The Big Honker Podcast Episode #82: Ramsey Russell

The Big Honker Podcast

Jeff and Andy are joined by Ramsey Russell of Ramsey has chased ducks and geese all across the globe, and with he has taken the guess work out of booking a waterfowl trip with a new outfitter. Here, they discuss many of his exotic duck hunting adventures, including Pakistan and Mexico duck hunting.

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Best Custom Calls, Retriever Training, Decoys, and the Likes


Andy Shaver: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to The Big Honker podcast.

Jeff Stanfield: What about kids of all ages?

Andy Shaver: I don’t know if it’s appropriate that they’re listening to our show.

Jeff Stanfield: Do you let your son, my grandson, oldest one, Will, listen to it?

Andy Shaver: No way.

Jeff Stanfield: It’s probably a pretty good deal.

Andy Shaver: But I mean, honestly I don’t know.

Jeff Stanfield: He’s pretty level-headed though.

Andy Shaver: He’s probably heard most of it out here.

Jeff Stanfield: Yeah, this is not really a good place to raise kids, look how you all turned out. Next thing you know you wake up he’ll be in the hunting business.

Andy Shaver: Oh God I hope not. Check us out, we’re up on YouTube now, all episodes. All new episodes are going up to YouTube, we Skype our guests, it all goes up to the YouTube machines, so if you’re bored check us out on YouTube. Big Honker podcast, pretty easy to find. This podcast is brought to you by the one and only Stanfield Hunting Outfitters. Got a couple of turkey hunts left.

Jeff Stanfield: We got a couple turkey hunts left. I got one dove hunt, private dove hunt weekend left for 20 or more and that’s about it. And I’ve got some October hunts and some November hunts, all because two fat boys had a dream.

Andy Shaver: A little bit of here and there. So, call Jeff 940-658-3172 if you think you want to come out.

Jeff Stanfield: And I do answer my own phone, unlike the world famous Andy Shaver. Just old Jeff answers his phone.

Andy Shaver: Got to. We’re also brought to you by blind grass. Listen, they’re not just a company that sells synthetic grass for your blind, but they do sell synthetic grass for your blind, and it works great. You brush it once, you forget about it, it’s not going to rot or mildew. They also have waterproof gun cases and waterproof shell bags. If you’re somebody that hunts water, listen, we’re waterfowlers, or if you’re hunting flooded timber and you’re worried about your shotgun shells taking a dive. 

Jeff Stanfield: Or you’re on a boat all summer fishing. If you’ve got a boat, get one of their dry bags, put your stuff in it, seal it up in that bag and leave it in your boat and you don’t have to worry. Because trust me, when that something happens to that boat and you wish you had a dry bag, it’s too late.

Andy Shaver: Beautiful. Also, we are brought to you by Bang Tail Whiskey @bangtailcom.

Jeff Stanfield: Traditional corn mash whiskey aging charred new American oak barrels. You’ll find a pleasant aroma of vanilla and spice before galloping two notes of newgate, sweet corn, and a lingering caramel finish. Whiskey is made right there in Florida. Good friend Brandon, being an upcoming country singer, it’s his stuff. Its Bangtail whisky and you get that at

Andy Shaver: Yeah, they’ll ship it right to you, right?

Jeff Stanfield: They ship it anywhere in the United States now. Buy it online, shipped to your door make an old fashioned.

Andy Shaver: Whiskey sour Jeff. That’s what all the proper gentlemen are drinking, are whiskey sours.

Jeff Stanfield: Excuse me, I’m not proper like someone of the other gentlemen.

Andy Shaver: People, that’s the first thing they think of. Check them out at It is good whiskey. We had it out here this last winter. Really good stuff. We’re also brought to you by Goose Creek Retriever. Mr. Matt Peel. It is the dog training season. If you’re going to have your four legged buddy ready to go by September, October November, you need to get on the horse right now and Matt Peel can help you out.

Jeff Stanfield: At They have an early exposure puppy program 10 weeks to 5 months old. If you’re going to spend the money to buy a dog to train, there’s no sense. I’ve seen so many people that they buy the puppy and sits in their kennel till 6 months old. They sit at the house, your kids ruined the dog, basically, by spoiling it and then you got to start all over. Send it off to somewhere like Matt, have them take that puppy from 10 weeks on and get it started and ready. They’re going to exposure to live birds, dead birds, water, gunfire, obedience and potty training, and potty training is a key. You buy a dog, you send your puppy off and the son of a bitch don’t shit in the house. So, I’m telling you right now,, our buddy Matt Peel and get the early exposure puppy program. tell him just plain old Jeff told you to give him a call.

Andy Shaver: Because plain old Jeff will be sending his dog to Goose Creek retrievers.

Jeff Stanfield: I am not trying to potty train.

Andy Shaver: And if you’ve got that four legged friend, then you’re going to need stuff to go around it. You need to go to and get their stuff that’s going to help you make life a little bit better around the house for your four legged hunting buddy. They’ve got the field trauma kit, which I think everybody needs whether you got a dog or not. They’ve got this nifty little water gadget, you press a button, water comes out into the little mouth guard dog drinks it that way. No more cramming water bottles down your dog’s throat. It’s easy and effective. And also they’ve got what I think is the best products since sliced bread. The quick release system. It is now patented. All it takes is one accident, all it takes is one dog break and it’s a completely different morning. Get the quick release system, keep your four legged hunting buddy right next to you where he should be. We’re also brought to you by Pacific Calls. The boys up at the Pacific Calls have hell of a thing going on. They’re retooling the 206, I’ve had the pleasure of running it. It is an absolute screamer. It’s also turkey season they’ve got mouth calls, they’ve got some pot calls. You can check them out And if you use the promo code BHP 25 it saves you 25% off, check out.

Jeff Stanfield: They’re going to be at Squad Fest and they’re going to be at the Ducks Unlimited at Texas motor speedway in June and then they’ll be at the Game Fair in Minnesota.

Andy Shaver: They better get to going. They better get to building.

Jeff Stanfield: And the world famous Andy Shaver is going to be at Squad Fest and they’ll come Minnesota.

Andy Shaver: We’re still negotiating but we’ll see.

Jeff Stanfield: You’re negotiating on what?

Andy Shaver: We’re negotiating Jeff.

Jeff Stanfield: Who’s we?

Andy Shaver: It was a joke. You obviously didn’t get it.

Jeff Stanfield: I guess not.

Andy Shaver: Check them out Speaking of squad festival, we’re bought to you by – 

Jeff Stanfield: You’re negotiating on rights of having to sign autographs all day. Excuse us.

Andy Shaver: I’m not signing autographs all day.

Jeff Stanfield: But you will, if someone asks you?

Andy Shaver: We’ll see. Once again we’re negotiating. We’re brought to you by Dive Bomb Industries. The leader skinny is the way to go. We packed everything up just a couple months ago, everything stored away so nicely. It’s insane. You need to be running silhouettes, the full body movement is over, and it’s done with. it’s a way of life. You get skinning, you put out big spreads, you pack them up nice and neat and you move on about your day.

Jeff Stanfield: Organize and life is simple.

Andy Shaver: I love it. They’ve also got some new floaters coming out, be looking for – they’ve got the duck floater out already, but they’ve also got Canada goose floater coming out in the near future. So, be looking for that over Love them. Also we’re brought to you by Dirty Duck Coffee. If your coffee sucks, it ain’t the duck Texas made, it’s how I start my morning, every morning with the high velocity. Fill that cup up and way I go to my go-go juice.

Jeff Stanfield: And look at their swag, they got a brand new T-shirt coming out that is badass.

Andy Shaver: Am I going to get one, Jeff? Or am I going to have to beg?

Jeff Stanfield: They got our sizes. They got a badass shirt coming that I don’t think they’ve got up on the site, but I’ve seen it and it’s awesome.

Andy Shaver: Seeing chef says I’m world famous but he’s getting insider information. But do check them out and get your high velocity or they’ve got a bunch of different blends. So, check them out, whichever one fits your personality buy it. Dirty Duck Coffee. Also brought to you by Boss Shot Shells American made bismuth, copper plated, all it takes is one. They’re also running their boss tom line right now. I am very much looking forward to smacking a tom turkey in the face with boss tom.

Jeff Stanfield: You still giving everybody one boss time to shoot the turkey with this year’s or is that last year’s?

Andy Shaver: It was last year, Jeff.

Jeff Stanfield: Okay.

Andy Shaver: Corona screwed that for everybody. Now, we’ll see but no, that was last year. You’re screwed. Check them out It’s never too early to get your shotgun shells for this coming season.

Jeff Stanfield: Highly recommend getting your shells – get them ordered in before summer time.

Andy Shaver: Do not wait until the last minute, that’s what we’re trying to say.

Jeff Stanfield: Last year end the year I had guys calling me every day that we’re coming on there next week and were having trouble finding shells. Don’t get stuck in that situation, start stocking up now. Buy a case now, buy another case in May, buy a case in July and you’re done for the year.

Andy Shaver: We’re also brought to you by Lucky Duck. It is predator hunting season, there are tournaments all over. They have a wonderful electronic predator call, make all sorts of noises with it. Clay Reed would approve.

Jeff Stanfield: Best blinds on the market?

Andy Shaver: Best blinds on the market. Best spinners on the market bar none. You can fit four grown men in the blind and – 

Jeff Stanfield: Don’t forget about your buddy that rides in the back of the truck and get you a dog crate.

Andy Shaver: Yeah, that’s exactly right. They’ve got a dog crate out there. That is five star crash test rated or whatever they stick with it, so don’t worry about sticking Fido in the back of the pickup because if he blows out he’ll be okay, or if you hit a patch of ice, he’ll be all right back there. You? Maybe not too much but the dog will make it. Check them out Last but not least RIP Rest in paradise Looking Glass Duck Club podcast.

Jeff Stanfield: Might be coming back soon. I might have some information.

Andy Shaver: You’re terrible to these people.

Jeff Stanfield: Anyways, check them out at the Looking Glass Duck Club- 

Andy Shaver: They still have – you can still support them. They have apparel you can check him out on Instagram and message Logan. He really likes penis pictures. If you send him a penis picture, you get like a freak Uzi or something like that. So he loves to see it, check him out at Looking Glass Duck Club on Instagram and enjoy. We appreciate everybody listening and check us out on YouTube, subscribe if you haven’t already, that’s what everybody on YouTube has to say like and subscribe. All right. This episode of the podcast, we’re joined by the one and only Mr. Ramsey Russell. He is a world traveler, even during COVID times. Didn’t really put a damper on his style. He still traveled plenty, still pulled the trigger a lot. He’s a very interesting man. And we had a great conversation with him so we hope that you enjoy it. He’s also got a podcast out called it’s Duck Season Somewhere. You can check him out wherever you’re listening to this one. Here he is, Ramsey Russell.


Introducing Mr. Ramsey Russell of Duck Season Somewhere


Jeff Stanfield: Welcome to The Big Honker podcast brought to you by Bangtail Whiskey. I’m Jeff Stanfield.

Andy Shaver: I am Andy Shaver and we have got the one and only the world traveler, even in COVID times, Mr. Ramsey Russell. How are you, Ramsey?

Ramsey Russell: I’m good man. Double R, Ramsey Russell.

Andy Shaver: That’s it?

Ramsey Russell: I’m in Mississippi right now.

Andy Shaver: Well, I don’t imagine it’s as pretty as where you were last week, weren’t you? You’re in Mexico last week, weren’t you? Or was that two weeks ago?

Ramsey Russell: I was. It’s been a couple of weeks, yeah I was in Mexico a couple of weeks ago and I miss it. I love Mexico. I love it. I love Western Mexico I should say. And Eastern Mexico. I don’t care much for Central Mexico but I like the ends.

Andy Shaver: Now, how was it traveling this year with COVID with everything that we’ve gone through, how was it compared to normal years?


Duck Hunting in Mexico During COVID 

And I’ll say this, once I got back in late January, our phone blew up. It melted with people wanted to go to Mexico.


Ramsey Russell: Man, I’m glad you asked that because I ain’t going to lie to you man, since COVID stuck a big old stick in everybody’s gears, there have been no international travel. Look, I’ll back up and say this, I got home on February 22nd or 23rd of 2020 from Azerbaijan and was going to be home for two straight months, 60 days. And that would have been the longest consecutive stretch of time I’ve been home in 5 or 6 years. My old lady Anita and I we went down to Dallas, my wife, I should say because she’s nearby. We went down to Dallas and saw the Eagles and man, what a great concert and a great time. I’ll never forget all guys are of my age, sitting up in there, it’s all couples and we were all – contracts have changed a lot since I had hair and went to them regularly. You don’t smoke nothing in a concert now but you buy liquor and man, what a great time that turned out to be. And Eagles put on just a heck of a show, man, what a heck of a show. But I never will forget, we’re all up talking to all the folks around, there’s no way they don’t cough on me, unless you take a swig of that vodka. I don’t want no COVID and never dreamed in a million years what’s fixing to come down the pipe. But anyway, I traveled a lot in the States this year and when I went to Mexico, I have to admit, I was a little nervous because it’s a foreign country and I love Mexico but it doesn’t have $12.5 trillion dollar economy. It’s not America, it’s not the greatest country in the world, in that respect. And having to wear a mask and everybody in the airport wearing a mask. It’s so weird flying because you got to social distance and all this kind of mess, and the restaurants and anywhere to eat inside an airport are closed. Then you’re packed like sardines on the plane or packed like sardines, neck and neck in the waiting room or whatever. The minute I stepped out of that Mazatlán airport into the sunshine and took my mask off, it started feeling normal. By the time we got to the resort and I was halfway through my first margarita, I had just about forgotten all about COVID. The most shocking thing Jeff, is having been to California and Michigan, and a lot of these blue states that are handling COVID in a ridiculous way, I think, shutting it down and trying to crash the economy. I show up in Mexico and everything is open. some of the airports you walk through down there, you kind of go through this little mister when you’re coming through customs, they stopped and they take your temperature. When you come into the hotel, they take your temperature and some smiling face puts some hand sanitizer out. You step on this little doormat that cleans your shoes, and they check your temperature, and you walk inside and you look right to go. Nobody’s got the flu and everybody’s got clean hands and clean shoes and no cooties and because you have to take that COVID test to come back in the States. A few days later by the day, two or three, you’re sitting out there in the field and I know you son of the bitches ain’t got COVID because I don’t either. But why is it our country doing just basic little safety protocols? Why are we doing that? But I felt so safe and so normal and I really felt normal when I stepped out on the water bank started shooting ducks like that, unpressured ducks. It felt so normal, it felt good. Then a few weeks later, going down to Obregon for a couple of weeks stretch, same thing. It just cleans the whistle, and of course the staff wore masks and stuff like that. But we’re spending most of our days out in the field or outside, so we don’t need a mask. It’s just awesome. I’ll say this, once I got back in late January, our phone blew up. It melted with people wanted to go to Mexico. I mean right now, like I want to go next week. You got to pay the bills and we sold the joints out for the remainder of the season. So hundreds upon hundreds of people went to three different destinations down in Mexico, not one person came back with COVID and not one person got stuck. Everybody just went and had a great time and believe it or not, 2022 is nearly completely sold out. Sold out one destination, nearly in another, and 2023 is filling up quick because look, people are ready to get the hell out and go have fun again.


Does Flooded Corn Make Ducks Nocturnal?

I’m sure that maybe they’re eating that corn if they can access it but they’re safe. And there’s a thermal barrier, there’s a habitat value but really its safe.


Jeff Stanfield: People are tired of it. I noticed that in alternating seasons. Let’s about facing out to America because one of the big debates right now, and we’ve got caught up in this every other year is the flooded corn. Now flooded corn, some people are saying making the ducks go nocturnal. Now, I had a message today from a guy that hunts in Nebraska, and me and you were on the same forum yesterday. I don’t remember where we were at, I don’t know if it was on my page. Dive Bomb’s page or his page, but someone brought up the duck hunt. I think it might have been ours. I said something to the guy. Today he messaged me and he said Jeff, I’ve hunted on the Platte River for 20 years, he said, about 10 to 15 years ago people started field hunting. He said, before that you didn’t see very many people field hunting ducks. He said, since they’ve started field hunting ducks, those ducks used to stay on the water, and they would go out and feed in the fields, come back in the river and people shoot at them. He said, since they started shooting them in the fields all the time in the flooded corn, those ducks don’t leave water off that river until 15 minutes before dark. What’s your thoughts on this?

Ramsey Russell: Well, is it field hunting or is it corn fields or is it something else?

Jeff Stanfield: No, they’re hunting cornfields.

Ramsey Russell: Well, I’m making a point right here because I hear cornfields being beat up, we need to quit doing cornfields, and I disagree. It’s just one man’s opinion. And I’ll tell you why. Now, 20 years ago we didn’t hunt cornfield, now we’re hunting dry fields, maybe that’s it. But I think it all boils down to the same thing and I believe that – listened the other day on you all’s podcast and you were talking about corn fields, and talking about those birds flying in a cornfield and holing up till pitch black dark, and then flying out, coming back five minutes before shooting time. So is it corn fields? I don’t think so, Jeff. I believe if you got rid of corn and put standing coffee weed out in there, it’ll be the same thing. But consider this, for example, how big is that cornfield? 40 acres? That’s a quarter mile. This quarter mile by quarter mile. Is that 640 acres of a section? Well, that’s a mile by mile, and I’ve got a blind out there. How far am I shooting? If I’m shooting 40 yards on average of a 40 yard radius, well, I’m a dumb forester but I can do the math of the area of a circle. I’m covering an acre out of 40 or acre out of 640 acres. If you’ve ever hunted cornfields, and I have, those ducks land all which way, they land anywhere they want to, and they’re safe. I’m sure that maybe they’re eating that corn if they can access it but they’re safe. And there’s a thermal barrier, there’s a habitat value but really its safe. And here’s what to tell you this story. And I’m dumb as a brick. I’m a Forest and Wildlife biologist and I don’t know how I got out of school because they’re technical fields and I don’t really do math. Statistics and math. Statistics, I understood, math I don’t understand but I never ever will forget – here’s what I’m getting at about cornfields about hunting fields. I’m very adamant about what I believe the problem is in America and I’m going to use this example, I’m going to use a story from way back in college. I had this wildlife professor and he was a biometrician of epic proportion, like a lot of the real PhD biologists are. Man, they know statistics. I never forgot this work problem we had to do – he was talking about cause and effect regression analysis, and we had to go home and run through this problem he gave us. It kind of went like this: as Baptist churches increase in a community, murders increase, and the numbers don’t lie.

Andy Shaver: That’s true?


What Affects Hunting Pressure in the United States?

I think it’s a habitat quality, a habitat abundance and a hunting pressure quotient that’s going into some of the problems we’re experiencing in waterfowl, not just in the Deep South but nationwide.


Ramsey Russell: So what should we do, Jeff? Should we go out and do away with all the 1st Baptist Churches in America? If you went and did math, what you realize is there was all kinds of data on that problem he gave us. It was churches, and that’s kind of where he left it when we left the classroom was, the more churches there are, the higher murder is. Well, then you started noticing on the data. The more telephone poles you have, and then you started noticing the bigger the population, and the answer he was looking for was as population density increases, murders increase. Well the more people you got, the more churches you got. Get it? So it can be misleading and I understand that we see these ducks flying into cornfields and staying the day because they’re safe, they’re out of the wind, they’re out of the sunshine, they’ve got a thermal barrier, they’ve got a food source and most importantly, in a 40 acre field, a quarter mile by quarter mile, I’m not covering but an acre of it with my shotgun. Unless I’m that Ryan Bassham guy, now he’s covering two acres but I’m covering an acre. My point being is 20 years ago, not only were we maybe not dry field hunting, we weren’t riding these loud ATVs, and these loud surface motors. There were vast tracts of property that we couldn’t access and didn’t access. My God, I was smiling like a kid that just won the World Series Little League baseball game when I got a 185 three wheeler back in the day, and that was a big dog. Now look at what we got, 1000 horsepower lift kits and tracks, and it would go anywhere. Jeff, we got too goddamn much pressure on these ducks in America. I go down to Mexico, I go down to Mazatlán and the magic is not Mexico. Man, one of the coolest mornings we had this year – because it was dry in Mazatlán, it was dry. So, we went to this area we call the moon in a normal wet year. It’s a massive ankle deep mud flats, soupy mud as far as you can see and this little freshwater channel comes into it. We walked about 100 yards through sopping mud about ankle deep, get in the blind and 8 of us shoot 160 ducks. We’re done. This year, all that was gone, the moonscape was gone. We were down to the little feeder creek, and I shit you not, it was 20ft wide. I stepped it off, it was 20ft wide. Not 20 yards, 20ft, and it was 200 yards long. We’re talking surface acre of water along this, for lack of a better word, ditch. We’re talking surface acres of a quarter acre, and me and Mr. Ian got in one blind 50 yards down the bank, husband wife team got in another. In an hour and a half we shot 80 ducks, 20 a piece quick, as you could. Boom, done. That hole did not get shot again for 7 or 8 days at all, Jeff. It’s like you were talking about this the other day, how many outfitters do you have within 50 or 100 miles of you?

Jeff Stanfield: We don’t have a lot here, but if you get 100 miles –

Ramsey Russell: But if you go down to Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas – all part of Texas.

Jeff Stanfield: There’s tons. Especially the Lubbock area alone has probably 30 outfitters that are running out of Lubbock from mom and pop deals to somebody that runs two, three groups a day. But I would bet around Lubbock within 50 miles of Lubbock, you could probably find 30 groups of hunters every day.

Ramsey Russell: All right, hold this thought. I was working for US Fish and Wildlife service right out of college before I found religion. All I wanted to do in high school and college was wear a brown uniform and make the world a better place. Federal government was not my calling. But I worked in refuges and I did love it for three years. I never will forget, we had a biologist who was a shorebird guy, and he was piling off as much waterfowl responsibility onto the forester – me – as he could because I love duck. I flew aerial surveys and did a lot of stuff when I could. He come in there and knocked on my door one day and he says Ducks Unlimited biologists had called him. On the north end of one of our sanctuaries, on the north end of one of our refuges was inviolate sanctuary, and in there roosting every night were three radio collard hens. That was back in the late 90’s and I would have thought with all the beans and rice and flooded ag and moist soil in Bolivar County, Mississippi, I would have thought that those ducks were coming off at roost and were going to be killed within three or four or five miles, doesn’t make sense. Three or four or five miles, they’re going to hit one of these fields. I hunted those areas, I never saw them. Well, 11 miles the west of that sanctuary was the Mississippi River. Across the Mississippi River was right where the White River dumped into the Mississippi River, and everyone of that cohort died in a rice field in Stuttgart, Arkansas, 45 miles away. That changed everything I thought about a wild duck. Those ducks were roosting in a sanctuary and flying 45 miles to feed over how much habitat? It didn’t matter they were going where they wanted to go, or they were going where they had a filial tendency to go, they were imprinted to go. That just changed everything I thought. So, now get up there in the Texas panhandle or one of the parts of the country you’re talking about, where you’ve got all these outfitters spread out at 50, 60, 70 miles. Man, they’re hunting the same freaking birds over and over, let alone the mom and pops, and everybody else is just out there hunting. It’s too much pressure I believe on these ducks. Yeah, I believe and I don’t know what the answer is. My God, I’m hunting a bunch. I want everybody to hunt a bunch and I think we need more hunters. But interestingly enough, the more you get outside your backyard, the more you see. Right about the time you think you’ve seen and done it all, you see something else. When you go out there to the state of Utah, nearly every single club in the Bear River Valley and on the south end – they’re on the north end – and on the south end, all those clubs around Great Salt Lake, nearly every single one of them only shoot a few days but all of them have a sanctuary. All of the state properties have a sanctuary. All of the federal properties have a sanctuary. When you get on the Great Salt Lake itself and those green-wings, and golden eyes, and shovelers are out there feeding in the salt water, on brine larvae and brine larvae eggs, brine shrimp egg and brine shrimp larvae, it’s just miles upon miles upon miles of sheet water that you can hunt here. They can go to land 200, 300, 500 yards away a mile away and nobody is disturbing them, they’ve got somewhere to go. I just argue my thoughts and hey, it’s just one man’s opinion. My thoughts are the reason we’re seeing those birds use that corn is not because of corn, it’s because of hunting pressure adjacent to it. The truth minder is, I hear these guys saying, well, we need to open up all the refuges. Screw you. Man, a duck has got to have somewhere to go. Twenty years ago down at LSU, they were showing where the pintail, and the blue bills, and other ducks were rafting 30 miles offshore of Louisiana, just to find somewhere they weren’t disturbed. I know the numbers, the data of the hunting. Data shows that hunter numbers are going down, but by the same token, the amount of huntable area is being distilled into a much smaller amount of area. Two or three years ago over in Northeast Louisiana, can’t remember the name of that parish right now, over 65 pit blinds had been pulled out. Well, that’s 65 fewer places to hunt. Those farmers are now – they can make $150-$200 more dollars by not putting water on their site, by not letting soil compaction occur with the water on it. Not wait until till spring to start disking and chisel plow on our soil and getting that hard pin out. Hey, I can disk it up right now. Go to market and see my crop in sooner and make $150,000, so who cares about this, $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 cash I’m making off of duck hunters when I can make three or four times that by farming better. And as less and less habitat and the quality of habitat Jeff. Back 20-30 years ago, look at the rice crops we had. There wasn’t clear field rice, there wasn’t Roundup Ready, rice, there wasn’t 3rd and 4th generation soybeans that in 20 or 30 days, with a little soil moisture, rot. And it offers no nutrient value. For that matter, go, just look up on the Arkansas prairie. There weren’t hundreds of thousands of snow geese hitting the rice fields and getting what little rice is left over with the modern day combining practices. I think it’s a habitat quality, a habitat abundance and a hunting pressure quotient that’s going into some of the problems we’re experiencing in waterfowl, not just in the Deep South but nationwide.

Jeff Stanfield: So the big argument was that with flooded corn, the ducks are getting more nocturnal – and I’m not talking about the migration deal because we didn’t have no winter and that’s what’s going to dictate your migration anyways, it’s going to be winter. On the pressure deal – goose has to like where we hunt out here, the roost lakes don’t get jacked with much those geese get somewhere to roost, no bait screws with them on water. They only get hunted in the fields. So half of their situation they’re not getting jacked with these ducks, they get it on the water and in the field. I live in a place with no refuges. So I’m not dealing with all that. I have noticed in the last couple of years, more and more people are talking about how the mallards are getting more and more nocturnal and it is probably going to be pressure related.

Ramsey Russell: It is. I’m not talking about corn fields, it’s like on my property down to South Delta, Mississippi, which is mediocre duck hunting in the best of years. Two or four days we go out there and we do a lot of disking and water management as we can to promote desirable grasses and broadleaf. If it gets away from us, we get a bunch of coffee weed and the same thing happens. It’s a worthless habitat except that because the duck having hunting pressure, they get in there and we can’t hunt them. So we go in, we spray, we patch it up. Now, we take a 40 acre hole that we can’t hunt with the areas that are clear if we let the coffee weed get away from us, there’s no nutritive value in coffee weed or we go out there and manage it to where we can access the whole 40 acres and hunt those ducks. What we see is the ducks aren’t really coming on us to feed their coming in. If you want to shoot mallards, when the mallards are in our part of the Delta, you generally need to stay out there past 9 o’clock. From 9 to noon, 9 to 1, they are coming in pairs or small groups is when we’re getting them. I mean we’re just having to be patient, wait them out.

Jeff Stanfield: I don’t think we’re going to see duck hunting –

Ramsey Russell: I don’t believe in the outlaw and corn. I don’t believe that the cornfields that’s holding them up. I believe you’re seeing a causing cause and effect. They’re finding value in a wide open or a wide span of vertical structure that does have some feed and they’re finding sanctuary in there – and I think they’re responding nocturnally because of hunting pressure. Because of all the modern convenience and modern implementation. Man, as someone who’s traveled six continents duck hunting, we Americans have elevated duck hunting to art form. The camo, the ammo, the chokes, the guns, the machinery, the boats, the motors, the fully fuzzed decoys. We’re killers and the best duck hunters you’re going to find elsewhere are going to be an emulation of Americans at best. I mean, we hunt, and we’re passionate about it, man. We don’t go out like my granddad did, my granddad was a duck hunter and he went out 12 days maybe a year. He didn’t take off work and take vacation and skip business meetings and conferences to go shoot ducks, that’s what he did in his off time. Well, man, we all take off Christmas break and skip basketball games and everything else to get after these ducks there’s just too dang much hunting pressure. What are you going to do? I don’t know.


What Will Reduce Waterfowl Hunting Pressure in America?

We find a lot of habitat value, a lot of waterfowl utilization. When we hit it right, the ducks come down.


Andy Shaver: Well, that’s kind of my next or question, what are some things that you think could improve our current situation without giving up too much? I mean, and that’s another thing, this is an American pastime.

Ramsey Russell: If you can’t have spatial sanctuary, like I went out there and hunted with my buddy, John Wills in California for, I think we hunted 12 days. We jumped all over the Sacramento valley to grasslands, just Lord have mercy, 2000 miles. I put in 12 days up and down highway 99. Public, private you name it, marshes, rice fields. One thing, as we were setting up these dates, and I started threading together these hunts, John said, “Well, it’s going to be a hard problem, working around shoot days.” I did not understand what he meant until we started threading these hunt together. They’ve got a 107 day season in the Pacific Flyway, but none of those state WMAs are shooting 107 days. You shoot on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Trust me, on Sundays, every duck coming in, probably not been shot at on Saturday. And likewise at a lot of the clubs out there. Same thing could be said about some of the clubs in Utah, they’re only shooting two or three days a week. Not only might they have spatial sanctuary, a geographic area that those ducks can go and not be shot at, but they have temporal sanctuary, long periods of time that the ducks can get into doing ducky things and imprint on that property and continue to use that property. So when the weather is right and the stars line up, you can go out there and shoot them. I think there’s a lot of value in that now. What it costs to hunt as a club member, or lease, or something like that, or if you’ve got an outfitter and you’ve got 60 days booked with clients coming in and out, how do you do that? I don’t know. You know what I’m saying?

Andy Shaver: Yeah and I look at our situation here, and we’ve got November, December and January. You got to make money. I mean, it sounds bad but you want to compact everything into that narrow time frame but then you got to look at kind of what you’re doing to your resource.

Jeff Stanfield: We’re going to take off a day here next year though. We’re going to take off on Wednesday about every two weeks just so we can have a freaking day off. That’s it. Just for that reason only not because I’m worried about bird pressure because we don’t put a lot of pressure on our birds compared to a lot of places, we’re pretty lucky here. But just so we can have a damn day off. But when I first got into business, there wasn’t a lot of outfitters, there was very few outfitters to be honest with you. There was a lot of deer outfitters in Texas, but there wasn’t any waterfowl guys. There damn sure wasn’t very many people run an operation like we run now. And you could go from Knox City, Texas to the Canada border and the only pressure them birds got put on was the first couple of weeks in Canada when the Americans would go to Canada. Even back in the early 90s, there wasn’t a lot of guys that went to Canada. There were people up there but now the birds get pressured from September 1st until the last day of duck season.

Ramsey Russell: That’s right.

Jeff Stanfield: I mean that’s the honest guy deal. I don’t think anybody wants to outlaw corn. I think a lot of people want to see him putting water on corn. I don’t have an issue with him putting water on corn but I don’t understand why it’s illegal for someone to go plant a cornfield and thrash it. To me it’s the same principle.

Ramsey Russell: I didn’t know it was illegal to do that.

Andy Shaver: No, it’s not. You have to leave it standing.

Jeff Stanfield: You have to leave it standing and flooded. That’s legal, you can’t thrash it. But I don’t understand if you’re going to let someone flood a corn field, a field that’s not been picked, and you’re going to let them flood it, I don’t understand why it’s illegal to have a field and just shred it. I don’t understand why it’s illegal to do that if you’re going to let them flood, it’s the same thing.

Andy Shaver: The normal farming practices is what confuses me. Like, you’re telling me that planting in the field and then flooding it with water, that’s a normal farming practice, that’s the loophole we’re going to go through?

Jeff Stanfield: There’s nothing normal about that.

Ramsey Russell: Well, I’ve said this for a very long time, the more you live, the more you learn. I’ve seen where my favorite places worldwide to shoot ducks are not agriculture at all, flooded or otherwise. It’s boring hunting agricultural landscape to me, I would much rather be in a natural marsh or just a natural habitat. Some of the places Char and I’ve hunted together, some of the places I’ve seen around the world where those places still exist. These vibrant wetlands that don’t have any agriculture and it’s just very rewarding to get off into a very natural environment. There’s plenty of good habitat for ducks. We’ve got to feed the world here in America, so those days are past. I’m not saying, I don’t like farmers or believe in farming, or support the farmers, I’m just saying I do like to hunt natural areas. Good, vibrant, healthy wetlands. Over on our own place, we find a lot of value in cultivating natural, moist soil plants. Just smart weeds, and sedges, and grasses and things that nature. We find a lot of habitat value, a lot of waterfowl utilization. When we hit it right, the ducks come down.


Creating the Best Waterfowl Habitats 


Jeff Stanfield: What about this, Ramsey? A guy made the point in this message me and he goes, “Jeff,” he said, “I’m a working guy, I’ve got a family.” He said, “My hunting is my hobby but I can’t afford to put a lot of money into it. I’ve got to send kids to college and stuff.” He goes, “Flooded corn is a rich man’s deal that the poor man can’t do.” And that’s a very good point.

Ramsey Russell: You can’t penalize a man, Jeff, for having to save money and spending how he wants.

Jeff Stanfield: No, I don’t have a problem with them even doing it, I don’t care if you flood corn, I don’t. I do not have any problem with that at all but I see where this man’s outlook is, it’s just for rich guys only. But I think if you’re going to let people flood corn, I don’t understand what the hell because when you bait, you’re not helping just a few ducks that get shot. If you have a field, 160 acre field, and you flood 160 acres of corn and you kill a 1000 ducks on it this year but you feed 30,000 ducks, well, you’ve done a great service for them other ducks and all the other things that are there. But you ought to be able to take 160 acres and shred corn and do something else to bait your field because that’s all you’re doing. You’re hunting over a baited field.

Ramsey Russell: Well, corn is a grass, Japanese millet is grass, barnyard grass is grass. What’s the difference? Flooded grass is a flooded grass. I’d argue.

Jeff Stanfield: Well, that’s a really good point, I never have thought of it that way. But can you shred that millet down the second year? You can.

Ramsey Russell: No.

Jeff Stanfield: I thought on the second year, you could, the first year, you couldn’t. I thought on the second year you could.

Ramsey Russell: That is naturally established. You can go in there and mow it and shred it but not if it’s been planted that year.

Jeff Stanfield: You got to wait a year to do it.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah. And we only mow a natural grass, as frankel tops, or barnyard grass, or whatever have you, like that. We only mow enough to float the decoys. We leave the rest standing when possible or roll it down or something. Because it’s seemed like millions of acres I walk across mud flats, spreading Jap and millet. I’ve never killed a duck, never, I’ve never killed a duck with a crop full of jap millet. But I was talking to a buddy of mine that’s got some old catfish ponds, bells on and all they do is moist soil and Jap millet. I asked – he’s a veterinarian – I asked him one time when I was getting my dog looked at, I said, “Have you ever killed a duck with a crop full of Jap millet?” And he goes, “No, I have not.” But some college kids from a college program came down and was walking through his pond sweeping with little butterfly looking depths and doing invertebrate biomass studies, and our gap millets had the high amount of invertebrates. That’s what those birds were in there doing. They weren’t eating the seed off of Jap millet, they were utilizing that substrate, that deteriorating grass stalk to get the invertebrates off, whatever you want to call it, water bugs, arthropods, baby crawfish, fairy shrimp. That’s why they were in there.

Jeff Stanfield: Well, this would have been a good year to have some winter to see if we would have got to push. I wish we have got this front we got in December to see – 


How Weather Affects Waterfowl Numbers

Then we’d see that it’s more weather related than it is food related.


Ramsey Russell: Can you imagine, when that big ice hit the Deep South on us, we’ve got a 20 acre, fishing lake average depth 6ft, no habitat for ducks whatsoever. And somebody was over at camps and sent a picture, there were 6000 mallards and pintails sitting on that. But that’s only place they had. They were probably water bodies throughout the Deep South with duck holding out like that, just waiting. It’s like I told my son Forrest, some of those ducks that were down because of this cold weather were probably down for the first time in generations for the first time in 3 or 4 generations. They saw the Deep South. I hope they remember it. I can remember when I was his age, we used to get those clippers that would come down and I’ll drive a little Toyota four center at the time. When those big clippers would come down, the first thing to do is find a piece of cardboard between the grill and in the radiator, so you have heat and you had trust your radiator wouldn’t freeze. We had ducks back in those days.

Jeff Stanfield: Yeah, when I first got in business, the winter that we had compared to today is just completely different. We have little days, but you could count on who is going to get two or three Alberta clippers every year. You’re going to get some push of ducks or you’re going to get the weather and we’re not getting it now. I really wish we have got that front early in the year to get those birds off of the flooded corn to the boys in Louisiana. Then we’d see that it’s more weather related than it is food related. There’s corn everywhere now.

Ramsey Russell: I was talking to a waterfowl professor not too long. I’ve talked to several of them, these telemetry studies are becoming big. Phytolatry is what they call a duck’s relationship or fidelity for a certain piece of property. Like some of these spec studies, these female specs come off the Arctic and they fly down to Louisiana. They don’t just come to Louisiana, they land on the exact same 40 acre rice field that she always lands in. Year after year they’re coming to a very precise place. And you start looking at some of their flight patterns, it looks like they’ve been shot from a bow and arrow. Straight as an arrow they’re flying to a certain little spot, that’s ducks. And then you don’t see them during hunting season but you go out after the season first week of February, there’s ducks everywhere. Well, we need to open the season in February, now the ducks have been, they’ve just been hiding in sanctuaries. One of the biologists was telling me about a drake mallard that spent the entire duck season on three sanctuaries. He just went from one to the next to the next, to the next a week after duck season is covering the entire county. That to me is a function of hunting pressure, it’s a function of hunting pressure. And I don’t have the answer for it, I don’t want to stop duck hunting no more than anybody else does but it’s something we’ve got to come to terms with. We’re wigging these birds out man. And there’s all kinds of – this past season – just road tripping hunted 21 states, all four Flyways, tons of species, and it was everywhere. It wasn’t just Mississippi or Louisiana, it’s everywhere. Nationwide you’re dealing with these problems here.

Andy Shaver: Everybody’s saying the same thing everywhere you’ve been to.

Ramsey Russell: Now let me throw this at you. I went to Delaware. You’d be shocked at the quality of hunting in places and parts of Delaware. It was shocking. And I did hunt a cornfield. For the life of me I don’t understand. I hunted one cornfield that was pretty productive. It had belt deep water and the birds could access the corn if they wanted to, it was a tiny little corn planting. I went to another one and those corn were chest high, the water was let below your knees. I mean a duck can’t float like a hummingbird and pick the cob, they might jump up and get some. Most of the corn consumption I saw walking in off the ears were black birds, and things of that nature had been picking on it. But the area we hunted in front of the pit, was just moist soil and that’s where we were killing the birds – and it’s moist soil. Now here’s where I’m getting out about Delaware – it’s the Atlantic flyway and the limit is two mallards. You’ll shoot a black duck or tw,o or some green-wing teal, maybe a shoveler. But I got to say, coming out those days with a pair of mallards and maybe a black duck and a couple of teal, it felt like plenty. It didn’t take as long to shoot two mallards as it did 4 or 5 or 6 or 7. So, then again comes out temporal sanctuary. I was thinking to myself, man, for the quality of hunting, if I could go out and shoot two mallards today, I would choose that in a heartbeat over some of the hunts that I happened to do. You all had Brian Huber on here not too long ago and I met with Brian out in California hunting wood ducks with him. One morning, we got to talking about back in the day when the California speckle belly limit was two. You go out, bam bam, it’s just like shooting a pintail, bam, I’m done. Well, then the limit went to four. On the best of days, it takes twice as long as to shoot four, as it does now it’s 10. What’s the mindset of a hunter? Stay there till you get the limit? And now you can’t hardly shoot those specs because – 


The Importance of Waterfowl Limits

I think we should take a good hard look at how high some of these limits are.


Andy Shaver: I think you touched on something there. I think that should be something that we look at first before we start eliminating taking off days where you can’t hunt or maybe restricting on fields that you can hunt. I think we should take a good hard look at how high some of these limits are. In Oklahoma, it’s at 8 geese.

Jeff Stanfield: No, 8 Canadas, then you can shoot two Specks. You kill 10 freaking geese. That’s ridiculous.

Ramsey Russell: That’s a bunch. I don’t know what the answer is, but my oldest son is 23 years old and before he was born, let’s say it was ‘97 or ‘98, they came out with adaptive harvest management plan. I remember the first year the limit was two mallards in the Mississippi Flyway. It’s been 6 ever since. 6 ducks, 4 mallards ever since. His entire lifetime, all he’s known is 6 ducks. My question is, people say well duck hunting is not a numbers game, and maybe when you’re old farts like me, and you, Jeff, that have shot a bunch and done a bunch, maybe it is more of a quality experience than a numbers game. But like yourself, I shot a bunch of ducks back when I was young, it was a numbers game back when I was young. I don’t penalize somebody for getting new into it – it’s a stage in a phase you go through and they should want to do it. But it’s a numbers game too because there is a limit to going out and playing a hard game in duck hunting and a lot of places, especially in public land. Let me tell you what, those public land hunters out in California – hats off. Total respect. Those guys are among some of the best duck hunters I’ve seen. If they’re consistently bringing ducks out because it’s a hard hunt. You go all in and you only kill 3 ducks. Well, it’s like going to a movie, paying $20 to go see a movie, and the projector breaking halfway through. You feel cheated. You feel that I didn’t measure up, I didn’t get my limit and I played a hard game. For a young guy or an average hunter, I get it when I was that age. What if the limit was 3 or 4, how would they feel? Would they be happy?

Jeff Stanfield: That’s how I got into goose hunting. I grew up duck hunting and when I was a kid growing up, the limit was 10 or it was on hunter point system. Our limit was 100 rounds of shells. We took 100 rounds out with us. Whenever we shot in 100 rounds, we’d come home. If we shot 12 ducks or 63 ducks that morning, that’s what our limit was. I didn’t grow up in the right situation, I know that but it was a different time in my life. As a kid, that’s what I was getting used to. Well, when they went from the point system, we went to three ducks. I was probably 15, 16 years old, 17 years old, well shit, it was no fun to shoot 3 ducks when you were used to going out and shooting, 40, 50, and 60 in the morning. So, I started goose hunting because the goose limit was the same thing. That’s how we started goose hunting more than duck hunting. I grew up duck hunting but if I would have grown up when the limit was three, I would have still loved to duck hunt. But that mindset when I was a kid was a hell, we could shoot 10 at one time, now you can only shoot 3? You can shoot 10 pintails when I was growing up and they can shoot one. Now, I think the duck numbers are off. I don’t think we have the ducks that they say we do and I think we have more damn pintails they say we do. But after talking to Brian, I think the problem is there’s a lot more pintail drakes than there are pintail hens.

Ramsey Russell: I’ve seen that a lot. Chris Nikolai – Delta Waterfowl  – was telling me what Delta Waterfowl is proposing. 30 years we’ve been restricting bag limits for pintails. And because of that skewed population, you’re talking about, 6-1 to 8-1 drake per hen is putting undue pressure on the pintails. He said that Delta Waterfowl advocates a modification to the pintail bag to be three pintail daily in the continental 48 states with one hen. If I’m just having a great day and I say, you know what? I need my teeth kicked in. All I’ve got to do is post a limit of pintail drakes from Mexico on the internet. The limit is 15. Well that’s absurd, we only killed one in California. But you can kill 8-10 in Alaska, 6-8 in Canada, 15 in Mexico, 1 in the Continental US. There’s something wrong. It’s not hunting pressure that’s killing pintails, it’s not those mean old American rich hunters down in Mexico shooting 15 a day. There’s more pintail killed in opening weekend in California than is killed in Mexico the entire year. That’s just fact. There’s so few hunters going to Mexico relative to California or Arkansas or somewhere else. Since the 70s, no teal farming is where the pintails are going, millions upon millions of eggs have been disked under or run over by equipment or something because those birds have historically nested in short grass prairie and most of that short grass prairie has been converted to agriculture. There’s no teal farming to hold the soil in place, so they don’t choose but it’s what their options are. They nest in last year’s barley stubble, wheat stubble, and here comes the tractor to plant this year’s crop. That’s where your pintail are doing in the continental 48, you know what I’m saying. So, I support Delta Waterfowl and I’ve talked to a gentleman, he’s scaup biologist. He doesn’t practice it right now, he does something else, but in the past, he worked for AL. He runs some of the scaup banding studies. He wrote his thesis on scaup productivity and this blew my mind. I’m sitting in a duck blind in North Dakota and I hear this conversation. What’s wrong with scaup? Now, I’m in the Deep South. Scaup is not our bread and butter bird but get up north, get up to those guys in North Dakota Minnesota, Lee Cho’s Wisconsin, I mean, scaup are a big freaking deal to these guys. It’s their bird, man. And it just blew my mind to hear this conversation. What is wrong with this, Jeff? That the population of scaup comes back to 750,000, the limit’s two. The population of redheads is 2.5 million birds, the limit is two. The population of scaup is 4.5 million freaking birds, the limit is one.

Jeff Stanfield: Because of biologists.

Ramsey Russell: What in the heck is going on? So, you go somewhere like Harvard de Grace, Maryland to hunt, Susquehanna flats, or the Chesapeake Bay, and there’s bazillions of scaup out there on the water but the limit is one. You talk some of these old timers about body boots and they remember when they were young and they were the muscle setting up the big body boots spread for the old timers. Now they’re the old timers and there’s no duck hunters coming behind. There’s no young people coming behind them to help them set up because the limit on scaup is one.

Jeff Stanfield: Why is that? What’s the reasoning do they say?

Ramsey Russell: Who knows?

Jeff Stanfield: I don’t know shit about scaup or however you say it so we don’t shoot very many of them here. I do think that pintails, we need to quit shooting hens. I think that they need to just not let you shoot hens. I’m good with two or three pintails. I think that’s a great idea. But I would take the pintail hen to 0. Now that hurts as an outfitter because you get some guys coming to flock who don’t pick out a white from a brown.

Andy Shaver: You can’t do that.

Jeff Stanfield: Why?

Andy Shaver: There’s no way. As a guide, I would never call the shot on a group of 10 tails if we couldn’t shoot a hen. There’s no way. Not in a million years would I call the shot on that.

Ramsey Russell: I agree. You got to have a Mulligan, Jeff because there’s imperfect days, and imperfect hunters, and the sun gets in your eyes, and the birds flying left to right, or right to left, or it’s cloudy, it’s foggy, it happens. It just happens.

Jeff Stanfield: I had a guy one time – 

Andy Shaver: I mean, a north wind day, you wouldn’t be able to pick out anything – sun’s right in your eyes.

Jeff Stanfield: Well, I had a guy one time and we were shooting, it was our one limit speck and we can shoot four Canadas if you shot a speck. And this guy asked me, and this is no shit, he goes, could you sit up here in front of me and point out which ones are speckled bellies, which ones are Canada geese? One of them has got orange legs, one’s got black legs, how hard is that?

Ramsey Russell: Better than mine some days.

Jeff Stanfield: I was like what the ?

Andy Shaver: Sit down here and point out to me, before I pull the trigger.

Jeff Stanfield: If you can’t pick that out, you think I’m sitting in front of your ass when you got a gun then you’ve lost your damn mind!


Do We Need to Reconsider Bag Limits, Hunting Days, and Such?

There needs to be some allowance for divers, and different life habits, and population dynamics, and everything else.


Ramsey Russell: Jeff, if I’ve asked the same questions to some people a lot smarter than me about the duck population, I’ve wondered because there’s lies, damn lies, and statistics but I really do have confidence. I have confidence in the duck numbers. I really truly do. I have confidence in the people that are doing the best they can to count these ducks but I do wonder if we don’t need to reexamine things like bag limits, and hunting days, and things of that nature. I just wonder if we need to. It’s possible that we need to do that and that’s what I’m trying to say. I’ve got faith in the system but I just wondered it, in time. Like, for example, mallard ducks. A lot of the governance or a lot of the determination of how bag limits and days and quotas, let’s call it for scaup, for redheads, for pintails is predicated on mallard ducks. Well, there’s only one mallard duck. Maybe there needs to be a lot more money dumped into the system to figure out models for redheads, and scaup, and canvas bags, we got to hire statistical quotient going into that. I mean, you can’t govern all these species of ducks over mallard. There needs to be some allowance for divers, and different life habits, and population dynamics, and everything else. One of the coolest things – get this – and this blew my mind. We go out there to band some ducks right about the time that front was hit, a couple of days before that front hit with a guy. One of the traps that he had, or two of the traps, he had a slap full of ring necks. Slap full. It was 100 – let’s say 110 ring necks in these two traps, two hens. The day before they caught 100 ring necks in the same two traps and there were zero hens. That’s 1% hens.

Jeff Stanfield: It’s a lot of horny ducks.

Ramsey Russell: How is that even possible? This is a very smart waterfowl ecologist, we’re sitting there talking to him later in the evening and he said something, he just wondered out loud if the carrying capacity for hens has met. It never occurred to me that males and females have different life cycle requirements, have different needs. Is it possible that the reason there’s so few females in addition to predation, or whatever average have you, is it possible that the carrying capacity for hens has been exceeded? That it is at level and that’s why they’re not as many hens? Because something’s going on with ring necks and I know that’s a mighty small sample size, 200 ring necks, but it’s just kind of shocking that there are only two hens in like 200 something ring necks.

Jeff Stanfield: Now, golden eyes – I believe it’s golden eyes that’s a Yankee bird  – I can’t remember which one it is. I think it’s a golden eye. The males or the females, one of them migrates, 90% of them or something migrate a month before the other one does. I think it’s going to be the drake goldeneye leaves Canada 30 days before the female does. I’m wondering if ring neck, if the females don’t go back before the drakes do.

Ramsey Russell: I don’t believe so. Now, understand these two catch nights happen right about the time the ship was hit with the fan with that big major cold front we’re talking about.

Jeff Stanfield: Yeah, they wouldn’t have been in there. I don’t know. That’s crazy to think the numbers would be that skewed though. That’s amazing.

Ramsey Russell: It ought to be looked at. I know shooting blue bills down in Mexico, very few hens relative to drakes. I don’t know, Jeff, I don’t know. It’s some real interesting times.

Jeff Stanfield: I wonder what their long term numbers are.

Ramsey Russell: Waterfowl manager in right now.

Jeff Stanfield: I wonder what the long term numbers are for ring necks.

Ramsey Russell: I have no idea. A lot of people don’t like to shoot them, I love them.

Jeff Stanfield: But they’ve saved many a bad hunt.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah, they’re fun to shoot.

Andy Shaver: Well, little bastards are fast. I don’t know, it’s an interesting time that we find ourselves in right now. And I just worry about the future. I’m a young guy. I got kids, I got young kids and it’s just I don’t want to make – I know we’re going to make the wrong move, thinking we’re making the right move just because that’s how we are as humans. Something has to give and we need to take a hard look at kind of the way that we’ve been operating the last 20 years. 

Jeff Stanfield: They say the ring neck numbers are up but the blue bill numbers are declining as ring neck numbers rise.

Ramsey Russell: 4.5 million blue bills.

Jeff Stanfield: Them poor damn hens, boy they’re getting wore the hell out.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah, interesting times we live in, but you got to go hunting.

Andy Shaver: Yeah. That’s exactly right. But it’s going to be interesting to see. 

Jeff Stanfield: This is interesting, in 1949 in Minnesota alone, they killed 559,000 blue bills. Last year they killed 14,000. That’s crazy.

Ramsey Russell: I just think it’s a bigger conversation that we need to have than whether or not the flooded corn in Central Illinois. The last thing I’m going to say about flooded corn is this: there wouldn’t be so goddamn many ducks going into it if they weren’t finding some form of habitat value. Habitat value, in and of itself because there’s so many dogs utilizing it makes me a fan of it, whether you can kill them in there or not, whether they’re just going there because they’re being over pressured or not. They’re finding habitat value important and ducks need good habitat value.

Jeff Stanfield: I’m not against them flooding anything. I just think it’s kind of hypocritical on the other end of it.

Andy Shaver: And it’s just weird where they draw the line as what – 

Jeff Stanfield: Is baiting and what’s not. There’s 3.6 million blue bills right now, that’s more than there are gadwalls. So, it’s still ahead of the gadwalls. There’s only 3.3 million gadwalls.

Ramsey Russell: There you go. We shoot 6 of them.

Jeff Stanfield: And we don’t see very many of them no more, or we haven’t in the last couple of years. But there you go, you shoot six of them but you can only shoot one scaup, that don’t make sense. But the government doesn’t make sense usually anyways. I want to talk to you about hunting in South America. So, what’s the place to go for the guy that wants to go somewhere late spring or late summer here? Is there anywhere to go or they done by then?


Best Waterfowl Hunting in South America


Ramsey Russell: Argentina is open from mid-April through about mid-August. It’s a very long season. Most of the operators don’t start opening, our operators don’t start open until around May 1st. That’s when most of the clients want to travel, is sometime after the kids are out of school. June, July are the most popular dates because then the Little League seasons are ending up, family vacations are over. They can go out and sneak away for a week, and shoot a bunch of ducks. Years ago we used to work down in Argentina just under the standard “booking agent” modeling and we just kind of broke free of that 10 or 15 years ago where we got off the grid, so to speak, and found the right operators. We’ll get choked to tell you about that place where my ashes will be scattered, unless I find somewhere better but I doubt it. A wheel 130 square mile wetland marsh, it’s the most amazing place. Now, you can’t hardly get there from here but it is the most wild and remote place I’ve ever been in my life. You hunt by yourself in a blind, no bait, with a guy nto a bird boy that calls birds and works on it. It’s a high species diversity, it’s very high volume and we take a lot of hunters through that 130 square miles of marsh hell. There’s parts of that marsh you can’t get to, you can’t even drive around for three hours to get to it because there’s no roads around it. I know from having been down there, there’s birds in that marsh 12 months out the year. It’s interesting to me, there’s a continental migration we understand here in the Northern Hemisphere. Some of those geese, you’re talking about the Canadas, are starting up in the Arctic and specks starting up in the Arctic, the snow geese, starting up around Hudson Bay and migrating down the Gulf Coast and back. You go down to places in the Southern Hemisphere, Africa, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand, there’s no continental migration. The birds are just nomadic. I don’t know how a bird knows that it rained 10 cm 500 miles away but they do. The last time we were down in Australia, it was so dry in the Victoria province – we were hunting down in the South Australia province and I think the limit was 12 birds and we were limiting daily. I get up one morning and my buddies are sitting around the table kind of talking quietly themselves. He said, well maybe we’re going to go out and try to shoot some ducks, it’s not going to be good. We got to pick up and go this afternoon and go to Victoria. I go, “What?” He goes, “Yeah it rained.” What’s 10 cm? 4 or 5 inches?

Jeff Stanfield: Don’t ask me that.

Ramsey Russell: We got to go. I said, “Nah.” It was less than 30% the number of ducks. We get up there in Victoria, we get back in them again. How in the world did that duck know that it rained? That’s a lot of what you see down in Argentina, that vast marsh we hunt. Birds are coming in to feed, they’re coming into molt, they’re coming in to nest, they’re coming in to eat, they’re coming in to live and then they’re going back out some of them are. It’s just amazing the flux of birds in and out of that marsh. I can remember one year shooting rosy bills, which I love to shoot. I’m not going to say how many I shot that morning, it was a bunch. I was dialed in, and it was chip shots, and as we were coming out, there’s a couple of birds – now, this would have been late July, early August, which is their wintertime. And as we were coming out, we got off kind of in the river channel, I mean it’s 20ft wide maybe the channel is, and I saw a buck with his head down swimming, like a duck hide and swim with a cripple and I hollered at him – it was a baby doe. As I talked to the operator about it, he said that the rosy bills had had three hatches that year, it was so wet and so good. So just think about that. That’d be like you’re going out to shoot a duck empowerment in January and they’re being hatch year bird that can’t even fly yet. The productivity is so good, it’s an amazing wetland. Again, even though we’re shooting a lot of birds relative to the American limit, you just got to understand that continentally there’s very low hunting pressure down there, very low hunting pressure. And that’s the distinction.


Best Duck Hunts in the World

Most ducks for the bucks is going to be real Argentina.


Andy Shaver: What about for a guy that’s wanting to go on a hunt somewhere, not a big spender, what’s the most best bang for the buck that you’ve got for someone to go somewhere else to hunt?

Ramsey Russell: Argentina.

Andy Shaver: That is the best bang for the buck?

Ramsey Russell: Hands down the best duck for the buck. Most ducks for the bucks is going to be real Argentina. It’s a big internet to go find a hunt but I know this as someone that has been down in Argentina since 2000. When I go to Safari Club International, there’s 30 Argentine duck hunting operations on that floor and I don’t represent a damn one of them. I’ve been to their lodges, I’ve been I’ve been to their fields, I’ve shot their ducks, it’s just relative to an average day in Louisiana, Mississippi it’s pretty damn good. Relative to what real Argentina duck hunting is, it’s mediocre at best. I always liken it to just imagine if you were in Argentina watching rich in tone television and washing these hunts on the satellite that everybody’s got now and you decided you were going to book a trip to America. And instead of going to Stanfield Hunting Lodge or going somewhere great, you got talked into going to saving a few bucks and doing this, and doing that, and going to northern Georgia. We have a few ducks, but it’s not – you know what I’m saying? The internet is a real big place and that’s what I feel like. I’ve got two hunts down there that truly – my number one hunt in the world is a place called Las Flores. It’s baited because it’s legal. We call the operator kind of tongue in cheek and the thing about is he gets context. A lot of times when there’s a language barrier, they don’t get context. This outfit gets context we call him the masturbator of the universe and he wears it like a badge of honor. I was in SCI the last time they had convention, February 2020. A lot of those Argentines that we don’t work with will come buzz around the booth and buddy, Lord help you. If you’re in my booth and we’re talking, you’re ready to go and one of the guys walk up and I’m going to let you go, I’m just going to keep on talking to you till they buzz off, I don’t want to work with them. I get on an elevator that night the show was done and I stepped on – it’s like a crowded elevator. So, I’m sitting here just looking at the front of the elevator because all these people are behind me, and right when the door started shut, this some buck crowds his way in. Now he’s sitting right next to me in a full elevator and he starts in on blah blah blah and I indulged him. You don’t bait. Boy he got that finger going all indignant, loud. I mean, I’m embarrassed as all these people in a crowded elevator, looking at, he’s carrying all of “Si senor, I paid, I put out my bait.” I’m like, “No you don’t.” Man, dumping corn in front of a blind every 8 to 10 days when your class right there and shoot them is not baiting. He said to me something like, I put out five tons of corn, he’s yelling, five tons of corn daily he puts out. I said, my operator is putting out 1.5 tons of corn daily. 1.5 tons of corn daily in front of 40 blinds and shooting every 5 to 8 days or something. I know it makes people uncomfortable talking about the subject of baiting, here in America we’re prohibited, there’s a reason why it’s prohibited, but down there it’s not. Not only is this place baited though, he doesn’t let you go in there, lollygag around to 11 o’clock to noon. Now, we’re talking at that temporal space. This man is baiting, putting out 200 pound of corn in front of a blind every single day for four months, and he wants you in and out. If it’s light enough for me to see with my naked eye at 07:30 AM, at 08:30 AM I’m sitting on the tailgate of a truck, and me and you got our limits, which is 50 ducks per morning. It’s fast and furious. The afternoons is 15. We leave at 3 o’clock, drive 15 to 20 minutes to the blind and usually by 04:30, 04:45 were sitting on the back porch drinking cold beer, watching the sun go down with our 15 ducks hanging. It’s just real fun. It’s like, imagine going to Disneyland. I mean, it’s like the Disneyland of duck hunts. I’ve done it a bunch. My clients love it. It’s convenient. I had a 92 year old client one time, and I don’t mean one of the young 92 year olds. This guy was 92 years old and the last hunt on the face of the earth he ever went to was that hunting, and it was a bad year. It was flooded and it took a lot of work but they got him in there comfortable where he could enjoy the hunting. It’s just that kind of place. To the complete opposite end of the spectrum is the first place I was talking about, 130 square mile marsh. It’s wild. It’s pure, it’s the coolest place I’ve ever set foot. The very first morning I hunted there was about 9 years ago and one of the ladies we hired down in Argentina 10 years ago kept telling me about this place. I wasn’t interested, it was too far to go when we went down there to scout. We were just bouncing around, we ended up there. In the first morning I walked in ankle deep marsh not quite a half mile but a long way. We stopped, threw out a few decoys, and throughout the morning that bird boy was tugging on me and pointing the ducks. I left with a bunch of ducks, 70 ducks I shot that morning, but I never will forget just stopping, and as far as I could see it looked like part of the Louisiana marsh and there were ducks in all directions. I realized in that moment, that first day, number one, my ashes will be scattered in this marsh. Number two, that I had walked a million miles through similar habitat throughout that country looking for this place and I realized how special it was. I told an outfitter, it’s about a 10 hour ride, if you drive in a van from Buenos Aires, it’s about a 10-hour ride. In the last 52 km is a dirt road, unless it’s been raining then it’s mud. It took us hours to get down that last 52 km and there were two trucks, one truck, drank a whole bottle of whiskey before that we got to camp just like 52 km of four-wheel drive mud riding. But once you’re there, you’re 5 or 10 minutes from the blind. I told that operator the first time I said, I love this hunt, I want my ashes scattered in this marsh, I won’t sell any hunts. He goes, why? I said, it’s too far drive, folks ain’t going to do it. Sure enough, a lot of people just cannot be inconvenienced on vacation to make that drive. That is very big. I’m sitting in Brandon, Mississippi, it would be like driving to Dallas and back. Roads are muddy in a day. But once I’m there, there’s nowhere else in the world, let alone Argentina, that such habitat exists. It’s not even like going to a place, it’s like going to a time, it’s like driving. It’s like I get into a time machine and 10 hours later I wake up in the 1800s. That’s what it means to me and we’re practically sold out. We stay sold out down there. Clients have kind of caught on. People don’t even call up there and they don’t even know the name, they say I want to go to that wild place. It’s Argentina and their seasons are exactly like the whole Southern Hemisphere, their seasons are exactly six months behind us. So, August, September, October November, December, January, February, August is like February down here. July like January, it’s our peak winter.

Andy Shaver: Yeah. I want to go back to the duck numbers real quick. Do you think some of the problem could be that the reason guys are not seeing the ducks, like Jeff that thinks now all of a sudden the numbers are skewed. You think it’s because of the pressure or you think it’s because they’re hiding?

Ramsey Russell: That’s my humble opinion. I think the ducks are patterning hunting activities, that’s just my humble opinion. Obviously when you have a warm winter the bulk of the migration is not coming down. They don’t have to, there’s plenty of habitat up north. But yeah, I believe that Andy. I believe that I think they’re sitting in those cornfields, or those thickets, or wherever they can get away from hunters until the sun goes down then come out and feed without getting shot. That’s what I think.


The Story of the Traveling Decoy


Andy Shaver: Is that the traveling decoy you got beside you?

Ramsey Russell: Yeah, look at that. You see that on the internet this year?

Andy Shaver: Yes, I saw that. Is there anywhere you can sign on it anymore, or is it all filled up?

Ramsey Russell: You have to start signing over names. There’s a story but I got asked by a lot of people about this decoy and it’s just an old herder decoy. It’s really a lousy choice to sign on – I had thought when I was going to do this travel decoy around all these people I hunted with, I probably hunted 120-130 days or times between mid-September and end of January and February. But I had thought that I was floated everywhere I went and that’s a lousy decoy to do. Because you remember, the more herded phone decoys, they lose their paint and lose to scratch real easy. But I’ll tell you all about this, I feel very strongly. A lot of people say, what’s the point where you get everybody to sign it? Next time we do a meeting, I’ll go to my game room over at camp and show you all some of the background there. I just found over the years, I don’t collect birds, but I do have a lot of mounted birds. I noticed every time I started telling a story about that bar headed goose, about that snow goose, about that red crested poacher, about that pintail, about whatever, any time I started telling a story about that bird, about that hunt, it always came around to people. That was what was so amazing to me, was this hunting season we travel around hunting, was hunting with these people. Many people shared their part of the world, and their slice of the pie, and their stories. I just really found a tremendous amount of value in doing that, so now I’ll hang this decoy and next time I go to camp I’ll hang it up in my game room and it’ll be just a tribute to all these many people are hunted with.

Jeff Stanfield: It’s damn interesting.

Ramsey Russell: I’ll tell you why that’s important, Jeff, is this decoy belonged to a friend and a client of mine. I know that because the way it was rigged with the screw in the bottom. Most of his other decoys had his name on the bottom. This one doesn’t but I know the way he wrapped this, put this wood screw in that. I’d forgotten about it and I’d taken it to camp, put it up on the shelf, and I went to go get an old wooden black duck decoy I had – probably use it next year and this decoy was right next to it. I took it down, I looked at it and I remembered. I’m going to tell you the man’s life, he was the kind of guy, when we travel, there were mornings I would wake up after him carrying on the night before. we’re telling stories and jokes I would wake up and my stomach hurt like I had done crunches from laughing so hard the night before. He was that guy, he brought out the best in people. He was just a very, very generous and giving man, he called me up one day out of blue and he said, “Hey, I’m cleaning out the garage, you want some decoys?” What you got? He said, “I got a bunch of old herder decoy burlap and just got a big sack of a massive sack of them.” About a year or two later his life ended in tragedy because we all got demons that we have to deal with. As I walked by my game room and I see a picture of him, he and I hunting together. I think about that. I think to myself I shared the best times, or some of the best times, of that man’s life with him in a duck blind. And that kind of gets back to the point of why I wanted to – as I’m meeting people around the country and around the world – to have them sign it. It’s just more because I really do treasure the times and the people and the stories. A lot of people would ask man, it just blows my mind, so many people were asking how in the world you meet all these people. It’s like, you know them your whole life, you step into a duck blind behind you, shake hands, you never met them but it’s like you all are family. I said man, it’s just because we’re all duck hunters. It don’t matter how man acts on Facebook, you meet him face to face in a duck blind? In that moment you’re just duck hunters.


What Makes Waterfowl Hunting Unique

Best conversations in the world are that 15 minutes before legal shooting time.


Andy Shaver: Yeah, I think that’s something that separates waterfowl hunting from any other kind of hunting because you get that opportunity to bond in the duck blind. You don’t get that in a deer stand, you don’t get anywhere else. It’s an exclusive thing to waterfowl hunting and that’s why some of the bonds that we formed in the field and even through this podcast. There are people that we might not align with politically or socially or anything like that, but if we get them on this podcast, or if we see them out in the field, just like you said, they’re just duck hunters and we just want to hear their story.

Jeff Stanfield: Best conversations in the world are that 15 minutes before legal shooting time. It goes from the greatest stories in the world to telling Jeff to shut the f– up, it’s about time to shoot.

But that is what happens.

Ramsey Russell: In general you think about it. If you took the average duck hunt, the best duck hunt, 30 minutes, 6 guys. The trigger pulled, if you added up the put a timer on the trigger pulls, it’s just seconds, it’s moments in an hour and a half hunt, let alone a hunt till lunch. I’ve always felt that the time between the volleys are where real duck hunting and real life happens. I can remember when my sons were graduating high school, especially this day and age man, they got football, they got this, they got a cell phone, they got girls. But man, when you’re in a duck blind, you talk about things you just ain’t going to talk about the rest of the time. Man, doesn’t feel good to go somewhere, it is politically incorrect as a duck blind or a goose blind. Doesn’t it feel good that there’s still somewhere like that in the world that you can just let your hair down and say what you want to say?

Jeff Stanfield: I’m in my element, there.

Ramsey Russell: I am in my element. My wife criticize me all the time coming back from – been gone two weeks, three weeks, five weeks or months, whatever my language is pretty bad man. It made red pots blush.

Andy Shaver: Mine is too. That’s funny that your wife says that because my wife says the same thing, like, she made a comment not too long ago. Like man, last summer you were doing real good, but now you’re just kind of like a sailor. I’m like, well shit, it’s just who I’ve been around. But you mentioned that, I can remember a couple years ago, I had a father and a son and it was just them two and they were duck hunting. And same like you said, he was in football, baseball, wrestling, track his calendar was full of the son’s was. He was a senior in high school and I remember that dad telling me after that hunt was over that they talked more on that two days of hunting and being out here at the lodge than they had almost his entire high school career. He felt like he re-met his son just in the time being out here. I mean life’s busy. It’s hard to parse out 30 minutes of your day, if you got a wife and two kids, you need some one on one action. He did, and he said, “I feel like I’ve talked to my son more this weekend than I have in his whole high school career.”


What’s a Better Hunt: Quality or Quantity?

Ducks are the religion and the blind is the church.


Ramsey Russell: I guarantee you. Look, nobody, I know not one person listening go duck hunting and go through all this stuff to watch a sunrise, I can do that on my front porch right now. We’re out there to shoot waterfowl, I get it. But seriously is it just me? Am I just so damn old because when I think back to any hunt I had this year, the story always goes back to the people or to what we talked about and where we hunted it. The ducks are just a small part. I can’t remember how many ducks I shot on any given morning. I can remember certain ducks, like I’ll tell you one of the craziest things we’re talking about pintails earlier, I was out in the Central Valley of California with John Wheels. We were sitting in a pit blind and I didn’t feel it. Man, it was 9 o’clock before we got there, we tried something else that morning and the way the decoys was set up, I just didn’t feel like bam, right off the bat we both get our pintail, well that’s great. We didn’t get skunked. There was a bazillion pintail floating around in rice Chex. Well there’s a record, we shot a pair of mallards, shot a trio of wigeons, and first one thing, went another well, it climbed on up till about noon. He said, “Man, you ready to go get a lunch burrito?” I ate burritos for whatever, 14 days straight and they were excellent. I was sitting on six ducks at this point, I’m like, “Well John, I kind of hate to leave a duck on the table.” Then a bald eagle flew over the far side of the field and man, did the pintails get up? I bet 1500-2000 tails from 30 yards to the left on my side, to 30 yards on the right on his side, and 30-35 yards thousands of pintail started streaming over. We’re done on pintails. I’m looking pintail, shoveler, bam. Duck number 7 was a shoveler. I thought boy, right about time you think you’ve seen it done at all, you pass on 1500 pintails to kill a boot lip. But it’s all about that limit sometimes, even to me. I can remember so many things that happened that morning that John and I talked about, I remember a phone call we got, I can remember so much about it beyond just the number of ducks. I heard you all talking to Cho’s the other day. I’ll ask you all to say, will you agree that nearly everybody listening would value quality hunt over a quantity hunt? A quality hunt.

Jeff Stanfield: No, but I would. But a lot of people don’t. A lot of people about blind. Ducks are the religion and the blind is the church.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah.

Jeff Stanfield: And that’s why we do it.

Andy Shaver: But back to what you said though, I don’t know. I think if you rewind the clock a couple of years, yeah, most people would rather have a quality over quantity. But the way Instagram is, baby, you got to get Instagram famous and it’s all about the quantity.


Top Three Waterfowl Hunts in the World


Ramsey Russell: I think that some people though, I’ve got way too many friends and way too many clients that are just over the number. Like I say, I hunted 4 flyways, 20 states all them hundreds of people I hunted with, well, nobody mad at him. One of the coolest hunts I did out in California, we went shot geese with the White brothers. I was talking to Jonathan on the way out the night before, he’s like, no, we won’t shoot a limit. I go, no geese? He goes, no, we’re going to see plenty of geese, we can shoot a limit of snows and aleutian but we’re just not going to do that because the geese were going to see tomorrow, the geese we’re going to hunt all season. They say there’s 20,000 geese around, they said that that’s all we got. They play the highest A game, the highest game of goose hunting I’ve ever seen. Let me tell you, we shot plenty of them but when the big mobs come in, they would let those 2000 land 15 yards away, and walk further away from us, and then wait on another play where you had just 5 or 10 so birds come in. We can make those numbers and not educate the mass flocks. So on the one hand, it was the highest quality hunt, I can remember. I can’t tell you how many we shot a pile of them, but not a bunch. Not a limit, far from the limit. But it was the highest quality hunt for that many ducks and geese, and snows to be landing in your lap all morning long. It was one of the highest quality hunts I’ve ever been on and the numbers became irrelevant. We could have shot 120 geese. What the hell are we going to do it with 120 geese? But we didn’t. We shot plenty.

Andy Shaver: That’s right. I wish more people had that mentality. We saw that a little bit this year with just because COVID kept so many people in the homes, people were excited to be out of the house. So we did see a more appreciative bunch of guys out here and I don’t know. Yeah, but you’re right. I think it’s the majority of the hunters out there. The guys that are going to be doing this for the long term, the guys are going to be doing this 5, 10, 15, 20 years, they would take a quality hunt over quantity hunt. It’s a guy that he’ll be out of here in another two years. First time he gets his teeth kicked in on a regular basis, he’ll be out of here. That’s the guy that’s all about numbers right now.

Ramsey Russell: Well, if you’re all about numbers you’re in for a world of disappointment with all the topics we cover tonight, don’t you think?

Andy Shaver: I think so. They probably turned it off a long time ago.

Ramsey Russell: They probably did.

Andy Shaver: Well, Ramsey, we appreciate your time, my friend. Where are you going to next?

Ramsey Russell: South Africa. Well, let me say this, let me preface this. Right now, Argentina is closed. Don’t ask me why, but they’re closed. Liberal government similar to say, California, they’re closed. They’re struggling to get their vaccinations after the people. We had thought they would open, they have not. We’ve heard they might open in April. That remains to be seen, they’re closed we can’t go. So, if they open at any time between now and August this year, Double R will be heading that way pronto. I’m scheduled to be down there from April 22nd  – that ain’t happening until about the 4th of July. But in late August we did not get to go last year, we got to hunt schedule for South Africa. I really boy, I tell you, COVID just got in the way but you got Mexico, you got Argentina, and of all the places I’ve hunted the world for the guys that just loves the taxidermy, for guys that love volume for guys that love adventure, man Africa is right there with it. That to me represents one of the top three hunts in the world outside the United States would be Africa, Argentina and Mexico, not necessarily in that order, but those 3 crown jewels.

Andy Shaver: What’s the logistics on the travel for that? Because it’s not very bad.

Ramsey Russell: It’s a real long flight. From Atlanta I believe it’s about 14 hours of Johannesburg, it’s a long flight. But other than that it’s not bad. When we get there, the time’s all wonky, so we stay in a bed and breakfast that night, get up the next morning and catch up with the outfit and start hunting. The hunt we actually do is – it took a long time to thread this hunt together. But I’ve got to outfitters both in South Africa, one of the few Malanga province one in Zululand and we’ll book a hunt at either lodge but the Granddaddy hunters say go to go 3 or 4 days to each one because of the species diversity and different hunting terrain and hunting opportunities upland and geese and ducks. It’s just a huge adventure. We worked with Jake Latendresse, we filmed it last time we were down there and it’s going to make an epic episode. A little video we put together.

Jeff Stanfield: Well you need to be safe down there and watch yourself. We’re going to get out of here, we’re fixing to have a thunderstorm hit us, we need the rain.

Ramsey Russell: Thank you all I enjoyed it.

Andy Shaver: Thank you for coming on.

Jeff Stanfield: Ramsey, I appreciate buddy. God bless you and have a great, summer bud.

Ramsey Russell: You too. Thank you all, see you.

Jeff Stanfield: Most interesting man in America.

Andy Shaver: That’s it. Him and Lee, they’re all cut from the same cloth.

Jeff Stanfield: You think when they get off here they say, “Well that Andy, he’s an interesting guy.”

Andy Shaver: Yeah, most of the time.

Jeff Stanfield: Okay. Most of the time. 

Andy Shaver: We’ve got it. It’s scheduled so speak freely.

Jeff Stanfield: Last year we had a power outage.

Andy Shaver: Oh, f— we’ve got thunderstorm coming now.

Jeff Stanfield: But hopefully we’ll be out here by then, it won’t be like that. They did have a funnel of Paducah I just saw.

Andy Shaver: Well, you missed a good chase stage.

Jeff Stanfield: No, I didn’t. No, not at all. All right, thank you all for listening to us. God bless you all. We got a new shirt up. It’s on the page. Check it out, it’s the tornado shirt. What’s the saying on it and I forgot already.

Andy Shaver: Tornado warning.

Jeff Stanfield: Tornado warnings. Got the geese coming in. Big honker podcast, appreciate it. God bless you all. Go check out all of our sponsors. Check out blind grass. They’re not just a grass company. They’ve also got guns – what the f– am I trying to say? Long episode. They got waterproof shell bags, they works. Pacific Calls, Gun Dog Outdoors, Goose Creek. Bang Tail Whiskey, Stanfield Hunting Outfitters, Dive Bomb Industries, Boss Shot Shells, Dirty Duck Coffee, Lucky Duck, and the Looking Glass Duck Club.