Quack Rack’s Garrett Walker and Ramsey catch up before the world starts spinning full-swing again. Recalling a couple fun past hunts together in Idaho and Oklahoma, they remember the great folks and other things that made those hunts memorable. Garrett tells about his becoming a duck hunter and how a simple work-smarter-not-harder idea quickly became one of the most recognizable name-brands in waterfowl hunting. He describes how it feels to be American Made, especially during the recent China Flu pandemic – and why this has always been personally important.  They wonder what the future holds, how the pandemic might effect outdoor product supply and marketing, and then begin planning future hunts together.

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Ramsey Russell: I’m your host, Ramsey Russell. Join me here to listen to those conversations. Boy, you really get to know somebody in a duck blind. Wouldn’t y’all agree with that? I really got to know today’s guest on an Idaho duck hunt on Snake River chasing goldeneyes and wigeons. Man, we had an incredible cornfield hunt for mallards. Just a bunch of mutual friends got together. For introductions, this particular guy shows up to camp with an entire blue ribbon show haul processed into sausages, pork chops, ribs, stuff loins, and, better yet, a couple of bottles of brown water. I knew he was my kind of person. I’ve since learned from conversations with him that he was American-made before it became cool again in 2020 with COVID. Today’s guest is Garrett Walker of Quack Rack. How are you, Garrett?

Garrett Walker: Man, things are good. You’re bringing back memories of our trip in Idaho. I sure wish we were there instead of what’s going on right now. That’s for damn sure.


Hoping for Hunting Season During a Pandemic


Ramsey Russell: Well, boy, ain’t that the truth. Tell me, what are you doing in your corner of the world during this two month COVID-cation thing we’re going through right now? How are you spending your time and days?

Garrett Walker: Man, I absolutely should write a book on the four phases of handling quarantine. We all started off on kind of a dark discovery, trying to figure out what in the world’s going on, and there was that quick adaptation to continue on as best we could. Then phase two— Man, I’ve gone out and redone my deck, I’ve painted my office, I’ve cleaned out the garage twice, I’ve bought and sold some tools, I’m trying to upgrade my garage. Then I started drinking. I would do a little work in the daytime and, once my work got done, it’d be two in the afternoon. Well, I’m going to open up a beer and relax, you know? Then I got tired of that. Fast forward to phase four, and now I’m back to just grinding it out. I’m trying to come out of this better than I entered it. A lot of that deals with my health and my wellness. I’m just trying to bust my ass to stay ahead. You probably feel this yourself, and all of us different companies in the waterfowl industry— There’s a timeline, and there’s a day that I could pinpoint every single year where I shift into, “Here we go, here comes waterfowl season.” For the average waterfowler, that’s September, October, November; but for the guys running companies in the industry, it’s now. I felt that shift this week. You talked about our trip in Idaho, and I look forward to talking about that more. The last time I saw you, we were in Kansas together. I really felt that shift this week, to where it’s game time and time to make sure that all the plans that we have in place are ready to go for this coming fall.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah. A lot of my life, I think of it as driving through the Colorado mountains with a stick shift. First gear, second gear, third gear, fourth gear. It’s just grinding totally. Have you ever driven through those mountainous terrains? It’s just totally gear shifting. Travel and conventions and clients, clients and travel status, clients buying hunts, all of the different things— Working on the web page, doing this, doing that. It’s always just shifting those gears. For the last six weeks, anyway, the car’s just been kind of sitting there in idle. I found out that I needed that. My relationship at home, my relationships abroad, my business, my personal health and sanity and emotional well-being— I’m trying to find a silver lining with this big stick in the spokes right now, but I have. It’s not an easy time. I think every single person I know—and I know every single person I know listening, because I know a lot of them—we work. Man, that’s what we do. But I try to find productive uses of my time. Like yourself, I went through the phases to where, finally, I was just like, “Okay.” I had cleaned out and done everything. My house is as clean as a hospital ward. My shop, my garage, my backyard. I’ve been back in the office just working, now, and taking care of some real stuff, man. Hey, you know what? This morning, in a group text— What I don’t have to go look at and entertain me is a wood duck box with some black-bellied whistling ducks in it. That’s pretty dang cool, Garrett.


Black-Bellied Whistling Duck Boxes

“Black-bellied whistling ducks became a fixture.”


Garrett Walker: Well, we set up five boxes in the backyard. I questioned if I’m doing more harm than good, and I’ll explain that in a second. I live on a couple of acres. You know we got flooded during Hurricane Harvey, and so I’ve got a bayou in my backyard here in South Houston. We’ve got a lot of wood ducks, and so I’ve put up five boxes. All five boxes are active. All of a sudden, the Mexican whistlers are coming in, and it’s pretty interesting to watch. You’ll have two whistlers land on the box, and they’ll start kind of pecking the sides, sticking their heads in, and they flush the hen and the wood duck out and then they take it over. Man, my boxes with wood ducks, I’ve got seven to ten eggs in them. They’re all loaded and packed in tight with feathers. But those whistlers just dump eggs. They absolutely dump eggs. Fifteen, twenty, twenty-five of them on top of those, so I don’t know what’s going to happen. Back to my point of, “Am I doing more harm than good?”; I’ve never seen an actual hatch, and I’ve got game cameras set up. So I think I’ve got boxes that birds are just filling up with eggs and dumping. But who knows? We’ll see.

Ramsey Russell: Well, there are some duck species notorious for doing that, for going and laying eggs in another duck’s nest—or another bird’s nest—and letting whoever built the nest raise up their own young. It’s called a parasitic nester. I’ve never heard that about the black-bellied whistling duck. I’d be curious to know, if you keep up with it, if Mama Wood Duck is going to jump out with a bunch of whistling duck babies. I’d be curious to know that.

Garrett Walker: A good mutual friend of ours, Scott Moody, has got a couple of boxes up there in the northeastern part of the country, and his just hatched. It’s pretty interesting, talking to him this morning; the last three years, it’s like clockwork. Literally, he’s got it down to a science. He knows that, when that hen stays the night with him, that that next day it’s going to happen. For whatever reason, he’s got it clocked down to between 9:00 and 10:30 AM. He sees the little chicks jump out. He captured a picture, and I shared it with you this morning. So I’m hoping to capture that. I’ve got game cameras out, and we’ll see what happens.

Ramsey Russell: I think it’s cool. For most of my life, we never saw black-bellied whistling ducks in Mississippi. After Hurricane Katrina—and I think it was Rita that hit that same year, a big tropical depression coming in from the Gulf Coast—they became a fixture. Black-bellied whistling ducks became a fixture. We have them use our nest boxes over in Warren County, Mississippi. They’re throughout the Delta now. Especially this time of year, you’ll see black-bellied whistling ducks. They usually leave and go further South—I guess towards the Gulf Coast, Texas, and Mexico—usually in September or early October. They bug out. That’s just a new phenomenon, man. They seem to be moving inland and taking over the joint, but I did not know they were parasitic nesters. I had never heard that before.

Garrett Walker: Well, they’re all over our golf courses down there. I should probably shoot one and figure out what they taste like. They might be good, who knows?

Ramsey Russell: No, they are good. I’ll tell you that. I’ve shot them many times. That’s a very good eating duck. I like them, anyway. Garrett, look: everybody knows Quack Rack. Introduce yourself to everybody. Who is Garrett Walker? Who are you?


The Early Beginnings of Quack Rack

“The thing about duck hunting that attracted me is that it was so difficult. That created a challenge for me.”


Garrett Walker: Basically, I’m 41 years old. I live in Houston, Texas. I’ve been in the finance and investments business my whole career. About October of 2015 is when we founded Quack Rack. I grew up not hunting. I’ve heard you, Ramsey, on another podcast, talk about the hunting community wherein they either grew up with it with their grandfather or their dad. My dad was raised on a cotton field in the panhandle of Texas, in West Texas, and the last place he wants to be is outdoors, hunting. He’d rather be on a golf course. So I was not raised hunting whatsoever. I went to a small school for college in Louisiana, and one of my fraternity brothers’ dads was a member of Diamond Island. I had never duck hunted in my life. In 1997, as you know, at that time, in the mid-’90s, that part of the country was on fire. So my first duck hunt was outside of Vicksburg, Mississippi, on Diamond Island. I didn’t have a camo jacket. I didn’t have anything. I borrowed my buddy’s, and I absolutely fell in love with it. It was so popular that my fraternity brother had to make a list at the beginning of the semester of what dates and who’s going when. So I got to go probably two or three times a year. I absolutely fell in love with it. I’m from Dallas, Texas. When I graduated, I went straight into grad school and went straight to work. My family’s got a little farm northeast of Dallas in Mount Pleasant, and we’ve got some ducks out there, but it’s not a trafficking area. It’s not really a flyway up there. I leased a property in Idabel, Oklahoma, and I used to, by myself, wake up at the farm and, before shooting light, I’d drive about an hour and a half on this lease and work on it and learn. The thing about duck hunting that attracted me is that it was so difficult. That created a challenge for me. I wanted to get better and better and better. Man, if you could have been a fly on the wall watching me, at that lease, just miss the first flock of ducks coming in and not even make it to the hunt because I was so ill-equipped to be able to have a successful hunt. Man, I guess that failure drove me to want to be better in the sport of waterfowling. Maybe that’s where that drive came in, and how Quack Rack kind of started.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah. I think we’ve all gone through that stage. Ill-equipped, or a learning curve. It’s not the top of the mountain that matters, it’s getting there. It’s the climb. That’s what I love about the whole experience. Even now, all these years later, I learn something. I go somewhere and I pick up a tip or a way of doing things or a way I’ve never seen it done. For example, we talked about Idaho. We’ll talk about it more in a little bit. Of all the hunting I’ve done, I’ve never been on something like the Snake River. That requires a whole different way of hunting. Mike was equipped. What would you describe as your favorite thing about duck hunting?

Garrett Walker: To be honest, it’s changed over time. At first, I just wanted to shoot a couple of mallards, and I wanted to do it on my own. I wanted to, basically, win, if you will. So when I first started duck hunting, I just wanted to be successful at it. Then as I learned more and as I got better and better and as my skills improved— Man, it’s just like you said with Idaho. The last time I saw you, we were in Kansas. What drives me right now is that I love to go to places I’ve never been and I love to experience environments that I’ve never experienced before. I like that challenge of learning different parts of the country. Everywhere you go, it works differently. I always kind of chuckle in my mind, because I take groups of five to ten buddies with me and we go all over North America each hunting season, capturing content for Quack Rack. It always amazes me that guys see something different, and they’re like, “Listen, this isn’t going to work.” But what happens is that it ends up working out because waterfowling, as you know more than anybody— Everywhere you go, it works just a little bit differently. What might be your recipe at home isn’t the recipe for, let’s say, Montana. Or, to your point, the Snake River. In Mississippi or Texas, we’re not identifying Russian olive trees. We don’t know that the wigeon love to eat the Russian olives like fruit. It just works differently everywhere you go. If you follow Quack Rack’s Instagram or Facebook, you’ll see that we do, for instance, a big Montana trip in December. Whether it’s the Snake River in Idaho or the Missouri River in Montana or the Bighorn in Yellowstone, navigating those different environments and facing those different challenges and trying to learn the way they do it and the patterns up there are what I love. I love that, man. I eat that up.

Ramsey Russell: I do, too. I’ll share that with you. I agree. You brought back some memories, talking about those Russian olives. That was one of the most memorable hunts. There were a lot of memorable points about Idaho. That was the last hunt that I can remember traveling with Mike Morgan, but I remember those Russian olives. We got on that bank one afternoon, and all those freaking wigeons were coming in to hit those Russian olives. That was a real treat. We shoot wigeons over here in the Mississippi Flyway, but it’s not a bread and butter duck species. It’s just not. Man, to get up in all those wigeons that day— Go ahead.

Garrett Walker: It wasn’t fifty of them; it was hundreds of them. Hundreds. What I just remembered, as you were painting the picture— We’re on that steep bank, and, if you remember, that particular year the Snake River was high. It was probably a foot to two feet higher, so the current was just ripping, man. Do you remember how far off the bank our decoys were? Two or three feet. What’s funny is, that was the year of Ramzilla. Do you remember Ramzilla, that Spoonzilla? We had it tucked right against the bank. What a fun trip that was, to see those wigeons work. As you mentioned, our good friend Mike Morgan was there with us. That’s part of what drives me, Ramsey, to get back to your question, are those types of experiences. Hopefully, I’ll be able to experience that again. Just different and new and challenging.

Ramsey Russell: I’m going to go through some more memories from Idaho. You know, Mike was off the clock. He was Mike, not Mojo. We were all up there with Mike Plien, and we had a guest over from Australia. You had brought some buddies. One of them was a great camp cook, by the way. He kept us well fed. with that. There was the day we went out to a cornfield. It was snowing. Mike Plein got all excited, going, “This is the day. Let’s go hit the mallards.” I think Mike Morgan and I both shot a brown duck that morning, and we got scolded. We got scolded for shooting brown ducks with all those greenheads around. We just got caught up in the moment. But that was a very, very memorable mallard hunt.

Garrett Walker: That was the Hagerman Valley, off of the Snake River. We did that podcast—I forget who that podcast was with—and one of the questions was, “What’s your favorite environment to hunt in?” After a snowy cornfield with mallards in your face, that was my new answer.

Ramsey Russell: No doubt, no doubt. I wanted to hunt up there. I wanted to scratch it off my life’s list. There is a good chance for shooting goldeneyes on the Snake River. Even Barrow’s. Not a bunch of Barrow’s, but even Barrow’s goldeneyes are possible. I had not yet shot a Barrow’s goldeneye, and that was kind of the hook for me. That cinched the deal of why I wanted to go up there to hunt. I just wanted to get a chance at one. We shot lots of goldeneyes and had a few shots at Barrow’s. Do you remember that last day we spent there? There was a sandbar kind of cutting between the river, and we spent the entire day there. Mike and Blair drove over, disappeared down the river in a boat, and came back with fried chicken and pizza. That’s living right.

Garrett Walker: Absolutely. I think we’re still under contract not to say where we were, but I can tell you we were in the state of Oregon. That’s about as much as I can tell you. We literally hunted behind the Walmart on the river right there. Mike Plein, of Toxic Calls, goes into the Walmart in his waders, gets a bucket of fried chicken, a case of Diet Rite or Mountain Dew or whatever it was, and literally comes down back into the blind with chicken and some cold beverages.

Ramsey Russell: That’s what it was all about. Then—break, break—the last time you and I hunted together was right before Christmas this year, up there with Salt Plains Outfitters in Oklahoma. Boy howdy, I would say for a fact that that was probably the best, funnest, and most memorable mallard shoot I had in 2019. That was a very, very good hunt. We’re all up under the trees. It was a pretty big crowd rotating in and out, taking turns shooting. All the while, one of the staff was back under a cottonwood with a big old camp griddle, turning out some good eats. Man, it was cold that morning. It was humid. You could just pull back and drop your gun and go grab a plate of— I don’t remember what all that was. It was a monster omelette he cooked, that’s what I remember. A big scramble. That was pretty good stuff.

Garrett Walker: Absolutely. It’s always fun when the mallards just keep coming. Oklahoma’s kind of struggled the last couple of years. The goose hunting’s been great, but the mallards have been somewhat tough. For whatever reason, in Grant’s part of the country, he’s always able to produce. What a great trip.


The Founding of Quack Rack

“Garrett, you said earlier that Quack Rack came along in 2015. How did you come up with that idea?”


Ramsey Russell: Yeah, it really was. That was a really fun trip. It had me thinking about, “Man, maybe I need to own a stretch of creek out in Oklahoma.” Heck, that was just spectacular. Garrett, you said earlier that Quack Rack came along in 2015. How did you come up with that idea? I grew up in Mississippi, and we’ve always had four-wheeler racks, or some kind of racks. Big steel contraptions. First the four-wheelers, then the quads that came out, but Quack Rack really and truly was a game changer of sorts. It was lighter and more efficient. You can go into depth on that kind of stuff, but how did you come up with that idea? You started duck hunting in college, you got hooked, but then, now, one of the big brands in duck hunting is Quack Rack. How did you even come up with that idea?

Garrett Walker: Like I said earlier, I was born and raised in Dallas. In 2011, my job and my personal life— My girlfriend at the time and I decided to move down to Houston, and I got married and had a great job opportunity down here. I joined a hunting club, Thunderbird Hunting Club. When I first joined, they were full of members so they let me have a little junior membership. So I had to go out there and do a work day so that they could kind of eyeball me head to toe and see if they wanted me. They let me have a junior membership. What was funny is that they got to go hunt the manicured ponds and hunt over food, and they threw me out into the marsh to figure it out on my own. Again, just like my lease in Idabel, it was an area that was an absolute pain in my ass to get to. It was a pain in the ass to get all my gear there. As I got successful in that marsh, they started to allow me to hunt on the more manicured properties. They hunt in groups of four, and I was always kind of by myself because everybody at Thunderbird, at that time, had been a member for fifteen or twenty years so everybody had their groups and I was kind of the new kid. So if they ended up having guests at the club, or a random attorney that wanted to duck hunt that weekend, they’d stick them with me. So I’d have to meet guys at the local gas station in the morning, and everybody had their damn lab to bring. Sometimes, we’d have more dogs than we did hunters in the blind. I ended up having to run these hunts with strangers. You know how people love gear in the duck hunting world. Imagine three strangers you have to hunt with, and they all have their own decoys. They all have everything. I drove a Polaris RANGER at the time. Literally, it was an absolute mess with everybody’s gear either bungeed to the roof or thrown into the bed. Gear falling out, dogs falling out. Just an absolute mess. So I went on the internet, found a local welder, and drew him a picture. When he was done laughing at me, wondering what in the world I’m asking him to build, he built one. From the moment I put the first rack on my RANGER, I went back. I wanted more. I went through six or seven versions before I had kind of what I wanted. The next thing you know, I’m at the Exxon guiding random clients and random guests or whoever. I had my Mojo’s organized, I had everybody’s blind bags organized, I had all the decoys organized. Back then, I liked to throw out a huge spread. I was packing fifteen to twenty dozen decoys just on my rack. Literally, one day I was washing my buggy on a Sunday night. That Monday, I flew out on an early morning trip. My wife calls me and says, “The exterminator keeps asking questions about your RANGER that you left in the driveway. He wants to know what that is on the back of it.” Well, my exterminator turned out to be a hunting guide with Steve Biggers. You’ve hunted with Steve over the years. So I got on the phone with the exterminator, and he saw my version of my rack, and he said, “Hey, is that what I think it is?” So I walked him through it a little bit. He goes, “I want six of them. Five or six of them.” It was kind of funny because I had a negotiated price with my welder at the time for building them, and I went back and said, “Man, I need five of these things.” His eyes got big as saucers, and all of a sudden the price went up, right? I told my buddy the price that I was paying—I didn’t need to make money off of them, just, “Here you go”—and I lost my ass on that transaction because I didn’t want to go back to him and say, “Man, it wasn’t that price; it was this price.” So I just ate it. All of a sudden, those guides at Rocky Creek Retrievers—Rocky Creek Waterfowl, with Steve Biggers—started using the Quack Racks. Where that name came from— I was on the porch of the Thunderbird Hunting Club. They have a drawing the night before, at about 6:30, and they throw out a deck of cards. High card gets first pick on which pond to hunt off of. So I pulled my buggy up right in front of everybody, and I had all the decoys hanging, getting ready for the hunt the next morning. I’ll admit that I was a couple of beers into the evening. Some asshole walks up and says, “Man, what the hell is that thing?” I looked him square in the eye, and I said, “That’s a Quack Rack.” From that point on, that name kind of stuck. Ramsey, I had no idea—or plan, or desire—to start a company. I had no experience. I didn’t know anything about shipping. I didn’t know anything about packaging. I didn’t know anything about welding. If you were to draw a business plan for starting a business, it would go from one level. Then you’d assume a little bit of growth, you’d assume a little bit more growth, and it’d kind of be a stair-step approach. At that time, I didn’t even know what was going to happen. I just knew that people were seeing pictures on the internet and my phone was ringing. So imagine building a product—whatever it is—in Houston, for hunters, and you’re going to project that, “Well, okay, if it’s popular in Houston, I bet I get an order from Dallas.” So I started preparing for the shipment of the product. Man, Ramsey— Salt Lake City. California. Upstate New York. I was getting phone calls from all over the country. So I went to a buddy of mine and said, “Man, can you build me a website?” So I built a website. It wasn’t like, “Let’s just go build ten and see what happens.” For the first three years of Quack Rack, I could not keep up, manufacturing-wise, with the demand. One of the things that I was worried about is that many people have different ideas on how to run a business. Some people go raise a bunch of money, and some people do it on their own back. That’s the way that I did it. I always wanted to stay just a little bit in front of the demand, meaning that I didn’t want to go build and buy all the equipment and have my own shop and do the whole “If you build it, they will come” mentality. I just eked along and did the best I could to keep up with the inventory demand. Even after the first year, I didn’t know how long this was going to stick. Managing that risk and growing a small business— What I was nervous about in that first year is kind of funny, looking back. It’s like, “Man, I’ve got to build $30,000 in racks.” That made me nervous. Then you grow to a position of, “Man, I’ve got to build $50,000,” and you kind of grow callous to that risk. It’s funny looking back at what I was nervous about then, and then you see where Quack Rack is today. If I could go back and change the way we did it, I wouldn’t change a thing, but we do things a little bit differently. What I mean by that, Ramsey, is that the way I manufacture is: if there’s a shortcut, I’ll never take it. It’s one of the philosophies that I like to follow in life. There’s always two paths. There’s an easy way and a hard way. The one thing that I always respect is taking the hard way. You learn more that way, in life. So when you look at a Quack Rack— If I’m going to err on one side of being a product manufacturer, we are going to err on the side of over-engineering. You know what? If that’s my biggest weakness, I’ll take that all day long. So for the Quack Rack, we expanded from the rear racks to the front racks. We now sell a ton of roofs. We sell roof baskets. We’ve expanded into, as you saw in Idaho, the boat racks. The boat racks have taken off. Today, you might see on our Instagram our truck racks. We’ve just continued to listen to our clients and what they want us to build. If you look at my DMs on social media, what’s interesting—and I don’t necessarily want to jump into this business model, but—is that there’s a lot of products in the hunting industry that I call “Made in China” products. One of the things that comes up over and over is that people don’t want me to manufacture or invent something new, like the Quack Rack. They want me to just build what’s already out there, and they want me to build it in the way that we build things at Quack Rack. Our audience and our followers know that, when they buy a Quack Rack, it’s a one-time purchase. They’re not going to need another one. Maybe that’s a weakness to my business model, but that is what we’re answering right now. So we’ve got some new products coming out this year that aren’t necessarily reinventing the wheel, per se, but it’s just a better, American-made, quality product that you’re probably never going to have to buy another one of for the rest of your life.


Taking the Leap: All in with Quack Rack

“I thought to myself, “Well, let’s just keep building this. Let’s just keep learning.” It goes back to how I love a challenge.”


Ramsey Russell: Well, that brings up a couple of questions I’ve got, but I’ll ask one after the other. So the man who worked for Steve Biggers—the best blue-winged teal hunter on God’s earth, period, end of discussion—wants some of them. Now, you just made one for yourself, and this guy, all of a sudden, sees it and says, “I’ll take five.” You come up with the name “Quack Rack.” There’s a lot of folks that I know, that I have conversations with around the world, that would love to be in the hunting industry. But you weren’t doing this. You had a real job in business and finance. What snapped, or happened, that made you say, “I’m going to make the leap”? Because to go from making a Quack Rack and selling five of them to, all of a sudden, selling $30,000 and $50,000 worth of them, laying out real money and developing a supply chain in the US to ship them and manufacture them and get them to the consumer— I mean, that’s a leap. What snapped? What happened? What did you see or feel that made you say, “I want to make this a business”?

Garrett Walker: At Thunderbird, when guys get done duck hunting, they all grab a beer, and there’s a bird cleaning station. Everybody’s tagging and cleaning and doing all that. I would watch people tell each other about how that product, that rack, made their day easier. Down here in Texas, like other places, it’s fun to sit in a blind in the early season. It works, but later in the season, you’d better get out of that blind, right? Birds are weary. Birds are educated. They’ve been shot out of those blinds. Unless you’ve got fresh birds, you need to get your ass out of the blind. I was starting to see, strategically, guys getting pit blinds and packing that Quack Rack up, loading it down with everything to go hunt in different parts of these large impoundments and ponds. People were having more success because in one trip they could load up everything that they needed, go to a different part that they hadn’t been able to get to before, and have success shooting ducks. When I saw people literally thanking me, or commenting that A) it made their life easier and B) they were able to be a more efficient and effective duck hunter, I said, “Man, that felt good.” I thought to myself, “Well, let’s just keep building this. Let’s just keep learning.” It goes back to how I love a challenge. “Let’s see how we can continue to improve and continue to get better.” It’s funny looking back, Ramsey; there’s certain times of life that aren’t easy, but when you look back at them, you’re so appreciative that you learned so much. Starting Quack Rack wasn’t easy at all. Let me put a visual in your mind. I’ve got a job where I have to wear a suit and tie, and I’m traveling around Texas and Louisiana. I’m busier than busy. I’m in offices, and I’m doing this. I hope my employer doesn’t hear me say this, but I would literally work all day and, at four o’clock, I would take my suit and tie off and go to a shop. Until literally ten, eleven, twelve, or one in the morning, I would light up my own racks. Looking back on that, that seems crazy. Why was I doing that? But, for whatever reason, it was the challenge and seeing the success people were having. I just wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to see what would happen. Trying to start a business perfectly— I did not have everything ready to do that. I was just listening to demand and trying to do the best that I could to make it happen. It’s amazing how it just worked out. We kept growing and growing and growing, and then I would hire more people. I’ll give you an example. Right now is a great time, because the oil business is suffering right now. All the fabricators around Houston, all the guys with laser cutters and all of this $500,000-$800,000 equipment— If we were not in an oil and gas downturn when Quack Rack started in 2015, I don’t know if it would have ever become a company. I was talking with a buddy of mine today, and I showed him a picture of the garage that Quack Racks are made out of. He goes, “Man, that looks like a meth lab. What in the world?” Where Quack Racks were first built, I had a marathon welder doing them on the weekends, on the side. What’s funny is, this guy drank a lot of beer. I would literally bring him cases of Bud Light, and I thought that was a smart thing. Well, what I learned is that, while he was welding Quack Racks, he drank all the damn beer. When I went to go pick them up, I was paying him in cash, and he was so drunk that he couldn’t add up the cash. He either thought I was tipping him a lot of money or he thought I was shorting him, and I was afraid I was going to get shanked in the side. When I went to pick up those Quack Racks, I would see a big old trash can full of Bud Lights, and I’d tell myself, “Uh-oh, here we go, He’s drunk again.” Anyway, back to the oil and gas side of it. I was pumping out so many racks that I knew that I needed to get to a bigger platform to keep up with demand. Back to trying to match that demand; I remember that, in my first year, one of the biggest Polaris dealerships—which is owned by a guy who loves hunting ducks—called me and said, “I need to place a $50,000 order.” Man, the ink wasn’t even dry on my LLC paperwork. I didn’t even have boxes, and here this guy places a $50,000 order. I knew that I needed to keep up with that demand. The oil and gas business was down, and I started driving around and knocking on some of the doors of these fabrication shops. My next fabricator would have never taken me, absolutely would have never taken me in, but, because the oil and gas business was struggling, he wanted to keep his guys employed, so he took me on. He had gigantic press brakes, all the equipment, and that’s when I really transitioned to, instead of building ten, fifteen, or twenty-five at a time, building fifty or seventy-five at a time. I was able to scale up. You asked the question, “How did I get this going? How did I get a business started?” It was just a little challenge. I would see a little challenge ahead of me, and then I would have to overcome that. Then the next challenge, and then the next challenge. I just kept my head down and my shoes shined and just kept plowing forward, and here we are. This October will be our fifth year in business. It’s been a hell of a journey. Everything just kind of fell into place.


The Quack Rack Design

“We’re just absolutely built right.”


Ramsey Russell: Well, let’s talk about Quack Rack a little bit. I’ve had, first, the four-wheeler era and front racks, back racks. We actually took some conduit and, as we started hauling layout blinds or poke boats in some of the areas we hunted, we built little frames, little rolling cages above these four-wheelers connecting the front and back racks so we could put stuff on the top and hang stuff on the back. Then came the RANGER era. I’m still a two-seat RANGER guy—not a quad, just one bench for two people, or three if somebody sits in the middle—Quack Rack guy. I had a rack when I met you. I had a rack on the back of my truck, but it was the old rack. It was heavy. When you start loading it down on top of all that steel, you’re just asking for wear and tear on the machine because these machines aren’t engineered for that. But along comes Quack Rack, and it’s sleek and functional. A lot of the design elements you put into it, not to mention the material it’s made of, just make it, in my mind, far superior to the older racks. Garrett, you talked about over-engineering. Explain to somebody that may not be familiar with Quack Rack what some of the design elements are. What makes it Quack Rack? What makes it different? What’s special about Quack Rack? Go into detail with me.

Garrett Walker: Starting out, I wasn’t an expert on aluminum versus steel, so for the first rack I built, I just went to a warehouse that sold steel. I built my first rack out of steel, and I had it painted. After it got rained on a couple of times, I noticed it was rusting. From that moment forward, I said, “Well, this is obviously not the product that I need.” From then on, I went to marine-grade aluminum. What marine-grade aluminum gives you is a longer lasting—almost lifetime lasting—and lighter product. It’s funny, you’ll see people that have a steel rack, and they’ll say, “This is my Quack Rack,” or whatever—and we’ll probably get to that in a second—but it’s totally not the same. My rear rack weighs about sixty to sixty-five pounds. If I were to do it in a steel product, you’d be over a hundred pounds.

Ramsey Russell: That makes a lot of difference.

Garrett Walker: Well, when you’re driving around in a mud hole, the last thing you want is added weight. And then when you add ten, twelve, fifteen dozen decoys, four guys, two dogs, four blind bags, and four shotguns, you’re putting a lot of weight on that rig. So I went directly to marine-grade aluminum. For anybody who knows the price difference between aluminum and steel, that’s a perfect example of where I could have taken a shortcut. I’ll never take that shortcut. One of the things that I take pride in right now is guys that bought them in 2016 or 2017 posting them on Instagram. They’ve got the same rack, and they comment that it looks like it did on day one. That’s the way that we build things. One of the comments that is obvious if you were to go to my website, and the first thing people think, is, “Man, those are expensive.” What’s funny is, you only have to buy it once. If I look at some of the other products that I’ve had to buy for waterfowl hunting, we all have that list of things that we probably have to replace. It’s not every season, but during the season. That $100 every year, or that $200 every year, or I need two $200 products. Next thing you know, if you look at the amount of money you spend on broken spinning wing decoys, waders with holes in them, and all those purchases versus one Quack Rack over five, ten, fifteen years— All of a sudden, we’re not so expensive. We’re just absolutely built right. 100% marine-grade aluminum. It is lightweight. We put a nice powder coating finish on that. All the components that we use are stainless steel. One of the hardest things, Ramsey, that you’ve probably experienced, is pricing a product. Being American-made and having everything over here— When I go to pricing a product, I didn’t say, “What’s the cheapest I can offer this for?” and try to cut corners, which is the way the industry is. People made fun of me. “Nobody’s ever going to pay that price. Nobody’s ever going to spend that.” Our average customer spends $1,000 with us. Between the front and the rear, it averages out to $1,000 per customer.

Ramsey Russell: It’s $1,000—which is not chump change—but it’s going on what’s normally a $15,000 or $20,000 machine. So, you know.

Garrett Walker: Right. At the end of the day, we’re building products where I am going the opposite of the way most products are developed. I’m coming from the idea that I want to build a quality product first and foremost; this is what it’s going to cost, and that’s how we price it accordingly. I’m not the smartest man in the world. There’s different ways to run a business. That’s the way that we’ve kind of run it. Every fab shop that I’ve been partnered with has said, “Man, we could make it a little bit cheaper if you did this, or we could do that.” I’m not here to cut corners, so those racks are absolutely indestructible. They’re absolutely indestructible. When you make a purchase with us for our racks, I don’t need you to go buy another one. I want it to last for as long as you’re duck hunting, man. How long have you had your rack, Ramsey?

Ramsey Russell: I have got y’all’s first run rack, and I’ve had it five or six years. You’ve tried to talk me into upgrading, and I’m like, “Why?” See, I’m not a disposable guy. If I put on a watch and it lasts for forty years, I’m wearing that same watch for forty years. The same could be said for a pocket knife, shotguns, waders, boots, or decoys. I’m that guy where if I want something, I don’t mind paying a little bit more, but I want it to last forever. My Quack Rack works as well right now as it did the day I put it on. Golly, I wouldn’t ask for anything better. It’s way better than anything I’ve personally ever used. I have no intention of getting rid of it. Putting that front rack on was a game changer, I’m going to tell you right now. Both of my boys and I were all hunting together. Growing up, it was just my dog; now, it’s their dogs. So if the three of us get in a blind, it’s three guys, three dogs, and three guns. But the way we’ve got it stacked and compartmentalized—what goes on front, what goes on top, what goes on the sides—boom, we’re just ready to roll. It runs like a well-oiled machine for us, that system does. It really does fit well. Now, I’ve got a great question for you. Right now, today, with this 2020 China Flu going around, how does it feel to be American-made? Seriously, how does it feel to be an American-made product? I did not know until the last two months’ education about Wuhan and everything else that 90% of America’s Tylenol supply was made in China. How does it feel to be American-made?


Proudly American-Made & Built to Last

“My company, and the pride that we have in it, is about building a quality product that makes your life easier, makes your duck hunting more efficient and more successful, and supports your fellow Americans.”


Garrett Walker: That term, “Made in the USA,” and being made in America, changed for me dramatically in my second year of Quack Rack. I thought I knew what that term meant, and then I learned what that term meant, and it chokes me up every time I tell it. The manufacturer when the oil and gas business was down, the guy that would never have taken me in, took me in to save his business. It’s easy right now to say, “Man, you’re silly not to be made in America,” and there’s a whole bigger, macro level that we could probably do a two part series on. But on a micro level, my guy’s named Jerry. In my second year, Jerry came to me and said, “I cannot thank you enough for your business. You just saved Christmas for everybody on my team.” That right there absolutely defined what being made in the USA is. You asked me why I started the business, why I kept going. Well, my pride started out as being in helping waterfowl hunters. My pride, over time, has shifted. I love putting these guys to work. I love when I put in a large PO and you can see it in their eyes. I love being able to have those guys be in business, stay in business, and depend on me. Right now, over the past couple of years, I’ve moved all of our operations to Northwest Arkansas. My fabricator up there— At the beginning of the year, the first week of January, I set up a meeting and go into this big conference room. He comes in here and sits down, and we have a cup of coffee. I looked him in the eye and just said, “Man, I can’t thank you enough for how well everything is going and how well everything is operating.” He doesn’t know that I saw this, but his shoulders dropped by about two inches. They sagged. He was stressed. He didn’t know what I was going to tell him, but I told him that I’m enjoying the relationship and that I appreciate our business. He knew that he was going to continue making Quack Racks. That right there, knowing that his family and his company are dependent upon a little old silly company named Quack Rack out of Texas, with some goofy thing— These guys don’t even know what decoys are. They’re just badass welders. They’re building this stuff, and that’s what makes me proud. It’s not like, “Oh, COVID-19, ha ha, I told you so.” Let me give you the flip side of that. You’re talking about Tylenol and all this other stuff. We’ve got to put our money where our mouth is as Republicans, Democrats, whatever. As pro-Americans. I would say that most of the audience here is anti-socialism. Most of the audience here is probably pro-Trump or pro-Republican. The best way to put it is probably pro-capitalism. But you see people being pro-capitalism on the outside, but when they spend their dollar, what are they doing? They can’t wait to find a deal. They can’t wait to find a China-made product and buy it.

Ramsey Russell: Well, because, honestly, it’s not a political statement in doing that. It’s just that we’ve been cultivated to buy low. We’ve been taught to spend less, spend less, spend less. Because I’m sitting here as you’re talking and my head’s swimming because what you just said— I grew up with my grandparents and that whole generation. American made, by Americans. That whole thing. But, boy, a lot’s changed since then. The whole global supply chain. Well, we’ve got a mutual friend, Garrett, who works for Academy. He’s a big shot up in there, but he used to be in the food industry. We were down in Argentina, duck hunting, a few years ago, and he was explaining to me—this is globalism—that if you go to your local grocery store and buy a fresh, wild-caught salmon fillet, boom, sitting right there on ice at Kroger— He said, “Let me tell you how fresh it is. It was caught in Alaska, loaded into boats on ice, shipped to China, processed, shipped to a port, and then put on a refrigerated truck and distributed. It’s fourteen days old, sitting right there. It’s as fresh as it can be because of the global supply chain.” I said, “Well, why don’t they just process it in Alaska?” He said, “Because you wouldn’t pay five times what that salmon fillet costs, which is what it would cost if it didn’t go to China and get processed so cheaply.” With Quack Rack, since I’ve known you we’ve had these discussions. “Man, why don’t you just send it to China and make a lot more money? Because even though it’s not American-made, it’s an American company.” I just ignorantly have thought, “Well, that’s good enough. It’s an American company.”

Garrett Walker: You know that feeling. When I travel around and go to different duck camps, Ramsey,  there will be other guests there, and that’s the first thing people always tell me. “You’re an idiot if you don’t go to China.” But that’s not what my company is about. My company is not about that shortcut. My company, and the pride that we have in it, is about building a quality product that makes your life easier, makes your duck hunting more efficient and more successful, and supports your fellow Americans. It’s a hard thing to say, “Well, everybody has been taught to buy at the lower price,” or “People wouldn’t pay the $5.” Well, maybe during times like this, you’ll start to question it. I don’t need to give an economics lesson for people to realize that, if money never left the country, we’d all be making more of it. Prices would drive up, wages would drive up, but it would still be the same ratio or correlation. The unfortunate thing is that every Excel spreadsheet accountant for every business, every CFO, everybody’s always asking the question, “How can we save money? How can we make it cheaper? Where can we cut costs?” I want nothing to do with that. I really don’t. I want to make a quality product. I want to make your life easier, and I want it to last the rest of your life. Maybe that’s going to put me out of business, but I would rather go out of business sticking to my core fundamentals and the way that I want to run it than I would want to succeed by cutting those corners.

Ramsey Russell: I know it can be a harder road to hoe, just from having talked to people that utilize— Not all materials are going to come from America, but it’s made in America. It puts Americans in a job. In fact, Brandon Cerecke with Boss Shotshells was speaking to the same thing a few weeks ago. He grew up in Michigan, the whole just made in America, blue collar American workers thing. Just like your guys in the shop that are turning this stuff out. Man, to speak to him about employing Americans— Boy, he could write a textbook on it. He’s savvy about it, same as you are. As it affects you, Garrett, are there any benefits or disadvantages that you see? It’s the hard way, you keep saying, so what are some of the benefits or disadvantages of making Quack Rack in America?

Ramsey Russell: Well, it all boils down to labor prices. One part of the story that I never really tell is that, during years one, two, and three of Quack Rack, the prices of aluminum skyrocketed. I’ve never raised my prices. I’ve never done anything with it. A sheet of aluminum used to be $140, and it got to over $300 just for a sheet of aluminum in my first three years of running this business. I can look at Chinese aluminum, and I could probably say that it’s roughly, right now, probably almost $100 a sheet for just a sheet of aluminum. If you look at labor, it’s a big difference. But I also hear the other side of the story, right now, when I talk to owners of Chinese-manufactured products. One of the biggest companies in the industry—I’m not going to say the name—forty-five days ago, didn’t even know if they were going to get their product in. Right now, they’re able to get 75-80% in. There’s a little bit of a hiccup. Another company—I was talking to the guy this week—their tariffs are as high as 20-35% just to get product here. So, yes, the labor and the process and the cost of going into manufacturing would be so much less expensive, but I’m not going to do it. Absolutely not going to do it.


Social Media & Reaching All the Demographics

“It’s always evolving. It’s always changing.”


Ramsey Russell: Amen. Changing gears a little bit, you and I have had some conversations over the years, in a duck blind, over cold drinks, talking about this. Social media marketing. Y’all have got a really incredible page, I think. I keep up with you there on Instagram. Y’all really make that machine and that setup look so sexy, with those Stingray lights going and everything else. It’s a good deal. Man, based on your background and some of the things we’ve been talking about, I’m just curious, because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I love social media. It’s a great platform. It’s very transparent. It’s a very good way, instead of like a business card-styled website, or even print ads, or even magazine stories— The great thing about social media is that it forms a real good transparent connection between the consumer and the business. Because you’re evolving, you’re telling stories, you’re showing different things—different conditions, different days, good days, bad days—and people that channel into a brand or a company or a person via social media really get to know a lot more about you than just a twenty minute phone call or a 1,500 words story. It’s a really good evolving story, like a series, and it’s so powerful in the world of marketing today. I’m aware of a lot of “mega brands,” that make premium products like yourself and like many others, that have transitioned almost all, or most, of their marketing into these influencer-type marketing and social media things. But here lately, the last couple of months during this great big COVID pause, I’m sitting at home thinking to myself. My phone’s ringing. It’s a very, very certain demographic, the same demographic I would describe as 80% wagon pullers, in my particular business. I’m just curious about your input. If I think back to Instagram, golly, I was in my late 40’s before I ever put the Instagram app on my phone. I didn’t know what Instagram was. Heck, I was in my 40’s before I knew what Facebook was. Back in the day, it was just what college kids used on college campuses. Times evolve and things grow, and a lot of people are plugged into it. What are your thoughts on the average age of an Instagram user versus who this COVID pause, this break in income for a month or two— It’s offset by federal dollars, but still, this break in lifestyle and income. If not just during COVID, but in future recessions. Heck, I’m 50. I’ve been through four of these things now. It happens. Economies don’t just always grow. You’ve got contractions. What are your thoughts on the average age and demographic such a recession is likely to affect versus how this whole influencer marketing has become so proliferate now? How will it affect the sales of premium products? What are your thoughts? My head swims when I think about this kind of stuff.

Garrett Walker: Well, every time I figure social media out, the moment I figure it out, it changes. It seems like we’re kind of always chasing it. It wasn’t what it was four or five years ago. To get ten thousand followers in six months wasn’t a thing a couple of years ago. Now, the algorithms change. I’ve heard a lot of people that consult with me through social media saying that the days of gathering a bunch of new followers are past; you’re pretty much, somewhat, locked into where you are. It’s going to be slow, incremental growth. Being people with 50,000, 75,000, 150,000 followers in the waterfowl world, none of us are growing our community or our follower base like we used to, for whatever reason. You’ve got different avenues: Facebook, Instagram. Tiktok is more prevalent; people are talking about that now. For me, Ramsey, through this COVID-19 or through these times or even when it’s good, I have to understand who my customer is, and then I have to choose. So for me at Quack Rack, Instagram has been the number one driver to my website. Facebook is like five or six. But probably six months ago I would have told you that Instagram’s like everybody’s high fiving, saying “Great picture! Way to go!”, and that on Facebook, when you got a message, it was a sale. It was a done deal. People were more serious. It’s more of an adult crowd. But that’s always evolving and changing, and it always will evolve and change. I don’t think you or me would be in the position that we’re in today without these avenues, good or bad. Without them changing, without them doing it. Are people spending more time on social media right now? I think they are. I was talking with another company that just launched some decoys when we were running a story the other night, and the story didn’t do well, at all, on my end. Normally when I run a story, in 24 hours you’ll have 5,000-7,000 views. I had like 1,200. I think some of these states are unlocking, and people are tired of the social media. I think a lot of people were out to dinner that night or whatever. It’s always evolving. It’s always changing. Like I said, Instagram is our number one tool. I think it would be wise for all of us, for you, to go open a TikTok account and just start looking, just start learning. Like you said, when you started Instagram, you were probably behind the curve. Well, the best advice that we take is to look at what’s next. We’re watching that younger generation on Tiktok. We’re seeing that, I guess you could say, Facebook is just kind of Facebook. It’s not as exciting as a TikTok or an Instagram. But it’s always going to be changing. We’ve just got to keep up. You have a line about the money you spend in marketing, right? 50% works, 50% doesn’t, and you spend 100% of your time figuring out which 50% is which.

Ramsey Russell: That’s right. I do wonder sometimes, because I spend a lot of time on Instagram looking and absorbing and exploring it. People have said, “Well, why don’t you write a book? You ought to write a book.” I’m like, “I do write a book. Just go look at my Instagram page.” Read it a paragraph at a time. I do it for personal enjoyment, but also recognized— I never, ever, ever, ever will forget the time that I was at a show in Dallas, and a young man came into my booth and started asking about my dog and asking about my kids and asking about personal stuff. I’m sitting there thinking, the whole time we’re talking—he’s a young man, half my age, or my kids’ age—I’m wondering, “Who is this guy?” I thought maybe he’s one of Forrest’s friends or somebody’s son or something. I said, “Man, I’m sorry, I don’t know you.” Then his face dropped and he goes, “We’re friends on Facebook.” Well, when you’ve got five thousand friends on Facebook, it’s kind of hard to keep up with every single person. But it really sent home the message that, “Wow, this is a great way for people to know you. It’s transparent. It’s letting them into not just your business, but into your person.” That’s a good thing. I think it’s a very good thing. As I find myself building relationships with people now, professional or otherwise, I can learn a lot about them by looking at their social media feed. We’re all trying to figure it out, but it seems to me to be very demographic-oriented and age-oriented. You can think about demographics in terms of how old somebody is, their background, and where they’re from, but you can also look at them in terms of consumers for this category of product or this category of product or this category of product. Man, where I am at age 50 versus where I was at age 20 is a big difference. It’s just a really big difference. It’s not going to change the way that I reach people or let people into the Get Ducks lifestyle, but I just wonder if you could see, or have thought, about a way that it might change the market.

Garrett Walker: Well, there’s a lot of things we can’t control, and there’s a lot of things that we can control. We have a metric on our website. I told you a second ago that Instagram is the number one driver to our website, but the number one comment in response to “How did you hear about us?” through our sales of last year was by word of mouth. So I’m doing the best job that I can. I’m learning. I’m 41 years old, and I feel old as it relates to knowing what the hell is going on with social media. I’ve got all these 20-something’s telling me, “Oh, you should do this, you should do that, you should frame your picture, you should blah, blah.” I’m always going to be trying to keep up with that, but the one thing that I can control and that I love seeing is when your number one “How did you hear about us?” is word of mouth.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah. Well, where next for Quack Rack? Where do you go from here, Garrett?

Garrett Walker: We’ve got some core products that we’re launching this year. One of the things that we build that nobody really knows about is UTV roofs. Roofs have become bigger and bigger, and so we’ve refined it. We’ve made them better. We’ve got some new products that we’re going to launch in the next thirty days. Tools that are not UTV-oriented. Tools that any waterfowler can use. We’re enhancing our UTV lines, but, at the same time, we’re kind of stepping away and getting into more products that the average duck hunter can acquire and use to help them be more successful. We’re going to continue to be American-made. I’m going to continue to over-engineer. Like I said, this week I’m seeing the shift. We’re already moving towards planning and trying to figure out where we’re going to go this year for duck season. I hope you and I can cross paths again. So we’re planning all that out and trying to figure out where we want to go.

Ramsey Russell: I was just fixing to say, you sent me a meme last night of The Dude. He’s so over the COVID-19 and killer hornets—murder hornets or whatever they’re called, those bugs—and he’s just ready to go shoot some ducks, man, and I am too. Where are we going to go, next Garrett? That’s the next question. Where are we going to go shoot something?

Garrett Walker: Man, I’m ready to go anywhere. The guys are always chomping at the bit to get back to Idaho and Montana. We’re talking a lot about Nebraska and Kansas this year. We may be doing a couple of flooded timber hunts over in Arkansas. I haven’t hunted in Arkansas in a couple of years. Who knows? The good news is that I think we’re moving forward and states are opening up, and I think the fear of having any sort of interference with the waterfowl season has kind of gone out the window.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah. That’s the big thing. I know a lot of people that have been personally hurt, and it was very, very scary. It is a little scary, even as these things are opening up. We don’t know. There’s a lot of unknowns out here, but I do feel better myself. I feel better. I’m not fearful. I feel better. I want to see it opening up. Everybody I know just wants to work. I’m ready to see it go back to work. That’s what America was built on, was work, and everybody I know just wants to work. Garrett, tell listeners how they can connect with you. How can everybody get connected with Quack Rack and Garrett Walker?

Garrett Walker: In several ways. I’d ask that you follow us on social media. We’ve got a Facebook and we’ve got Instagram. It’s just as simple as Quack Rack. Our website is www.quackrack.com, and we welcome any phone calls to help get you rigged up for this waterfowl season. One of the things that we’re doing right now is that we opened up a performance shop. Guys are bringing their buggies right now. We’ve got six or seven buggies in the shop, and guys are getting outfitted with racks and getting new tires. Whatever it is, we’re just getting you ready for waterfowl season. We’d love to hear from you. We follow up with all the questions that get asked on Facebook, Instagram, and the website. Reach out and give us a shout at www.quackrack.com.

Ramsey Russell: Absolutely. Folks, thank y’all for listening. Subscribe to Duck Season Somewhere anywhere you listen to podcasts. Thanks for telling others to listen, too. Hit me up @Ramsey RussellGetDucks with comments or suggestions. Until next time, remember: life’s short, get ducks.

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USHuntList.com because the next great hunt is closer than you think. Search our database of proven US and Canadian outfits. Contact them directly with confidence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It really is Duck Season Somewhere for 365 days. Ramsey Russell’s Duck Season Somewhere podcast is available anywhere you listen to podcasts. Please subscribe, rate and review Duck Season Somewhere podcast. Share your favorite episodes with friends. Business inquiries or comments contact Ramsey Russell at ramsey@getducks.com. 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