Really! What the heck is a “honeymoon duck hunt”?! As another fun-filled week winds to an end in sunny Mazatlan, Mexico, Ramsey meets poolside with duck hunters and non-hunting spouses to learn the answer to that burning question while enjoying frosty margaritas. How was the duck hunting? What duck species? How’d the hunting compare to duck hunting back home? Do non-hunters really enjoy it? Where do guests stay and how’s the service? What do the ladies do while the men are hunting, what do they enjoy most about the resort experience? Where do they eat, how’s the food? What all else is there to do besides duck hunt? And is it safe?! Sí Señor! After hearing these guests describe their honeymoon duck hunting experiences, you’ll be ready to pack the flip flops and sunscreen, grab your sweetheart, and enjoy the most fun either of you have ever dreamed of while duck hunting!
Mazatlán Honeymoon Duck Hunt
You don’t know what’s coming over the hill next or coming over the trees; it could be a pintail, a shoveler, a cinnamon teal, or a green wing.
Ramsey Russell: Welcome back to Duck Season! Somewhere from the Mazatlán honeymoon duck hunt I want you all to hear not what I think about this hunt but what the guests themselves think about it. We’re going to start with Richard Mobley, who brought his new bride, Angie Mobley, down here for pretty much a honeymoon.
Richard Mobley: Honeymoon and anniversary all in one.
Ramsey Russell: All in one. Yeah, it’s your 3-year anniversary, but it is the date.
Richard Mobley: Yes, it is the date. It was the 16th of the month. So yeah.
Ramsey Russell: What did you think about the duck hunt? How did the duck hunt compare to Yakima, Washington?
Richard Mobley: Like I told Andy, it exceeded my expectations. I knew we would get birds; that was never a question. But the quality and just the pure fun of it were just more than I could even comprehend. I’ll come back in the evenings and we’ll sit here and discuss it, and I told her, “I know, I went yesterday, but holy smokes, look at what we’re doing today; it’s just something new every day.”
Ramsey Russell: Now, be honest with me, Richard, the first day we pulled up to a very narrow body of water, 20 feet, not 20 yards wide. We didn’t fire a shot for an hour because it was cool, it was cloudy, and the birds were still eating. What were you thinking that first hour?
Richard Mobley: It’s hard to really put it into words. I’m sitting there thinking, “Well, I know they’re there and I know they’re coming; it’s just when are they going to come?”
Ramsey Russell: It’s like, as old Wayne said, he said, “I knew I didn’t get guard hold because you were right down the bank; I knew they wouldn’t guard holders were you present.” But we were wondering in this narrow mud puddle, and then from my perspective, Richard, I heard pop, pop, and I saw the birds fall, and then it sounded like somebody lit a big old long firecracker string, and you all were off to the races. When I got down there to film you, you were all in a full-blown melee.
Richard Mobley: Yes, we were. There were ducks going
Ramsey Russell: I couldn’t tell if you were shooting ducks or defending yourself.
Richard Mobley: It was hard to tell at times. It was hard to tell. Sometimes we have to move out of the way of falling ducks.
Ramsey Russell: What was your favorite thing about Mazatlán duck hunting?
Richard Mobley: The variety is definitely there. You don’t know what’s coming over the hill next or coming over the trees; it could be a pintail, a shoveler, a cinnamon teal, or a green wing. It’s hard to say. Or it could be something that we haven’t seen yet.
Ramsey Russell: What was your favorite moment? You’ve been hunting for 3 or 4 days; what sticks out that you’ll never forget?
Richard Mobley: Probably when we walked up yesterday, when we took over your guy’s spot, once those birds came and I mean they just kept coming and coming and you’ve got four guys out there that’s empty and shotguns trying to load them moving out of the way, I almost got taken out by gadwall I shot, had to step to the side to the right trying to stuff shells in, and I’m seeing them coming and I know I got the shots and I just couldn’t get the shell fast enough.
Ramsey Russell: That’s probably one of my favorite hunts. It used to be called the Blue Bill Pond because now we got there. We walked down the levee, and behind us is a vast estuary. When we got there, it was black with ducks. And we got in position and looked at the other side of the dam we were sitting on; the whole back end was black with ducks too. And ducks are trading over here because they’re coming in to drink fresh water. And one of our guests, not knowing the program, should have told me. He ups and shoots at a duck flying over, and the whole cloud gets up. We’re not loaded or anything; we watched a thousand ducks fly over 30 yards. And what was so interesting is that we shot our generous 20 bird limits apiece, and then you all came in and it was a repeat. I mean, it’s like we sat there and watched those ducks build back up a football field length away, and I’m like, “No, I got to watch this.” I’ve got to see what happens. And we sat there, and boom, that cloud came over, and you all shelled out, and ducks were raining.
Richard Mobley: And it was like, you guys never even hunted it. It’s like it was virgin water, and we walked up, and the ducks had never even seen another person. They just kept coming.
Ramsey Russell: Can you imagine that in America?
Richard Mobley: No.
Ramsey Russell: I mean, it’s like when I leave the duck hole normally where we hunt, everywhere I can think of in America, we’re not watching ducks pile back in more than they were. What were your thoughts? Let me back up and ask this question: What time do you leave the house to go duck hunting in Washington?
Richard Mobley: 4:30-5:00 in the morning.
Ramsey Russell: If you ain’t early, you’re late. Did you ever have any misgivings about us driving at 7 o’clock in the morning when it’s daylight and watching the sun peak over the mountains as we’re still going to the duck hole? Did it ever dawn on you, like, “Wait a minute, I might be late?”
Richard Mobley: Somewhat. Because you’re used to your normal program of “I get up early, I get the dog in the car, and the whole nine yards,” and we’re sitting there and watching the sun come up and thinking, “Oh, then we get there and there’s still no birds flying for the first, like you said, half hour, 40 minutes, and thinking what’s going on here.” Then you’ll get one trickle by maybe a couple pairs, or 2, 4, or 5, and then it’s just nonstop, and they don’t stop.
Ramsey Russell: It’s just like this morning we went to that little new pond and the boys ran ahead of us and I could hear them hacking with machetes as they were walking down the trail and they cut us out little holes up in the mangrove and they were coming in ones, twos, and threes, and then about 08:30 it was just like somebody opened up the falls and here they come. 10, 20, and it was extremely difficult shooting because they’re rocking and rolling and doing all kinds of top gun maneuvers coming in that hole, and the ones I missed, I wasn’t just behind; I was about last season behind, yesterday behind that bird. It was just so difficult, but it makes it fun.
Richard Mobley: Exactly. There were times I would start to throw the gun up and I thought, “He’s already through; there’s no way.” If I saw them coming, I was on them.
Ramsey Russell: Exactly. What do you think about the program in terms of a little burrito and stuff like that afterwards?
Richard Mobley: That’s a really great touch. The guys go out, they’re hunting, they come back, we have burritos, peppers, something to drink, and it’s a cherry on top. It really is.
Ramsey Russell: We get to sit there and talk about the hunt.
Richard Mobley: Exactly. It’d be very easy to just put everybody back in the rigs, bring them back to the hotels, have your lunch, and have a good day, but that’s not how it is. It’s really first-class; it really is in my book.
Ramsey Russell: Safety. Because every time I’m down here and we’re doing these Instagram stories and stuff, it blows up. People’s curiosity is about to kill them and they want to come down here. And I get asked all the time, “How safe is it?” Well, yesterday was a really good one, and I’m not picking on anybody because it is what it is. But the inbox I get is like, “Man, I’ve been watching Narcos on Netflix, and I’m really leery of that area right now.”
Richard Mobley: The cartel is going to get me.
Ramsey Russell: And I’m like, “I’m from near Jackson, Mississippi.” Not from Jackson, but near Jackson, Mississippi. And I feel a lot safer down here than there, but very seriously, not my words, yours. How safe do you feel here?
Richard Mobley: I feel just as safe as standing in my backyard. There’s nothing down here that’s going to bother you. We come from eastern Washington, Yakima, and on the Pacific Coast, Yakima is kind of deemed a trouble spot. I mean, I feel safer in Mazatlán than I do in Yakima. I don’t feel unsafe in Yakima, but there’s not a worry in the world down here.
Ramsey Russell: I don’t disagree with any of that. I mean, I feel very safe right here. Have you all gone out of the resort and seen any of the town yet?
Richard Mobley: We have a little bit.
Ramsey Russell: It’s a beautiful city.
Pro Pointers for Duck Hunting & Exploring Mazatlán
If you’re serious about going down and doing some real duck hunting, Go. It is worth every bit of it.
Richard Mobley: It is. Now that we’re done hunting, we have a couple of days. Starting in the morning, we’re going to do some exploring to see what Mazatlán has to offer besides good duck hunting.
Ramsey Russell: This morning, you gave me a pro-pointer tip.
Richard Mobley: Yes, sir.
Ramsey Russell: What was that pro-pointer tip?
Richard Mobley: Well, it’s okay to have a good time down here, but don’t do a bunch of straight shots and drink about the myth drinks and go ahead and jump in the rig in the morning. Expect to hit them ducks in tight spots because you’re already going to slow down a little bit, and I thought, man.
Ramsey Russell: I don’t know how you come down here and not drink margaritas, rum, beer, and everything else. And it really hit home for me when I walked down here to your place and you were 5 feet from the bar. Now I understand it.
Richard Mobley: Yes, sir. They just walk right up and bring me whatever I want.
Ramsey Russell: Well, based on your pro tip, I wonder if I should charge more or extra for being 5 feet from the bar.
Richard Mobley: I don’t know, maybe a little disclaimer. If you’re hunting in the morning, just take it easy.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah. How would you describe this hunt to anyone listening? How would you describe Mazatlán? How will you tell your folks when you get back home?
Richard Mobley: I would tell them, “If you’re serious about going down and doing some real duck hunting, Go. It is worth every bit of it.”
Ramsey Russell: Real duck hunting in crocs, he means.
Richard Mobley: You can duck hunt barefoot if you really want to. You really could. But you don’t have to get dressed up; I’d bring some camouflage clothes just to break it up a wee bit, but it’s not necessary. You could go out in a tan shirt and tan shorts, and you’d be just fine.
Ramsey Russell: Well, Richard, thank you very much. I’ve enjoyed getting to hunt with you this week. And I want to hear what your bride has to say about this hunt. She didn’t go duck hunting.
Richard Mobley: No sir.
Ramsey Russell: But I want to hear what she has to say about it. Well, Miss Angie Mobley, while your husband has been off shooting all these ducks and all this good stuff, how have you enjoyed a “duck hunt”? Is this like any other duck hunt he’s taking you on?
Angie Mobley: No. I don’t usually get involved in duck hunting, to be honest. I have gone before with limited I’ve slept in, he gets up early, he leaves, I sleep, and I love it. And of course, you can come out here starting at 10:00 AM for food, drinks, or whatever you want. Honestly, usually I just wait for him in the room because that’s just kind of who I am. But there’s lots you can do; you can go to breakfast, you can walk around, and there are other non-hunters as well. Sometimes we get together and do things together. Sometimes they’ll be sitting over here on the other side of the pool, and they’ll wave. So it’s been fun. Quality time.
Ramsey Russell: You all are down here; there are two pools at this particular resort. Have you seen any big lizards walking around?
Angie Mobley: Actually, it’s not big, but we do have an iguana that likes to take up residence right behind where you’re sitting in the morning when the sun’s out.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah. The little ones are usually females, and while men call me crazy, I enjoy feeding them. I was shocked to learn they’re vegetarians. They like tomatoes and lettuce, and they’ll come right out of your hands and eat them. Have you experienced any service? because I know you all took the inclusive package.
Angie Mobley: Yes.
Ramsey Russell: What do you think about it?
Angie Mobley: It has been amazing. We’re used to doing things for ourselves. We’re not used to being catered to either; I guess that would be the way to say it. They’re so genuinely nice being where our room is. We are a little bit different than most because they’ll come right to us; that’s just the luck of the draw of the room that we got.
Ramsey Russell: Oh boy, right here.
Angie Mobley: Yeah. So they’re just awesome. And we feel like we’ve really gotten to know many of them; they have been polite, and they bend over backwards to help you with anything. And we haven’t had any big requests; we’re pretty easy-going. They have just been phenomenal. It makes you feel very special, even when you go up to the restaurants and things. It’s been great. They just treat you with such respect that it really makes you feel happy to be here. You’re on vacation; yes, he’s here for his duck hunt, so he’s getting that and having a great experience, and then we’re able to have this great experience too. The whole thing has been wonderful.
Bring Your Non-Hunting Spouse on a Duck Hunt?!
You don’t have to go on the duck hunt because you’re going to have a great time when they’re out hunting, and then when they get back, you’re going to have things to do all the time.
Ramsey Russell: We’ve always called this the “honeymoon duck hunt” because so many people bring their spouses. And I have heard as much from the spouses that don’t hunt at all as from the husbands; they love it down here. Because it’s one thing if you’re going to reach into the kitty and go on a duck hunt; it’s something entirely different. If you get to go out and shoot your ducks in the morning and come back and hang out with the most special person in your life, and it’s just to enjoy a vacation, It’s awesome. You’re talking about the service; how would you compare it? I’ve got a strong opinion about this. How would you compare the service industry in Mexico to that in Washington State or anywhere in the state?
Angie Mobley: Actually, Rich and I have talked about this several times since we’ve been here; it doesn’t compare; I don’t think that you can make a comparison because in the United States, maybe unfortunately, I think sometimes the service industry is maybe looked down upon; it shouldn’t be, but maybe they feel looked down upon or something. It’s almost like you’re putting them out, even though you go to a restaurant or whatever, but it’s almost like they’re being inconvenienced.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah. Well, it’ll be all right with me. We’re talking to another couple. I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to interrupt you.
Angie Mobley: It’s okay. We’ve made a lot of fast friends here. So I love the interruption.
Ramsey Russell: You bring up a good point; that is a very good point. I want to get back to the service part. But you all book one hunter and one non-hunter; they book one hunter and one non-hunter. We had 8 to 10, and it’s kind of like finding your tribe down here. All of a sudden, you meet people like yourself who want to come to Mexico and bring their spouses. You meet people who come with their husbands to hunt. I mean, one of my favorite things about these trips is meeting folks like yourselves and them. We’re just all one big happy family for a few days, and it’s awesome.
Angie Mobley: And what’s wonderful about it with that particular couple you just saw is that, honestly, they’re probably young enough; they could be our kids. Our kids are a little bit different; they’re a little bit younger, but it didn’t matter. There were so many commonalities. I think people just have so many commonalities. Yes, they have ducks in common, and that’s certainly something we’ve talked about, but we’ve also just found other things, and we’ve just had a blast getting to know them. We haven’t gotten to know everyone; we haven’t had that opportunity, but for those that we have gotten to know, it’s just been great. It’s been very good—it just flows. But I think everyone’s having the same experience. They’re relaxed, they’re happy, and they’re enjoying a vacation. They’re doing something that they haven’t done before or that they don’t get to do very often. And so it’s been wonderful. But getting back to the service part, since I don’t want to forget, I know you want to talk about the service. It’s almost a state of mind, which is what I found here in Mexico. My husband’s been to Mexico before, although it’s been a long time since he’s been here. I’ve never been to Mexico at all before. And so this has been a total new experience for me. They want you to be happy; they want to make sure you have what you want; they want to see that smile; they want to know—we had a server named Ricardo by the end of 5 minutes maybe; he knew our names; he knew where we were from; we bragged on our hometown a little bit because we have the Super Bowl MVP Cooper Cups from our town. So we bragged on that a little bit. But he remembered that when he brought us tequila shots later, he called it Yakima water, which was really fun. But the fact that he remembered that and that he learned our names really quickly is just unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. You never get that anywhere else.
Ramsey Russell: What has been your favorite part of this vacation, as a non-hunter?
Angie Mobley: It’s hard to say one thing as a non-hunter.
Ramsey Russell: Say 5. What’s been your favorite 5?
Angie Mobley: It’s just been nice to feel so comfortable and relaxed in a place that you’ve never been and to feel so welcomed. Even when we got to the airport, it was a little confusing trying to find the transportation that we took to the hotel because everyone was trying to help. It was in a good way. Oh, so I showed them the paper. Oh, you’re with the ducks. So then they sent us to the right place. But everyone wants to help you; they’re so friendly, and again, it seems very genuine—not just friendly put on because I want you to give me some money.
Ramsey Russell: I say the same thing. I feel disenfranchised when I go to restaurants in America because I don’t feel this commitment. What do you want? I want to eat, I want service, and these people are just more than willing to give it to me. And like you say, you bring up the best point: the smile. They do what they’ve got to do to make you smile; isn’t that amazing?
Angie Mobley: And they really seem to enjoy what they’re doing too. We have had our head waiter here at this particular snack bar, which they refer to as a “snack bar.” It’s more like a restaurant, but they call it a snack bar. His name is Daniel, and he has been so fantastic. I mean, literally, from the day we got here, wanting to make sure we had whatever we needed, we talked about that. This seems to be a job made for him. He’s just that kind of person; you can’t fake that stuff. and it’s just been so nice to see. We were talking in our hometown; we went to dinner on Christmas Eve, and we went to a locally owned kind of backwoods restaurant, and the waitress—I think she might have been the owner; I don’t know—was very, very nice and accommodating. We commented at the time that we don’t eat out a lot with COVID, and everything has changed in the last couple years especially. But we were like, “Wow, that was such a great service,” and it was. She was great. But it stood out to us because it was an unusual experience in the US.
Ramsey Russell: That’s terrible. It really is, and it’s sad. But it’s part of the reason I love to come down here. Imagine there’s a wife listening whose husband has said, “Hey, I want to go down here duck hunting; you’ll have fun.” And she’s like, “I ain’t going on a duck hunt.” What would you tell them?
Angie Mobley: You don’t have to go on the duck hunt because you’re going to have a great time when they’re out hunting, and then when they get back, you’re going to have things to do all the time. Personally, I’m more into the relaxing vibe. We have really embraced that wholeheartedly, kicking back and taking a break from the everyday hustle and bustle. I think that they would love it if they gave it a chance. I will be honest with you: I was very apprehensive about this whole thing.
Ramsey Russell: Was it Mexico or the duck hunt part?
Angie Mobley: The duck hunt part, I leave it to him; he knows more about that, and I trust his judgment fully. So if he thought it was good, then I was all on board with that. But it was just Mexico; I’ve never been here before. You hear bad things. –
Ramsey Russell: Narcos on Netflix, that kind of stuff.
Angie Mobley: And I wouldn’t necessarily follow that. But you do sometimes hear stories, these horror stories, but you know what? We could read a horror story where we live. We can read a horror story anywhere.
Ramsey Russell: Richard and I were talking about going down to hunt one day about some of the anarchy and liberal craziness that is going on in the States, especially in your backyard. I mean, you don’t see that down here.
Angie Mobley: No. Down here, it just seems like a different way of life, but in a very positive way, and I know it’s been very pleasant. I’ve enjoyed it a lot. I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed it.
Ramsey Russell: Fantastic. Thank you all very much. Mr. Matt Tranter.
Matt Tranter: Yes sir.
Fly Off Down To Mazatlán, Mexico
To get me out of the country, I chose the duck hunt angle and was able to sweet talk her into it.
Ramsey Russell: St. Louis?
Matt Tranter: From just east of St. Louis, about 45 minutes
Ramsey Russell: Now, did I misunderstand? Are you the guy who has never really flown before?
Matt Tranter: I have flown to Florida once; I have never been out of the country.
Ramsey Russell: never been out of—did you have to get a passport to come down here?
Matt Tranter: Yes, sir.
Ramsey Russell: What compels a guy who doesn’t have a passport and has only flown once in his life to fly off down to Mazatlán, Mexico?
Matt Tranter: I want to do something completely different in the duck hunting world. My wife and I were never able to take a honeymoon.
Ramsey Russell: Oh my gosh! Really? This is it?
Matt Tranter: This is it. To get me out of the country, we’ve been married 6.5 years. To get me out of the country, I chose the duck hunt angle and was able to sweet talk her into it.
Ramsey Russell: But how did that work because you tell the average wife if you want to go duck hunting? How did you get her on board?
Matt Tranter: Pictures of Mazatlán and talking to you guys and Anita helped a lot. It seemed perfect down here, and it truly was.
Ramsey Russell: Number one, how did the duck hunting compare to where you hunted back home in Missouri?
Matt Tranter: Not even close. We hunt on the Illinois side. North Dakota does not hold a candle to Mexico’s duck hunting.
Ramsey Russell: What’s so different about it?
Matt Tranter: Just the numbers and the hunting are amazing. You have to experience it to believe it. I’ve got buddies; I’ve talked about going to Canada for years, and Mexico is where I’m going to start trying to convince people to go on.
Ramsey Russell: What was your most memorable moment? Okay, I’m going to back up and ask you this question. The first morning, we pulled up a water hole 20 yards wide and muddy; they dropped four of you all off in the first group of bushes; you’re 6 feet from the decoys; we didn’t fire a shot for an hour. Because it was cloudy, it was cool. What were you thinking at that point? Like, “Oh my gosh.”
Matt Tranter: I’m not going to say I didn’t start to curse you. But we had talked a week prior, and you said, “Just trust me; we’re going to drop you off at the spot.” You’re going to think we’re never going to kill a duck at this back home. Just trust me. So I was starting to doubt you, but our recent conversations helped through.
Ramsey Russell: The bad thing is that I hunted that same blind last year, and there was twice as much water this year as last year. And all I could think when I walked up to holes like that the first time was that if I was anywhere in America on a guided hunt and they dropped me off at this mud puddle, I wanted my money back before I even loaded my gun. No way, we’re going to kill ducks here. And I was sitting down in this place, and I didn’t load my gun until you all had used it about four times. And from where I was, I would see duck springs, and I would see them start sagging and dropping here. Boom, boom, that’s about the 5th or 6th volley you all got in the melee of it all. I said, “I’m going to go down there and film these guys because you all weren’t letting many prisoners pass through.”
Matt Tranter: And you guys have some old duck blinds set up on the brackish water, and they came right over the old duck blinds, and those teal had to be 2 to 3 feet off the water. It was 2 to 3 feet off the dry ground.
Ramsey Russell: What was your most memorable moment?
Matt Tranter: Of the whole hunt, the whole week? The blue-bill pond. That was amazing. Shooting those beautiful shovelers with the sun shining, all you could see were the white drakes, it was amazing.
Ramsey Russell: What was so crazy about that? And when I was talking to Richard earlier, they broke us off into two different groups. We walked in, three of us, and a big flock of ducks came over, and then we were done. I mean, we had shot 70 ducks, and we were sitting there, and you all started coming up. And the whole time between the time we finished and the time you all got there in 20 minutes, we watched it just repeat. It’s like rewound and repeated, and all those ducks raft up, and you all come and get in position, and I’m like, “I’ve got to watch this.” And it was just 1000 birds that flew over everybody. Shells out, there are ducks dropping all sorts of things.
Matt Tranter: When that initial group flew over, I had shot five shells, and there were still ducks flying 20 yards overhead. I mean, just amazing.
Ramsey Russell: You got your cinnamon teal?
Matt Tranter: I got my cinnamon teal, my blue wing teal, and my green wing, and then I got me a shovel at the blue bill pond. So, I’m heading home with four for the wall.
Ramsey Russell: Good honeymoon?
Matt Tranter: Good honeymoon. She’s happy, and I’m happy. I think she’s had more fun than I have.
Ramsey Russell: What about safety? I mean, a lot of people still ask—I mean, Netflix, Narcos, all that BS. Because it’s Mexico, how did you feel down here?
Matt Tranter: So I don’t know if you know, but I worked for the state police back home in Illinois. –
Ramsey Russell: I did not know that.
Matt Tranter: I have not felt unsafe at all.
Ramsey Russell: A little bit safer than the hood in St. Louis?
Matt Tranter: I feel safer here than I do back home half the time.
Ramsey Russell: I feel safer anywhere in Mexico than I do in my backyard in Jackson, Mississippi.
Matt Tranter: And we’ve been off the resort now; we just spent all morning from 8 a.m. until about 1 p.m. off the resort.
Ramsey Russell: What do you all do?
Matt Tranter: We went up the lighthouse, went to the-
Ramsey Russell: Oh, you all did hike up there?
Matt Tranter: She struggled. But it was a good walk.
Ramsey Russell: It makes my palms sweat to get out on that glass sidewalk. I just broke into a sweat thinking about it.
Matt Tranter: I did not like that. I was walking the beams, and if I fell through, I was going to land on a beam.
Ramsey Russell: Well, I’m sitting there finally starting to relax last year, looking through the glass about 2000 feet down at the water, and some 5-year-old kid comes up running up there and starts jumping like he’s trying to break through it. And I started grabbing the rail, and I was like, “Oh my God.”
Matt Tranter: She wanted me to take a picture in the middle, and I was as fast as I could back to the rail.
Ramsey Russell: That’s a hell of a beautiful view from up there, isn’t it?
Matt Tranter: It’s a beautiful view, a beautiful walk, and a beautiful city. We went down and did the square shopping on the triangle, and she got some good stuff, and the kids got some good stuff.
Ramsey Russell: But it’s been a great vacation.
Matt Tranter: Amazing vacation.
Ramsey Russell: Where did you all eat this week?
Matt Tranter: So we ate primarily at the resort just because we did all-inclusive. Fantastic food and fantastic drinks. I spent a couple of days by the pool.
Ramsey Russell: You like the drinks?
Matt Tranter: I like the drinks everybody likes. She really likes the drinks. No, we’ve been off the resort once for dinner, and those shrimp were the size of bass back home, and they were amazing.
Ramsey Russell: The largest shrimp fleet in Mexico is right here in Mazatlán. Prawns—I call them prawns. big shrimp, great big shrimp. I had never really seen a small shrimp here. It was like chicken legs.
Matt Tranter: Exactly like chicken legs.
Ramsey Russell: Hey, when we got here, you all were amped up about the Super Bowl. We got here on Super Bowl Sunday; we all arrived on Super Bowl Sunday, and you sat down here and watched it.
Matt Tranter: They had a big old Super Bowl party. The Rams were originally from St. Louis, so I’m still a Rams fan for some odd reason, and I got to watch the Rams win the Super Bowl in Mexico. Pretty amazing.
Ramsey Russell: You were telling me they had like a real American buffet for the Super Bowl, with cheeseburgers and chili dogs.
Matt Tranter: Chicken wings and nachos, and I felt like I was at the game.
Ramsey Russell: What about the service down here? What do you think about the service? How does it compare to being back home?
Matt Tranter: Amazing down here. Ricardo is right 10 feet away, and Ricardo’s my boy.
Ramsey Russell: He knows what you want; he knows what you drink.
Matt Tranter: Super nice. On there, your drink is about half full, and here he is with another one.
Ramsey Russell: What would you tell any duck hunter listening about? I described the duck hunt more like a dove hunt. I wore Crocs the whole time. I mean, just because I could. I did step on a thorn today, and I remember watching what I was looking at afterwards. But how would you describe it? How would you just describe this overall package vacation? What advice would you give somebody? What would you tell them?
Advice for a Mexico Duck Hunting Honeymoon
Matt Tranter: I would tell somebody, and what I’m going to tell every one of my buddies back home is that if they want to duck hunt in Mexico, they need to come here. and I will be back. It’ll be, maybe not next year, but next year I will be back. Just don’t come the week I want to come because me and my wife want to come right back here and do the same thing for three more mornings here in about two years. It was absolutely unforgettable on the duck hunt of a lifetime.
Ramsey Russell: Matt, thank you very much. I’ve enjoyed it. One of my favorite parts anymore is just following up. I didn’t know anybody—I knew Chopper; I didn’t know anybody else on this trip—I knew my uncle, but I didn’t know you all. But it’s like, you find your tribe, and when I’m down here, I don’t care who gets in that suburban in the morning with us; it’s my tribe, man.
Matt Tranter: I figured it out too. A duck hunter in Illinois, a duck hunter in Mississippi, a duck hunter in Washington State—we all get along. I’ve had dinner with darn near every one of the guys I’ve hunted with. It was just me and my wife; we came down here just us two, and we’ve sat at the pool and had dinner with darn near everybody we’ve hunted with now and made friends with them. It’s been great.
Ramsey Russell: Duck hunters are duck hunters, especially when you throw them together and shoot a cinnamon teal down in Mexico.
Matt Tranter: Even if they can’t speak English, they know a duck hunter’s a duck hunter.
Ramsey Russell: What do you think about the bird boy speaking of which?
Matt Tranter: I love it. We had the younger bird boy, and I absolutely loved him. He was enjoyable, laughed, and shot them.
Ramsey Russell: Oscar is his name.
Matt Tranter: Oscar yeah.
Ramsey Russell: Thank you, Matt. I appreciate you all coming. I look forward to working with you in the future.
Matt Tranter: Thanks sir.
Ramsey Russell: Mrs. Ally Tranter is having the time of her life down here in Mazatlán.
Ally Tranter: Yes, sir.
Ramsey Russell: What did you think—this is you all’s honeymoon?
Ally Tranter: Yeah. We didn’t have one when we got married. So this is our honeymoon.
Ramsey Russell: And Matt was saying this was you all’s real honeymoon. It’s a duck hunt, and you didn’t go duck hunting. What kind of vacation was this for you?
Ally Tranter: This exceeded my expectations by far. When he first brought it up, I was like, “No, that’s for you.” I was like a duck hunting honeymoon; what are you talking about? No. But by far, it exceeded my expectations.
Ramsey Russell: What did you do when he went duck hunting?
Ally Tranter: Oh, breakfast. Well, my mind is set, so when the kids wake up at 6:40, that is my wake-up time. So every day I woke up at 6:40, but it was beautiful outside. The sun sets into your room, and you just wake up naturally, not even thinking; there are no kids crying or screaming. It was like, “Oh, am I really here?” And then you go get coffee; the coffee was good. Actually, I was surprised because I was thinking I was a little afraid. But yeah, coffee; everyone was so nice; we got breakfast and just hung out, walked around, saw everything; it’s beautiful.
Ramsey Russell: Hang out by the pool. What did you think about the resort facility for a duck club? For a weekly duck camp? What do you think about the resort?
Ally Tranter: The Marina? Not a duck camp.
Ramsey Russell: You had a good time.
Ally Tranter: Yes, very much. So it’s nothing like what you would think of as a duck camp. When I picture duck camp, I think of a trailer with a bunch of boys and some dogs that are going to go retrieve some ducks.
Ramsey Russell: Muddy floors and hair-covered sofas.
Ally Tranter: Yeah. No, this is more of a resort for women. Actually, the first day, Valentine’s Day, I got a massage. So I woke up, got my coffee, and then went and got massages—the best massage I’ve ever had.
Ramsey Russell: Don’t hang me on the wrong peg when I’m done here; I’m going to get a massage every time.
Ally Tranter: Yes, oh my gosh, I recommend it every time. I wish I could get it every day.
Ramsey Russell: I keep waking myself up snoring, though. You’re sitting there, and I wake myself up with those first little snores.
Ally Tranter: So what you’ve got to do is tell the masseuse, “I’m going to fall asleep on you.” You’ve got to wake me up.
Ramsey Russell: What was your favorite thing here? because you all really had a great time.
Ally Tranter: We really did. So my favorite thing is—and I was surprised we took two extra days after the hunt because I said, “This is our honeymoon; I want to spend some time with you.” And my favorite part was that you guys got home in enough time to do everything.
Ramsey Russell: We get here about noon or 12:30, and you’ve got the whole afternoon to hang out. And honestly, that’s one of my favorite parts: when I get back, my wife’s gotten up; she’s at work; work is her happy place. She worked a little bit, or she’s going out to have coffee or breakfast, or she’s had some or done something. And I come home, and boom, now we get to hang out.
Ally Tranter: Exactly. And that was my favorite part: I got to do my own thing, and then by the time he got home, we were ready to spend the time together. And then we spend enough time together that I don’t even need these two extra days. Now, we’re just scratching the surface of what we can do.
Ramsey Russell: No, you all will find something, I’m sure, on your honeymoon. Ally, what about safety because it’s Mexico?
Ally Tranter: So I have to say my husband is a police officer. So even in our town, when we go out to dinner, he’s carrying a gun. So we go to St. Louis for dinner because we live in Illinois; we also go to Springfield because we’re right in the middle of that, and he carries a gun everywhere. And when we went out to dinner, I never felt, and he never expressed, that he needed the gun to go anywhere. I felt completely safe.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah, I think it’s safe here.
Ally Tranter: I think so. I mean, even that myth that says you can’t drink the water in Mexico because it makes you sick One of our waiters was so funny, and he was like, “Just try it.” He was like, “I promise you, I drink the water every day,” and so Matt did the other night; he drank the water and was fine.
Ramsey Russell: I’ve been drinking water for 10 years, and it hasn’t killed me yet. I’m not going to go put my mouth on the ocean or a beach; when it comes out of tap water, it is as clean as back home. I guarantee you
Ally Tranter: Yes, it is.
Ramsey Russell: I don’t know about some of these real impoverished communities out in the district, but out here in the city, it is clean, good, safe, potable water. It actually tastes pretty good. It doesn’t have the chlorine flavor that my water back home has.
Ally Tranter: Honestly yeah. It’s like, this might be better water than back home.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah. And there are places back home where I don’t drink water because the city of Jackson has major water problems.
Ally Tranter: Exactly. Or, under like, when they go out,
Ramsey Russell: Water advisory. And when we go to some of the nice restaurants in Jackson, I don’t want to drink the tap water because maybe somebody just hasn’t posted up a water advisory that I’m not aware of. I drink bottled water when I go to Jackson. Down here, I brush my teeth and everything. I fill up my complimentary water bottles from the tap.
Ally Tranter: Well, and that’s people’s big misunderstanding: if you brush your teeth with that water, you’re going to get sick. You don’t.
Ramsey Russell: not the case. You’re drinking a mai tai right now; you shoot up mai tais all week, or -?
Ally Tranter: Sex on the Beach. That’s Sex on the Beach.
Ramsey Russell: Have you all tried that on your honeymoon? I shouldn’t ask that. Now look, I’ve got to warn you, and I’m not going to take responsibility, but I’m not going to charge you as you’re either; there have been couples plural. Go home and have a little Mazatlán baby, I’m just saying.
Ally Tranter: So our babysitter texted me and said, “We’re in Mexico; we’re going to Mexico; you’ve got to watch the kids on these days.” She said, “Can you have another baby?” And my husband was like, “No, then I can’t duck hunt.”
Ramsey Russell: Yeah, exactly. Well, I sure have enjoyed you all coming here. What was it like? Because I learned from him, I learned from you in the airport in Dallas, where we got on the flight. That was like his second day flying in his life. So he was pretty nervous about that, but you’ve flown before?
Ally Tranter: A lot. Yeah, I’ve been a lot of places, and this was a different experience for me. I’ve been to Cancun, Playa de Carmen, Guatemala, Canada, and all over London. This was just a different experience in that it brought so many different appeals; it catered to him and catered to me in a way that nothing else has. Usually, a vacation is just for family, for your husband, or for your wife.
Ramsey Russell: That’s why this is such a perfect hunt. And like really and truly in terms of it being a duck hunt, it is; we go out and shoot ducks, but it’s almost like a lot of vacations here aren’t duck hunting; here is a resort; they just get up and go play a round of golf, go swimming, or go play shuffleboard; we get up, go shoot ducks, and come back to join the spouses.
Ally Tranter: Just the same thing. Like a husband going—like you said, go do golf in the morning—that takes about two hours, if not more. And to see him, see his smile when he gets back and says, “It’s the best hunt of his life.” I mean, that just makes my day.
Ramsey Russell: That’s good. Ally, thank you all very much. I swear, my favorite part of these trips is getting to meet folks like you all. How old are you? I mean, I’m not trying to—I mean, you all are younger than me.
Ally Tranter: We are quite young. That was very apparent.
Ramsey Russell: You’re calling me old?
Ally Tranter: No, not to you, just in general. I’m 29 and he’s 30, so this is our first trip. Like I said, we’ve never had a honeymoon. So this is our first trip together, and we are so young. And my smile comes from him having so much fun.
Ramsey Russell: That’s good. Thank you very much, Ally. And Mr. Rickey Anderson, where are you from? Coastal Alabama?
Rickey Anderson: Yes sir. We’re from near Enterprise, Alabama. We live well. Live in a little community in a wonderful place. I know Alabama, spelled INO. I know Alabama.
Ramsey Russell: And this is you all’s second trip down here to Mazatlán, you and your wife, Gina, and last year you had such a great time, you stayed extra.
Rickey Anderson: Yes, sir. We did.
Ramsey Russell: You called me up and said, “Can I stay longer?”
Rickey Anderson: That’s right. And you brought us in an ice storm and asked us to come down here, so we had the opportunity to stay five more days.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah. and you all did. You all enjoyed every bit of it. I figured you’d have gotten your dose of it last time, but you decided to regroup and come down again.
Rickey Anderson: Hey, we’ve been looking forward the whole year to coming back, and we’ll be looking forward this whole year to being back down here next year.
Ramsey Russell: What is it that you like so much about Mazatlán? I mean, it’s a duck hunt, but it ain’t. What is it that brings you here from Monroe, Alabama?
Rickey Anderson: It’s an experience. I’ve been on a lot of duck hunts, and I’ve been to a lot of places to go duck hunting, but I’ve never been to a place where my wife and I could come and enjoy it and we could both have a really good time. It’s just a win-win.
Mazatlán Duck Hunting Compared to Duck Hunting Elsewhere
It is an experience that I keep coming back to. It is an experience that you cannot get anywhere else but here.
Ramsey Russell: How is duck hunting in Mazatlán compared to duck hunting elsewhere that you hunt? Alabama, or other places?
Rickey Anderson: Well, hey, it’s always good, and it’s not always good, like most other places I go.
Ramsey Russell: It gets tough up around the United States in places; you have good times and bad times in terms of birds flying. But here, they always seem to be out there where we’re hunting, don’t they?
Rickey Anderson: Yes, sir.
Ramsey Russell: What about that spot we hunted yesterday? How was that for aim small, miss small type teal hunting?
Rickey Anderson: Yes sir. Well, I’ve never shot teal in a place quite like that. It reminded me a little bit of shooting wood ducks in close quarters. But it was a fantastic hunt, just in your face. Better be on, better be ready.
Ramsey Russell: I’ve shot a lot of wood ducks in tight places, but they just don’t do Mach 3 fighter jet maneuvers like those little green wings do. Because they’re coming right at us and they’re bobbing and weaving and declining, and by the time they line out and do something there, I’m 7 feet behind them if I throw my gun up. It was difficult at times, but fun.
Rickey Anderson: There are lots of excuses why I missed.
Ramsey Russell: That’s right. To me, this is really typical of a hunt down here—just real close to small bodies of fresh water. But now, the first day we hunted together, we passed shooting those birds. That was totally different, wasn’t it?
Rickey Anderson: Yes sir. It was. And you could see the birds; you could tell what they were; you could pick out the drakes; it was something we don’t get to experience where I come from. I mean, it’s normally early; you’re just trying to pick out species; drakes and hens are hard to tell where we come from in South Alabama because it’s over with by the time you can actually see.
Ramsey Russell: That’s what it is to me—just the consistency and the routine of it. I mean, we’re down in the lobby at 5:30, we’re in the truck at 6:00, and we’re shooting at 7:30 or 8:00. We’re back here at noon, and we have gotten our ducks, eaten our burritos, drank our cold beer, and had a good time, and that’s just a whole lot more Disneyland vacation type than hunting back home, isn’t it?
Rickey Anderson: Yes, sir, it is. It is an experience that I keep coming back to. It is an experience that you cannot get anywhere else but here.
Ramsey Russell: And you asked me yesterday about bringing your entire family—grandkids, kids—here for a big family reunion one day. That’s something you’re all really considering. And that’s not just duck hunting.
Rickey Anderson: That’s right. Yes, I would love to do that. I’m going to try to put it out there and maybe figure out a way to make that happen. But my son, my son-in-law, and my grandsons—I have poisoned them all with this, and they love it. and it gives the girls something to do. And I’ve got a granddaughter that probably wants to tag along and go hunting too; we’d probably have to figure out something for her as well.
Ramsey Russell: We’d figure something out. And what made me think of that is that last night we had dinner at Machado Plaza, a beautiful restaurant on the balcony overlooking the whole plaza, and the family that joined us is a big extended family like that. It was father and son and daughter-in-law, and they just had a big family thing down here, and it really is something for everybody.
Rickey Anderson: I thought about that when I heard that they were a family here. I said, Well, somebody figured out how to make it happen, so surely we can too.
Ramsey Russell: Well, what would you do for the next couple of days? You came down, you shot ducks, and you had a great time. What would you do for the next couple of days? Nothing.
Rickey Anderson: A lot of nothing. Hang around the pool.
Ramsey Russell: There’s a lot to do. I see fish hanging over here when they come in. There are all kinds of activities, but my favorite thing to do is just nothing.
Rickey Anderson: Yeah. Well, we work, and our schedules are so busy. We’ve always got somewhere to be or something to do, and it’s just nice to have days when you don’t have to be anywhere except where you want to be.
Ramsey Russell: Are you a species collector?
Rickey Anderson: I used to be I’ve got a house full of mounts, and there are still a few things that I’d like to get, but I’m just enjoying doing things that I’ve never done before and going places I haven’t been.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah. The last question is, What’s your favorite thing about duck hunting here in Mazatlán? Your most memorable part of it Just the consistency of the weather. I mean, what about hunting in shorts and Crocs?
Rickey Anderson: There are so many things that are big pluses for coming here. But I guess the one thing that I think about is that everything happens on time. We go out, and we don’t hear an excuse about, Hey, it’s hot, it’s cold, the winds are wrong today, it’s dry, the birds didn’t come down. It’s always the same; it’s good. There are no excuses, and that’s what I love about coming here.
Ramsey Russell: I just had this thought, and I got to mention it. I know the client is listening because he listens to all our episodes, and he’s here and he’s out hunting this morning, and he shows up. He’s one of just a handful of people that show up without a girlfriend or spouse. I said, How come you didn’t bring your wife? And I took her duck hunting up in Maine this year; we went eider hunting, and she said she didn’t want to go duck hunting on vacation any more. And that may have been by design; I’m like, Well, you want to come. I should have started here and then got her to go up there.
Rickey Anderson: That sounds absolutely right. Yeah. When we came down last year, my wife really enjoyed it, and she said, Something to the effect of duck hunting is this duck. And I said all duck hunting is this way; she said it better, not me. So this is the place to bring her on the first hunt. Absolutely, the first place to bring her on the first hunt.
Is A Duck Hunting Honeymoon for Everyone?
So that was kind of the highlight of the trip this time.
Ramsey Russell: Thank you, Rick. Well, Miss Gina, you’re Ricky’s better half.
Ramsey Russell: What do you think about this hunt? Because you came back and you stayed extra days. You must like it down here. You don’t go out in the morning to shoot ducks.
Gina: I do like it down here. I don’t know; it’s just got everything.
Ramsey Russell: What did you initially think when Ricky said, “Hey, let’s go duck hunting down in Mexico together?”
Gina: I was apprehensive at first.
Ramsey Russell: What were you apprehensive about?
Gina: Well, I thought, Well, if you’re duck hunting and I’m going to be alone, am I going to be okay or what am I going to do? And am I just going to sit in a room all day or whatever? And I talked with your wife. I called your wife and made a personal call to her to get some information. But once I got down here, oh my gosh, there’s not a minute that I’ve been bored or wished I was back home.
Ramsey Russell: Do you feel safe?
Gina: I do feel safe. That’s been the one thing where there hasn’t been a minute that I haven’t felt safe.
Ramsey Russell: Have you traveled much this way and seen good personal service in the service industry?
Gina: No. Everybody here is so nice, and they’re just there to help you or do something for you. I mean, you just never want anything. They’re going to make sure that all your needs are met, and they want to make the experience good.
Ramsey Russell: How did you and Ricky spend your first night here? You all came in on Valentine’s Day, and then you all had like a special event or something, which I heard about. What was that like? Tell me what happened.
Gina: We did. Well, Ricky surprised me with a dinner on the beach.
Ramsey Russell: Really?
Gina: Yes, I was totally surprised, and he told me that we had reservations and didn’t have to worry about dinner that night. So anyway, we went to the lobby, and somebody led us across the harbor to the beach. And when I got out there, there was just this beautiful table setting and little cabana thing, I guess, set up on the beach. And we had somebody playing music, and our waiter was just so nice, and the food was so good.
Ramsey Russell: What did you all eat?
Gina: We had steak and shrimp, and we had something like lobster soup, I think, and then we had dessert. Oh, and my plate had “I love you” written on it.
Ramsey Russell: Did Ricky write that?
Gina: I don’t know; it was pretty deep. But I had to take pictures of everything. It was so beautiful.
Ramsey Russell: Was there live music? Did they come out there and serenade you?
Gina: They did.
Ramsey Russell: And the sun was setting over the Pacific Ocean?
Gina: Oh my gosh, it was beautiful.
Ramsey Russell: So that was kind of the highlight of the trip this time.
Gina: Yes, it was.
Ramsey Russell: Did he really surprise her because I asked him that morning if she was going to be surprised? He said, I don’t know, Ramsey, after 40 years of marriage. I don’t know if I’m getting anything past her. When did you catch on to it? Maybe I really just want to go into a restaurant or something.
Gina: I guess, whenever I do ask him, what do I need to wear? And he was like, well, it doesn’t matter, and I was like, Well, now, and he kind of did say something about the beach, so I knew we were going to be on the sand, but I didn’t know about the dinner and the top and everything, but oh my gosh, it was beautiful and the food was so good.
Ramsey Russell: That’s great. Thank you all so much for coming down here, Gina. We enjoy working with you all, and I’m glad you all have a good time have a good time. What would you tell anybody—any wife listening—if her husband came to him and said, Hey, let’s go down to that resort and go duck hunting? What would you tell them?
Gina: I just don’t even know if you could describe it to make somebody understand that what is here and available goes along with duck hunting.
Ramsey Russell: It truly is a vacation. He just gets to go duck hunting, but you get to kick back in some nice warm weather.
Gina: Yes, this resort has everything. I mean, it is just like a 5-star resort. It has everything—I mean, anything you could want to do in massage, they have excursions, and there’s just a lot to do.
Ramsey Russell: A lot to do. Or, like Ricky said, nothing at all.
Gina: That’s exactly right. That’s what we plan to do for the next two days.
Ramsey Russell: Mr. Sam Lauderdale is from Hernando, Mississippi. This is my uncle, folks; we’re family, but I’ve never gone duck hunting with you. I mean, in 40 or something years, we’ve never duck hunted together. But we had some great dove hunts there in DeSoto County. Those were some highlights of the dove hunt, some of my fondest memories growing up dove hunting out there at Jaybird. Did you duck hunt a lot in Mississippi as a teenager or growing up there?
Sam Lauderdale: I did. I grew up duck hunting in the bottoms of our Arkabutla Lake. My mother’s family is from Arkansas, and so we hunted in the Arkansas area around Truman on the San Franciscan waterway. And we did some pit hunting on some of their farms. But the majority of it was around Hernando in DeSoto County, in some flood areas there, and in the backwaters of Arkabutla.
Ramsey Russell: But it’s been a while since you went just really duck hunting like we did last 3 days. How was the duck hunting in Arkabutla Lake compared to down here?
Sam Lauderdale: No comparison.
Ramsey Russell: It’s different in a lot of regards, isn’t it?
Sam Lauderdale: I describe it as cold early in the morning and wet.
Ramsey Russell: And you ain’t a big morning person.
Sam Lauderdale:No, I’m not. I’m not. And I’m not a big cold person later on in life. And so we started shooting; the ducks started coming in probably an hour or an hour and a half after sunrise, and it was a good, warm morning. We didn’t have waiters on; we’re used to having waiters on or getting wet, or it was almost certain.
Ramsey Russell: Balling in being cold.
Sam Lauderdale: It was almost certain that when we were growing up, we would fall in a pothole, hit a beaver run, or hit a log.
Ramsey Russell: Somebody described last night on the way to dinner that the ducks down here work banker’s hours. And that makes it very convenient and vacation-like to do that. But what did you think about the rest of the experience? We had a great time going out and eating dinner.
Sam Lauderdale: I’ll be honest with you: I’ve not been to Mexico in 40 years, and we’ve been looking at this hunt for a long time. And I really wasn’t sure where we were going. And we are very pleased. It’s a terrific resort with great duck hunting, and the people were outstanding. The people of this area were very courteous to everyone. And we loved it.
Ramsey Russell: One thing I’ve noticed about Mexico and I try to warn people about is that I talk to a lot of my clients on the phone, and if they just seem to be in high-pressure work time mode, I try to warn them that it’s Mexico and it’s West Mexico, and they operate on just kind of Mexican time. It’s relax and try to go; don’t worry if it takes 15 or 20 or 30 minutes to check into the bar behind you; go get a margarita and just relax. And I find myself so relaxed after 3 or 4 or 5 days down here, you can pull me into a shot glass. And I think it’s got to do with getting up relax, patient going duck hunting and no hurry, no grind, easy fun shooting. But then the rest of the day we’re out here looking at this beautiful resort—the marine, the swimming pools, the iguanas coming up and eating. I know when I describe to people the standard package, like we wanted to go out and eat dinner, in the rest of the world you go call an Uber or get in a yellow cab. But here, we whistle up a little red truck. What do you think about that?
Sam Lauderdale: It was outstanding.
Ramsey Russell: When was the last time you rode in the back of the truck?
Sam Lauderdale: It’s been a long time, and the little small cars are open-air cars.
Ramsey Russell: Talk about that, because you told a lot of the clients about that tour you all took.
Sam Lauderdale: We got here a day early, just to get a little bit of rest so that I could get up at a quarter to five in the morning, which is not usually my time of the day. And so we went out front and started talking to Birdman about what we should do. And he says, Look, go take this little open-air car, that little small Volkswagen dressed up, very nice, and I’ll find a driver for you that speaks good English, which he did. And he would take us on a tour of Mazatlán, as long as we wanted it. We want it for an hour, all day, or 3 hours. And so we just got in the car and said, Take us; we’ve never been here before.
Ramsey Russell: What will you all go see?
Sam Lauderdale: We want to see the lighthouse and the old town. I’ve tried to describe it like a Spanish courtyard. The town that I’m in now was named after Hernando de Soto. And we have a courtyard in our town similar to it.
Ramsey Russell: It’s a vibrant town square.
Sam Lauderdale: Very vibrant. And there are a lot of similarities, except our government is located in the middle of it and theirs is not. And then he took us.
Ramsey Russell: That was Machado Plaza, which you all went to. Where we ate dinner last night.
Sam Lauderdale: That’s right. A lot of the buildings built in the 1800s were similar to restaurants we’ve eaten in New Orleans, open air. Very relaxed. The waiters didn’t push us at the end; we were talking, they weren’t handing us our bill, and they said, We’ve got somebody else waiting in line. We had to really motion them after an hour of conversation after dinner to say, Okay, bring us the ticket.
Ramsey Russell: You bring up a good point because I think that’s a Latin American thing; they don’t go out just to eat real quick and go home; it’s a social event. They’ve got small courses, they’re very relaxed, and there is no hurry because you’re there socializing with your friends. We got lucky with our taxi cab driver though because this guy – I’ve been coming down here for 10 years, Sam, and we met this guy Oscar; he was our first cab driver; he spoke great English; I got a cell phone number; I texted him and said we’re done; we used him for 4 or 5 nights, and it got to be where I’d say, We’re done, he’d say, I’m out front; he’s waiting on us. And it’s like having a private driver.
Sam Lauderdale: Yeah, it was great. And going up and down the beach in an open-air vehicle, the Pacific side is so different than the Caribbean and the Atlantic side, and it’s unique. Because we’re from Mississippi, we don’t go to the Pacific side. We go to the Caribbean and Atlanta, and it’s different and beautiful. But on the main road, which is four-lane, a lot of traffic runs all along the beach, probably 5 or 6 miles. There’s lots of construction here; it’s a very active town.
Ramsey Russell: Very clean. I was looking out over the square last night. I’ve always described Machado Plaza as kind of like if you put Bourbon Street in the middle of Mayberry RFD. You can’t find a cigarette bud anywhere in this town on the ground; there’s nothing. There’s no trash, no litter, nothing anywhere.
Sam Lauderdale: I’ll describe it as Bourbon Street, but don’t compare it in cleanliness and craziness.
Ramsey Russell: Craziness and more family-oriented
Sam Lauderdale: And people on the street, homeless on the street—it’s not here.
Ramsey Russell: It doesn’t exist out here. Speaking of that, I’d like to ask my clients this question because there are still a lot of people who watch too much Netflix, Narcos, and everything else, and they’re absolutely scared to be down here. How do you feel about your safety? Because you live on the outskirts of Memphis, I live on the outskirts of Jackson, and I feel a lot safer down here than I do back home.
Sam Lauderdale: I was very comfortable. And that’s really before we went on the hunt, because when we got in the car and did the tour with the guy, he took us in the areas that weren’t as high-income as some of the others, and I felt very comfortable. I didn’t see the things I see in big cities in America. I was extremely comfortable not only in the city but in the countryside because we would drive between 45 minutes and an hour and 30 minutes out down the coast and through a lot of little small towns, some very small. I felt comfortable the whole time.
Ramsey Russell: I did too. The last morning, you hunted for three mornings, and the first couple of mornings were what I call expert-level shooting. When you get in those really tight by the size of the swimming pool right here surrounded by mangroves, not a little teal comes in; it’s like the first morning, Sam. For somebody who hadn’t shot a duck in a long time, those green wings coming in at Mach 3 off the big water down that little ditch 5 feet from me, that’s pretty dang tough shooting; that’s pretty expert-level shooting. But by the third morning, when those birds were coming off that pond and going back out to the estuary for a 25-yard, 30-yard shot, you kind of put on the shooting.
Sam Lauderdale: Well, that first morning
Ramsey Russell: I saw the old muscle memory kick in, man.
Sam Lauderdale: Well, that first morning we were shooting Benelli, which I’ve never shot before, but I love them, with a modified choke, and they came close enough that we could probably hit them with a barrel, and I needed a scattered gun instead of a modified choke. They were on top of us. The third day was a traditional Mississippi hunt. Coming in over the decoys or coming in above us, and it’s a lot better shooting than I was on the first day.
Ramsey Russell: When you look back and close your eyes, you’re on your flight home. One memory, one thing you’ll never forget hunting or not hunting about this trip What’s the one thing that sticks out to you besides getting to hunt with your favorite nephew?
Sam Lauderdale: My favorite nephew and I are eating dinner with my favorite niece too. So I think a lot of it was the number of ducks that we were able to see. We just have not seen that in a long time. When I’m able to hunt, sometimes I hunt around Clarksdale, and they just weren’t there, and they haven’t been there like we have in the past. And the last day we killed six species, which at home you don’t do. Of course Jan likes the resort, so I got a lot of points on that one. When I first told her, I said, I think we need to go duck hunting with Ramsey, and she said, I’m not going. So I showed her the site, and the first thing she did was call Anita and say, What about it? She said, I’m going. Anita says, I’m going. She says, Well, I’m going to go. And we don’t have a chance living this far apart to visit, and we had some great family visits.
Ramsey Russell: We did. It was a lot of fun, and I had a great time. I appreciate you all coming, Sam, and I appreciate you taking time this morning. And folks, I appreciate you all for listening to this episode of Duck Season Somewhere from Mazatlán, Mexico. It really is a honeymoon duck hunt, depending on how you look at it. And you all can go to the website and check it out, call me there, or hit me up on the inbox with whatever questions you have. And anyway, thank you all for listening to this episode of Duck Season Somewhere; we’ll see you next time.