Three generations of Australian duck hunters–grandfather Ray, son Glenn, and granddaughter Kareena–describe their family’s duck hunting traditions Down Under, emphasizing why it’s important to each of them, how it has connected them to the waterfowl resource and to each other, and how they feel about its possible closure. They each share personal anti-duck hunting experiences, too! You’ll likely be surprised at how familiar Australia duck hunting is to hunting in your own back yard despite their different accents from halfway across the globe. As entertaining as it is thoughtful, this episode is a reminder of what duck hunting really means to us all.


Recorded during a recent hunter-scientist-conservation effort in Australia. Special thanks to Safari Club International for supporting this project to conserve waterfowl and to ensure hunting in Australia and worldwide.


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Ramsey Russell: Welcome back to MOJO’s Duck Season Somewhere podcast, I today am in Australia. Yeah, we’re going to hunt, but it’s a bigger project than just coming down here hunting. For those that have been living under rock lately, Australia’s in danger of having their duck season closed because of anti hunting ideology. Boy, is it rabid. But rather than just come down here and hunt this trip, I’m after some certain species up in Darwin that I have never encountered. It’s a bucket list type hunt for double R here. But as I got to talking to some of our associates back in the states, notably Phil Lavretsky and Andy Inglis from over in UC, Davis, we decided to make it a bigger project than just coming on duck hunt. We decided to come down here and race the anti hunters to collect genetic data. You think about this back in the good old days, I’m talking 1800s as the world became big, a lot of early naturalists and botanists and scientists were clambering all over the globe, discovering the world. And now with the advent and the advance of genetic science, it’s almost like rediscovering it again. We know a lot about ducks, but, boy, genetics open up a new frontier for managing not only a particular species, but Old World waterfowl. So we came down here and we’re collecting 100 donated birds and we’re skinning them out for museum skins. We’re doing some genetic studies and then we’re going hunting. I thought while I was here, I’d take the opportunity, my host, Mr. Glenn Falla, who you all have heard before, longtime friend of mine, long time contact, Denver, Australia. I said, Glenn I want to do a podcast with you, but I don’t want to talk to just you. I’d like to talk to your dad and also to your children, your daughter and have a 3 generational conversation about Australia duck hunting. Because I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, more than anywhere else on earth that I’ve ever duck hunted, Australian duck hunters, yeah, they talk funny, but they most resemble duck hunting culture, the way that you and I in America think of it, it’s very similar. They’re approaches the same. They’re very serious about it, hardcore public land duck hunters. But the whole drama, the whole philopatry, the food, the camaraderie, the decoying, the mojo decoys, all that good stuff is just, it’s very similar to America. Glenn Falla, how the heck are you? Thank you, you’ve been a heck of a host. I’ve had a great time. I’m almost, it’s a long flight getting down here to Australia, but boy, am I always glad to see you at the airport and fall in with you.

Glenn Falla: No, it’s always good to catch up, Ramsey. And yes, you certainly looked a little weary when you stepped off the plane, but, boy, that doesn’t stop us. It’s been a busy few days already with the sampling and what have you and we haven’t even gone hunting yet, but –

Ramsey Russell: Oh, that’s coming.

Glenn Falla: It’s coming. And look, it’s a little bit emotional for me, to be honest, knowing that you’re interviewing my daughter and myself and my 86 year old father. And of course, I can’t leave out my son, who’s busy working over the weekend and he doesn’t hunt these days. He’s let his license lapse currently, but we brought him up through his teenage years and he did as much hunting as what my daughter did, but she’s still as passionate as ever as a 22 year old. So I’m looking forward to hearing what both my daughter Karina and also my father, Ray, have to say.

Ramsey Russell: When did you start duck hunting here in Australia, Glenn? I mean, when was your earliest memory of duck hunting and how did you get started?

Glenn Falla: Well, I always say, Ramsey you couldn’t hunt here in Australia legally until you were 12, so I must have been 12. But I certainly got carted out onto the wetlands well before that and I’ve told the story before, perhaps even to you. My father used to cart me out on his shoulders when I was about 4 or 5 years old and sit me on a box out in the middle of the wetland, where I wouldn’t get too wet and too cold and whinge before he had his chance to shoot his ducks. And we’d be back in camp on the edge of the wetland, having a barbecue breakfast, famously always topped off by my mother’s chutney, homemade chutney on a sausage or a chopper, whatever it might be and been doing that since I was 4 or 5.

Ramsey Russell: What are some of your earliest or favorite memories of duck hunting?

Glenn Falla: I’ve got to say 76 would have been my first fantastic memory. So at 70 in 1976, I would have been 9 years of age. And it was a sensational year at Lake Buloke. There was a lot of water around and just when we thought the local birds were going to run out and things were going to quieten down and we might be able to go in and have some breakfast, there was large mobs of hardhead that had gotten up very high out at Lake Buloke, they got sick of being shot at out there and they’d gotten up high and looked for somewhere else to go. And I grew up only about 4 mile from the edge of Buloke in the old scale and there were 7 little wetlands in that little region. And they’d head for hours. We were 2nd or 3rd in line out of those 7 wetlands and you could hear those things coming like a jet before you could even see the damn things. And that’s a memory that’ll stick with me for life. Big mobs of hardhead coming in flat out and my father just absolutely knocking the shit out of them.

Ramsey Russell: Why?

Glenn Falla: Oh, he was a pretty handy shot back in the day. And every time he pulled the trigger, there was a bird falling from the sky.

Ramsey Russell: He’s one of those guys.

Glenn Falla: He was one of those guys. He loved the long shot, loved the fast shot, challenging shot. Hard for people to imagine him describing the lead that was required as a young fella. And he wasn’t talking in feet, he was talking, give it a bus length. Yeah, give it the width of the harrows that we had on the farm, those types of things. And then the closer birds, the slower birds, he’d say, give it the height of the door that’s how he tried to teach me about lead, because naturally, as a young fellow, I was probably shooting behind everything. I probably didn’t swing through fast enough. So that’s how he tried to teach me about lead.

Ramsey Russell: Wow, the first time I came to hunt with you, Glenn was the year 2017. We actually met in a pit blind in Arkansas, hunting with Commander’s Corner. You and Trent had come over and we had talked preceding you all coming and I’d help send you to some different places. Then our path intersected in Arkansas. We shared a blind, you invited me to come over. Sure, I’d love to, I did. And I grew up blank on hardhead that year and chestnut teal that particular hunt. I did not score either one of them and we came back in 2018, saw some new habitat, saw some new provinces and we got into the hardheads that morning. It’s the only diver, the only poacher in Australia. The rest are puddle ducks or shell ducks. And quite sporty, it reminds me of shooting ringnecks. They’re fast, hard charging. And I realized why it was among the prized species here. Beautiful bird, it’s like a maroon poacher with a white eye, gorgeous bird. What is your favorite species of duck to this day?

Glenn Falla: No, that’s it.

Ramsey Russell: That’s it. The hardhead.

Glenn Falla: Yeah, look working for Field & Game and having looked up to Field & Game all my life. Of course, the Pacific black duck is the logo and most commonly shot it’s considered our premium game bird.

Ramsey Russell: It’s like our mallard back home.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. That’s exactly –

Ramsey Russell: It’s a mallard like species.

Glenn Falla: Well, you witnessed that the first time, you stepped off the plane here and you hopped on your mallard call and they were coming down your throat.

Ramsey Russell: Well, having hunted with you in Arkansas again, I asked you, I called to say, is there anything I need to bring? I’m bringing waders, I’m bringing this. You said, bring your duck call and I’m like, okay. And that first trio of Pacific black ducks we saw that morning. Here’s how my morning started. I woke you up, you’d forgotten when I was coming in or something, but you were there by the time I cleared baggage and we went over to Trent shop. I took a cold shower and we stopped at a restaurant and I ate a Australian hamburger, which is basically a cheeseburger with beetroot and onion and pineapple. Boy, what a breakfast and then we went duck hunting. And the very first 3 ducks we shot were Pacific black ducks we saw, I don’t know, a couple 100 yards away. And I hit them with that call and just as quickly as they could turn and get there, they were freaking in the decoys, landing gear down and I’m like, I think I’m going to like this experience. Yeah.

Glenn Falla: And that’s how the morning rolled on. Ramsey, from memory, yourself, Trent and I managed to, and I’m pretty sure in that year, it was a 10 bird bag limit. And all 3 of us shot nothing but Pacific black duck. It was one of those magic mornings. And, look, we’ve been lucky enough and it’s not all luck. There’s a fair bit of planning goes into it, but we’ve been lucky enough to have some mornings like that where we all bagged out on black duck. Another hunt that we’ve had together that is particularly stuck in my mind is that day that you and I wandered into doctor’s swamp with nothing more than a couple of decoys and a spinning wing decoy and did a similar thing, in fact, from memory –

Ramsey Russell: 3 or 4 decoys, because I had to carry them in and a mojo.

Glenn Falla: Yeah.

Ramsey Russell: And we’re hunting flooded timber. But unlike a tree 3ft wide diameter, these had 9 or 10 foot diameter, these ancient red gums that were just magnificent. It was like walking into a church or something. I can’t describe it any other way. And the Pacific black ducks coming into the opening, it was just, it’s probably one of the most memorable hunts of my life.

Glenn Falla: Yeah, absolutely, and mine, one of my favorite hunts. And I think we ruined that hunt by only one bird. We did one thing wrong. I think we had a pair of mountain duck come in right at the very end and I think we’d shot 19 Pacific black duck and we finished the bag off with a mountain duck, just because I don’t think we’d seen one at that stage and you wanted one in your hand.

Ramsey Russell: No, I had killed, we killed one, remember one day we went down the river.

Glenn Falla: We were down to Glen Eyre.

Ramsey Russell: We hunted, you all dropped me off and said, walk over there by that clump. It was kind of on a fence line and I didn’t know what the heck I was doing and it’s kind of a pass shoot. I think I threw a few decoys out, but they were just trading around and I heard, it sounded like, to my ear, it sounded like one of those little clown horns. And I looked over and he’s coming right at me and that was my first mountain shell duck or after lazing shell duck. But I just wasn’t going to pass him up. It was a big drake. He was flying low over the trees, he was circling back around over that mojo and I just couldn’t pass him up.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. And I remember him crashing through the trees and knocking a couple of branches between, when you knocked him and when he hit the border. But memorable hunt, that’s for sure.

Ramsey Russell: See, you grew up going out with your dad and it’s been pointed out so many times and everybody listening can relate to this, hunting in general, duck hunting especially, is a hand me down tradition most of us learn from our family or close friends and we brought into it. You grew up hunting with your dad and talk about those good old days. Just talk about some of the men he hunted with. Because certainly back in those days, Glenn, times must have really been different.

Glenn Falla: Yeah, they certainly were. And for me, I’m fortunate enough that it goes back another generation prior to that as well and I don’t have a lot of memories or long memories of my grandfather hunting because he didn’t live for that many years. I wasn’t that old when he passed on, but I certainly have memories of him doing it. And I have heard all the stories from my father over the years about him hunting on horseback, bareback, those sorts of things. He was a pretty handy shot as well, these old Cashmore hammer gun that, fortunately, it’s still in my safe. It’s been handed on, so that’s the family heirloom. I wouldn’t mind a dollar for every duck or quail that it’s taken care of over the years.

Ramsey Russell: Describe that gun, is it a side by side?

Glenn Falla: It is a side by side, yeah. In actual fact, as I say, it’s in the safe. I must take it out and give you a look this evening. But it’s a funny story. Dad’s not young anymore. At 86, he actually decided a couple of years ago that he might have a bit of a cleanup and hand some guns in, just give them into the local gun shop. And I got a phone call from the local gun shop up in Donald and said John was kind enough to ring me, we’ve got a good relationship, the firearms dealer up there. And he said, Glenn, your father’s just been in this afternoon and handed in a gun. And he said, I thought I’d give you a call and make sure that you’re okay with the fact that he’s handed it in. And I said, oh, yeah, what is it? And he said, oh, it’s an old Cashmore hammer gun. It’s got the hammers missing and he’s decided that he’s going to let it go. And I said, that was my grandfather’s gun and it’s pretty important to me. And he said, I thought it might have been. That’s why I called you.

Ramsey Russell: Wow.

Glenn Falla: It’s actually been tucked away in his dealership for a little while and it’s now back in my hands and been transferred back into the family name.

Ramsey Russell: When was your first contact with an anti hunter? And here’s the deal, I’ve been blessed and unblessed to have hunted here in Australia. This is my 3rd trip here and I’ve never had contact with an anti hunter, although they supposedly exist everywhere. I aim to change that one day in the future. I really want to make them some guns. But when was your first contact? How old were you? Where were you and what was that experience like?

Glenn Falla: Yeah, well, it’s a pretty vivid memory for me. I can remember getting –

Ramsey Russell: Were you with your dad?

Glenn Falla: No, no. I would have met Laurie Levy in the main street of Donald. It wouldn’t have been on a wetland, because back then we were fortunate enough.

Ramsey Russell: So it was a person?

Glenn Falla: Yeah, absolutely. The first person that started this movement back in the late 70s. And I got to think about this for a moment. If I was born 67, it must have been 1987, would have been around the time that I met him for the first time. So into the 80s? Well into the 80s and met him in the main street of Donald. And how did I meet him? I was proudly displaying a Duck Off Laurie sticker that had been given to me, which, and the reason –

Ramsey Russell: Duck off.

Glenn Falla: Duck off Laurie. Yeah. It was politically correct back then. They’ve changed that and made some stubby holders since that’s got one letter changed to that. But the reason I remember I was around that age is I was given a toolbox as a 21st present from my parents and still have it in the shed. And that Duck Off Laurie sticker is still on my toolbox. And again, I must show you that this evening when we get back home.

Ramsey Russell: So he saw that sticker and said something to you?

Glenn Falla: Yeah, absolutely, yeah. So –

Ramsey Russell: What did he say?

Glenn Falla: Basically, he told me that I was a murderer as a young 20 year old, 21 year old basically told me that I was a murderer. And didn’t I see the wrong in what I was doing, it wasn’t socially acceptable anymore, it was cruel. And as a young 20 year old or 21 year old I didn’t think too much about my response. It was probably inappropriate.

Ramsey Russell: You might have changed the first letter, that bumper sticker.

Glenn Falla: I may well have, yeah. And there’s been a run of, as I said, stubby holders that have been run since then. And in fact, they were produced and put out by John, who rang me about that firearm from the local dealers in Donald. He did a run of stubby holders in recent years that aren’t so politically correct.

Ramsey Russell: I don’t understand how one man can start a movement that has culminated now into the possible closure of duck hunting in Australia. It’s almost like Nazism. How did it gain such attraction?

Glenn Falla: I can answer that question with one word, indoctrination. So what Laurie did very well back in the days and he’s still doing it.

Ramsey Russell: Was he a politician?

Glenn Falla: Nobody talked like one. But he had connections with universities and it’s as simple as that. He pushed the movement through universities.

Ramsey Russell: What does he do for a living?

Glenn Falla: Nobody knows, not too much.

Ramsey Russell: Oh, that guy.

Glenn Falla: Yeah.

Ramsey Russell: Grassroots movement type guy.

Glenn Falla: That’s correct, yeah. No, he’s not –

Ramsey Russell: We’ve had politicians like that in America.

Glenn Falla: He’s made a lot of money over the years. He’ll never admit to it, but he’s made a lot of money out of his movement. But back in those early days, his recruitment was through universities. So they’d go to universities and they’d offer them a free weekend away. And we’re going to put you up in a motel in a regional area of Victoria that you might not have ever seen before. And all you got to do is spend a couple hours wandering around the wetlands, holding a sign or waving a flag, it was all pretty exciting for uni students that hadn’t been outside the concrete jungle of Melbourne. And even to this day, you can sometimes approach, politely, activists that are under the guise of animal rescuers these days. And you go and ask them, what is it that you’re doing here? And some of them will look at you with a dazed look and say, well, I don’t really know, I’m here because my friend was here. I’ve just come along for the ride I was told I could come up here and have some fun for the weekend and didn’t have to pay for anything. We’re in a motel having a few drinks together, they don’t even really know what they’re really trying to stop or what the cause is.

Ramsey Russell: Back in the 80s, when you were in your 20s and had a bumper sticker said Duck Off Laurie. How was he before this movement gained attraction, before it became a university or political indoctrination into a very liberal ideology, was he going to a boat ramp by himself and just cussing people? What was his MO?

Glenn Falla: Yeah, pretty much. He always had a following. There was always other people around him. Laurie’s given evidence in recent months in the inquiry into the future of game bird hunting here in Victoria. And I’ve had the privilege of being in the room and witnessing his discussion in the room. But he doesn’t make a lot of sense these days. It’s all emotive, it’s all repetitive. He’s saying the same things now as he was in the 70s. And of course, it was going to be shut down next year. This will be your last duck season. I’ve been hearing that since I was 20. Well, it’ll be right one day. It might be right this year. It might be right next year, it might be right in a decade’s time. I guess if you say the same thing over and over for 50 years, at some point in time it might come true.

Ramsey Russell: Well, Glenn, I know from talking to you, you’re now a member of Field & Game Australia. The first time I hunted here in 2017, I went home thinking to myself and telling people, it’s not a matter of if, it’s just a matter of when duck hunting closes in Australia. And you’ve mentioned now a couple of times about an inquiry. Tell me about this inquiry. What is an inquiry for us guys from States that don’t understand what you’re talking about?

Glenn Falla: Yeah. So the government departments this year decided that they would form a panel. And –

Ramsey Russell: So this is like a division of your government that, like our Fish & Wildlife Service, that is full of wildlife biologists that were college educated and have a lot of science backing them up.

Glenn Falla: So, no, not really.

Ramsey Russell: No, not really.

Compliance with Hunting Laws and Regulations.

The panel, the review panel that was formed, was formed by various different sides of politics or members of parliament within Victoria and they were charged with an independent chairman.

Glenn Falla: Those types of government departments have given evidence. They’ve been called forward to give evidence for or against. But the panel, the review panel that was formed, was formed by various different sides of politics or members of parliament within Victoria and they were charged with an independent chairman. They were charged with taking a look at the future of game bird hunting, the pros and the cons, whether it still has a place in society, whether it’s still acceptable, whether it can be governed appropriately, whether people are following the law or they’re not, what training might be required if it was to continue, what could we do to do things better. How could we better educate not only the hunters, but also the general community about what we do. And that review is still being considered, there are recommendations that have been put forward by that –

Ramsey Russell: What’s recommendation number one?

Glenn Falla: Stop duck hunting into the future or –

Ramsey Russell: So the independent counsel that was hired to make recommendations, who is he or they and what is their background?

Glenn Falla: So the members of parliament from various sides of politics here in Victoria and it was not right from the outset and the announcement of who was on the panel, it was seen as being biased.

Ramsey Russell: Biased in the interest of anti hunters.

Glenn Falla: Correct. Yeah. So at the very beginning, people felt that it was a foregone conclusion and that we were just ticking boxes and I had the pleasure or maybe the displeasure of listening to every word that was said in every one of those public hearing gatherings. Over a period of about 6 months, we had a number of site visits to wetlands, of course, which we conducted some of those and there’s certainly been in this building that we’re recording in at Connewarre here. They’ve been down to the heart morass, our other jewel in the crown as far as our conservation work is concerned. And on those occasions, those that were against us didn’t even bother to get on the bus and come out and see the work that we’d done. They weren’t interested.

Ramsey Russell: No. You’ve talked about your dad quite a bit. Let’s take a break, let’s see if he’s 86 years old. I met him first time I was here. I want to drag him into this conversation, okay.

Glenn Falla: Yeah, great. Let’s see whether he’s up to it on the day. His memory’s not so good, he’s not so young and he’s probably not so politically correct sometimes, but proud to have him as my father and he’s one of the older generation. He’ll tell it like it is.

Raymond Falla: Hello.

Glenn Falla: How’d you go?

Raymond Falla: Hi.

Glenn Falla: How’d you go? You got the dog locked up?

Raymond Falla: Yep. All done.

Glenn Falla: All good. You got the tv turned off in the background, so you got no background noise?

Raymond Falla: Yep.

Glenn Falla: Very good, all right. Ramsey will just ask you some casual questions and Ramsey will prompt me if he wants me to kick in and jog some of your memory, perhaps, but.

Raymond Falla: Yeah, that’ll be the way to go.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. Not a drama at all.

Ramsey Russell: Ray, how are you doing today?

Raymond Falla: All right, mate.

Ramsey Russell: I met you.

Raymond Falla: Very quiet for 86 year old now to what it used to be.

Ramsey Russell: Well, that’s great, dude. Man, what an accomplishment.

Raymond Falla: Glenn, the voice is echoing, but I can’t get catch the words with you, for some reason. Glenn was, talk like Glenn and it was clear as it can be.

Glenn Falla: Can you still hear me? Clear and Ramsey not so clear.

Raymond Falla: Yep.

Ramsey Russell: Can you hear me? You can’t hear me talking?

Glenn Falla: No.

Raymond Falla: I can’t understand what’s coming through.

Glenn Falla: Yeah, it’s probably his accent.

Ramsey Russell: It’s my accent, that’s what it is.

Glenn Falla: It’s southern accent. So that’s okay, we’ll work with that. If you don’t understand what Ramsey asked you, I’ll just repeat it, if you say, sorry, I didn’t understand.

Raymond Falla: Right.

Glenn Falla: We all hang shit on him because he talks funny.

Raymond Falla: Oh, well, he probably did the same to me.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah, you all do have a very strong accent down here. Ray, what are your earliest memories of duck hunting? Who introduced you to duck hunting?

Raymond Falla: One of my highlights of my life and always has been live out in the country and a country house and that was our only sport in the young days because it didn’t get to town and it’s just followed on forever. I still love it.

Glenn Falla: So who was the first person that you hunted with, dad? It wasn’t your father. He didn’t introduce you –

Raymond Falla: My dad was a clean shooter and always hurt me a bit. He never, ever took a shooting?

Glenn Falla: No. So, if he didn’t take you shooting, who did?

Raymond Falla: I just did it on my own from when I was 11, 12 year old or maybe 10 year old.

Glenn Falla: Yeah, really?

Raymond Falla: Light loads with a, I can’t even think of the old side beside what it was a Webley & Scott, I don’t think so. An old English Damascus side beside.

Glenn Falla: You didn’t get to use your father’s Cashmore hammer gun?

Raymond Falla: I used the Cashmore a lot later then, yes, I loved it. It was a, my favorite quail gun because it was a very open barrel gun and oh well, as you know coil shooting was one of my favorites. I could just about shut my eyes and shoot and that. It all happened that well for me.

Glenn Falla: Yeah.

Ramsey Russell: Why did you start hunting at 11 or 12 years old?

Raymond Falla: What was that, Glenn?

Glenn Falla: Why did you start hunting at 11 or 12 years old? Was it just to keep you busy?

Raymond Falla: Right from the start, as soon as we could get a firearm and a hand, we had a 22 rifle handed to us. Not worth anything much, but I could walk to, not, weren’t allowed to drive at that stage, of course, but I could walk miles from property to property and shoot bunnies or a fox or whatever.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. So you did that before you –

Raymond Falla: From that started it off, sort of.

Glenn Falla: You did that before you’re a waterfowler then, before you hunting ducks.

Raymond Falla: Yeah, for sure.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. And then you bred dogs later on in life and that really got you going on the waterfowl and your quiet.

Raymond Falla: Oh yeah, well it was going well before that, but it was much better when I had the short ears and chained them and I was only the standby. The dog did 75% of the work and all you had to do was shoot them and you got a dirty look up in this one.

Ramsey Russell: Was hunting widely accepted? Was it socially accepted in Australia back in the day?

Raymond Falla: What was that, Glenn?

Glenn Falla: Was it socially acceptable to hunt back in the day?

Raymond Falla: Nobody took any notice of up here in the, out in the country it was just accepted by everyone.

Glenn Falla: And have you seen a change in that over the years in country towns like –

Raymond Falla: For sure son. People are, there’s a lot more people aware of trying to stop it, that’s for sure. Probably all over the world.

Glenn Falla: Yeah, absolutely.

Raymond Falla: Just do the right thing now, whereas we probably bend it a little bit and then more young days.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. And over the years you’ve not only with your rabbits, I know that you’re still doing it, you’re still supplying rabbits to people to cook and eat and your ducks. I know that you’ve gone around and mum never has used –

Raymond Falla: People that got too old to go shooting. And I’m probably am too, but I’m not going to stop, you drop them off. I haven’t done it so much this last couple of years, but up until then, there was probably a dozen people in the local town that liked a rabbit or a quail or duck whenever you could hand them over, which give me more incentive to go out and get another one.

Glenn Falla: Yeah, Ramsey, one of the things that I often say, I know that even in these days when my father goes and perhaps gets a massage from the local masseuse or something like that, some therapy.

Ramsey Russell: A massage.

Glenn Falla: A massage or some deep tissue massage, being old and not so mobile dad will go in and have a massage and they won’t –

Raymond Falla: Bring me a couple of rabbits.

Glenn Falla: They weren’t, exactly, they won’t take cash, but they’ll take a feed of rabbit.

Ramsey Russell: Tell me some stories about your dad who was also a hunter.

Raymond Falla: Yeah, repeat that for us, Glenn. I can’t catch any of it.

Ramsey Russell: I’m glad I’ve got a translator, Glenn.

Glenn Falla: He talks funny. Now, Ramsey just –

Raymond Falla: No, I doesn’t talk funny, I hear funny.

Glenn Falla: Oh, good. Ramsey just prompted me to ask you about the time that old George, your father, walked into fellows swamp on the back of a horse. Bareback?

Raymond Falla: No, but doesn’t matter where anyway. But it was on the big pool of water paddock and a bit down from here where it holds the border the most. There near that old dam that never ever held water until it got flooded.

Glenn Falla: Okay, yeah. So tell the story.

Raymond Falla: Oh, he’d just ride in quietly. I can’t remember when, he must have trained the horse in the first place or wouldn’t allow a 12 guys to be going over its ears, but he just prop and put the head down and dad shoot a feed of ducks and bring them home.

Glenn Falla: And that would have been –

Raymond Falla: Bareback.

Glenn Falla: Yeah, bareback on his horse. And that would have been with his Cashmore.

Raymond Falla: What was that?

Glenn Falla: That would have been with the Cashmore hammer gun.

Raymond Falla: Yeah, that’s the only one he ever used.

Glenn Falla: And I can distinctly remember him taking control of crows that were pinching poultry eggs because he used to breed ducks and also chickens. And if I remember rightly, dad, did he breed that poultry for showing? Did he ever show those birds?

Raymond Falla: No, he didn’t never ever showed. We would have had duck nearly every Sunday, most of the year.

Glenn Falla: Yeah, right.

Raymond Falla: Mommy used to cook them up beautifully.

Ramsey Russell: How did they cook them?

Glenn Falla: How did you cook them back in the day?

Raymond Falla: Oh, only roasted, I think.

Glenn Falla: Yeah.

Raymond Falla: In an old boiler sort of thing.

Glenn Falla: Yep.

Ramsey Russell: What was the favorite?

Glenn Falla: What was your favorite species? What’s your favorite bird to eat?

Raymond Falla: Teal and black duck. Woody’s, you could guys do, I’ll give them away. Never like them. If wood duck were on drier ground where they had grain to feed on all the time, they were not too bad to eat. But while there was a lot of lush grass about, they were a goose, of course and they’d live on green grass and all the flavor of the meat wasn’t nice at all.

Glenn Falla: Yeah, they’re one of our guinea tasting birds, that’s for sure.

Ramsey Russell: Duck hunting is a hand me down tradition. Why was it important, Ray, that you took Glenn duck hunting as a young boy? And when, how old were you when you started and all that, Glenn?

Glenn Falla: Yeah. So did you hear that, Ray? Understand that?

Raymond Falla: No.

Glenn Falla: So Ramsey just asked about how old I was when I started and why it was important to you, so I’ll let you go first. Why was it important to you that I followed in your footsteps and hunted?

Raymond Falla: Oh well, just, what’s the word? I’ve lost the word for the moment, but just having the company beside you and enjoyed every bit of it.

Glenn Falla: Yeah.

Raymond Falla: Instead of being on your own.

Glenn Falla: So it was something that we had in common that we could share and spend time in the field together.

Raymond Falla: Yeah, well, we used to be side beside and never bother about drifting well apart from each other unless it was necessary. And we’d just take it in turns to knock a bird down, didn’t we? Me and then you and then, me and then you.

Glenn Falla: Yeah, absolutely.

Raymond Falla: It was great.

Ramsey Russell: And what about, what was it like having a granddaughter join you all?

Raymond Falla: Yeah.

Glenn Falla: So how did you enjoy both Bryle and Karina, but more so Karina, because Karina’s –

Raymond Falla: So, when we had the chance, enjoyed every bit of it. Loved, look forward to him coming to go for a shot with it. And when we did that, I didn’t bother. I’d be just there to try and coach them on and it’s a great thrill to have kids start off and knock their first ducks down. Just about tears to my eyes with all of them when they shot their first duck. And it didn’t take them long each time when they started.

Glenn Falla: Yeah, very true. And you still enjoy going out with Karina?

Raymond Falla: Oh, for sure. We don’t just don’t get enough chances to be out together. But, no, it’s a joy to trip beside her, for sure.

Glenn Falla: Do you see that as probably one of the things that you share that you most have in common? And a conversation piece that you can talk to Karina about more freely than other subjects like –

Raymond Falla: It put one of the main things, that’s for sure. There’s a lot of ordinary stuff we can talk about, but we get along all right verbally with it. Anything about duck shooting and whatever.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. Well, I think you’ll be very pleased when you hear the end product of this podcast, because I didn’t hear the recording last night, but Ramsey’s give me a little bit of insight into what Karina said and she was very really –

Raymond Falla: I think she enjoyed shooting with us. I never, ever asked her, but my view there would be exactly the same as mine. I think she enjoyed every second of it the same as I did.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. It’s very important.

Raymond Falla: If we can still do it, it’ll be going on.

Glenn Falla: Very important to her.

Raymond Falla: Yeah. That’s good.

Ramsey Russell: When and why did the anti duck hunting movement begin in Australia?

Glenn Falla: Did you hear that, Ray?

Raymond Falla: No, you just relay it each time. I can’t catch it all.

Glenn Falla: No, that’s fine. So Ramsey asks when and why did the anti duck hunting?

Ramsey Russell: When and why?

Glenn Falla: When and why? So, back in the days, we all know that Laurie Levy was the first and you can go on to tell what Laurie Levy did in the area of Donald, your hometown.

Raymond Falla: Here’s was a few funny things, the first time he came up and stayed. He stayed at the caravan park and everybody in there were against what he was doing and they forced him out and he went to Charlton and I think the same thing happened over at Charlton about 30 days, 40 days away. It didn’t make any sense. I don’t think he never, ever, talk sense about the duck shooting side of things other than stop it.

Glenn Falla: And that would have been back in the late 70s.

Raymond Falla: Yeah, that was the start of first things we ever heard against everybody was all for it in the days before that. He’s the one that kicked it off and that’s just carried on. There’s been somebody there having a go since. But we’re very lucky we’re so far away from bigger towns. And personally, I suppose there’s only ever been a couple of times we’ve had people try and cause strife here in all that time.

Ramsey Russell: Why do you think that he was so against shooting ducks? Was it environmental? Was it moral?

Raymond Falla: You got there again.

Glenn Falla: Yep. So why do you think Laurie Levy was so passionate about stopping hunting? Do you think it was a moral thing?

Raymond Falla: Just a moral, stupid thing that he thought about nothing else while I looked at it.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. And, I mean, I happen to know in the industry that I’m in, that he was once a hunter himself and then he crossed the line. He saw what he thought, the cruelty in what he was trying –

Raymond Falla: Yeah, I never heard that side of it.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. So he definitely started out as a hunter.

Raymond Falla: Yeah, I know for a fact. I lived out in Richmond area and he was a real nuisance going door to door there for quite a while and he fell out with people in Richmond. They didn’t want to know him. He was a hated person sort of thing. In the finish, he was making much of a nuisance of himself.

Glenn Falla: Yeah, and can you remember the story, Ray, that you might like to tell Ramsey about the time that he was out the road and he’d run out of petrol and wanted a ride from somebody?

Raymond Falla: Oh, you met me, yes. It was after opening weekend and I don’t know where I’d been, I’ve been to another town. I’m not that far away, like 20 odd days or something. And this vehicle was stopped on the edge of the road and I think I was returning somebody that didn’t have a license to Sonata. And the vehicle was on the side of the road as I went down and it was still there when I come back. So I thought I better stop and see. Anyway, I got out and walked over to the window and I said, you’re Laurie Levy, aren’t you? And he said, yeah, I’m Laurie Levy. I said, well, you can bloody will stay there. I got my car and drove off.

Ramsey Russell: Ray, did you ever imagine that 50 years later, the anti hunting movement would have taken such halt and that duck hunting in Australia would be imperiled, in danger of closing?

Glenn Falla: So back then, Ray, did you ever think that the anti hunting movement would gain so much ground and have so much impact and perhaps, as we know through the inquiry this year, perhaps even stop duck hunting in Victoria and other states? Did you ever see that coming? Did you think that day would come?

Raymond Falla: It was just like a personal hate of what come out of his mouth at that stage.

Glenn Falla: And it’s grown to something much more than that now. I mean, I know.

Raymond Falla: No.

Glenn Falla: Most recently this year, you saw more activity from activists in your region than ever before. And you’re aware that they followed us on to private land this year?

Raymond Falla: Yes. Luckily, it didn’t happen around us. I’ve only ever had a few walk around us and make a bit of noise. But I usually while you were the same up here, you just get in the vehicle, go somewhere else where they weren’t. That was all. You stand there having a blue with them all day.

Glenn Falla: No. So can we go back to your early days of hunting, Ray? Let’s go back to Buloke when you first started hunting out there with one of your very good friends, blue Salic, who’s no longer with us. Tell us.

Raymond Falla: Yeah, it was something we look forward to every year. And we had our own spot to go to on Lake Buloke. Could have gone to our local little swamps here and got better shooting and no problems. But it was nice to go out amongst well, the record was 12,000 shooters on bullock one year. I think they estimated 40 ton of lead had gone in for the morning. You’d stay there till you well, got those days more than your bag. You’re allowed 20 then, but the birds were that thick because that many, you just got sick of shooting them. But it was good fun being out there with 7 or 8 guys that you didn’t see much during the year that lived not far away.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. So I can remember you taking me out, Ray before we were even big enough to take out on the swamp. I can remember on Friday nights we’d drive out to the highest point out at Lake Buloke and overlook the lake and see all the campsite lights. And it was like a mini city, wasn’t it?

Raymond Falla: Yeah. I also remember that night too. I don’t think I’ve ever done it before or since. But it was like being up on a hill looking on the sites of a city with the lights.

Glenn Falla: Yeah, absolutely. And then I can certainly remember you carting me in on your shoulders or carrying me in and putting me on a box for the first few years before I was old enough to legally hunt or use a 410. Yeah, but you were probably more interested in the numbers back those days. You’re more interested in how many birds you got in the bag than worrying too much about me as long as I was safe beside you.

Raymond Falla: As long as I gave you a shot where it was available sort of thing.

Glenn Falla: Yeah.

Raymond Falla: Yeah.

Glenn Falla: And –

Raymond Falla: But then when you got old enough to be really into it, it was just a matter of give you every chance you could. But you didn’t need that in the finish. I had to get away from you. I’d never ever get, be able to shoot anything.

Glenn Falla: And I’ve often told Ramsey the story about you you’re a bit more of a par shooter than what you are, a decoy shooter. What about the differences between the style that of shooting that you do compared with the young guys that I’ve brought up in the last decade or 2?

Raymond Falla: Oh, I don’t know there was that much difference, except most of them had automatics while they could.

Glenn Falla: Yeah, but you weren’t very big on putting out a decoy spread or using a duck caller. You’ve used your mouth all your life.

Raymond Falla: As long as you had an odd decoy out there. And you always seem to get what, as many as you wanted or more than you wanted.

Glenn Falla: And what’s the favorite thing? If you’re out on the swamp with us in the morning and you only shoot one duck, what’s the favorite thing for you? Is it getting something really close to you in the decoys and getting a clean kill? Or is it, what else?

Raymond Falla: I’m only watching somebody that was shoots very well and I could always put the gun down, open it up and watch somebody that hardly ever misses a bird. It’s beautiful to watch somebody that’s a really top shot bringing them down, that’s for sure.

Glenn Falla: You don’t want –

Raymond Falla: And then when I got the dogs in the finish, they did 75% or more of the work, sort of thing. All you thought of was putting the gun in front of the bird in the right place and knocking them down and then look for the next one. The dog did the rest.

Glenn Falla: You don’t mind a long shot though, do you or a high bird?

Raymond Falla: Oh, that’s my biggest thing is something that a lot of people laugh about it. You shouldn’t shoot anything over 30 meters, but 70 meters was about my favorite. And I only ever used 32 grams at 12, 80ft/second and you could bring birds down from continuously from up to 70 meters. Yeah, a lot of people say it can’t be done. It can be if you put them in the right place.

Ramsey Russell: He mentioned dogs. Tell me about some of your favorite retrievers.

Glenn Falla: Talk about some of your favorite dogs over the years, the dogs that you’ve bred and maybe some of the titles that they’ve won. And I know that you often, you’re a modest man. You always say that you just bred them and then handed them on or sold them on to people that showed them and trialed them. But tell us a little bit about the dogs that you’ve bred.

Raymond Falla: Well, I used to sort of part train them as a little pup before I handed them over but only a little bit. But then I had 2 that I’d sold to people that were very keen trial guys, had one stuff all over the place. They were both went through as national champions more than once. I going to have 2 or 3 times each of them.

Ramsey Russell: Or Labrador retrievers.

Glenn Falla: No, German shorthead pointers.

Ramsey Russell: Really?

Raymond Falla: I’m sorry. I didn’t say that.

Glenn Falla: Yeah.

Ramsey Russell: Wow.

Glenn Falla: So you had one dog in particular, Ray, that could have gone in the Guinness Book of Records, we believe.

Raymond Falla: Well, Jack Thompson, who was noted as a top duck man shooting in Australia, had the earliest short years here and I shot with him a few times and he said, he’d been at trials with me. I used to go to watch the couple of guys that I’d given dogs to see how they were going and they just finished up. Well, one beat a Labrador that had in nationals that he’d won something like 10 or 12 years in a row for Australian nationals. And that’s my biggest memory, that he beat that dog there one year.

Glenn Falla: And then you had a dog that won a field trial and a retrieving trial championship both in the one year. And then there was something else.

Raymond Falla: Right. Yeah, that happened well there for probably 4 or 5 years, when they were really pushing them, giving them, getting them into big trials. There were some phenomenal runs with them, that’s for sure.

Glenn Falla: Yeah.

Raymond Falla: 2 guys that really knew their game of training, too. But I was very lucky to have a breed of short head that sort of did most things right. You didn’t have to fine tune them, really, whereas a lot of them were pretty useless.

Glenn Falla: Yeah.

Ramsey Russell: I want to ask about fondest memories, but I’d heard a story about him walking to the center of a wetland and coming out with ducks on a string.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. So, Ray, repeat the story of you and Blue Selleck, I think it was walking to the center of Lake Buloke and carrying in so many birds they were too heavy to carry. So I believe you strung them on a string and dragged them along behind you.

Raymond Falla: Yeah, that’s the way we used to cart on those days. And then we finished up making up a little tin boat that you’ve probably seen lying around the place here somewhere.

Glenn Falla: Yeah.

Raymond Falla: Over the years and dragging around with that. But it was just open go young days. There wasn’t even a 20 there for a few years. There’d be 2 or 3 years there we probably brought over at home. It was a big competition with the 2 of us because they’re both pretty clean shots. We both had well over 100 birds. Then you had to come home, pluck them and clean them. My mother and myself were there till 09:00 at night plucking and cleaning duck.

Glenn Falla: And you wouldn’t have wasted a bird. You always consumed them all. You didn’t throw them away,

Raymond Falla: Give away, quite a lot and you can only use so, only eat so many.

Glenn Falla: Well, it’s a long way out to the middle of Lake Buloke. What time of morning did you start to walk out there?

Raymond Falla: The real youngest days was about 01:30 I think. But we found out 03:00 was a bit better. And you could get out there before opening. Nowhere to sit, nowhere to lean, hardly a tree at where we were.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. Did you ever fall down a fence post hole out there? Do you ever have a trip over?

Raymond Falla: That’s happened I remember once and that name, it made me cry. I put a one leg down in a post hole that was under the water and I went up to me groin and there was no way I could get up without putting the gun under the border and leaving me help, leaving myself up. And it did hurt, I tell you. I remember it was yesterday.

Glenn Falla: Lucky not to break a leg, really.

Raymond Falla: No, you said went straight down. I was more worried about the gun than myself.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. Okay.

Ramsey Russell: Looking back all these years, how do you feel that duck hunting benefits society, waterfowl and waterfowl habitat?

Glenn Falla: So Ray, what do you think the benefits of continuing or being able to continue to hunt regulated hunting in the future of game birds? How do you see that as a benefit for the individuals doing it or your local community or for that matter, the ducks themselves, the species?

Raymond Falla: I think as a happy medium, if they like to think about it a bit more and keep it rules fairly tight sort of thing and cut off, but you need, I still love to see it. They’ll never see, like to see it disappear, that’s for sure. And keep the duck numbers down like there. That doesn’t hurt. If I go out and shoot 3 or 4 ducks, I’m quite happy. I can go out tomorrow and do the same thing again. If I wanted to.

Glenn Falla: And I’m imagining that it’s good for your mental health, it’s good to spend time with your family, it’s good to keep that tradition going. And it’s good healthy food, wild food that you don’t have to pay for.

Raymond Falla: No, that’s right. I used to love it. And you look forward to it here, even with your local mates that you don’t on the farm, you didn’t see much through the year. There’d probably be a dozen or more of us camp in one spot and then spread out into the big lake and walk miles and shoot ducks and come back and talk about it.

Glenn Falla: And now that you’re not 21 anymore, dad I still bring a crew of people home from all around the state on opening weekend. And we’ve gone from over the years, we used to camp right beside the wetland or the swamp and these days we can –

Raymond Falla: I still love sitting in a chair against the edge of the water somewhere and have the gun there near enough to ready sort of thing and knock down an odd bird and watch you guys bring them down and help pluck them, of course.

Glenn Falla: So you don’t mind sitting around the campfire with a whiskey in your hand after it’s all over and the guns have been put away? You don’t mind a drinking, a chat?

Raymond Falla: I do enjoy that.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. So it’s a social side of things that you enjoy as much as anything now?

Raymond Falla: Oh, yes. I suppose the shooting side of it now would be you’re going to get small percentage and just being with mates and talking to you, young ones that are the next 2 generations on there.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. And, I mean, I know for a fact that you get a lot of enjoyment out of the young kids that we bring along. So we started another new kid this year Matt Davis from Bendigo was there with young Roy and you certainly enjoyed that, didn’t you?

Raymond Falla: His first shoot, he was with me here.

Glenn Falla: Yep.

Raymond Falla: And then he was, went with his dad from there on. He learned to shoot that well. I only shooted him for probably half a dozen birds, not many more and he was not missing too many. His father took him all over the place on his own after that may have a ball together, apparently.

Glenn Falla: Yep.

Ramsey Russell: Ray, have you ever considered that because of anti hunting, it may end that you may have already done your last duck hunt because of anti hunters? And how does that make you feel?

Glenn Falla: So –

Raymond Falla: You heard that.

Glenn Falla: Yep. So given what we’re facing with the inquiry and the antis and everything that they’ve done to try and stop duck hunting, how does it make you feel? And how do you feel about the fact that legally, you might have had your last duck hunting season in Victoria?

Raymond Falla: Well, I shouldn’t think like it, but when I shot for 6, what am I, 87? Ought to been about 10 when I started, so it’s 77 years ago. If it got stopped completely, I’d still go and get one. And I’ve always said they can pick me up and lock me up, but we’re in an area where you’d never, that would never happen. But I’m afraid I’d break the law to knock a couple over, just for interest sake and the food.

Ramsey Russell: Well, how does it make him feel that maybe his grandchildren or great grandchildren will not be able to carry the tradition that he started with his own children?

Glenn Falla: Yeah. So, Ray, we’ve had 4 generations with George, yourself, myself and my kids.

Raymond Falla: We’re all mad shooters, a lot of us.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. So how does it make you feel that, that might not be able to continue into the future, that Karina and Bryle might not be able to teach their kids and hand that tradition down to the next generation again?

Raymond Falla: No, it’s very sad, that’s for sure. But I look at it now at my age, I think, oh, well, I worry about it and then I think, no, I’m not that old that I shouldn’t worry about it. I won’t be year long. But anyway, it’s great to see, well, all of them, when they started off, if they’ll be sold me and I was trying to help them and bring tears to you as the first 1st birds that they bought down and they all seem to love that, including Karina. They wouldn’t go short of a feed, any of them.

Glenn Falla: No, that’s for sure.

Ramsey Russell: Looking back all these years to where the first anti hunter kicked off and started in hindsight, is there anything that duck hunters in Australia might have done differently to ensure forever the future of duck hunting?

Glenn Falla: So, since Laurie Levy started the push back in the 70s, do you think that hunters could have done anything differently that might have saved us or duck hunting organizations, for that matter? Could anybody have done anything to try and slow the change or stop the change and hold it back?

Raymond Falla: Well, I think he had enough following him that have never been shooters in their life, that there would have been enough noise from others, I think, to keep it going. I don’t think they’d ever been able to. I don’t think we’d ever been able to stop it. It worked all right for them, but as long as I don’t stop it completely, as far as I’m concerned.

Glenn Falla: And we all know that it’s all about the votes and 85% of the Victorian votes come from the inner city or Melbourne. And country areas, regional areas get forgot10. You’ve only got to drive a country road these days to know where the good roads are. If you’re in Melbourne, they’re not too bad, but you get outside the city there, they’re pretty crook. That’s had a big impact, I guess.

Raymond Falla: Yep. Oh, yeah. Well, the price of fuel and a lot of them, not all shooters were wealthy people to come from long distances like they always used to. Interstate north from here, we’ve had shooters here from Darwin for opening. That sort of thing, unless you’re pretty wealthy person, you wouldn’t think about it too dear to get here and a vehicle and go home again.

Hosting Winchester Associates Over 30 Years.

And then that progressed into people that followed me through the industry with 30 years at Winchester. I brought lots of people up from Winchester and lots of VIPs from America.

Glenn Falla: So I guess in the old days, Ray, as I grew up watching you hunt, the visitors came through the dog trialing and selling of dogs and family and friends. And then that progressed into people that followed me through the industry with 30 years at Winchester. I brought lots of people up from Winchester and lots of VIPs from America over the years and now with Field & Game, it’s continued on. And you’ve had a lot of strangers visit you over the years, people that you didn’t know from a bar of soap.

Raymond Falla: No, that’s right. That a fair bit must have got talked about and met me mentioned over the years. It’s come back, which is great.

Glenn Falla: You’ve helped a lot of people, haven’t you?

Raymond Falla: Oh, yeah. I’ve made a lot of friends. Field trials, retrieving trials and just shooters from all over the place and still keep in touch with quite a few of them.

Glenn Falla: Yeah.

Ramsey Russell: Last question. If duck hunting were to cease legally cease in Australia, does he worry about the future of habitat and ducks? Because we all know that nature cannot manage itself with all the people.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. So, dad, all the work that Field & Game Australia, for instance, do. And I know how proud you are of the work that we do and that I help with and in restoring habitat, do you worry that if they stop hunting, that habitat replenishment and all the work that we currently do on the wetlands, are you worried that that will stop and are you worried that nobody else will take that work over and the impact that’ll have on the ducks?

Raymond Falla: It’s just, how do you explain it? What phrase, it’s just a thing we wonder, I wonder about what’ll happen that’s nothing sort of definite either way, but hope it never happens sort of thing, but it’s only a dream to keep it going sort of thing.

Glenn Falla: Yeah.

Ramsey Russell: Thank you very much.

Raymond Falla: I know it’s getting harder and harder each year. I hope the goodness, I don’t see it disappear altogether.

Glenn Falla: Yeah.

Raymond Falla: Been my life as far as, enjoying myself with something and a sport sort of thing.

Glenn Falla: Yeah.

Raymond Falla: And meeting up with friends. When you do go out for, if you go out in a big lake or whatever, you need quite a few shooters around you to, well, you get to know the flight of the birds and on each lake and swamp you get and you can usually easily cop a few birds. Not quite easy when you get a few shooters there and put them in the right place.

Glenn Falla: Absolutely.

Ramsey Russell: Thank you very much, Ray.

Glenn Falla: Ramsey just wants to thank you for your time, Ray.

Raymond Falla: Oh, yeah, well, it’s not even much easier, but I never even said that here locally where I could have done more of me shootings. The 7 swamps back in my day that used to have water in them, probably 3 out of every 5 years, maybe more that we could go to and put friends on a few on each lake. And you, well, you’ve been here when we’ve done it, you hear a few shots on one swamp, then they’ll go to the next one and come round and say, right, we’re next. Wait, look, watch for and it used to happen all the time, but it doesn’t happen today. We don’t have enough water out there.

Glenn Falla: No, that’s right. The local birds used to play ping pong amongst the little wetlands. But as you say, things are getting drier and drier and unless we have flood years, it’s a little bit more difficult but.

Raymond Falla: That’s right. We’ve only had a couple of those in the last 20 years.

Glenn Falla: Yeah, all right. That’s fantastic, Ray, great to talk to you.

Raymond Falla: And how you’ve been, getting some good shooting up there?

Glenn Falla: No, we’re still in Victoria at the moment, mate, gathering samples. So we don’t fly out until 02:00 tomorrow, so.

Raymond Falla: All right, you’re flying up. You don’t have to drive. That’s good.

Glenn Falla: Yeah.

Raymond Falla: All right, nice to talk to you. Have a good time and thank you Mike there and everyone wants to get out of here and go for a shot, if we get a real wet time, you better bring him out, get him to come out.

Glenn Falla: He’s coming back in January and he just said, guaranteed, if you have a wet year, he’ll be back.

Raymond Falla: Yeah, for sure.

Glenn Falla: All right, mate. Thank you.

Raymond Falla: We can guarantee you get a duck.

Glenn Falla: Good on you.

Ramsey Russell: So your dad actually met Laurie back in the day, met him on the side of road out of gas and said, oh, you’re right where you belong and drove off and left him.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. Chance meeting.

Ramsey Russell: Oh, that was before the bumper sticker.

Glenn Falla: That’s right. Yeah. Ran out of petrol, out the road and stayed, ran out of petrol for quite some time. None of the locals were interested in helping him out.

Ramsey Russell: How has duck hunting? Okay, you came along back in the 80s. You started off with your dad. Your dad just told some of his favorite memories back in the day, dragging a lot of birds out. What was duck hunting like when you came along independent of your dad versus your dad? Talk about the different, those changes in between, just in that generational change.

Glenn Falla: So that’s an interesting one, Ramsey, for me, because up until I moved down to Geelong as a 20 year old, as a country boy, most of the hunting that I did was either on my own or with my father or indeed with my father and some of his friends, people that he had sold gun dogs to. He was a breeder of German shorthaired pointers back in the day. So as far as a social group or a social activity for me with other young lads, we didn’t do that. We always hunted on private wetlands, so I was protected as a young fellow. I never hunted public land until I was probably in my mid 20s, maybe even into my 30s, because back then we had enough water around that we could hunt on our private wetlands all the time. And not be bothered by the activists, not be bothered by hunters that we didn’t know. We always knew the people that were around us and we knew that we could trust them. It wasn’t until I moved down to Geelong as a 20 year old that I thought to myself, well, I’ve either got to drive 3 hours home to do some hunting or I’ve got to start public wetland hunting down here. And that’s when I started to expand the people that I hunted with. And I’ve got to be honest, I learned a heck of a lot down here from some of the people that perhaps from regional areas back then might have been considered city slickers. You know what? They knew a lot more about duck hunting and how to set decoys and use calls. And, of course, that’s around the time that motion decoys were just hitting Australia. Better quality decoys were hitting Australia rather than the Kmart specials or the $2 shop specials that we might have bought over the years. And things have just progressed from there. And I guess that’s one of the things when we met that first time in Arkansas, the similarities between what we do these days in Australia and what Americans do, it’s just, it blew me away when I went over there and saw that most of what we were doing here, you were one step ahead, but only one step ahead instead of 15 or 20 steps ahead like you might have been in the 80s.

Ramsey Russell: But see, the culture, take a little aside here. The duck hunting culture, to me, is so familiar, very familiar. Every aspect of it is extremely familiar. But a lot of you all’s product decoys mojo come from the United States. I mean, I’ve always said this and I don’t mean to say this in an arrogant type way, but I believe that American duck hunters are the most ardent, most passionate, most serious. We’ve elevated every single aspect of hunting wild ducks to art form, from camo to ammo to warm clothes innovations. And I see it everywhere I go in the world. At best, it’s imitation, I watched a documentary on the flight over. Well, I watched a lot of stuff on the flight over because it’s a long flight, but I watched a really good documentary about Yogi Berra and one of his yogism’s was, don’t imitate if you can’t copy it. And I see a lot of world trying to imitate American duck hunting, mostly unsuccessfully. Australia imitates it because they can copy it. But still, you’re borrowing from a lot of the product over in America, I mean, your boats, you all both have, you and Trent both have great boats. You both have great mud motors. You both have a lot of really nice decoys. We walk into wild Australia and they’ve got American decoys. I mean, it’s just, it’s a similar culture, but it’s got a whole lot of American influence over here. Am I right?

Glenn Falla: Yeah, you’re right. And the wild outdoors boys here in Geelong back in 2017, invested very heavily in decoys and all sorts of other gear.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah.

Glenn Falla: And you sometimes have to wonder whether they’re, like fishing lures are you actually selling a fishing lure that will trick the fish or is it the fishermen that you’re catching?

Ramsey Russell: My wife asked me one time how many duck calls do you need? How many decoys do you need? To which I replied, all of them. Every single one of them and all of them I’m going to get after this. I need them all.

Glenn Falla: You can never have too many.

Ramsey Russell: But there’s boats and just like, fishing lures. I need them all.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. And look, the sad thing about that is the boys invested very heavily in 2017. They changed the game over here. They really did and there’s not enough confidence now for people to invest in container load and container load after container load of gear. With the insecurities as to how long the game bird hunting will continue in Australia or indeed, what sort of season’s going to be delivered. Is it going to be 4 weeks, 3 months? 4 birds, 10 birds there’s just too many unknowns. So the guys have turned to hunting, sorry, selling, distributing more deer hunting gear because it’s a little bit more secure that we’ll be hunting deer into the future than what we are ducks. Ducks are considered the canary in the coal mine, if you like. They’ll be the first to go, and as we’ve discussed before, if Australia goes, guess what? That’s going to be the first domino and there’ll be plenty more to follow. So we’re fighting as hard as we can to make sure that doesn’t happen as you well know.

The Impact of International Support on Local Anti-Hunting Efforts.

There’s an active anti hunting movement in America. They’re really not the type to go out to boat ramps for risk of personal harm.

Ramsey Russell: There’s an active anti hunting movement in America. They’re really not the type to go out to boat ramps for risk of personal harm. I would venture it would take a lot of balls to march into Arkansas public timber spot with bells and whistles and bright orange flagging. There would be some bodily harm done, I can tell you that right now and anywhere in America that, but they’re nonetheless extremely active at the political level. Behind the scenes. I think of them like carbon monoxide they’re undetected until it’s too late. But then in surprising places like Argentina, not so surprising places like Netherlands, there’s a lot of anti hunting movement afoot worldwide. And so you all aren’t the only ones and like yourself, where I take a personal interest in Australia and where I take a personal interest here in Australia on who are these anti hunters? I’ve reached out to several here. I’ve reached out to several in America and wanted to have a discussion with them as crickets. They will not talk about it. But the reason it concerns me is because I know that a lot of financial support and other support that’s coming into Australia for the green movement, where you want to call it, is coming from outside of Australia.

Glenn Falla: Yeah, absolutely. There’s a lot of finances coming in from overseas. But as to who they are at the end of the day, there are a small minority of people that have a particular passion to end duck hunting because they feel that it’s cruel. Mostly, they don’t understand what we do and they don’t want to learn what we do.

Ramsey Russell: I did have the opportunity to talk to a few while I’ve been here and it’s clearly a moral issue. Not scientific, not management, not common sense. It’s purely moral ideology and it come right out of their mouth, not mine. But in all the countries that I’ve seen anti hunting, it is the waterfowl they pick on first, because, number one, so few people relative to in Argentina, the hunters they do have hunt big game and so you got a society that predominantly does not hunt these beautiful little birds and they can be the hook. They can sway people for their anti hunting ideology off these beautiful little birds. And then once they accomplish that, then they move on to bigger critters. And I just feel like if Argentina topples, if Victoria province topples, it’ll be a domino effect across the whole country, which hastened my schedule to come back to hunt the magpie geese, the Cape Barren geese, etcetera, before they close it. But I feel like that once Australia topples, then it’ll create a domino effect throughout the world. That’s my heartfelt opinion of what’s going to happen politically.

Glenn Falla: Yeah. And look, you’ve stood on the streets and talked to people in current times, in recent days and it’s all political. At the end of the day, it’s their moral view. Why does their view matter? Because they vote and at the end of the day, the majority of people that feel that way, they’re not regional Victorians, they’re city people. They’re city centric. And in Victoria, I think it’s something like 85% of the votes in Victoria come from the city. And there are regions within the city that are very green compared with others.

Ramsey Russell: Okay, well, let me go there, since you brought it up because you were busy with the boys, you for political reasons, don’t need to be involved. So I took it upon myself, me and me alone, because we reached out to some of these anti hunters that want nothing to do with us. And I said, well, I’m just going to take it to the pub. I’m just going to take it to the streets, baby. And I went and painted me a sign that said, duck hunting is conservation. Prove me wrong, offer me your opinion. An idiot, though I felt like I go and stand on a very public place downtown, about an hour and a half out of Melbourne and I sit there with my sign inviting anybody that walks by to a conversation. One lady came by, read that sign and you can see the look on her face. She said, she disagreed, but she wasn’t about to stop and say nothing. Everybody else walked by, giggle, snoop, how you doing? Yeah, I’m doing fine. I’m really not crazy. I’m just holding sign, come inviting conversation. And my opinion was after about, after an hour, maybe 300 or 400 people had walked by. It was families out with their children, out with their girlfriends, out with their significant others, enjoying a beautiful, sunshiny day. They wanted to go to the park, they wanted to go getting the great outdoors in as much as the downtown city can afford them, fresh air. And they didn’t give a f bomb about duck hunting or conservation. And after my little experiment, I concluded that it’s not every Australian that we’re dealing with a very lunatic minority fringe of people that have got a political toehold in doing something. And I would say that about every liberal, radicalized ideology on earth, they are not a majority. They are a very fringe, a very lunatic fringe minority, but they’re vocal. And the rest of us, whether we hunt or we don’t hunt, but we’re not anti hunting. We hunt or we don’t hunt are too busy working, feeding our families, enjoying the time we’re given to do what we love and we ain’t got time for that mess. So who are and it leads up to a question, Glenn, who are these people, if you had to describe them to a police sketch artist who is an anti hunter in Australia?

Glenn Falla: Well, it’s an interesting question and you’re right, it’s a small minority. We often say that there’s a lesser number of people that are determined to end it than what there are determined to keep it going. And probably 85% of the community don’t care one way or another, as you say. But I guess we describe them as people that have got lots of time on their hands, not too much else to worry about. And gone are the days where we would say that they’re the unemployed and those sorts of things. They’re not the unemployed at all. Some of them are quite intelligent. It’s just that they are determined. This is the one thing in their life that they want to see come to an end is harm to animals. So the Animal Justice Party is, it’s got one mission in life, is to end any harm to any animal they want to stop horse racing, jumps racing, rodeos, greyhound racing. They want to stop anything that they see as being in any way, shape or form cruel to any animal, including fishing, fishing’s next and for many years people have said, oh, they’ll never touch fishing. Well, guess what? People are starting to wake up and smell the roses. We have this group in Victoria now called ORAG, the Outdoor Recreational Advocacy Group and it’s largely made up of blue collar workers from unions that have worked out, with some help from our organization and others around us, that they work bloody hard all week. They generally work a 6th day of the week to earn good dollars, the union members, so that they are getting good dollars on big projects. They work long hours, they work bloody hard and they fill their sheds full of toys so that when they do get a weekend off or a roster day weekend, where they actually once a month get to take 3 days off in a row, they want to pack those toys up, whether that’s a jet ski, a motorcycle, a 4 wheel drive they want to get out in the bush, they want to get away from the city, away from all the hustle and bustle, the worries of work and they just want to get out in the great outdoors and have a good time. They might be out there with a bow and arrow in their hand. They could be a rifle hunter, they could be a shotgun hunter, they might be shooting clay targets or they might be doing any of these other motorsport events or they might just be a bush walker, for that matter. But they’re outdoor recreational users and they don’t want their activity stopped any more than we do duck hunting. And they can now see that game bird hunting, not just duck, but quail, because it’s not just duck, it’s every game bird in Victoria that they want to stop hunting. It’s the thin edge of the wedge. If that stops, what’s next? Is it fishing? At the end of the day, you catch a fish with a hook in its mouth, you drag it in against its will. You pull that hook out of its mouth, you can’t tell me it doesn’t hurt. And you either dong it on the head and put it in the freezer to eat that night or you let the damn thing go. Is it any more or less cruel than hunting? What’s the difference? It is hunting. The only difference is the tool that you’re using, a shotgun versus a rod and reel.

Ramsey Russell: Describe opening day. You were telling me a story about opening day at some of these public boat ramps. Describe opening day. The circus, that’s opening day within an hour and a half to 3 hours of Melbourne. I’m going to come down here for opening day and we’re going to go to boom, this public boat ramp. What should I expect? What am I going to see? What am I going to experience?

Glenn Falla: Well, the first thing you’re probably likely to see is probably more animal rescuers. I say in quotation marks “animal rescuers”, which we refer to as protesters or activists, you’re probably going to see more of them in the car park than what you are hunters. They’ll all be dressed in hi vis and safety gear depending –

Ramsey Russell: Wearing masks.

Glenn Falla: Wearing masks, yeah, absolutely. More often than not, they conceal their identity.

Ramsey Russell: They must have loved COVID. They were right in their wheelhouse.

Glenn Falla: Yes, sir. And hunters use sometimes concealment in the field as well, purely so that the ducks can’t see the glaring face. But we certainly don’t wear them in the car park. We’re quite happy to hop out of the car and unload the boat and load the dogs in and all the gear and we’re not ashamed of who we are, but some –

Ramsey Russell: So a couple of 100 animal rescuers wearing hi vis masks, flags, bells, whistles, what are they saying to you?

Glenn Falla: I’m not sure I want to repeat some of the things that I’ve been accused of or told or called over the years.

Ramsey Russell: Polite, are they?

Glenn Falla: Not very polite? No, no, I certainly wouldn’t lower myself to speak like that to anyone, to be honest and I haven’t even returned fire, because I couldn’t stoop to that level terrible things, things that I’ve got to say, having brought 2 kids through and our young juniors are able to shoot from 12 years of age here and, yeah, look, I was very selective about where I hunted with my 12 year old, 13, 14 year old kids, because for them to hear some of the accusations that were being thrown at me and indeed at the kids and taking photographs of every move, making threats about – hope your car’s in one piece when you come back we’ve had some horrible things here over the years, Ramsey, we’ve had tyres slashed, we’ve had dog feces spread all over the top of cars. We’ve had windscreen wipers bent. Look, things have improved a little bit in recent years. Things have been tidied up a little bit with the authorities keeping a closer eye on things. But you go back 10 years, there was a lot of damage to vehicles, a lot of sabotage. These days, it’s more about trying to intimidate people, photographing every move, trying to block access, pretending that they’ve been run over by vehicles and having a news crew turn up there’s been some horrific things happen here. We haven’t had one year here out just behind us here, where somebody supposedly got lost in the wetland as an animal rescuer. And we had a helicopter search that went pretty much all night. I hate to think how many hundreds of thousands of dollars it cost. They were supposedly lost and in the wetland there and at threat of catching a death of cold. Turns out they turned up somewhere the next morning, pretty cleanly dressed and looking pretty fresh for somebody that had been out in the wetland all night.

Ramsey Russell: After having a helicopter with a spotlight chopping over the wetland. How many the duck hunting was in the next morning?

Glenn Falla: Now, why would anybody want to do that? And what would be the impact? Ramsey. Yeah, it wasn’t worth hunting for a number of weeks.

Ramsey Russell: So there’s a lot of anti hunters, there’s police to mitigate the circus, there’s news cameras, complete non fiasco. Tell me about these animals, because I’ve seen a lot of these animal rescue center signs. The animal groups aren’t paying for those signs. They’re like highway signs. They’re like traffic signs.

Glenn Falla: Yeah.

Ramsey Russell: Who’s paying for it?

Glenn Falla: Government. And at the end of the day.

Ramsey Russell: Who’s paying for an animal rescue center’s budget?

Glenn Falla: We are straight out of our pocket mate. So wildlife rescue, yeah. If you hit an animal –

Ramsey Russell: Wildlife rescue is publicly funded.

Glenn Falla: Yeah, absolutely.

Ramsey Russell: And I’ve heard these stories, but I’m leading you along. What does animal rescue – Okay. So I get through the mob. I hope my trucks intact, I hope my windshield wipers aren’t bit, my tires flat. I hope somebody hadn’t defecated on my windshield and rubbed it all in, felt the animals that they are. I motor off to the boat ramp, I go to my duck blind. Me and my 2 boys, they’re children, they’re 12, they’re 14 years old. We’re going to enjoy a beautiful morning on opening day on Australia public, after leaving that circus, maybe we eat a honey bun, we drink a Coke, we watch the sun come up. Then what?

Glenn Falla: And then 3 minutes before the opening, legal opening time, a canoe rolls into the middle of your decoys in hi vis with a flag and a whistle. Yeah, great.

Ramsey Russell: And they’re legally protected. They can do that.

Glenn Falla: As long as they’re 10 meters away from you.

Ramsey Russell: 30ft.

Glenn Falla: Yep.

Ramsey Russell: That’s crazy.

Glenn Falla: That’s very crazy. Particularly when you’ve got a background in ballistics like I do, how dangerous it is.

Ramsey Russell: The art of duck hunting is to get them close for clean kills. Clean, know your pattern, take ethical shots, make clean kills. But I’ve got somebody waving a flag, blowing a whistle right in the middle of my decoys.

Glenn Falla: Yep.

Ramsey Russell: So maybe I take a longer shot. What happens if I cripple one?

Glenn Falla: Well, the first thing is they’re going to race you to it or race your dog to it.

Ramsey Russell: They’re lawfully entitled to take possession of my bird.

Glenn Falla: Well, they’re not, but they will.

Ramsey Russell: And then what?

Glenn Falla: They’re only legally entitled to do that if indeed they’ve gone to the trouble of taking a waterfowl identification test and going and getting a permit. The same as what you and I would to take waterfowl.

Ramsey Russell: How many of them have?

Glenn Falla: A small percentage, very small percentage.

Ramsey Russell: Wow.

Glenn Falla: But, yeah, it’s a shit fight. There’s no other way to describe it you put all that effort in, all that time and you try and get into a remote area where you think you might be left alone. Let’s face it, that’s why I’m driving a mud buddy boat, to get to places where a lot of people can’t. But canoes are pretty efficient and these people are pretty persistent and we try and be polite and you’ll let them know that you’re in our line of fire and that they could be in danger. And for their own safety and ours, can they please remove themselves from the area? And what do they do? Hop on a CB radio and get another 10 mates to come in with them. And what do our government authorities expect us to do about that? Ramsey, well, we get told time and time again, take one for the team, boys, pack up and go home. And that while they’re bothering you, they’re leaving someone else alone. Well, guess what? That wear is pretty thin when you’re on a wetland that’s only an hour from Melbourne, like we are right here. And it happens pretty much every weekend these guys are there sometimes during the week. They’re definitely there on a Friday night, Saturday, Sunday, won’t go home until closing time on a Sunday night, you see them pack up and head back to Melbourne. Not so much in the rural areas, they’re targeted in there attack, but it’s getting to the point where they’ve got enough of them and they’re funded well enough that, yeah, it’s not unusual to see them 3 to 5 hours from Melbourne.

Ramsey Russell: Where the hell are the antis after the season, when a guy from Mississippi is holding a sign saying, come talk to me, what are they doing now? If they’re not at the boat ramp, what do they do after duck season?

Glenn Falla: I can’t really answer that, but I know what they aren’t doing and that is they’re not out here helping us with our conservation.

Ramsey Russell: Right.

Glenn Falla: They’ve been invited time and time again. We have work workshops here at the Connewarre Wetland Centre on a monthly basis. All the rehab work that we’re doing around the wetlands, the regeneration and what have you, they don’t want to learn about it I think they’re a little scared that if they come along and see what we do, they might actually realize that what we’re doing is valuable. They seem to think that all we do is put nesting boxes out to breed birds so that we can shoot them as they jump out of the box. It’s so far from the truth. It’s not funny, but truth could hit them in the face and I don’t think they’d recognize it.

Ramsey Russell: They’re not doing anything for waterfowl. They’re not doing anything for waterfowl habitat?

Glenn Falla: No. They spend the next 6 months planning what their attack’s going to be next year or how they’re going to change their approach and avoid the authorities. We know because there are people that are in the know, there are people that are they try and infiltrate what we do and there are people that infiltrate what they do and we know that the speeches that they’re given before they go out on the water, particularly on the opening morning, when they rely on the once a year, they’re told straight out if the authorities come along and it looks like you’re going to be charged, try and move on and avoid them. But at the end of the day, if you can’t avoid it and you get caught and you’re dragged out of the water and you’re fined, well, we’ll pay you fines. So they’ve got nothing to lose other than being a little bit cold. And maybe eventually, when they hurl abuse at hunters, all day long, hoping that a hunter might crack. Because let’s face it, the hunter’s got more to lose than anyone. They do the wrong thing, if they get abusive, they start any push and shove, any verbal abuse, the next thing, the police are knocking on the door wanting to take your guns. So they know that we’ve got more to lose than what they do. At the end of the day, they’ve got nothing much at all to lose other than a few hours of the weekend and nothing better to do.

Ramsey Russell: How has duck hunting benefited Glen Falla? What have you learned about yourself, about ducks, about habitat? And how have you connected with the resource and your family and friends?

Glenn Falla: Well, for me, it’s been multi generational, so I was born into it. I believe that you’re going to speak with both my daughter and my father whilst you’re here. But if my grandfather was here, he’d still be telling his stories, too. So it’s 4 generations for me. I’ve lived and breathed this stuff all my life, as a 20 year old, I become part of the industry. I moved from rural Victoria down to Geelong here, worked for Winchester, Australia, for 30 years. Now, with Field & Game, it’s been my life, it’s my lifestyle, it shaped my relationship with my father. It’s the one thing that we’ve had in common all our life or one of 2 things, to be honest. We’re both motorsport fans as well and dad supported me in a little bit of motocross racing and what have you as a young fellow. But the constant the whole time and dad’s 86, I’m now 56. The constant has been hunting and it’s the same with my kids. So it’s that one connection, it’s that opportunity to spend time in the field, it’s the one thing that always gets talked about. It’s one thing that we all look forward to sharing. It’s the only thing that gets my father out of bed each morning. Now that he’s lost his wife and he still hunts at 86, he can’t walk too far these days, so he’s more likely to pull up of an evening and poke a barrel out the window and knock a bunny over just before the sun goes down and take that home to put on the plate. But he absolutely loves it and that’s the one thing that he’s got in common with his kids. He’s pretty proud of the fact that I’ve been in the industry for so long and that we fight so damned hard to protect what he’s passed on. It means everything to him. It means everything to me. It’s not a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. And as you know, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a fair bit of the world and see how other people do it. And at the end of the day, if we lose game bird hunting here in Australia, well, Australia’s going to be the country that loses out. Because instead of going hunting for 3 months in Victoria and South Australia or the Northern Territory, Tasmania, we often hear, as I believe you have this weekend, you’ve been told there’s only 2 states that hunt recreationally. Well, that’s not true. There’s actually 3 states and a territory. Then you’ve got New South Wales, which is a Game Bird Management system, which enables people to hunt waterfowl 10 months of the year. But that’ll be the only thing left in Australia that I can do legally, if the other states and territories fall. Well, guess what? I’ll go and spend that money or those dollars in another country, because I’m not giving up waterfowl hunting. I’ll just do it somewhere else.

Ramsey Russell: But, Glenn, how have you considered, that is the most amazing thought I’ve never had back home. But tell me about the last duck hunt this past season. Tell me about your last duck hunt this past season. Who were you with? Where were you hunting? What you came?

A Diverse Group: From Junior Hunters to Veterans.

It’s a group of people that I enjoy spending time with that dad is familiar with and has a lot of time for a junior hunter that was on his first year.

Glenn Falla: Yep. The last weekend I made sure, because my father is so old, we made sure this year that the first weekend of the season and the last weekend was spent with my grandkids, sorry, my kids and my father and his grandkids. So we got together at the same place that we started the season. We finished the season. And there wasn’t a lot of water around, there wasn’t a lot of birds around. So we actually only hunted that wetland that we hunted, was hunted twice for the season. It was only a 4 week season, of course, here in Victoria, but that’s where I was, the same place with the same people. It’s a group of people that I enjoy spending time with that dad is familiar with and has a lot of time for a junior hunter that was on his first year, young Roy, first year of duck hunting and an 86 year old in the camp as well and lots of people in different age categories in between. And people traveled from around the state to do that. And it was more about the camaraderie, the food, the jokes, having a few quiet drinks around the campfire of an evening. We didn’t hunt a whole lot of birds, but we cleaned and consumed everything that we had or they’re in the freezer still to be consumed through the year. And it means as much to me now as it did when I was 12 years old. And to have a 12 year old in the camp and teach him the responsibility of cleaning his own birds and preparing his own birds and indeed, then going home that week and turning that into a meal and photographing it and submitting it to Field & Game Australia as an article, how fulfilling is that?

Ramsey Russell: And have you considered that because of the inquiry, because of the politics, because of the BS going on in your country, have you considered that, that hunt may be your very last legal hunt in Victoria?

Glenn Falla: I have, absolutely.

Ramsey Russell: How did it make you feel?

Glenn Falla: I lay awake at night worrying about it. And this public inquiry, there was people on the opposing side of the argument that said, oh we lay awake at night worrying about the ducks that are going to be shot and fall from the sky in the next 3 months. Well, guess what? I lay awake 9 months of the year wondering whether or not I’m going to get to do it again next year as well. So there’s always 2 sides to the story.

Ramsey Russell: Wow. Do you think your grandkids will duck hunt?

Glenn Falla: I fear not. I fear the only way that will happen is if I build a close enough relationship with them and explain what we’ve done and why we’ve done it. And to be honest, it’s probably going to come out of my pocket and I’m going to take them to another country to do it.

Ramsey Russell: Why is it so important to stay duck hunt?

Glenn Falla: Look, it’s a connection to country. It’s a connection to nature that I just can’t imagine kids not having and there’s so many other programs and things that Field & Game and other groups around us run that introduce children, just nothing more. It’s not about indoctrination into being a hunter, but understanding the importance of wetlands and their surroundings and the work that we’re doing and how that does impact the species. It’s really important to me. We put a 1000 children a year through this educational centre that we’re sitting in. And some of the most moving moments of being part of that program over the years is when children step off a bus and they’ve only come 40 minutes from a low socio economic area of Geelong. They step off the bus and it’s like, are we still in Australia? And you think to yourself, are you for real? And then it’s like, I’ve never been to a wetland before. And to teach those kids about that environment and how important it is in filtering our water and capturing all the horrible things that run into low lying wetlands and then trying to manage that out and keep that waterway healthier, it’s something I’m very passionate about. And if I’ve got to go overseas to teach my children why I’m so passionate about it and why it’s 4 generations that have done it and that’s what I’ll do if they’re interested.

Ramsey Russell: Thank you, Glenn. I’m going to go talk to your daughter now and wrap this episode up.

Glenn Falla: Beautiful. Thanks for your time.

Ramsey Russell: And last but not least, by no means least, Karina Falla. Karina, when did you start duck hunting here in Australia?

Karina Falla: The first year that I remember duck hunting would have been about 2013, when I was 12. So I got my –

Ramsey Russell: 12 years old?

Karina Falla: Yeah, I got my duck id license at 11, so that as soon as I turned 12, I could go and get my firearms license, which is the age that you can get it in Australia. And as soon as I had it, I was out that first season.

Ramsey Russell: So what all is required for you to be a hunter? And how must you be in Australia to be a hunter? A duck hunter.

Karina Falla: So you have to be, from what I know, you have to be 12 years old to be able to get a firearms license and you have to have an adult who also has a firearms license with you until you’re 18.

Ramsey Russell: Okay.

Karina Falla: So you have to have a legal guardian or someone with you and your duck id you can get before 12, but you can’t use it until you have your firearms license. And that entails about a 30 minutes test of watching videos of ducks and being able to correctly identify them.

Ramsey Russell: Not good videos. The one I took is furry-

Karina Falla: Horrible.

Ramsey Russell: Fuzzy ducks in flight, just a glimpse low light and which is one thing in person, low light, but something else entirely different with like a 1970s highly fuzzy film. But and I’m sure yours was the same, but I hadn’t know what duck that was, if it was legal. And then there were pictures of what it was and was it – might have been a shorebird, it might have been something else that wasn’t a game bird.

Karina Falla: Yeah, absolutely. So you have a mixture of both what you can legally shoot and what you can’t and then you have to correctly identify what it is and whether it’s legal to shoot.

Ramsey Russell: How involved is the firearm test that you had to take?

Karina Falla: I don’t remember a lot of it, but you have to go into the police station to do it and I think it took around an hour. There’s a handbook that you have to read and be quite familiar with it and that’s mainly around safety. So when is it safe to shoot? Can you shoot over water? If it’s going to ricochet, is that going to be dangerous? And predominantly just around safe –

Ramsey Russell: Everybody using a firearm in the public should know.

Karina Falla: Yeah, absolutely. The basics that are intended to help everyone be safe when they’re out there.

Ramsey Russell: Obviously your dad introduced you to this. It’s a hand me down tradition and your dad drug you into this. And if you pass your wildlife identification test at 11, how old were you when your dad, Glenn, started bringing you to the duck blind or introducing you to the sport of duck hunting?

Karina Falla: I know he definitely bought me out when I was younger, so when I was probably like 4 or 5, he would come home with the ducks and you’d see photos of me sitting in front of them. And that was kind of the start of it and being more familiar with what was happening. And then the biggest one I remember was the 2011 floods in Donald and we spent every weekend up there. It was myself, my brother, dad and Pa and we would all be out there with about 30 other guys and we’d spread across Beckham swamp, Jil Jil everywhere and have a really good hunt. And I was too young to shoot then, but I was just at the back –

Ramsey Russell: What were some of your earliest memories then? Like, what do you remember from those events?

Karina Falla: It’s a little bit hit and miss with what I remember, but I just remember always being at Beckham’s and it’d be a big campfire of a soul and we’d make a big weekend out of it.

Ramsey Russell: Were you camping?

Karina Falla: Yeah, absolutely. We were all camping. So it’d be myself just kind of laying on the dog while we’re waiting and Jax gets so excited, she’s just howling to get out there, literally. She’s ready to go the second we’re up and she’ll go until the end of day and then it’ll kind of be at the campfire and you’ll just see her sleeping. All the other dogs are around active and she’s like, nope, I’ve had enough, this was my big day. I’m going to sleep now and she’ll be ready to go in the morning. She loved it. So it’d be the 2 of us sitting there at the back, kind of watching my brother and my dad standing next to each other around a side of a tree and we’d remember the day out of it.

Ramsey Russell: Were you standing in a boat or were you, like, waiting out there with the adults?

Karina Falla: I don’t remember being in a boat as a younger child. I only really remember when duck hunting, I guess, became a little bit more serious and getting into boats and using more decoys and things like that, when I was probably 13, 14 is when I started seeing that. So back when I was a kid, it was really being by the side of a tree, maybe a couple decoys, if that. And it was just the amount of people we had that had the birds moving because they’d be on all of the local wetlands during the flooded times. And they would keep going all day until you got your bag limit and then you were done.

Ramsey Russell: So you’re a little girl, 4, 5, 6 years old, going out and being raised into this culture. And you couldn’t wait to get your firearm license and actually do this.

Karina Falla: Oh, absolutely. I was just waiting for another flood. I was crossing my hands and hoping that there’d be another Donald flood so that I could go up there and be with Pa, which didn’t happen, unfortunately. But we still made the most of it. Every opening would always be our shoot with Pa. We’d go up to Donald and make the most of it, whether it was half an hour away in on the local dams or wetland, just whatever we could. That would be our one – It didn’t matter where the birds were, if they were there or not, it was, we’re there to be with Pa.

Ramsey Russell: Pa being your dad or your granddad?

Karina Falla: My granddad.

Ramsey Russell: Your granddad, okay. Tell me about your first duck hunt. Do you remember your first hunt? Do you remember your first duck?

Karina Falla: I do. It was in Murray at a local dam and dad had taken me out with my brother. We were solely there just to get my first duck, that’s all it was. And I didn’t really know what I was doing at the time, like, I knew how to be safe and what I needed to do, but I’d obviously never done it before. So that was just the 3 of us at a dam and it was a mountain duck was my first duck.

Ramsey Russell: Really?

Karina Falla: Yeah, absolutely. It was one of the very few birds that came in.

Ramsey Russell: Drake or hen?

Karina Falla: Oh, now you tested me. I’m not too sure.

Ramsey Russell: Okay.

Karina Falla: I don’t have a lot of memories of it, but I remember that dad helped me with it. I think he helped me find the bird and then I had a go at it and I did get it. And Jax was there, she went and retrieved it straight away. And I was so proud of myself at the time. I was like, oh, my God, I just got my first duck. This is so cool. I’m in a part of this tradition now. I’m not just in the back watching them do this and from there, it just got more serious, when we did start getting into boats and doing more decoy work and, like, working with the birds to get them to come to us, rather than just sitting by a tree on a dam or something.

Ramsey Russell: Did you learn to call ducks and how to place decoys and all that kind of stuff become a proficient hunter? It’s like this steps. Okay, I’ve killed my first duck now. I learned to decoy and I learned to do this stuff.

Karina Falla: I think it’s something that I’m forever going to learn. It’s always changing in the best way to do it.

Ramsey Russell: Amen.

Karina Falla: And dad does a really good job at teaching me how to do it. But for calling, we would sit in the lounge room and I’d be on the other end and we’d have our little caller and we’d just be going across to each other making all these different noises. And I have videos of them of just the 2 of us with our callers and mum’s like, oh, my God, this is so loud, like just stop.

Ramsey Russell: I think there’s moms all over the world.

Karina Falla: Yep, absolutely. There’s videos of us just going for half an hour at times and I remember the first time it was always, okay, you say foot into it and that’s how you get the noise. And from there, you kind of learnt how to do it. I’m definitely not an expert, I am still a long way to go, but I try to go back to the basics. So if I haven’t done it for a while and I’ll just do that foot, foot and that’s how you get a really good. Yeah, it’s really good. I never thought of it like that, but as soon as you have that one word, if you say it in the right amount of time, it’ll sound perfect.

Ramsey Russell: Have you killed all the waterfowl species in Australia?

Karina Falla: No.

Ramsey Russell: Which one have you not?

Karina Falla: I don’t believe I’ve gotten a pinky.

Ramsey Russell: Wow. Really?

Karina Falla: I don’t think so. It hasn’t been on the list for a lot of the years that I’ve been allowed to shoot, so obviously that is a limiting factor. There’s been very few years where it has been on the list for me and I’ve still got to get a hardhead, which is a, that’s mission impossible here in Australia. You’ve really got to work for it.

Ramsey Russell: Is it the habitat you’re hunting for those species or. You didn’t miss any of them, did you?

Karina Falla: Oh, it’s a competition between dad and I. Who can get it first?

Ramsey Russell: Wow.

Karina Falla: That’s like if you see a hardhead, we’re both going for it to make sure that we get it because it’s the one bird that is so fast and is so intelligent.

Ramsey Russell: It’s a poacher.

Karina Falla: Yeah, absolutely.

Ramsey Russell: The only diver, true diver species here on the continent and it was the last one I got of the Australia slam.

Karina Falla: You’re doing better than me, then, I haven’t even got one.

Ramsey Russell: My dad and Trent put me in the right place at the right time back in, I think it was 2018 and a limited.

Karina Falla: Yeah, it’s very –

Ramsey Russell: Mostly drakes, it was wonderful because you can kind of pick the drakes out, but now I’ve shot the divers and stuff the fast ducks I like and, but it was an amazing hunt on a piece of public land, which most of the hunting you all do here is public.

Karina Falla: Mostly. I feel like for myself, I’ve done a lot of private because obviously there is a lot of the anti hunters and I try to stay away from it as much as possible. So I only really go on public land in Geelong, but if we’re anywhere else, we do a lot of private with myself.

Ramsey Russell: Have you had any anti hunter encounters?

Karina Falla: I have, but it was when I was a miner, so there’s a lot of rules when you’re a miner, they can’t take photos of me. They can’t take videos.

Ramsey Russell: Do they abide rules?

Karina Falla: Not always, but, I mean, they don’t get much of a choice if I’m a minor, like, by law, they can’t take photos of me. So I was able to avoid a lot of that, thankfully.

Ramsey Russell: Were you ever intimidated by their presence?

Karina Falla: Absolutely. I’m petrified, if I see them, I try to stay away as much as possible and you just can’t reason. You can try and be as polite as possible and really take the high road, but they can be so rude.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah, they’re like that. Well, when you were, like, you were young, you were 12 years old when you started hunting and you’re still young by my standard. But what was it like in high school? Were most of your classmates? And what was their demeanor? And here’s what I’m trying to ask. Did you identify as a duck hunter among your peers or was that something you just kept to yourself?

Karina Falla: I was never hiding from it. If somebody asked me or saw photos of me, absolutely, I’d say, yeah, that was me, I’m a duck hunter, I’ve been doing it my whole life. It’s a tradition. It’s been brought down through my family. But I wouldn’t go screaming that I’m a duck hunter. And I just, I let people have their own opinions. If they don’t agree with it, they don’t agree with it. And if they don’t want to talk to me about it, that’s okay.

Ramsey Russell: Were you aware of people you went to school with that were opposed to duck hunting or that were anti hunters, even in high school?

Karina Falla: Definitely. There were a few people who were just against all animal cruelty. They won’t eat meat. They think that everything is cruel. You can’t do anything –

Ramsey Russell: Is that something they got from their parents.

Karina Falla: I think social media, more than anything, is where they got it from. The sources that they’re reading just weren’t always the most knowledgeable.

Ramsey Russell: Well, how would you describe, like, if you were describing an anti hunter to a police sketch artist, how would you describe them? What adjectives, what phrases, what descriptors would you use to describe? Because I’ve never had an encounter with an anti hunter anywhere in Australia or America. So help me out here. How would you describe them as a person, their personality, their general look, their age, their hospitality?

Karina Falla: I think, age varies a lot. They can be all ages now, especially with social media. I feel like a lot of the younger generations are getting involved in this activity and you always see them they’ll be in bright orange during the duck season. They’ll be wearing fluoro to stand out as much as possible. And they’ve got poles and bows and anything to make as much noise and movement as possible to try and scare the birds away. And they would just be yelling and screaming and say the rudest phrases to you possible.

Ramsey Russell: Profanity.

Karina Falla: Absolutely swearing, murderer, anything.

Ramsey Russell: What were they like in high school? I mean, because I’m imagining as an outsider looking in, they were like the goth crowd. I would think they were like goth with eyeliner and just whatever. That’s just me. But I don’t know.

Karina Falla: Not necessarily.

Ramsey Russell: I wouldn’t think of them as just normally happy people. I wouldn’t think of them as athletes. I wouldn’t think of them as going to sporting events or pep rallies. I may be wrong, that’s why I’m asking.

Karina Falla: I wouldn’t see them as like the goth group or anything. I think it was just –

Ramsey Russell: I would think it was dark, self loathing people without friends. That’s just, if I’m wrong, prove me wrong. But I don’t know.

Karina Falla: Definitely very – I found in high school at least, it was like quite, I guess, earthy people and they’re using bamboo toothbrushes and doing everything they can to save the environment, trying to recycle and using plastic containers instead, like, you would never see them with glad wrap or anything that would harm the environment. But for the most part, school was pretty good. They didn’t really say anything to you because at the end of the day, you’ve got to do 12 years with them. You don’t really want to fight for 12 years. So they were pretty good. And if they had an issue with anything, they would say. But it’s not like I was running around the school saying, oh, my God, I’m a duck hunter, like, look at me. I just talked to whoever wanted to talk to me and I was very much in the group of people that were the country kids. And we’re doing the same sort of thing right.

Ramsey Russell: The clique.

Karina Falla: Yeah, absolutely. They’re out –

Ramsey Russell: Birds of a feather kind of flock together.

Karina Falla: Yeah, absolutely. Camping, hunting, all that stuff was within what they would do every day, so I fit in quite well with them.

Ramsey Russell: How do you feel that hunting in Australia benefits society, the waterfowl resource, the habitat?

Karina Falla: I think that hunters do the most conservation work out of anyone in Australia and I think that it’s shown a lot through social media, the henhouses, we do, I don’t see anybody else out there checking on the birds in the henhouses, making sure that they’re safe going around and checking the numbers. We do care, we’re not just there to kill a duck. We’re maintaining their habitat. We’re giving them somewhere for them to breed. We’re making sure that it’s going to continue on for generations.

Ramsey Russell: You care about that stuff.

Karina Falla: Absolutely.

Ramsey Russell: Where do you think you might find an anti hunter in Australia when it’s not hunting season?

Karina Falla: In the city.

Ramsey Russell: Doing what?

Karina Falla: Just working.

Ramsey Russell: I mean, I’m wondering because you know what I did today?

Karina Falla: Yeah, absolutely. You went out –

Ramsey Russell: I felt like an idiot. I felt like an idiot because I hear so much about anti hunters in Australia and you and your boyfriend Taine helped me make this sign.

Karina Falla: Yeah.

Ramsey Russell: That said duck hunting is conservation. What did I say?

Karina Falla: Opinions welcome.

Ramsey Russell: Opinions welcomed. What’s your opinion? What are your thoughts? Your thoughts welcomed. And so I go and I’ve reached out to anti hunting organizations here, Crickets, they say nothing. I’ve reached out to anti hunting parliament members, Crickets. No answer. No reply, nothing, and I’ve done this in America, too. Just explain to me, I mean, I want ducks and you want ducks. So let’s agree to disagree on the differences, but talk openly about it. Crickets, they don’t want to talk about it.

Karina Falla: I only hear of them during the upcoming to the season. So when it is the time for the parliament to decide if there’s going to be a duck season or not, that’s the only time I see them. It’s the only time I see it on social media.

Ramsey Russell: I’ve heard that they go out and find cripples and find dead ducks that may have died of old age or because they’re birds, they die. The average lifespan of a duck in North America is less than a year.

Karina Falla: Yeah.

Ramsey Russell: Not because we’re shooting them, because birds die. They got a pretty hard life out there in nature.

Karina Falla: Absolutely they do.

Ramsey Russell: And then they lay them out and in public, rotten and stinking and just make hunting out to be evil. So today I’m thinking, okay, man, this is a rabid anti hunting society. Duck hunting is on the brink of closure in Australia. So I’m going to have a conversation with them. I’ve tried to call them and email them, Crickets, they don’t answer. So I just went like a fool and hung a sign in a very public place.

Karina Falla: It was a very public place and people don’t come up.

Ramsey Russell: Everybody walked by and read the sign and kept walking. They’re out with their families. They’re enjoying city life, nature, which is a beautiful sunny day and a public place. They’re with their children, they’re going on carnival rides, they’ve been boat riding, they’re going to eat restaurants. And nobody had anything to say.

Karina Falla: No, I really –

Ramsey Russell: The people I said hello to were like, hello back or how you doing? Fine. Yourself? Good and they kept walking. And it just seemed to me that an hour outside of Melbourne, 99.9% of people neither cared nor didn’t care about duck hunting, about conservation, about anything.

Karina Falla: Absolutely.

Ramsey Russell: They just wanted to be a human being and work and feed their families and enjoy life.

Karina Falla: It’s only thought about at the time of the season when it’s not season, it’s like, okay, we don’t have to worry about it anymore. It’s not a problem. It’s not going to be a problem until next year. So they just enjoy their lives.

Ramsey Russell: Do you think that hunters are a problem or is it a conservation issue with them? Or the fact that you’re doing something that you enjoy or the fact that you’re pulling the trigger?

Karina Falla: The fact that you’re pulling the trigger.

Ramsey Russell: They just don’t like it.

Karina Falla: They don’t like it. They don’t like the fact that they’re being killed. Doesn’t matter if you’re eating it for your family, doesn’t matter what you do –

Ramsey Russell: Because they’re against eating meat.

Karina Falla: Absolutely.

Ramsey Russell: Because all the science and there’s considerable amounts of, I mean, billions of dollars have been done in waterfowl research and we’re here this week with a couple of scientists and the science in America says that regulated hunting does not impact populations.

Karina Falla: Yeah. And they’ve been working on a lot of the science here, but quite often the numbers are just ignored. It’s really politics.

Ramsey Russell: How do you benefit or what have you learned? Or how has hunting connected you to something? What are some of the benefits and values that you see culturally of hunting? For Karina.

Karina Falla: I feel like I’ve learned so much from duck hunting, from so many different aspects. I have learnt what it’s like to see how a bird goes from when it’s born to being grown up to its whole life and how I can kill a bird and then take it home and cook it in so many different ways. I’m so much better in the kitchen. I’ve learnt a lot about the land and how everything is brought up and how that we can look after it, try to look after all of the wetlands that we’ve got. And I feel like I’ve learned a lot from being around people older than me. I mean, if it wasn’t for duck hunting, I wouldn’t be around generations above me where they can teach me what they’ve learned and that’s where all of the education is, really.

Ramsey Russell: How’s it connected you to your family?

Karina Falla: I would say that my Pa and I have only connected over duck hunting. Duck hunting is everything to my Pa. That’s his be all, end all every day, 100% what he thinks about, it’s his passion, it’s what he loves, it’s what he will do for the rest of his life. And without it, I don’t think I’d be anywhere near as close as I am with my Pa.

Ramsey Russell: Do you feel like you’re able to connect to your Pa, your dad, other people at a different level while you’re in a duck blind or leaned up against a red gum than you would in a building or a classroom or a work setting?

Karina Falla: Absolutely. I mean, you’re not sitting there on your phone. You don’t even have reception. So it’s just you, the people and the discussion. And when the birds aren’t there, that’s what you do. You sit there and you have a really good chat and you talk about everything in the world and what you think has brought you here and you just have the best conversations with people, and you don’t get that as a millennial. As a 20 year old, you don’t really sit there with someone who’s 60 or above and get to have a chat like that, because there is technology and there’s phones and a tv and that’s what they focus on these days.

Ramsey Russell: I’ve never really thought about that. But you’re the part of the quote alpha generation and that’s what they call people in your age bracket and it’s a very digital experience today.

Karina Falla: It is, absolutely.

Ramsey Russell: The whole world is digital.

Karina Falla: Yeah. Instagram, TikTok, Facebook. That’s all you do.

Ramsey Russell: You just graduated nursing school, was a lot of that experience digital?

Karina Falla: The COVID it was, yeah. So because I studied predominantly through COVID, I did 90% of my content online. It was all recorded lectures and workbooks online. And then I was fortunate enough to go to a uni where they really valued the actual practical tasks to be done in person because it’s so important. You can’t learn how to do CPR or how to clean a wound or something.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah, that kind of takes hands on.

Karina Falla: It has to be a hands on. So I did one 3 hour class in the practical room in Ballarat. Every week of classes, I had a little slip that said that I was allowed to be out of my house during COVID because at that time you couldn’t be out of like a 5k parameter and it’s about an hour and a half away for me. So I had a little slip that permitted me to go to my uni class and we’d wear our N95 masks and socially distance and that’s where we learned our practicals.

Ramsey Russell: And a lot of other aspects of your life this day and age are digital – A lot of my life is digital.

Karina Falla: Yeah, absolutely.

Ramsey Russell: Social media and telephone calls and text messages and emails. But when you’re out there in that red gum swamp.

Karina Falla: You don’t have that.

Ramsey Russell: It’s just face to face doing something you love with people you like and have something in common with. Wow, that’s very interesting. Have you considered or thought about that the last time you duck hunted this past year with your dad might be the last time you duck hunt in Australia? I mean, have you thought, have you like, talk to yourself about that?

Karina Falla: Unfortunately, every year it’s like, okay, let’s make the most of it because this might be our last. And that’s exactly what we do. We prioritize it. We prioritize getting out with my grandfather and having that last shoot because you just never know if you’re going to get a season the next year. And it’s very daunting to think that, but you just got to make the most of what you’ve got when you have it and try to make those last memories the best and hope that you get a season the next year.

Ramsey Russell: How did it make you feel when you think that the contact, the connection with your grandfather and your dad and their friends and your friends in the duck blind and this connection to nature. How did it make you feel that? What would you do next duck season if that time of year were down and you weren’t hunting with them? What do you do? How do you feel about that?

Karina Falla: It scares me, to be honest. I mean, I want to be able to bring that tradition down to my kids one day and I’m probably not going to be able to do that. And for me, duck hunting is the thing that brought me so close to my dad and my grandfather and we’d look forward to those trips. And I might not see dad for a few weeks because he’s off on a business trip, but I know when he comes back we’re going and we’re going to have a week together or we’re going to have a weekend together. And that was our quality time. That was my greatest memories with my dad.

Ramsey Russell: And your dad doesn’t just duck hunt. Your dad is employed and volunteered since I’ve known him since forever, actively in time and money on the ground conservation, the duck houses, the habitat, the wetlands and working with Field & Game Australia and fighting a fight to keep hunting viable.

Karina Falla: I don’t know anyone in Australia more passionate than him, he will do anything in his power to keep dark hunting alive.

Ramsey Russell: When you were a little girl coming up and spending those times in the blind, was it a foregone conclusion that you would hand this tradition down to your children one day?

Karina Falla: Absolutely.

Ramsey Russell: And what do you think? Do you think that you still will or do you think maybe you won’t?

Karina Falla: I think if I am able to, definitely. I think that if we lose duck hunting altogether, it’ll be telling my children the stories, I’ll be telling them how important it was and I’ll be teaching them as much as I can to hopefully get it back one day.

Ramsey Russell: And trying to connect them somehow to nature.

Karina Falla: Absolutely. It was everything. It’s what taught me my life skills. You don’t learn that in a classroom, you don’t learn what to do if you see a snake, you don’t learn what nature is truly like and it’s an invaluable lesson for your children. I think it’s so important to learn what the land was like before there was buildings, before there was towns and supermarkets and where food comes from, and everything. It’s such an important lesson to learn.

Ramsey Russell: Folks, you ever thought about this hand me down tradition? Your dad and the generations before you, bringing you into this thing, this duck hunting, that’s so much more than just going out and pulling the trigger and killing ducks. So much more than that. It’s a connection to the resource, to the habitat and to our people. It’s like a tie that binds us in this duck blind, all centered around this whole culture of ours centered around this wild duck in a wild, uncivilized place. But has it ever occurred to you that it could end? And if it did occur to you and if it did end, how would you feel? And where would the ducks that we love and their habitats be in the absence of us out there vigilantly and actively doing what we can to conserve them and enjoy them? Thank you all for listening to this episode of Duck Season Somewhere, we’ll see you next time.

[End of Audio]

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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