Life’s Short GetDucks: Step by Step
Ramsey Russell talks about this past weekend’s duck hunting at Commander’s Corner with his sons and some of his closest friends. Then, he tells about the last couple of days he spent with Dale Bordelon. Finally, we talk about the Life’s short, Get Ducks trailer that was released today and how to turn a big dream into a job you love to go to everyday.
Duck Season in Louisiana and Arkansas
We did kill ducks, just not limits.
Rocky Leflore: Welcome to the End of the Line Podcast I’m Rocky Leflore, sitting in the Duck South Studios in Oxford, Mississippi. Of course, being Thursday, even though it’s Thanksgiving, joining me on the other end of the line, Ramsey Russell. Old Double R. Double R you’ve had an interesting last few days to say the least.
Ramsey Russell: Oh, it has been interesting Rocky, it sure has been. Duck season started in Northeast Louisiana and Arkansas and we spent a few days over there hunting and chasing ducks and just doing what we do. It has been interesting to say the least. I believe it wasn’t just me. No, I was with Mike Morgan, and Josh Raggio, Quack Rack, and everybody – it was a lot of folks, I knew a lot of people. Ed Wall and Josh Criswell, and we’re all texting and talking to people, talking to groups all over the state of Arkansas. Reports last week when a big cold snap hit were just astronomical. In reality, that’s what warmed up a little bit, brought change a little bit, it was a real hit or miss, like a big old grandfather clock pendulum swinging. To the right you killed them, to the left you didn’t. It was a little hit or miss really, it was struggle. There were ducks where we were but they weren’t flying. They were sitting and the birds that were coming in were hitting those ducks that were sitting, and it was somewhere you couldn’t make a fly and they were just there. But we had a great time and I have got to tell you. We talked a lot – not just about killing ducks, we all know we’re not out there watching sunrise, we want to shoot ducks. But boy I tell you what, with the right group of folks in the blinds, we had such a great time. Josh Raggio – I’ve got shotgun shells, toilet paper, a couple of calls, odds and ends in my bag. He broke out a stove, Rocky, and started frying honey buns in the blind! Had a coffee thermos with some of his custom coffee. Man were there some stories told, stories that I never heard, thought that I needed to hear, and we just laughed and had a good time in the long stretches between volleys. We did kill ducks, just not limits. I went down there in 3 days, had a great time. We really did. It rained on Monday and we really got into some ducks, that made the ducks fly – right before the rain and during a light portion of the rain the ducks flew and we had a good time. I think Mojo got a good episode out of that.
The Magic Behind Amazing Duck Hunting Photography
He’s somewhere, invisible, capturing the backgrounds. He’s always there, lurking, and because he’s a duck hunter he knows when those moments are going to happen.
Rocky Leflore: I say this only to get the sappy, emotional stuff out of the way. Man, I’m going to tell you something, Edward Wall – phenomenal photographer – for him to capture that moment with you and Duncan and Forrest, what a photograph. Man, I just sat there and looked at that photo.
Ramsey Russell: You are darn right. You know, Ed is a good guy honestly. I’m from the Delta and Delta folks are different, you know that. About in junior high school, we moved down the Hinds County, that’s where I went to middle school and high school. A couple of years later, I went to Mississippi State and I fell in with Raggio and Ed Wall, and they were born and raised in Hind County and we just clicked immediately. Ed is a heck of a fine fellow – You all know he runs around with some real duck killers so he’s a duck killer too. I did not know it, but he’s also a world class golfer, and he and Garrett Walker were talking about golf and invited me to come. I said, yeah, if I can get down the range and shoot those balls with a shotgun, I’m all in. That is about as close to shooting golf or playing golf I want to get.
Rocky Leflore: Ed’s a scratch golfer.
The Amazing Person of Dale Bordelon
Dale is true, he’s a straight arrow and it was so awesome.
Ramsey Russell: He’s a good golfer, but he was there and what was so vital to that weekend. I’ve said it before, your kids go to college, they’re home in 2 weeks with hungry bellies and dirty clothes. Duncan went to Marine Camp Basics, graduated, did good, we were proud to see him. Man look, that boy’s back is as straight as a 2/4. His demeanor is so different, he’s the same Duncan he has always been, but he’s different in a really good way. And he really wanted to go duck hunting. He’s been going to camp with his dad and brother since he was out of diapers and we had that one day. One day we went and we went over a Friday night or Saturday evening. Forrest and I had to take him back to Monroe, Louisiana for Anita. She took him home, he has some packing to do and then he was off. He was gone and reported to North Carolina bright and early for the first 29 days of training. In about 30 days, he was shipped off to Oklahoma and he told me, “I might get off a few days Dad, I might not, it just all depends.” He doesn’t know, we don’t know. But see, you cherish those moments. Man look, you make every minute count for Ed to be on hand. We got Ed to come over and film the hunt. Getting Ed to go duck hunting is lickety split great but he’s a good photographer. He’s that kind of photographer because he duck hunts. He anticipates those moments happening. He’s somewhere, invisible, capturing the backgrounds. He’s always there, lurking, and because he’s a duck hunter he knows when those moments are going to happen. He was there and it was wonderful to have that picture. I’m very, very pleased I got that. Josh showed up, brought his mobile shop and we filmed it. He sold some calls to different people and it’s just amazing to see him make those calls in person every time. I’ve seen it several times now and it’s always just amazing to see him turn a little short block of wood into something that beautiful and functional. Everybody there just had to have one, so I got one, but tongues are gone. I talked to Dale Bordelon few weeks ago. Dale said, “You all come down and hunt.” Duncan wasn’t here, but Forrest was and he and I went down and hunted with Dale Bordelon this morning. You know how a lot of people on the internet are not who they seem to be on the internet. You know what I’m talking about? Look, Dale Bordelon is exactly like he appeared to be on the internet. He doesn’t change one bit. Dale is true, he’s a straight arrow and it was so awesome. I just fawned over those beautiful homemade decoys of his and dugouts, his hand-built canoes and pirogues. It’s amazing how he crafts those things completely by hand. No power tools involved, the old way. Everything is the old way. It was really, really nice to meet his family and hunt with him and stay at his camp. We went out this morning, stuck it out, killed some ducks – mallards, gadwalls, bluish green wings, shot a few ringnecks, a couple. Unfortunately the shoveler didn’t cooperate because Forrest and I were going to shoot those too, no doubt and they didn’t cooperate too good. But we had a great time. Now I’m back at Willow Break, waiting on family to get here and we celebrate Thanksgiving over here with some other friends and families. Then we’ll scout a few ducks tomorrow. Right now, it seems to me if I had to guess, just the hit miss of it all, the way these ducks are and some of the reports I’m hearing of where some ducks are concentrated. I believe that Bill Cooks and yourself were exactly correct, it happens every time that river hits flood stage. I believe the bulk of waterfowl right now are stuck between those levees. That’s what I think. I think a lot of them are often that pasture area. That’s what I believe and we have got ducks a few ducks here and there, some people are killing ducks, but nobody that I’ve talked to is just hammering ducks. There seemed to be quite a few ducks down, but they’re nowhere in great concentration for more than a day. So, it’s going to be what it’s going to be. I’m glad to be here, that’s for sure.
Introducing Life’s Short Get Ducks Webisodes
Now for anybody listening, just watched, or as you’re watching this trailer, understand that we’re going to photo document unscripted, raw, personal duck hunting worldwide. Nobody’s ever done it.
Rocky Leflore: All right, we have got to up into this. The teaser to the Life’s Short GetDucks Webisodic series came out today and I know man, that thing is so good. You have to be so pleased with the way that just the teaser even turned out.
Ramsey Russell: I’m very pleased with it. I’m very pleased to have met Jake and have talked to him. Through our conversations he seemed to get kind of what I wanted to accomplish and when I started seeing productions he was sending me along the way, I realized he did kind of get what I was going for. The interesting thing about that teaser, this Australia trip kind of came together very quickly. I just started talking and kind of met quote-unquote Jake. I didn’t physically meet him and shake his hand and get to know him as a photographer until he showed up in Australia. I think he was kind of surprised after we kind of cut a deal and he said, we’re going to do this is, I said, great I’ll send you a ticket to Australia, we’re leaving in 5 weeks. I think he was surprised to hear that. If you watch that teaser, it’s a little bit of a repeat of what we talked about in Life’s Short, GetDucks podcast back this summer, back in April, I believe it was. This webisodic series we’re working on is heart-felt, it’s something I envisioned. It’s my story, it’s my version of waterfowling that I want to be true. I wanted to be true to self, true to the brand, I want to be honest, I want to be unscripted. I’m an unscripted guy. I try to read my script. I can only feel it, think it and say it, and communicate it. That’s why I don’t play poker. I don’t have a poker face. I can’t do that kind of stuff, and we were down in Australia. I’ve said it before, I forget birthdays, I forget anniversaries, I forget dates. I remember of course, 4th of July, Declaration of Independence but a lot of other days I learn along the way. They don’t stick. But I remember May 17th. I can’t forget, I try to. We were down in Australia having a wonderful time. Wonderful, wonderful time. I’ve seen some of the clips that Jake was getting. I’ve seen the way he processed and he was really digging it. Ryan and I were having a great time with some great folks. We did a podcast, what went down there, you kind of got the drift. On the last day we went to another place, had a bunch of hardheads. It was just a magical hunt. It was beautiful. That was a species I really wanted to get my hands on this trip. It’s the creme de la creme trophy for those guys. They love to eat them, they love to hunt them, they decoy well. Think of them like a funny looking skull, because that’s kind of what they are. They’re divers, they’re like a pochard. But it was wonderful hunting and after we had got done, we did a little B-roll, just species stuff to kind of wrap up the Australia episode, which is going to be an inspiration, showing the world Australia duck hunting in different locations with different people, the similarities and the differences. As we were done, Jake kind of got done, he said, “Ramsey I’m done, I’ve gotten everything done, I’m fixing the box up. Is there anything at all we need to fill before I pack up?” I said, “Hang on a second.” I thought about it and I thought about and I thought about. I said, “Yeah Jake I just want to do a little interview.” He said, “About what?” I said, “I don’t know yet.” He said, “Okay.” So, he got his camera all situated on his tripod, we hung the ducks up in a tree and he said, “kay lay it up against it and we’ll crop in,” and I started telling that story. I don’t think it ever would have told that story had I not first done the podcast, it had been letting that genie out of bottle kind of a relief. The spot was slightly overwhelming and if we hadn’t yet told a story then Rocky, on your podcast, it was coming. We certainly talked about it and I’ve been preparing for it. But I told this story. The first time I told it, I choked up. Brilliant, teared up, walked away, Jake teared up, wiped his eyes and yelled, “Stop, stop, stop.” So, we all took a deep breath and he said, “All right Ramsey, one more take, just tell it.” We filmed, it felt good because on that day, I and he leaned up against that tree after a wonderful hunt. Got more hardheads towards my limit and my host said that never happened. Ever. Lived a whole lifetime in Australia, not shot that many hardheads. Those were pink headed-duck. On that day, 36-years prior, I got hurt. I knew where I was, and I knew where I was going, and nobody would have guessed that nearly 4 decades later, I’d be sitting waist deep in the marsh in Australia, doing what I’m doing. It was important to me to tell that story and I’m getting back on track with this webisodic series, this episode, this story what I think of it as the progressive story of Duck Season Somewhere. What’s important to me is what we name the podcast. We wanted to name it Life’s Short, GetDucks. That’s not our motto, our company motto is Duck Season Somewhere, which it is, but Life’s Short, GetDucks. Terry Demond, many years ago when I first met him, we were down in Argentina he said, GetDucks.com – Ramsey, where’d you come up with a name like that? I said Life’s Short, Get Ducks Terry. He said, yeah, that sounds great, but not really. Where’d you come up with it? That’s really where I come up with it, and we want to name it that. We just felt like after we had done that, and Jake got back home and saw it, he called up says, “You know Ramsey, I want to do this as a trailer, I want to lead in your whole series, I want to kick it off with this testimonial because it defines the series.” Now for anybody listening, just watched, or as you’re watching this trailer, understand that we’re going to photo document unscripted, raw, personal duck hunting worldwide. Nobody’s ever done it. Nobody’s ever gone to 6 continents, to some of the deep in the grass, off the trail, far-flung places that we go to. Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Pakistan in a couple of years, back to Australia because Australia’s a big country, back to Argentina because Argentina is a very big country. We’re going to tell some truths in duck hunting. Maybe some painful truths, but the truth. I think we hunters owe it to ourselves and to the public to own what we do. A lot of the stories you see out here today, they really don’t talk about the myriad of species here in North America, let alone around the world. The habitats, the wetlands, the people, the cultures, it’s not that broad, and showing the full breadth of duck hunting from Pakistan with feudal lords, to Azerbaijan, to Argentina, to Wyoming and Nebraska, Mississippi, the whole world. Really, I think people will expect to see a lot of differences. There will be. I think what’s going to surprise them is the big similarities. How I can be in a blind and Azerbaijan with a dirt poor, but very, very sincere and extremely capable duck guide, that Google Translate alone will only let me talk to him in one or two words, and yet how that’s okay. We’re in a blind together. He’s in the role of a guide, I’m in the role of a hunter, but we’re a team. There’s so much similarity in his hospitality and how he sets up for duck and just the whole 9 yards. It’s a really interesting story that I think everybody will appreciate seeing. Remember back in the 70s, John Denver was in a movie and a TV show with George Burns and he had to come up with a slogan to get people religious and the slogan was, Thank God. It worked, and what I’ve seen in social media by traveling, not just throughout America shooting mallards, and snow geese, and Canada geese and whatever have you, but the whole scale. We came back last year, we’re posting pictures of red crested pochards. Nobody had ever seen it. Nobody knew even what the bird was, it was my unicorn. Two years ago, we came back from Angola with bar-headed geese, highest flying. Those birds fly over to Himalayas in their migrations, highest flying migration in the world. Beautiful bird. Nobody even knew what it was. Stick to the fundamentals. You hunt all these different spaces in these different areas, and different cultures, and different travel criteria, different languages, rich and poor, and just different. That’s the story I want to tell. I want people to think ducks. You know, there was a book I read back when I was a big reader. Henry David Thoreau wrote a book about Walden Pond. It’s kind of an interesting book because this was written back in the mid-late 1700s. He was a resident of Boston, Massachusetts and when I think of the 1700s, heck the Wild West wasn’t even explored. I mean, most of America wasn’t inhabited then. It was wild and free. You read that book, you have got to get past that old English language stuff, thees and thous and those kinds of words, you’ve got to read past that. But he was kind of fed up with the whole social pressure and civilization, so he retreated out to this rural cabin out, somewhere in Massachusetts, and spent a year and wrote a book about it. It’s interesting because a lot of hard-core environmentalists and preservationist, those types often quote him for their calls. If you have read the book, he talked about one of the patches about how small-bore rifle is one of the greatest conservation tools ever contrived. A child will go out and shoot stuff he’s not really supposed to shoot, thank him. Many of us with a pellet gun, when we were children, shooting cardinals or something. We didn’t know better, we just shot, it was what we did with pellet guns, right?
Rocky Leflore: That’s right.
Raising Consciousness About Waterfowl and Wetland Habitats
I’m just telling the story of duck hunting and having this web series is another more accurate platform for telling a true story of duck hunting and that’s what’s important to me.
Ramsey Russell: But because we touched them and we held them, we came to know them and after we knew them, came to love them and respect them. As we grew older, we didn’t shoot them, but we knew and loved them, and if you put that in context of duck hunting, it’s hard to explain to an anti-hunter. In one of these podcasts in the future, we’ll talk about some anti-hunting running I’ve had, it was a very crisis type moment, it was very stressful. But I learned a lot and it’s hard to explain to them how we can go out and shoot or harvest a resource like waterfowl but at the same time have an emotional attachment to it. So, I hope, Rocky, that in telling this story and taking viewers with Jake and I around the world, in the duck blinds of the world, I hope maybe we can raise a greater consciousness of waterfowl and of wetland habitats. This hunting thing we do, and it’s not just – I said this one time, this whole Arkansas thing. People in Arkansas that are so opposed to the outstaters – their stuff, their battle, their strokes. It’s not. It involves all of us, but it really doesn’t involve just Mississippi and Arkansas, or the United States, it’s a global thing. It is global. It is resource, and its habitat, and its a conservation, and this thing we do, it’s not just an English-speaking American thing, although we are the best hunters in the world, with the best equipment and the best tools, the best decoys and the best ammo. Man, there are many people around the world that are just as passionate as we are. We have a lot of followers that are that are Muslims and Middle Eastern. A lot of followers sell hunts, people from that part of the world. They’re avid duck hunters, they’re very serious duck hunters. I love it. I was telling you about Spoonzilla. I got approached from a guy from Cairo, Egypt. Going to hunt with him next October. I’ve been looking for a good toehold into some good safe hunting over there and I found it but he wanted to Spoonzilla. He reached out to me to see if I could help expedite or get a Mojo that doesn’t ship to Egypt, could I help him? Absolutely. Fix him up with a retailer that boom, shifted over to Egypt. Now I got his decoy. We just want to tell this story. I’ll say this too, but I hope that Ramsey Russell’s “brand” and GetDuck’s brand is organic. That wasn’t very intentional, it’s just who I am and it’s how we group organically. If you look at our very modest Instagram followers, or Instagram followers relative to a lot of the big industry, you have got to understand none of those were bought, none of those were fake. Purely organic. It just took time to just organically draw them in because people see and get our “story” in duck hunting, they get it. I’m not just online saying come buy my hunt. I’m just telling the story of duck hunting and having this web series is another more accurate platform for telling a true story of duck hunting and that’s what’s important to me. Rocky, I’m 52 years old. If I were to die tomorrow – I’m not – but if I were, I just really think there might be a greater purpose and a billion dead birds and happy clients. I believe in a divine purpose. I believe there’s a path I’ve been put on. I just believe that and I don’t believe it’s just helping people shoot a bunch of dead birds. I just don’t believe that I believe it’s actually a greater purpose than that.
Rocky Leflore: I want to ask you this. Somewhere a big follower of this podcast, a guy that that shared the teaser that came out today for the webisodic series. One of the things he quoted or one of the things that he said – I’m kind of paraphrasing what he said – he said, “What a great ambassador to represent duck hunting for all of us. He is Mr. Ramsey Russell.” Do you feel like that guy? Do you feel like that ambassador?
Ramsey Russell: No, I was very honored that somebody said that to me then. You know it’s not intentional. I accept it because I believe in it and I believe we should lead more people to it.
Rocky Leflore: See, we’re good friends and I think you are. I think that you are a huge ambassador that represents what duck hunting is.
Ramsey Russell: I’ll accept it and I’m glad to help people and lead them to it. It was a salvation of sorts, not in a religious sense, but in a spiritual sense. Duck hunting was a salvation, it gives the truth, and I believe I can bring people and people get into it and represent it right Rocky.
Rocky Leflore: Before you get into that, hold on. What I’m saying though is you hear so many people say, look, I want didn’t do all this to be that guy. I just put my nose to the grindstone and went to work and that’s how it turned out, and I think that is a perfect explanation of who you are. Man, you don’t think anything about it. You just do your job, you do your job well, and I think that goes for all of us in whatever we do.
What We Do Matters – How to Create a Legacy
Everybody has opportunities to be an ambassador, to be a mentor, to be a teacher, to be important in somebody’s life and lead them into this thing we do.
Ramsey Russell: I believe that Rocky. One thing that we’ve talked since we started this whole series, we all have got a past, a lot of times we can’t help the hands we’re dealt. I don’t believe in luck. Things happen. Sometimes you have got to make your own luck. You don’t like to hand you’ve been dealt, choose. Push a man and get dealt another hand, make it happen, move to another table and get another hand, so to speak. But you have got to make it happen. I can’t change what I can’t change. I can only play the hand I was dealt. That’s what I try to do and that’s what I think everybody should do and duck hunting is a very personal thing to me. It really truly is and look, I get bored in duck blinds sometimes but I don’t. It’s where I want to be whether I’m shooting ducks or not. And it’s the people I want to be around whether I’m shooting ducks or not, no matter what language they speak. It’s been a very interesting thing. I like duck hunters and so many duck hunters and hunters I meet, I do connect with on a good level. It’s very humbling to me when people say that about being an ambassador, or being available to help them, or do things. It’s a responsibility that I think we all should take seriously. I think we all have a chance. Everybody has opportunities to be an ambassador, to be a mentor, to be a teacher, to be important in somebody’s life and lead them into this thing we do. It’s not just duck hunting, it all goes back to the fundamentals – the fundamentals to duck hunting. The fundamentals of life. Stick to fundamentals and be the person that is willing to help, and answer and do things because I think it’s incumbent upon us all, I really do. As hunters, as people, I think it’s incumbent on us to be that person. One thing I hope to accomplish through this story, I think Jake shares this view, make we talk a lot about it, is we’ve had some interest and sponsorships of types. We’re going to solicit interests, we’re going to follow up with this because it’s very expensive to put together quality productions. Very expensive. This is all coming out of my pocket because Rocky, to get back, I’m 52 years old and if I died today, I don’t want my headstone to read “Here Lies Ramsey Russell, A Billion Dead Ducks and Happy Hunters.” I don’t want it to read “Here Lies Ramsey Russell, that Spoonzilla Guy.” It could have happened last week, but I’d like it to be a greater purpose than that and I’d like a legacy. When you’re at a funeral, they don’t talk about how much money a guy’s got. They don’t talk about any of that kind of stuff. His legacy, who he is, is how friends and his family remember him. That’s all a man is. I want to be remembered as having contributed maybe something greater to duck hunting, to waterfowling, but more importantly to the people involved with it. I hope that my story might influence people, that it might inspire people to understand that life’s short – do it and if they say Get Ducks, I say do it. Whatever it is, don’t put it off till tomorrow. It may not come. It may not happen. Life is full of curve balls, go do it. If you don’t like the hand you’ve been dealt, make it better. Don’t wait on luck, step out and make it happen. Hey, if you’re big and overweight, out of shape, start with one step in the right direction, go do it. Don’t like a job, find another, make it happen. You have got to do it. We owe it to our kids, we owe it to ourselves. None of us were just put here just to coast along. There’s a greater purpose in it and somehow or another. I ended up down the path of this duck hunting thing and I see the same TV shows, I see everything that everybody says, that they’re the same other stuff everybody watches online, and on TV, and on DVDs and everything else. I have TiVo. I TiVo my favorite shows for a reason because I don’t want to be subject to commercialization. Just fast forward through the commercials, click, click, click, click. Some of the big shows, they get hit about 8 times. Hit back over the next thing you know – what’s Gladiator, that’s about 8 or 9 commercials. I get to skip through on TiVo. Nobody wants to watch that stuff. We don’t need that. We don’t want it. I’m hungry. My vision is to tell a pure story of duck hunting. If I’m wearing something, if I’m shooting something, if I’m using something, it’s because I believe in it. No, I’m not looking for Nascar endorsements, and the people we’re going to partner with are going to get it, they’re not going to want to interrupt a true story.
Dream Big and Work Hard
You just get up and take a step at a time in some direction and keep going.
Rocky Leflore: But what I want people to understand is – this is for a lot of the younger generation that dream big and there’s nothing wrong with dreaming big – but behind big dreams comes big lots of work that you need.
Ramsey Russell: Damn right.
Rocky Leflore: Nobody opened the doors for you in Argentina. Nobody opened the doors in Australia, Pakistan, Sweden. You kicked them down and if you go back to that story when you’re working for the Federal Government and GetDucks was a dream – you’re working a job and putting this dream together and put a lot of work into it. There’s a lot of nights you didn’t go to bed after you got out from regular jobs.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah.
Rocky Leflore: Man, if you can take one thing away from Ramsey Russell and his story, dream big and work hard.
Ramsey Russell: Dream big and work hard, and take it one step at a time, one day at a time. My wife and I had this talk one time, nobody’s trying to get to the top of the mountain. Maybe there isn’t a top. I was going to Mongolia a few years ago, we detoured through China, that’s an episode in and of itself. Let me tell you what, everybody wants to be Ramsey Russell until they’re me, going through China with firearms. That was a nightmare. But we ended up – part of the thing I want to do, I always want to see the Wall of China. I just want to climb it, man, you see that thing from Google Earth, a massive structure. The astronauts could see it from the moon, okay, when they were orbiting the Earth, they could look down and see the Wall of China. Pretty impressive. Built by hand, took hundreds of years. They built it to keep the Mongolians out, the most fierce warring nation in the world. So, to just kind of put it in context, it’s a bit cool thing to see. I look at a lot of pictures of the Wall to China and it looked like just a lot of smooth sidewalk. I’ll tell you what the Wall of China is, it’s stairs. Up and down stairs. Steps, it’s millions upon millions, it’s 1300 miles of stairs. Stone stairs, not stairs that are however tall you have stairs in your apartment building, your office. I’m talking about built by hand, one step’s 6″, the next step’s 3ft, and all the steps in between are just stone uneven stairs and I didn’t know that till I showed up there. I looked up, I’m going to say about a half mile to this little tower, and I said, oh my goodness. I want to spare, I thought we’re going to walk, I didn’t know we’re going to climb. I said, “Well how far are we going, Mary?” Mary Wang was her name, she goes, “We’re going to the top.” I looked up there about, I don’t know, quarter mile, half mile, straight up. I figured that was the top. Well from that guard station, there were 7 more between there and the top. Every guard station we got to, we stopped, drank a little water, looked at the view, and kept climbing, kept climbing, kept climbing, kept climbing, kept climbing. My wife and I talked about getting to the top one day and we realized, what’s the top? Man, what is the top? There is no top, you just climb a step at a time. Just keep going, next. Every step at a time. There is no top, you know. It’s not the size of the mountain, it’s the climb itself, it’s those stairs together. It’s looking for the top and progressing towards the top. There is no top. Just keep going. That’s what it is to me. That’s what it’s about. I don’t have it all figured out, Rocky. I wish I did, but I don’t. I take a step at a time. Right now, my step is this story, Life’s Short, GetDucks. I don’t know, I’ll tell you this Rocky, I’ve been sitting on that trailer for about two months. I showed it to some people, some beta testers, some close friends and associates, showed it to share it with. What do you think? I told the story on your podcast, well it’s one thing sitting in my recliner at home around the front porch and talking. Something else entirely different with Jake filming it. When I saw it, I felt good about it, but it’s really hard to pull the trigger, and share it with the world. It was personal and it might make people uncomfortable. A lot of people look at Ramsey, man he hunts all over the world, does all this stuff, and they don’t know the person. They don’t know I’m just regular, guys. Just a regular guy Rocky. I duck hunt, work with a lot of duck hunters, true, but I’m just a regular guy, I’m human. Life isn’t easy sometimes. You just get up and take a step at a time in some direction and keep going. It was very hard for me to share that and I actually remember my wife had a dog one time, she had little this lttiel dog when we got married. She got it when she was in college. Me and that little dog, we weren’t best friends, I’m going to tell you he didn’t really like me. I just told him like she did, I didn’t really like him because he didn’t fetch ducks. Little did I know when I got married that dog’s going to live to be 18 years old. He’s old as a dinosaur. 18 years old this little dog’s going to live be. He got so old, he lost his eyesight, lost his health, he was uncomfortable and when it came time to put the dog down, I think my wife really, really struggled with it. True to the matter, I was too because they grow on you after 18 years. We’ve done long since buried our hatchet. He was part of the family and we had to put it on a date. As always, she could get her mind wrapped around it to mark a day. Out in the future and on this day, and then that day got closer, she would get her mind around putting the little Huckleberry down. That’s what I had to do to put this trailer out. Jake kept saying, when you’re going to do, what you’re going to do, what we’re going to do. Heck, we got that, we got some other little support pieces, we got the main feature done, that’s the easy part. It was this part I was struggling with because it was personal.
Rocky Leflore: Just an insight note, everybody just listen to this. I think that when this first episode comes out and is released, I think the whole GetDucks world is going to grow exponentially. Ramsey’s more conservative than I am in this whole thought process. But I think it’s fixing to explode.
Ramsey Russell: Life & Duck Hunting Storyteller
I’m a storyteller, and I want to tell the story of the universal truth in duck hunting, and I think it’s something that we can accomplish.
Ramsey Russell: Well sure, we’ll sure see, we’ll see what happens. Taking a day at a time and step at a time. But you know, the one way I could do it was just to put it in the future and so I loaded it on Facebook and scheduled it and I decided what better way, what better time to schedule it than Thanksgiving. I’m not a traditional turkey and dressing guy, my family is, they’ll eat plenty. Myself and several other families together will break tomorrow, we’ll hunt, scout, have a big dinner tomorrow night, it will be all kinds of foods. But you know it’s the friends and family, and the thankfulness, and one thing this year has been for me if nothing else, with the podcast and telling this story, it just made me especially cognizant. Having spoken the words of how truly thankful I am to go out to the worst duck hole in the world, and that’s what it takes, the worst duck field. How thankful I am just to be with people I love and care about to care about me and to have this thing. I hope that launching it around Thanksgiving, maybe people will see it and it’ll make them thankful for their lives and what they’ve got and what they don’t have. But we’ll see where it goes Rocky, it’s no telling where it will go. I’ve told you this to Jake, if it’s just me, if it was just telling my story, I’m committed through. A lot more episodes that we’ve done, I want to tell a story, my story, and now I understand when you see this episode, this is just the precursor to why Life’s Short, GetDucks. It is not about the storage story, it’s not scripted, it’s not going to be the same format, it’s not going to be the same voice. The only constant is Ramsey somewhere involved. Argentina, somebody else’s story and there’s a sub story to it. A whole another story to it. Sometimes the habitat and the people, and the cultures, and the birds will be the true stars of the show. I’m not a star, I’m just a voice, I’m just there. I’m pulling it together. You know what I’m saying? Let somebody else be the star of the show. I don’t care for that, that’s not my calling in life. I’m a storyteller, and I want to tell the story of the universal truth in duck hunting, and I think it’s something that we can accomplish. Jake and I, very organically this year, we’re scheduled, it’s on the book, it’s coming. We did and I’ll hit all the kind of the highlights because people think GetDucks.com sells hunts internationally. Well, we got US hunts list, we sell hunts domestic and I’m also a duck hunter. I hunt public and private. I’ve got my own ducking list. Ducks and bucket list, duck hunts I’ve got on my own little list, and so this upcoming year started in Australia. It was right there around the clock, right there around the corner when Jake and I started working together. Then we went to Argentina. Next up, we’re going to film Alaska. A sea duck hunt, public land with friends to go shoot one of the last 50 North American species I mastered. Then we’re going to Nebraska and Wyoming, we’re coming to Mississippi for a very personal story. Mr. Jim Cruise and I are going to hunt together one day and we’re going to come to Willow Break and we got a nice, interesting storyline for that. Then we’re going to Mexico, then we’re going to Azerbaijan, then we’re going back to Argentina. Totally different take on Argentina than what we did last time. Then we’ll see what comes next. We’ve got the whole world in front of us. I’d like to by then have things in place to go to South Africa. I’d like to go back to Australia. I’d like to take Jake to Egypt, hunt in the Valley of the Kings, there on the Nile River basin. I’d like to go to a lot of different places and show some really cool stuff we’ve done and seen around the world. That’s the story I’d like to tell. So, we’re going to be throughout the United States and Canada. It’s going to be very, very personal because we will be hunting very similar habitats, very similar company. Personal hunt, public land. But then we’re also going to be hunting in some pretty far-flung places that lot of duck owners can’t imagine, species people can’t imagine. I think it’ll be a very interesting story that unfolds series by series as we progress along.
Rocky Leflore: I think it’s going to be great. I’m really looking forward to the first episode. The reason why I say that is I’ve heard the story through the podcast and I want to see your face as you tell the story.
Ramsey Russell: Stay tuned, it’s coming.
Rocky Leflore: I think that’s going to be hard hitting and it’s going to hit a lot of people really hard right in the gut.
Ramsey Russell: This first little trailer is going to run its course and then we’re going to launch the Australia feature. It’s going to be a very nice take on Australia. The people that have seen it are very, very proud of it. They like the way Australia’s represented, the organizations over there are very, very proud of the way hunting in their country’s represented. We’re very proud of the way we’ve told the true story of duck hunting in Australia. Rocky, I appreciate it man. I appreciate everything you do.
Rocky Leflore: Hey, when’s the release on that one, the first episode’s going to be?
Ramsey Russell: Probably in three weeks. Probably the first week of December and it’s going to get real – let me tell everybody listening. I’d really appreciate you sharing everything we do, if you feel so compelled. But let me just say this Rocky, we’ve got some stuff coming in December. Somewhere between December and January we’ve got something coming down the road, a give away of sorts. When I say it’s a humdinger, I promise you nobody’s ever done it. Everybody is going to want to be watching us in social media when that thing comes out. It’s going to probably about a 15-day fuse on it, maybe a month long, we haven’t decided that yet, but it’s going to be a humdinger for one person at least, and possibly for two. Two separate people and I think it’s going to really be something. It’s going to fire a lot of people up. We are very, very thankful for the encouragement and for the support that we have received from your listeners and from our social media outlets and from our many clients. Many, many clients were very, very thankful for the enviable position they have put us in this industry and we’re picking to give something back that I think it’s going to make my eyeballs pop when it happens. You all stay tuned, please stay tuned.
Rocky Leflore: Well Ramsey, Happy Thanksgiving to you. Hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving. Have a great opener on Friday. We want to thank all of you that listened to this edition and Happy Thanksgiving to you from the End of the Line Podcast, powered by DuckSouth.com.