say, go, boy, what the hell. So, I’d go out there and play and I had a couple of old redneck buddies out there, we’d go out there in the summertime and set up trout lines and feed the mosquitoes and catch a few fish and enjoy ourselves. And in the winter time we’d go out there and go duck hunting or deer hunting Mississippi in the high water time, the years covered up with little islands. And if it’s in Arkansas to post an island, you got to put a fence around it. Well, the fence don’t stay up long on the Mississippi River it’s flooded and washed away. So, if we came to a little island, why Ipso facto this is our island, we’ll go deer hunting and camping out and doing as we please till we run out of food, our hair gets so greasy, we got to go to the house and take a shower.

Ramsey Russell: Sound like it Tom Sawyer lifestyle.

Sydney Iverson Law III: Well, I was really blessed, because that’s something I enjoy doing and I got my feel of it as a young man and I’m an old, fat and feeble man and I still do more than I ought to be able to do. I went out with a doctor friend of mine last winter, he and I went out there and we were doing a little raping and pillaging and I was thinking, I’m too damn old to be doing this, I might, ought to quit. But I’m thinking I ain’t that old quite yet, maybe at 80 I’ll quit. But until then I’m going as long as I can. And here I got four buddies that are farmers down there. In fact, they rent my farm and they are waterfowl fanatics and they take care of me, they coddle me in the boat and we pull right up to the blind where I ain’t got to take one step to get the blind and this, that and the other, the only bad thing about it, these are some terrible, practical jokers, I’m an old man, so every now and then from time to time as I might have to get out, go around behind the blind and shake the dew off my lily, well, if you ain’t careful, these SOBs will unload your gun. And then they’ll say, well, I say you ain’t hit nothing all morning and I’ve been giving them shooting lessons and they’ll say, hey, we give you the first shot, so you jump up when your ducks come in, there’s ducks everywhere, you jump up and throw down and you ain’t got a bullet in your gun. And these guys are shoot up all the ducks and ragged and that’s one of the fun parts of it is just being in the blind with some shown enough buddies and agitating one another.

Ramsey Russell: It’s a social sport, for sure.

Sydney Iverson Law III: It is. If you go deer hunting, you’re sitting up on a deer stand, I manage my little old farm for deer hunting too, you’re sitting up on a deer stand and it’s kind of boring and you see a buck and that buck might be a shooter, you get about a minute of adrenaline rush, you go bam and now you got a dead deer you got to work with, I might quit shooting deers, I just raise them now. But it ain’t that way with duck hunting. You see a duck, oh, here it come, look at it, everybody’s doing everything. When you look at the duck, your buddy’s hands will be in your shell box running off with your bullets, you done shot four times, you ain’t got a bullet left some low down, terrible folks. But that’s the fun of it. And then if you shoot a duck down, everybody’s got their dogs, my dog died years ago but everybody’s talking about my dog better than your dog and then you watch the dog, the dogs are having a big time, they enjoy it, so it’s fun all the way around. It’s been like I say, it’s been the focal point of my existence that and going to high powered rifle matches, pistol matches, shotgun tournaments, that’s how come I’m so bit deaf now, shooting guns all my life and listening to my wife for the last 49 years make you deaf.

Ramsey Russell: Are you a river rat?

Sydney Iverson Law III: Well, we were talking earlier and that’s a honorific term and I try to pretend to be, but I don’t really – river rats back in the day, lived out there. They made a living in commercial fishing one thing and another market hunting, selling up, making whiskey, doing whatever, a wild and free lifestyle, son of a gun. I would proudly wear that moniker, but mostly I’m a redneck.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah. That’s what gets me in this day and age. I’m offended by offended people to be honest with you. But in this day and age watching television, all these folks are offended by titles, but you show me a redneck, a river rat, a hillbilly, a coon ass or a Cajun and we wear it like a badge of honor because it’s a lifestyle.

Sydney Iverson Law III: When I was a young man getting called a redneck being kind of like an invitation to a fist fight, now somebody call you a redneck, well, come over here, boy, let me buy you a beer.

Tales of a River Rat & Redneck

But there were two notorious game wardens, Federal Game wardens, I don’t know, I better not tell this story.

Ramsey Russell: That’s right. And I ask you that because you have spent a lot of time on a river, talk about some of your river travels.

Sydney Iverson Law III: Well, a number of years ago, I built I can weld aluminium, instead of a buying a boat, I just build one. So I built one and fixed it all up, put it in the Mississippi River and another old partner of mine, Steele, he and I went on the maiden voyage and we put in at Greenville and we went on down to New Orleans and tipped our hats and went on out to Venice and stayed on a quarter boat, played with – I learned something about some folks down there called Isolinos, something that I’d never heard of before, they are Portuguese descent, little small brown looking guys and everybody gives them wide birth because they will fight in a minute and every one of them carries a knife. Anyway, we went there, we went on across the Gulf of Mexico and went up Mobile Bay and went up to Ten-Tom, we went on up to the Tennessee river, went from the Tennessee river into the Cumberland, as there’s a spot there, you can go back and forth two spots actually and then went on around, come back to Cairo, Illinois and then back to Memphis, Tennessee and back to Greenville, we circumnavigated the state of Mississippi on the maiden voyage of that. We got a storm out there in the Gulf and the wind was behind us. And if you slow down, you start taking water and if you went real fast, you take water, but right in the middle where the boat was just about playing off and we pounded through those waves for hours. And I broke every rib in that boat from about one third, well, about half the ribs from about the ones in the back didn’t get broken and the ones in the front didn’t get broken, but the ones in the middle, about the middle half got broken. And if you buy a commercial boat that size, they put the ribs on 22, 8 centers when I built this thing, I put them on 12, 8 centers. When I got back to the house, took the boat all apart and rebuild it, I put him on 6 inch. So now I can run it through a brick wall.

Ramsey Russell: Is this the big boat?

Sydney Iverson Law III: Yeah. It’s a big old aluminum boat like this. So what kind of boat that is? It’s the world’s biggest John boat is what it is.

Ramsey Russell: How big is it?

Sydney Iverson Law III: It’s 26ft long, got a 250 horsepower mercury on it and –

Ramsey Russell: How wide is it?

Sydney Iverson Law III: It’s 8ft wide.

Ramsey Russell: 230 square feet of John boat.

Sydney Iverson Law III: Redneck boat. And if you on the Mississippi – the reason why it’s wild out there, you just can’t pull up any place and get gas, ain’t no marinas. And I built this boat with 200 gallons worth of tanks where I can go 600 miles with it.

Ramsey Russell: Where are the tanks located on that boat?

Sydney Iverson Law III: Well, if you take a boat, the further you put the weight to the back, the faster it’ll run. And the way I got, the cabin is in the back, the tanks are right in front of that and the whole front of it is two big lockers on both sides to carry all your hunting gear and camping gear and everything and a big locker in the front and it’s made for speed, it’s built kind of light really for a boat that size. So it’s built for speed and fuel economy and distance.

Ramsey Russell: What makes a good boat?

Sydney Iverson Law III: A lot of aluminum and a lot of welding.

Ramsey Russell: Hank showed me a picture of it, that’s a beast. But when you start talking about running up and down the rivers and traveling like you just did on a maiden voyage, I’m thinking maybe it’s got like a little cabin in the middle of it.

Sydney Iverson Law III: It’s an open boat, but it’s got bimini at top and I tricked it up with some sockets where I can put square aluminum poles in it and I can throw a tarp over and I can sleep on the boat. And it’s probably easier that way, but it’s more fun to get off on a sandbar and camp out because you can cook in that boat, you’re sitting there with 200 gallons of gas and open fire, ain’t a good idea. So you get out there and just go to cooking and go to drinking beer and you’re talking about this sure beast working.

Ramsey Russell: You were saying earlier about what goes into a good boat and first thing a guy like me is going to ask how much that boat costs.

Sydney Iverson Law III: That’s the last thing you should ask. Commercial boats are all built to a price, they have to compete with one another on price, so you’re going to have thinner aluminum you’re going to have lesser quality aluminum. Like my boats built out of 50-52 which is marine grade aluminum, 50-51 is marine grade aluminum but I got the better quality of the marine grade aluminum. I built it thick, I put real high walls on it, I braced it up every kind of way you can brace it. The boat’s 20 years old.

Ramsey Russell: 20 foot long, 8ft wide, how tall are the sides?

Sydney Iverson Law III: It looks like something Batman ride around in and the back is 52 inches, the front’s like 24, it looks like a stiff fighter or something.

Ramsey Russell: Why do you build the tops in the back so big?

Sydney Iverson Law III: Well, every boat I have ever sunk the water come over the back. If you got a motor that’s running or you’re not immobilized, like being hung in a net, you can point into the wind and just stay in one spot and just ride it out. What sinks boats is no power or being immobilized, like I sunk a boat one time by getting hung in a net when a big wind come up, well, we were in a big wind, we were in a storm when it happened, got hung in the net in the third wave, we were sunk come over the back. So basically, if you look at old galleons and all that kind of stuff back in, whenever, when the Spanish were running the world, they big in the back because they didn’t want to sink. No, that’s about it, let’s quit talking about me. You all were talking earlier about a terrible story, I’m going to tell one terrible story and then we’ll quit, I don’t know, I’m going to say that –

Ramsey Russell: We’re just getting started Boweevil –

Sydney Iverson Law III: I’m one of the principals in this story and the rest of them, well, ain’t but one other guy, he shall remain nameless. But there were two notorious game wardens, Federal Game wardens, I don’t know, I better not tell this story.

Ramsey Russell: Go ahead tell it, you can’t leave me like that.

Sydney Iverson Law III: It’s a long story. But everybody that I was in college with turned out better than me. And one of the old boys I was in college with when I graduated from college, a lot of them went to the Air Force, a lot of them got in as offices, a lot of them went to med school or law school or graduate school, I got out of the Air Force and I went to the Air – hell, I wasn’t even thinking about after college too much. But anyway, graduated from college and there’s a little thing going on called Vietnam and I was invited, I was personally invited, had a letter from the President talking about what a fine second lieutenant, I was going to be, well, I didn’t want to be no second lieutenant because I understood that the lifetime of a second lieutenant in Vietnam wasn’t a good idea. So I went down and joined the Air Force. I walked into the handy dandy Air Force recruiter at Greenville, Mississippi and talked to him for a while, the boy said, son, there’s 400 people ahead of you. And he looked at me again, he asked me how old I was and I think I was 21, 22 whatever you are, when you graduate from college. He says, how come you ain’t in the army? I said, well, I’ve been in college, he looked at me again and said, boy, you got a college degree? I said, yes, sir. He said, tell you what, you’ll be here in the morning, we’ll put you in the Air Force, next day I was in the Air Force. I went to basic training, then I went to the longest military school in existence at that time, I went for more than two years to computer school, there was 13 of us, started, 11 of us graduated.

Ramsey Russell: Wait, I’m just going to interject here because that must have been a big deal back in the what 70s?

Sydney Iverson Law III: Yeah, I was in the Air Force from 1968 to 1972 and it was a big deal, but it was antiquated equipment when I was in the Air Force. But anyway, I got sent to an island for a while and they shut it down, then I got sent to Kalispell, Montana, which is heaven on earth for a red neck from Mississippi. Deer standing around in people’s yards, throwing rocks at you if you drive by, I mean, it was a bad idea to ride around at night because you’d run over deer and elk and every other thing. But anyway, I was so damn good as a radar fixer upper that I kept all the Russians out of Montana and they still ain’t none up there to my understanding and that’s that story. But anyway, one of the boys I was in college with, he went to graduate school, he got a PhD in wildlife management, where upon he joined the US Fish and Wildlife where upon after a number of years, he got to be a pretty good muckety muck. And one day he called me up and said, Boweevil? I said, yeah, he said, you’re in a heap of trouble, boy. I said, what do you mean? He said, well, he was playing on a computer just killing time, something I understand they do a lot of in the federal government So, he got over on the law enforcement side, he was just rooting around looking at everything and looked up there and they were the top 10 duck hunters in the nation that the federal US Fish and Wildlife wanted to catch and I was number three. And I said, damn, I’m embarrassed to hell, I ought to be number two or one anyway. And the old boy said, look at him, don’t be a smart at it, these guys are out to get you. He said, look at here, have you been called up by anybody wanting you to take them duck hunting on the Mississippi River? And I said, yes, sir, I have. He said, you’ve been called up by some sweet sounding girl that want you to carry her out on the Mississippi River, yeah, I have. He said, well, these boys are looking to trap you catch you any kind of way they can so watch your step. So, being I was young and in cautious and every other thing I was out there duck hunting on the river with a gentleman who shall remain nameless and there’s an island out there, it’s kind of circular and it’s got a grass patch in the middle and when the water gets to the right stage, it floods all that grass and it’s surrounded by willow trees and it’s ducks and you could shake a stick at it. So, me and this other gentleman was out there just in time where I’ve lived on the river, I knew what stage of water when you can look in the paper and see what stage of water is going to be, I know where to go. So, anyway, we was out there and we was getting ready to barbecue some ducks and this other boy, he didn’t have a duck stamp, he didn’t have a hunting license, he didn’t have a plug in his shotgun, he didn’t have steel shot, nothing that you could do that was right, he was doing it. So we sat down, we get ready to – it’s going to be terrible, this could get ugly. And we facing west and the sun’s coming up behind us on the east and we could look way across down the Arkansas side and something was tickling, something was shining over there just a little bit. So in the back of my mind, we might go over there and check this out because I understand there’s some folk looking for me, so we drove all there and rooted up through the flooded will and drove right up on the Federal Game Wardens, the two most notorious baddest Federal Game Wardens in captivity, one of them was Phil Green, the other one was Oliveras and I mean, we drove up eye to eye, no escape, no nothing.

Ramsey Russell: What were they wearing?

Sydney Iverson Law III: These guys, it was obvious what they were, they were in a 20ft boat with a 200 horsepower on it and the uniforms are covered up by overalls. But listen, when you see a federal game one, it’s like looking at a rattle state, you know what it is. So, anyway, we drove over there, we were just, what we going to do, so we drove over there and I held my hand out and said, my name is Sydney Iverson Law III Boweevil, I’m the very son of a gun you all are looking for. I introduced myself and everybody’s card was up, face up on the table, everybody knows everything and those two game, they were just astounded by the verbosity and the cheekiness of this redneck from Mississippi, both of them ducked their heads and moaned a little bit, they were so flabbergasted, they didn’t ask to see our guns, our plugs, our hunting license or nothing. And the gentleman that was with me, he would look in the boat and say you all ain’t got no decoys up in here and I don’t see no guns, what you all doing out here on there and they were going, uh-huh, they couldn’t say we’re looking for you all. So we harassed them a little bit and got in our boat and I always prided myself having a big fast boat, I couldn’t hold a candle to their boat. But anyway, we eased on off, eased on up the river, eased across and went home and thanked our lucky stars that we dodged that bullet because if they had have caught us, we would have never gotten out of jail.

Ramsey Russell: How bad was it, Boweevil?

Sydney Iverson Law III: But we didn’t fire a shot but we was fixing to the fire shot and I lived out there on the river, I mean, you could carry as many bullets as you wanted to, you could shoot them all up anyway. We dodged that little bullet went home and even to this day, that is my absolute finest hour when we hornswoggle, the two baddest Federal Game wardens in captivity and got away with it.

Ramsey Russell: When did you reform, self-reform was it –

Sydney Iverson Law III: Yeah, when you get to be – when you’re a young man, you wild and crazy and don’t give a damn as you get older, you just material like even now, I do all kinds of stuff, deer on the farms, I even bought an 80 acre patch over here with woods and I do everything I possibly can for the deer, I raise stuff for them and the ducks. And I go duck hunting now with these guys this modern times and we race to see who can get the limit and quit the fastest. And there’s two or three little groups of farmers around and everybody shoots the limit and quits and then they race to Roy Store, so you can be the first one there with the bragging rights. And the thing now to me is not how many you can kill or how many you did kill or anything about it, it’s going, that’s something just going.

Changes with Maturity & Time

It just takes money to do anything in this modern day and age.

Ramsey Russell: Talk about that. I mean, why is that? What changed?

Sydney Iverson Law III: It’s a function of maturity. You get old and something else too, when I was a kid, there was ducks unbelievable. And my daddy talks about when he was a young man, all the ducks that were everywhere, Lake Washington until the 1927, it didn’t have a weir in the end of it. So when the water went down in the summertime, the north end of it just grew up in grass fields. The winter time when the water came up, it flooded all that grass and there was innumerable lakes and bayou and slews and this, that and the other that were that way, well, it’s not that way anymore. If you want to duck hunt or deer hunt or do anything like earlier, I alluded to the difference that between people that ride in Cadillacs and the people that don’t ride in Cadillacs, the people that ride in Cadillacs got money if you want to do some duck hunting or some deer hunting or some wild hog hunting or whatever, you got to have money, it takes money to do it, it ain’t like it when I was young where you could just go anywhere and go ask somebody, can I go duck hunting. When I was up there in Montana, when I got a day off, you could go anywhere and ask any farmer up there, can I go out here in this little hole and shoot ducks? Yeah, bring me a couple of them ducks back here, boy, it’d be fine, it ain’t that way no more. I understand places like in Colorado where Hank was, Breckinridge and Vale and all this, the billionaires and moves of millionaires out of there. It just takes money to do anything in this modern day and age.

Ramsey Russell: I’ve talked to people that describe right here in the Delta trying to think who it was telling me the story. He remembers his first duck hunt and his daddy just drove up 49 out of Greenwood and there was just a little swag in the field had ducks and they just stopped and went hunting, nobody cared.

Sydney Iverson Law III: Nobody cared, it ain’t that way anymore. And there’s more and more people too, there’s supposed to be 330 million people in the United States today and that’s just legal residents. There’s another 30 or 40 million illegal 50 years ago, I don’t know what the population was, but it was way less than that. And here in the Mississippi Delta, every census, every 10 years, the population seems to go down about 10% and truthfully that suits me fine. I like being at the end of the road out in the middle of nowhere.

Ramsey Russell: You kind of got choked up talking about just going duck hunting, I want to dig in that because obviously for a very long time, you were young and temperate went duck hunting and now older, it’s just about being there.

Sydney Iverson Law III: That’s it. It ain’t about shooting a gun anymore. But let me tell you if you don’t shoot the gun, that’s damn disappointing.

Ramsey Russell: It’s terrible. Especially if you hear somebody shoot.

Sydney Iverson Law III: Oh, God. My partners that I hunt with got a duck hole and right across a big slew, another partner of mine has another duck hole and we do a better job with our duck hole, he got 150 bush of corn in that duck hole every year and we would be over there wearing the ducks out and they’d be on their side wasn’t making a shot because they would try to raise rice in a duck hole. But now what happens years ago, it used to work fine. Blackbirds eat up all the rice before duck season gets there. So anyway, we then broke them down so bad that they didn’t go to plant corn in their duck hole, they accuse us of changing the Flyway and we’d be shooting it after a while, they close enough to where they could see ducks on, they even have a herd of ducks come over and they look like they was getting interested and these little boy would shoot their guns and just to run the ducks off and they would call us up and say we saw them ducks coming in, so we had to shoot our gun, run them off, But it’s a camaraderie of all the guys that do it anymore. And I’m kind of the old geezer of the crew, so the young whipper snippers, I’m old and fat and feeble, like I say, and they ride me up there and they picked me up and took me over to the duck blind, smooth my whiskers and everything when I get in there where I don’t have to do nothing anymore, but give me shooting lessons.

Ramsey Russell: How has duck hunting changed since those days?

Sydney Iverson Law III: Way less ducks, way more people duck hunting, way more people of – like I said earlier there’s more and more expendable income and more and more time to enjoy what used to be country pursuits that nobody thought nothing of.

Ramsey Russell: Do you think there’s more hunting pressure?

Sydney Iverson Law III: Way more hunting pressure. Like now, when I was a kid, dove hunting, dove season just started the other day –

Ramsey Russell: I mean, it’s fewer hunters though.

Sydney Iverson Law III: No, there’s not fewer hunters, everybody’s brothers out hunting. And when I was a kid, you could go dove hunting anywhere, you could just shoot your gun up in the air from time to time kill a few doves, I used to shoot doves off the wire with a pellet gun. Now, you got to really raise a sunflower patch and do it right, we got three sunflower patches, we hadn’t been dove hunting yet because mainly everybody’s farming this time of the year back in the day when we were cotton farmers was nothing going on in the first part of September and it got to be a big party and a big meet and greet and one farmer get him, fix him up a sunflower patch and all the women go to cooking and after the big dove hunt, we’d have supper and I don’t know, but I would imagine 40, 50 years ago, some of that Perry Martin whiskey might have got soaked up some kind of way.

Ramsey Russell: More than just a little bit, I imagine. More than just a little bit.

Sydney Iverson Law III: A friend of mine who shall remain nameless, at one time, went to London England and it was in a bar in London, England and there was a bottle of Perry Martin special in a bar in London England, I’m flabbergasted by that. And when we talking about famous bootleggers and everything, my daddy in his day, my daddy came of age in the roaring 20s and he got married in 1936 he went out on his own, he got on Berkeley plantation in 1929. My grandfather had 3 plantations, two of them are paid off and one of them, he had a debt of $25 an acre on. And the depression hit and my grandfather sold that plantation to my daddy for the debt that was on it $25 an acre. And every plantation on that side of the lake changed hands at least once during the 30s during the depression, my daddy worked it out a $25 an acre debt. I used to put out a dose of chemical that cost more than $25. But anyhow, so I forgot the point of this big story here. We see it telling family stories and it seems that. My grandfather Sydney I law number one was pretty much the king of Foote Mississippi and he had a brother named Uncle Charlie. Uncle Charlie was – all these boys are born during the civil war, my granddaddy was born the last year of the civil war. Anyway, they knew hard times and they knew what, getting choked up, what things were like they was on the good end and the bad end of things. But anyway, these two old boys married sisters and these sisters, their daddy was a well to do man and these sisters were, shall we say Hillians would be a good word? Anyway, aunt Mag and Uncle Charlie lived up at Bernard, Mississippi and he had a big gin, a big farm, he had a store in town, he had this, he had that, he had the other and he had aunt Mag and aunt Mag, everything he did it didn’t suit aunt Mag would have done this and aunt Mag would have done that, he didn’t do this right, he didn’t do that right. And every married man might be – 

Ramsey Russell: Nodding their head right now.

Sydney Iverson Law III: Anyway, to make a long story short, the   Alaskan gold rush came up, so Uncle Charlie and a couple of his buddies and the town doctor, they didn’t want to bring nothing back from San Francisco, they want to leave everything in San Francisco, so they took the doctor with them. They told all their wives that they was going to the gold rush and they loaded their horses, they shotguns on the train and went to San Francisco and what all they did, they just went out there and wintered. And aunt Mag told Uncle Charlie said, well, look, what am I going to do while you’re gone? And Uncle Charlie said, look, girl, you’ve been telling me just how to do every damn thing, you just handle it till I get back. And so after he got back, she never said another damn thing to him about he wasn’t doing it right. And you could tell that story every family gathering, all the guys would be rolling around laughing, hooting and hollering and all the ladies have their mouth all poked up in the hands on the hips, they didn’t think it was near as funny as the guy did.

Lost in the Woods: Coon Hunting 

Ramsey Russell: Tell me a coon hunting story?

Sydney Iverson Law III: Oh man, most of the coon hunting in my time has is being lost in the middle of the woods here, let’s see.

Ramsey Russell: Well, that’s part of coon hunting in the Deep South.

Sydney Iverson Law III: Here’s an eye watering. I was an only child and I had a maid, mama’s maid was at that house for 46 years or something like that and when I was a young man, I would say something smart to my mama, Miss Bernice slap me across the head and say, don’t you say to your mama. But anyway, Miss Bernice probably had 50 or 60 years of coon cooking experience, this woman could cook a coon lord. And at her house, she had a wood burning stove because she preferred a wood burning stove. In my parents’ house, my parents had a gas range forever and ever and my mama raised a bunch of hell she wanted to get an electric. So remodeled kitchen, put an electric stove right side by side with the gas stove, he said when he come to the house, he don’t care if the electricity is off, he want to smell some cooking when he opened that back door. So anyway, we had all kinds of stuff, we had a gas stove, we had electric stove, we had a wood burning stove and by far the very best was that wood burning stove. So, every November about the first good cold snap in November there was bunch of acorn trees on the back of the farm. As a fact, there was an old abandoned pecan orchard back there, which is, I flew it every year for the wood ducks, man, it makes wood ducks. But anyway, I’d go back there and I’d get two coons and dress them out and I’d get them one day and Miss Bernice put them in the salt water and soak them overnight and the next day she would cook one start all day and about 12:30, 01:00 I’d show up in the house and we would go to eating and we would eat coons and Miss Bernice could make a coon that melt in your mouth.

Ramsey Russell: How would she cook them?

Sydney Iverson Law III: She had a big old wood burning stove and a big cast iron roaster and she’d put the coon and the sweet potatoes in there and she’d cook corn on top of the stove and when we got swell up so bad we couldn’t eat no more. Miss Bernice didn’t allow no drinking in her house, so Mr. AB kept his whiskey on the back porch and he liked IW Harper, I remember that brand to this day and after we got through it and we’d walk out on the back porch and he would reach in his little secret spot back there and bring out a half a pint IW Harper and he’d take a snort and I’d take a snort and he’d take a snort and I’d take a snort and the bottle would be empty and you had a belly full of coon and a good burning sensation. Oh, Lord, you could walk home naked and you wouldn’t have noticed a cold and I live right on down the line, so I’d actually walk home, I’d walk down there and eat the coon, we’d have a big drink after that and then I’d go home and sleep, like who would have thought it? Oh, hell, I got these guys over here, they tell a story about this and tell us, the one that can tell stories is Burdine, what’s the story you have? Oh, yeah, that sacred stove of Miss Bernice is sitting in Roy’s store. And some of her cooking utensils and stuff in there, the old stuff came off plantation. My daddy was a product of the depression and any time a piece of metal, if it ever got to that farm, it never lives. When I was a kid, we had our own black smith shop, we had our own smokehouse, we raised our cattle, our own sheep, our own goats, our own hogs, everything you could do on a farm is just damn near like my daddy went from mules to tractors to chemicals and I went from a 500 acre farm being a big farm to a 5000 acre farm being a mediocre size farm. And right now the money in farming has gotten stupid. I bought a combine one time cost me $85,000, I wrote the check, I couldn’t move my hand for two days. Now, a header on a combine is $100,000 and you get a combine and a header, you’re talking a million bucks and you just end it up. You got to have two or three tractors with grain cards and at least 3 or 4 18 wheelers. The first crop I ever made cost me $50,000 I went to the bank and said I need $50,000 it was fool enough to give it to me. And I can remember going to the bank and borrow half a million and now half a million won’t buy a tractor. And it’s less when I got out of the service, probably 7/10 of 1% of the United States on the tax returns put down farmer and you had to have $10,000 worth of farm produce to be a farmer. I doubt if it 1/10 of 1% a professional full time show enough, that’s what they do for our living farmers. If things have changed now, I got to be old and fat and feeble. But I still like going duck hunting and I still like eating coons.

Ramsey Russell: What are some of the – I’m going to loop back around the river. And I did not spend a lot of time on the river. College, grad school spent a lot of time on the river because it was free, it was open and you’re right. Well, I remember 42ft on the Greenville stage, it would get me where I wanted to be in a very small boat, too smaller boat. One of them boats so small, I saw Jesus a few times on that.

We Didn’t Shoot Ducks Like This Back in the Day

The best day on the river, I ever spent was the last day of the last year I ever hunted on that river and we left the decoys out and limited on duck…

Sydney Iverson Law III: You didn’t spend a few nights out there unexpectedly either, did you?

Ramsey Russell: I never spent the night. But I quit hunting the river and that boat that I still own the year my kid was born, it’ll make you think because I was out there one day thinking man, I got this beautiful kid and his beautiful wife and I kind of like to see them grow up. And there were some times I remember one time running across the river to the Louisiana side, we launched in the Louisiana side and boy, it was one of them days out on the sand bars that because of those big rock has now become an island with trees and everything. But back in the day, it was sand bar and we put up some homemade Canada goose decoys, I still hunt over and that day we shot Canada geese, snow geese, a speckle belly, a black duck, mallards, green wing teal and we sat out there all day long to do it. We were back across the river and it was just up and down traffic with tug boats coming and I saw a gap so we ain’t got to go but a quarter mile of that channel, I didn’t make it and we couldn’t make it. That guy from the north was coming way faster than we thought. And it’s like the cap on my head stood up with the radio antennas and two tugboats wondering who’s going to call the Coast Guard and tell them these kids are dead. And we managed to hit that cut that shoot and right when we did a big old 8ft swell, picked that boat up and put us on the bank. One of one of the best times and my daddy right here in Greenville alive at the time we stopped by and see him, he didn’t duck hunt, I don’t guess he duck hunting since high school or college. And we stopped by to get some coffee because this Greenville water may be tannic when it comes out of tap, but he made some good coffee, he made the best coffee and I stopped by to see him, we had all those mallards in the boat and I remember him telling me, the good old days are now. He says, son we didn’t shoot ducks like this back them days when I grew up with your granddaddy. And he says, where you all been hunting and I told him, and he put his hands on me like my shoulder real fatherly, like he said, son, promise me one thing I said, what’s that? He said, promise me, you won’t ever get in that river on a south wind well, I promised him but like young people do, the Greenville stage hit 42.5ft there’s a place we call, broke foot that I knew had ducks in it and I didn’t have to cross the channel and I mean, behind that old Sandbar island and getting up to it with that south wind was fine, we got in there and shot our duck took turn shooting our duck, we’re done and coming back out, when you holding on to a decoy sack because your boat sinking and you’re thinking, oh, Lord and all you remember is promising your dad you wouldn’t, we made it to the bank, but I did not get on that river in the south wind again.

Sydney Iverson Law III: I’ll tell you a funny story about a decoy sack, when I was in college, when we were going duck hunting on Lake Whittington and it was cold as hell, been cold for a while, things just froze up pretty good. But then a blue northern hit where the air turns blue winds out to north and we had a spot we were going to massacre them. So we riding with the wind and a little 14ft boat with a 9.8 and we get to where we’re just about going to make it to the duck blind and the motor hits a net and stops the boat, stops the motor too because it’s all up in that netting and choked it down. So, anyway, the first wave fill the boat up a little bit, come right over the back, second wave filled it up, the third wave, I hopped on the seat and I’m 6’2ft, I hopped on the seat and I’m standing on that boat and the boat is on the bank and the water is up to my lower lip and a partner of mine, we had a paper mache decoys in them days, paper shells, we had a cotton sack full of them decoys and he hopped on that sack full of decoys and wind his hand around, he was humping to the bank. It was hilarious now to talk about it, but he was humping along there, headed for the bank and it turned over now he’s swimming, he’s about 5’9 and the old boy that was driving the boat, he’s a little short guy and he can’t swim a lick. So I’m standing on that seat there and he’s underwater and I can see bubbles coming up and all kind of things happening. And I reach out there and I get him and I pick him up and said, Tedford, I’m standing up, if you will hold on to me, I can walk to the bank and I’m like, well, I was standing up, but I was standing on the seat of that boat. So we unhooked the gas can, had about half a half full of gas and he got the gas can and it float good half gas and half air and he got a good hold of me and I said, okay, I’m going to step off this boat, we headed for the bank and I got off that boat and it was over my head, but I bounced along a little bit and anyway, I managed to make it up to the edge of the bank. And the ice was about maybe inch and a half thick and it was about between knee and waist high it’s not that far and it was difficult to get up on that ice, but I took my shotgun and broke some ice with it and about half a box of shells, you could get up on that ice pretty damn good. So we got our butts up there and we in the middle of nowhere, it’s snowing, it’s ice is on the ground, it is some kind of cold. But we racked up a bunch of woods and back in them days, everybody had smoked and everybody had a Zippo and a lighter, we poured a little gas on that pile of wood and we lit the fire and we sat there for about two hours, drying off clothes and rotating, you’d freeze on one side and roast on the other. But we got dried out a little bit and I was the only guy to come out with his hat, three of us wore glasses, his glasses and his shotgun.

Ramsey Russell: I’m assuming that net you all run into was a fishing net.

Sydney Iverson Law III: Yeah, it was a fishing net, commercial fishing net.

Ramsey Russell: The best day on the river, I ever spent was the last day of the last year I ever hunted on that river and we left the decoys out and limited on duck, plucked them and when I got ready to pick up decoy more long lines, it was hung on something and I finally got to break free and come up and we’ve been seeing a boat, hearing winding around the end of the shoot, you hear him wind around and when he saw us, he keeps on going back up to shoot, wonder why? Because he looked like he going to stop, but then he keeps on going. And on that last day, we figured out why because that decoy was hung up on one of his nets, slap loaded crappie, I hate to take the man’s fish, but we needed a few.

Sydney Iverson Law III: I’ll tell you one more funny story Hank Burdine prompted me, long years ago I was duck hunting and I had a partner of mine who was out duck hunting with me and we were doing something that’s highly illegal, let’s jump shoot ducks. You’d be riding along and you get to a willow flat and you ease over next to the willow flat, when the ducks jump up, you give them the redneck how to do with the 12 gauge. And when you do that and this boat, I had had a 90 horsepower on it and when you flow board it, then it would torch to you, it would suddenly turn left and which I knew all about it, I just steer with my knee and shoot otherwise. Well, anyway, I was looking way down there at some ducks getting up and just when I floorboard it, I looked to the left and as I heard of ducks, way more ducks. So anyway, they jumped up and I went to shoot and where I lost control of my boat, so now I’m sailing along in the air about 6ft looking down at that water, I’m thinking, oh my God, it water is going to be cold when I hit it. And I had a box of 10 gauges in both of my coat pockets and I had on a pair of hip boots. Anyway, I hit that water face first and lost my damn 10 gauge. But anyway, I came up swimming and I looked over there in the boat torched it and run up on the sandbar and hit the sandbar and everything in that boat, decoys, guns, coffee cups, including my partner that had rolled out on the sandbar, strung all out there. And anyway, you can swim damn good when you’re scared to death and you got a pair of hip boots on and a pair of 10 gauges of 50 10 gauge bullets in your pocket, you can swim, put up a wake. Anyway, I got over to the boat and got all out and I’m thinking, damn, that water is cold, I think I’m going blind. And what had happened when I hit the water, it knocked both lenses out my grasses and it took my glasses and gooz them down on my nose then it was about stuck in my nose. And I played on the river all my life, I knew what the water stage was, I watched the water and I knew about when to go back there, I went right back out there and found my damn 10 gauge, it was a 10 gauge browning pump with a plastic stock. I took that thing to the house, got the water as hot as I could in the bathtub, put it all in the bathtub, took it all the pieces and got all the sand out of it and where it was laying on the bottom, there was just a little bit of rust again, where it was touching the sand, but I took it all apart, all it all up, got it going and I killed many duck later with that damn 10 gauge, a 10 gauge is, I got too old to shoot one. Now, I’m down to 2 10 gauges left, but I ain’t man enough to shoot them because that kick so damn bad.

Ramsey Russell: Did you shoot a 3.5 inch magnum?

Sydney Iverson Law III: Oh, yeah. When they came out with steel, steel is about two thirds of the specific gravity of lead, it means that in effect, they reduce the effectiveness of a shotgun by a third. So way back in the day when they came out with premium plastics, I can remember Winchester came out with a double X magnum which is a really a turkey load today. It was a copper plated shot hardened shot with an ounce of 78 of lead, that’s the killing this duck load that’s ever been out there. Well, this is a 3inch 12. So when they made a lid illegal to shoot it got a 3inch 12 down to about what a 2 and 3 quarter is on a good day. So I shoot a 3.5 inch 12 because here in my old age, a fella asked me, why did I shoot a 3.5? I tell them because they don’t make a 4, but I’m getting too old to shoot them things up, a box in the morning will make your shoulder sore.

Ramsey Russell: I’ll tell you what, you bring me and Hank coming duck season, you bring me and Hank Burdine out that pecan orchard to shoot a few wood ducks and I’m going to bring you some 2 and 3 quarter inch Boss Shotshells and I promise you you’ll never ever shoot a 3 or 3.5 inch shell again and you’ll never shoot steel shot again. It’s a bismuth alloy that is about 82%, that of lead patterns like lead, hits like lead and kills like lead. Especially for an old guy like yourself, I’m going to bring him 2 and 3 quarter inch Boss Shotshell and you’ll never go back 3 inch again.

Sydney Iverson Law III: I got a fun here somewhere where me and my partner and old Hank, we were going duck hunting down in this hole and it’s a 13 acres of flooded pecans and my good bit of a grafted, a lot of them are native and I’ve been managing for duck hunting since 1972 and it is the wood duck capital of – there ain’t no place I’ve ever been I’ve seen more wood ducks, they just come in there about – it’s unbelievable. Anyway, there’s a place there called the Charlie bird tree is the best place to get. So me and old Hank and a couple of buddies went down there, I said, tell you what Hank walk down to the Charlie bird tree, we don’t even build blinds in it nothing, you just lean up against the tree come daylight, you got all the ducks you can tow out. So anyway, I told Hank go down to the Charlie Bird tree, I said, where it is? Yeah, I planted that tree, I know all about that tree, my granddaddy used to make whiskey under that tree. So he went down there and got under the wrong tree. So the rest of us just having a massacre up there and I’m between where the ducks are really coming in and Hank, the ducks would come in on them boys and they’d give him a little whooping and they’d come by me and I made damn certain no duck at all got down the way Hank was, oh. So we get ready, we come out and we taking pictures and doing this, that and the other and we ragging the crap out of Hank and Hank going, you all set me up, man, ain’t no ducks in there, I’m going to go home and feed my horses. It’s the most hilarious thing you can admit – Oh hell, we are all time pulling low down dirty tricks on one another. So, Hank and my partners, we down on the back of Berkeley giving the damn ducks a little shoot lesson and I was on the spot, I was like a gentleman, perfect gentleman put all your guests out where there’s going to be a good shoot and I went to another little spot and I killed a few ducks, but I couldn’t find one. So, we looked and we looked, so we went to the house to get a dog, I went, while I was away, they took a duck out of the bag and it took a fake band and put on it and throw it out there, so my buddy is taking care of me. I get back there with the dog, the dog finds the ducks and I’m going, I got a band ragging the crap out of them and they all rolling on the ground, I’m thinking, what’s wrong with these boys? They’re supposed to be displaying envy and they displaying, what were they display? They actually like a bunch of smart addicts what they doing. So I finally the light come on my ice box and I looked and it’s a fake band on the damn duck and they filmed me going, giving them all of this, that and the other and they think it’s hilarious, but personally, I don’t think it’s funny as they do.

Ramsey Russell: Have you ever killed any duck bands?

Sydney Iverson Law III: Oh, yeah. Chuck Cage has got more duck man than me. And what’s that old boy up at fighting by you?

Ramsey Russell: The duck doctor?

Sydney Iverson Law III: Yeah, he made ass of it, he got more. If Jesus needs a few bands he goes to see him about it. I got a bunch and I also, I think I got the record for all my whipper sniper buddies because I’ve been doing it for 50 years, they ain’t going to have it, man. And I think too that they used to put more bands out than they do now, used to you kill 30, 40 ducks, you get a band now you kill 150 ducks one year down there we kept up with it, we killed a little over 1000 ducks and we didn’t get two or three bands. So, I got them all about a short.

Ramsey Russell: What are most bands? What species most of those bands come off of? You get a lot of wood duck bands?

Sydney Iverson Law III: Well, we get quite a bit because they rag me about ain’t nothing on your farm with them little old nasty wood ducks. But we get a lot of those and a lot of them are banded locally and mallards. I got a bunch of goose bands because every year at the end of duck season, they would have a two week goose season open on the Mississippi way back in the day and all my buddies would be wore the hell out and they were thinking about making another crop and they had to go down to the banker and get on their knees in front of the banker desk and beg for some money to go farm with and I’d go out on the river and camp out.

Duck Hunting in the Mississippi Delta

…so instead of maximizing everything I could for crop production for making money, I maximized everything I could for producing wildlife.

Ramsey Russell: Boweevil, time for different back in the day, but do you have any regret?

Sydney Iverson Law III: We talked about this earlier when I was in college, all the boys that I ran around with, done well, I use incorrect English done way better than me, a lot of them are lawyers, a lot of them are doctors, a lot of them got out of military full colonels, one old boy got to be a general but ain’t none of them had to fun that I have had. Because they put the nose on the ground stone and listen to their wives and their bosses and now they’re old and fat and feeble like me and I got houses full of deer antlers and memories of riding up and down the river. So I don’t know, in the final analysis, who did the best? I don’t know.

Ramsey Russell: A man’s got to make a life, they got to make a living but you got to have a life. And I’m just thinking, we’re all young and intemperate at one time, but when I look back over the last several decades, I would have done stuff different when I was young? Yeah, I might have, I kind of outgrew that stuff. We were talking about that earlier and I’m just wondering if you look back, would you raise your grandkids to do some of the stuff you did back in the day?

Sydney Iverson Law III: No, because it was dangerous. We had hot ride cars with no seat belts, 409 Chevrolets, you could burn a set of tires off that thing. I had every kind of hot rod car you can have and live through it first off, if it go faster than 50 you can’t have it, boy. And I don’t know, when you’re young and you’re just looking for demon I was just so happened to be born in a place and time where I could engage all the demon and dissipation I cared to. And I live in a very modest house and right next to the house, I had to build myself a man shack because I was seeing that old age was coming on and that house if you stay in the house you get to listen to way more and you really want to. So, I built a house right next door and I got a he shack and she got a she shack and I just go to the she shack at night.

Ramsey Russell: Hank asked me to ask you, what is Berkeley like? The ecosystem?

Sydney Iverson Law III: What is Berkeley like? Well, one of the things that I did when I got back from the service, I’ve always wanted to enjoy the sporting life, so instead of maximizing everything I could for crop production for making money, I maximized everything I could for producing wildlife. Like, deer and ducks, quail are a thing in the past, doves are a thing in the past, but my little raggedy farm is tricked up as much as you can do for ducks and deer. I got a few places, a little bit of field, it really is a farm, you plant a few trees, plant some food crops, leave the deer alone, you got plenty of deer. Same thing with ducks. If any place has got public access like Lake Washington, there’s a few ducks out there for the first week of the season after that, they ain’t no ducks because it shot out. You got to give them a little – I do everything I can for them and I charge them a little rent, but you got thousands of ducks wintering on your property and you go down there and getting to pay a little rent every now and then, that’s way better than having no ducks anywhere ducks will go for that deal. They just take the chance of getting shot or getting a belly full of corn. What time is it?

Ramsey Russell: About time for lunch.

Sydney Iverson Law III: Yeah, I got a guy supposed to move some dirt from here.

Ramsey Russell: Boweevil, I appreciate you joining us today and telling us your stories. Folks, you all been listening to my buddy Sid Boweevil Law talking about growing up duck hunting in the Delta. Thank you all for listening, we’ll see you next time.


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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