For 365 days per year, it really is duck season somewhere. Ramsey Russell’s year-long duck hunting quest takes him worldwide, 6 whole continents worth of duck hunting adventures. And Duck Season Somewhere podcast brings it all home to listeners. Pull up a seat and join host Ramsey Russell, founder of GetDucks.com, as he meets with genuine waterfowl hunters, biologists and storytellers from around the globe.
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Now 80 years old, Sid “Boweevil” Laws has only been away from his Lake Washington home in the Mississippi Delta home for 8 years of his life. The river is integral to Boweevil’s life and lifestyle. “Nowadays, it’s about just being there,” he says emotionally about duck hunting after first describing memorable times on the river, the few years spent away from home, “masacrating ’em” back in the day, finding out his name was number 3 on a list you don’t want to be on, and more.
There’s more to South Africa than ducks, geese and guineafowl. Way more. Way bigger. Following an action-packed wingshooting spree in South Africa, Ramsey joins long-time friends and associates to scratch off a few non-feathered bucket-list biggies that have stalked his dreams during the years he first met the husband-wife team. Great conversation about the stuff most folks associate with South Africa.
From the Levee Board headquarters in Washington County, Mississippi, legendary storyteller and historian Hank Burdine tells about lifestyles and livings made “between the levees” of the nearby Mississippi River. Burdine’s story winds like the mighty river itself through the extremely lucrative moonshine and tugboat industries, flowing as smoothly as only he can tell it! Bottoms up!
Most folks might think spiral-horned beauties and dumbo-sized tuskers when the Dark Continent is mentioned, but South Africa surprisingly represents some of the world’s best remaining wildfowl adventures, too. To provide full perspective of this amazing destination, Ramsey meets with South African associates and US clients. Similarities and differences, favorite species and foods, local customs, memorable days, and expectations versus reality are discussed, proving that in the world of duck hunting experiences, birds of a feather really flock together. Whether looking for a new adventure or just interested in what duck hunting’s like half-way across the world, y’all will enjoy these conversations.
Founded in 1904, The Explorer’s Club is a professional society dedicated to scientific explorations and field studies. The pinnacle of human achievements are represented among the long list of member accomplishments, places its flags have been planted – and they surely don’t let just anyone in. For David DeBerard, membership at a young age was like throwing rocket fuel onto an already adventurous lifestyle for which he’s extremely thankful. Bouncing full-throttle from one white-capped breaker to the next, we cover a lot of fun and interesting topics including why you’re never the coolest person at Explorer’s Club dinners; a dive that quickly commanded the US Navy’s fullest attention; discovering an iconic piece of American history that landed him into the Explorer’s Club; records won and lost; one of the most abundant sharks on earth that lives thousands of feet below the ocean’s surface and for which virtually nothing is known–until now; making your own luck; and why you absolutely never, ever, bring bananas onto a boat! Absolutely some of the coolest subjects I’ve ever discussed in a duck blind!
“..and then in the mid-80s they officially made it illegal to eat pygmies!” exclaimed our host during a post-hunt discussion over coffee. Back in South Africa for ducks, geese and game birds, Ramsey chats with long-time friend and associate Mike Curry. As quickly as incoming driven guineafowl flying like black-and-white cannonballs, the pair run through lots of interesting highlights and stories to include hardest-of-hard species Ramsey finally managed to scratch off his list, tomato chutney, how locals prepare waterfowl, francolin home-range; South African rhinos, cheetahs, lions, and ivory; eating pygmies, the bush meat trade and poaching patrols. The things learned at duck hunting camps around the world never ends!
Dr. Wayne Capooth was “blooded into” small game hunting while a young Tennessee boy, remembers later gaining permission from swamp angels to duck hunt nearby haunts. His landmark book The Golden Age of Waterfowling is a historical account of Midsouth duck hunting culture emanating from the Chickasaw Bluffs in Memphis, Tennessee. It’s the story of bygone times, changing landscapes, emerging technologies, and especially people; of famous market hunters and wealthy sportsmen whose passionate conflicts resulted in fatal gun fights, biased local elections, and truth-stranger than-fiction political appointments near Big Lake, Arkansas; of legislated conservation edicts we modern duck hunters abide today. In discussing the profound duck hunting culture that exists more in the South than elsewhere in the United States, we can’t help but explore then-versus-now topics like hunting pressure. Has duck hunting changed since the mid-1800s? Have duck hunters? You decide.
Immortalized in Nash Buckingham’s De’ Shootinest Gent’man and Other Stories, Mike and Lamar Boyd have lived and hunted Beaverdam Lake (what Nash referred to as the South Trails area) their entire lives. “When I was younger, I thought everyone had a Beaverdam,” says Lamar. Mike Boyd was mentored into duck hunting by a farmhand named “Coon,” describing what it was like back then. He then describes founding Beaver Dam Hunting Services, learning about the lake’s storied history and eventually evolving into a custodian of its duck hunting culture in delivering duck hunting experiences to clients from throughout the United States and beyond.
In the sleepy Mississippi Delta hamlet of Leland, walking through the front door and onto the creaking, century-old hardwood floors of the Mississippi Wildlife Heritage Museum is like stepping back into time, into the good ol’ days: towering walls covered with ginormous fireplace-blackened deer heads, fishes, game animals big and small indigenous to the Great State of Mississippi; extensive displays of hunting gear, local duck and turkey calls, boats and outboards, clothing from back in Grandad’s day, and beyond. Photos. Lots of photos. “The culture that created all of those old Delta deer camps is mostly gone,” says Billy Johnson, explaining that museums mostly tell stories. Oftentimes pointing around the room, he then tells some of them in colorful detail. Mostly about people. Born-and-raised nearby myself, I’d not heard most of them before and made a mental note to soon return for second helpings. Enjoy.
As if pre-dawn gaucho horseback rides into the duck hunting marsh, countless black clouds of doves flying back to roost, teal-sized picazuro pigeons charging into decoys, partridges flushing as hunters walk past rock-solid pointers isn’t enough, there’s the cultural immersion, hospitality, field asados, everything-but-the-moo cuts of delicious Argentine meats. But how do guests and staff describe the like-a-box-of-chocolates La Paz experience? What did they enjoy most, what’ll be forever remembered? Why’s it a great hunt for entire families, hunters and non-hunters alike? Whether you are considering a hunt south of the equator or just want to experience it vicariously, you’ll enjoy hearing the diverse perspectives of this great adventure.