June 27, 2018

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Billy (00:02):
This is Billy Campbell, the fowl hunter with Dr Duck and you guys are listening to Big Frig’s My Way of Life podcast.

Scott (00:09):
Hello my friends. My name is Scott Papek and today I had the pleasure of sitting down with Billy Campbell and Dr. Duck. We talked about passion, competition, how to balance family and hunting, and how has technology changed the way they research. You’re listening to Big Frig’s My Way of Life podcast. This is the Big Frig podcast called My Way of Life where we showcase brilliance no matter what the brilliance might be.

Billy (00:34):
Oh my goodness. That’s a big ol’ worry for you and I.

Scott (00:48):
I’ve got Billy (@thefowlhunter) on Instagram and I’ve got Dennis (@dr_duck) on Instagram. Let’s start off with…tell me a little bit about you, Dennis, and then Billy you talk next.

Dennis (00:54):
I guess the main thing about me is that I enjoy the outdoors, I have ever since I was little. I’ve been blessed to have those experiences with my grandfather. You know, my dad, he worked at a manufacturing plant and worked over a time he could. So having a grandfather that was around all the time to teach me the in and outs of the outdoors was…I was very blessed to have that and of course I had an older and a younger brother that I also enjoyed that time with. And so it just over the years you just get the experience and you love it and you do it every chance you get and you know, the older you get the more you appreciate it. So that’s pretty much my background and how I got started in the outdoors.

Billy (01:40):
I don’t know if that’s the main thing about you [inaudible01:40] I got a couple of things I could throw out, it might be more main. I too grew up in the outdoors and I really spent a lot of time in the outdoors beyond, so a lot of time and that there were two reasons for that. One is my mother used to lock us out of the house. The other is my dad was not very good at hunting, so we’d take off early in the morning and we chase one squirrel till dark. I mean it was a lot of time in outdoors. But[crosstalk]oh man, let me tell you. I mean, if we couldn’t catch the Squirrel, my dad believe you eat what you kill. I remember the first thing I ever ate that we harvested was an Armadillo get yourself some of that.

Scott (02:35):
The question I have for you. What were you thinking when you shot an Armadillo? I just couldn’t imagine trying to shoot an Amadillo.

Billy (02:42):
That’s a great question that I had been asked and my dad had a new bird dog at the time, and this is my best recollection because I was really young. I lost my father at an early age, but I remember my dad would go out back every day that he was home. He worked typically Monday through Thursday or Friday away from the home and he will be home Friday, Saturday and Sunday with us. And when he was home, he had a fishing pole and he’d set up, you know, whatever the rag on inefficient pole. And he trained his own bird dogs and I’ll never forget the first time he carried his bird dog hunting, only thing he chases is Armadillos and my dad wanted to reward that dog. So he shot that Armadillo and he said, you know, you eat what you shoot. So my mom cooked that Armadillo. I learned a valuable lesson. You eat what you kill and you don’t kill Armadillos. I did. Scott I did, I guess round time as 11 or 12. I lost my father and to be honest with you, we moved with some medical stuff going on. but it here or there. But the bottom line is I got away from honey and it wasn’t til after high school, after I started a family, that a friend of mine introduced me to Dennis and Dennis had probably been pretty involved and start his family too. And he was getting into duck hunting and word on the street was He tried a few times and run anybody that hang out with him off and I guess the guy that was our mutual friend knew that I was stupid that time to hang out with him and that was 20 something years ago and we’re still duck hunting together. Chasing, chasing every chance we get,

Dennis (04:26):
I have been known to cause a few divorces. When you’re at it [no comment]. So I’ve been blessed to have a wife that understands and respects what I do and I think women like that are hard to find and I was blessed to have one and she totally gets it. So honestly I think she’s probably my biggest fan. I mean she’ll call me and ask me when we were at and if I tell her zero and she’s like, well, you’re a terrible.[did she say how many did you catch?], but I mean she’ll out into me, you know. So she gets pretty fired up about it and you know. So I’ve been blessed on that part of it. And I noticed a lot of guys that don’t have that.

Billy (05:16):
She don’t like empty like she is back in the day we’d come back to the truck. Early on we were afraid to carry our flip phones. Maybe back then, I can’t remember when we started exactly what phone we have, but a lot of times they leave them in the truck, especially on a bad weather day and get back to the truck. He’d just hold his phone up to me because we’d always have bed. how many missed calls or voicemails they had and it was always 30 plus missed calls and voice mailbox will be full and it will be a tale. who love it? She liked that a little bit. Last few years. She ain’t gonna listen to this podcast isn’t, [she might] don’t tell me that.

Scott (05:59):
I think it’s super important that your partner, they have to be on board.

Dennis (06:05):
This didn’t work. If they don’t. Honestly to me, she enjoys seeing me have a good time. It makes me go after a little bit harder. And if it was the other way around, if I’m out in the woods and, or something like that, and if she’s upset about something, it’s hard for me to have a good time. So it’s very important to have that support from your spouse to have that relationship to where they support you in that. Even though my wife doesn’t hunt, I mean she, turkey hunted first time a couple of years ago, but she’s not a hunter. She’ll tell you she’s not a hunter but she supports me 100 percent while I do it.

Scott (06:45):
I’m going to jump to the question. Your wife got her first turkey, was it two years ago?

Dennis (06:45):
Yeah two years ago.

Scott (06:45):
What was that like for you?

Dennis (06:52):
I’d be honest with you. It was a little bit nervous. I was a little bit nervous because I never really shot a shotgun. So that made me real nervous on how it was going to do. so they started out. I’m telling you. We get out. We’re in west Texas and I call that first turkey and I bet you within 20 minutes, 30 minutes I had the first one come right in and she missed it. And I was like, okay. And she’s like, Oh, I’m sorry I missed it. I missed out. And I said, now there’s more here, we’ll call another one. About another 30, 40 minutes I call another birdie and she missed it and then the lip starts quivered. So I’m like real panic mode now. So I am like am telling her, I’m saying, hey, it’s okay. Those things happen. Hunters do it every day, which is the truth. But she don’t understand that because she’s never hunted. So it took about two and a half hours, to call that third one in and we called it right in and then she just, I don’t know, you could just tell the fire in her eyes and she just put the hammer down on him. Laid him out. And she was so excited and I was more excited for her. It was a great time. It’s something I’ll never forget, but to have it to come together and, you know, I think that’s probably her third time she’s ever shot a shotgun to kill a turkey. So it’s pretty awesome.

Scott (08:11):
Tell me about your passion with hunting public waters?

Dennis (08:16):
Because that’s where I started out from. You know, a lot of guys don’t get to experience the private land. Guys get to manage that place and make sure it’s going to be good when they go with their friends. Public ground to me…it gets abused every day. There is no rest spot. So to be successful on public land, you got to put your homework in, so you’ve got to be motivated and then you get into competitive part of it too. And maybe that’s what drives me the most, is the competitive part because you got a neighbor over there who is trying to do the same thing that you’re trying to do. And that’s killed birds. And so when you got these group of birds flying over. Well he’s just not going to be quiet over there. He’s trying to get the same birds that you’re trying to get. And you know, the competitive edge of that to me, it just drives me crazy because I’m used to playing football Friday night in Texas and that’s a big deal. And so that competitive edge just comes out in you. And then to do that, to me, duck hunting is probably the only really sport that you can really compete against your neighbor or you go back to the boat ramp, you know just like this past year a lot of guys still hang around the boat ramp when to get through hunting. First question they’re gonna ask you, what’d you get and how many did you get?And so they’re trying to do the tommy topper thing. They’re trying to see if they taught you that day or not. So it feels good to come out of there where your limits and knowing the worst case scenarios you taught somebody else. That’s your worst case. So that’s what drives me to public land and just the comradery of that family of public land hunters to come together and the deal we had down in Houston, to see 90 percent of those boats out there with duck hunters and everybody coming together as a family and I mean everybody’s asking, Hey, are you alright? Are you doing okay? [combat in the hurricane], the hurricane and everybody’s coming together and making sure if you need anything, you need gas in your boat. That tells me right there. That’s why I liked public land hunting because everybody comes together. But, you know, open the day of duck season though. Everybody’s on different things. So that’s what makes it fun for me and the experience out there. And of course nothing wrong with private land hunting.

Billy (10:39):
Which we’ve done some over the years, over the course of the years, we’ve had opportunities to go with people, we had opportunities, when budgets workout, both of us had, you know, kids we’re raising and jobs where you…like everybody else trying to make things work. So you got to watch how much you spend. It’s one thing spending x just to Duck hunt in general. It’s another thing when you add a piece of private property to that. But we have over the course of years in and out, been on a piece here. They’re trying it and to be honest with you, it’s just been different for us. And we always ended up back chasing them more in public. I mean even we’ve got friends now that…and like I said, a couple times a here we tried and share time with those friends on private and they share time with us on public. It’s a different animal completely and a different experience.

Dennis (11:32):
You get the saying that goes one of the most common questions when you post a picture or you talk or you show a friend your picture. You’re sitting around in conversation, hadn’t seen in a while and you show them what you’ve done and the first question is you do that on public or private? if you do it on private, they tell you how, yes, that’s a good [shit?]. But when you do it on private, I mean public, it’s a good hunt. So that’s the difference. So it’s real hunting to me.

Scott (11:58):
Let’s talk about the hunt before the hunt. Let’s talk about the research.

Billy (12:05):
Okay. That’s why we’ve gone to the doctor so seriously. I mean for you start talking because it ain’t because he’s a smart dude. Trust me, not that, but the research and homework that he puts it in to find birds is…what’s super cool is, you see it a lot more and a lot of these young guys now, there’s a lot of fire and a lot of Belize right now to, you know, we got to find them. And that’s what’s been a big contribution to our success is on public is his ability to find birds. When we started some of the projects we’re working on, you know, that it’s been a conversation that started now more than five years ago. It was a result of obviously a big contribution of social media and people seeing what’s going on and you being able to share successes as well as failures. But what you’re doing with your hobbies and your past. And it’s through social media. But we had probably, we had a couple of years there where we were just, we were hammered down and a lot of that should be attributed to the work that he did. I worked full time, worked a lot. So Dennis really enjoys finding those birds, not that I didn’t scout when I was off, but he could squeeze a day here and go get that done and he could find them.

Dennis (13:35):
I think that makes a big difference in your result at the end of the day. It’s still on public land, it still don’t guarantee you the next day because I’ve scouted some holes before and we’re just gonna live it out in no time. And then we didn’t have a duck show up and then I got this guy to the right of me saying, you sure you saw ducks here.[you are fired] And that’s happened to us numerous of times and that’s why I appreciate and respect public lands so much is because sometimes that still happens even though you put your homework in and you travel and you go get out, you walk for miles or whatever it takes to find them. And then you’ve worked so hard and then boom the next day it’s a burst

Billy (14:19):
But you got to think about that too. And this is something that… we don’t know this. we don’t have a direct hotline to any ducks on the inside that are sharing information. [laughs] But with that said, you gotta think about your scouting. You’re finding an x, right on a Wednesday, the number I could tell you, for example, one of the hottest lakes last year for us in the East Texas area, which really didn’t start till the last two and a half weeks of the year. On Monday when you hunt that lake, you may see two other boats. If you hunt that lake on Friday, that number’s gone up. I think at this specific lake, that number was 15 to 20. Saturday and Sunday it’s going to be a number you can’t count because they stacked up at the deal. It’s something you got to think about is when you’re finding these birds early in the week, there aren’t a lot of hunters shooting. There aren’t a lot of boats running them around. So these ducks may be hitting this x spot, right? Well, all of a sudden, let’s say you’re hunting it Thursday or Friday and something between their [route?] and this x is going on. Maybe it’s traffic, maybe it’s another hunter in a decoy spread, his pulling them off, maybe shooting close to you on public land. All of a sudden x may become y or z. So there are a lot of other things like that happen, that you learn over the course of years and you kind of planned for if you will.

Dennis (15:49):
To be that success, to put that homework in, your odds increased naturally. And like he said, there’s a lot of variable that could happen, that cuts that in half. I mean, your neighbor next to you shoots a [inaudible15:58],you’re working in the 20, 30, 40 mile at a time, or maybe just five or six, but you don’t compare to what you see in the hole, that can make or break you towards your neighbor. The shotgun blast. That’s another thing is people don’t consider when they scouting birds is if I see 500 birds in the hole, well I can already go mark it down to 2:50 because I’m going to lose 250 of them to my neighbors because somebody’s going to pull the trigger while we’re working on trying to shoot, their bird is going to fly other side of the layer. So then you can mark another scratch off because somebody is going to be moving, the dog’s going to be out. So you just kind of whittle it down and you figure out how many guys you got in there. And if you got a 5 million limit, you know what you got to do to get that 5 million limit. So always consider how many guys we got. I might find a group of birds, but it might not be enough birds we can hunt because I got too many guys, so I’ll try and find a bigger water or so. And the main thing on scouting too is a lot of guys over the years now. Thank you. It’s getting a little better. Is that they just get normal going to the same old spot routine. It’s just a routine. They’re going to go that’s their hole. They hunt to the last day. And their success rate just goes down. So the birds are going to adjust, they’re going to move and you’re going to have to move with them. Like he was talking about, we hunted, we [inaudible17:16] hunted, we even hunted that lake and water. [I was thinking it been four or five years], four or five years. But we always go back and we check those spots and we might just run it a couple times throughout the year just to see if they’re there or not. If they’re not there, then we go somewhere else, but that was one of the years that they showed back up and we started hunting again and it might not be another four or five years before we hunt that lake again. So you just got to be able to move and be successful in scouting and knowing where the ducks want to be. That’s the thing is trying to figure out where they’re going to be. Just don’t follow in the routine of just going to the same spot every day.

Scott (17:52):
What is a research day look like for you?

Dennis (17:54):
Well, I think the main thing is, on the top of hunting that they enjoy. You’ve got field hunters, timber hunters, and then you do course in Texas and you don’t have a choice much in less no rivers get out. You know, we hunt alike which is open water. So basically you would have to break those down into three categories to where you’re going to be. And your scouting is different in all three. So rivers, I liked it. What I like to look at, the main thing is I like to catch the river on the rise and not on the fall. So that’s the thing I look at the most. And then of course the location. Every year is different on public land. You could have dry seasons, wet seasons, whatever. Water levels changed. So the habitat changes. But I know ducks are used to coming in that certain area, that location. So they were not…they might not be on the lake that we hunted last year or the year before, but I know if the lakes has a certain level, certain temperature, certain habitat then they might be there. So that’s the thing. We always go back and check. So those are just things that years of experience that you have to look for to be successful. And field hunting. To me it’s…I mean it’s just…they use this field before last year, so that’s probably the first field you’re going to go to. Well if they’re not there then you’re going to go check them out down the road to see if they’re in that field. Because the pond that they were using, the water in before they go to the field, it might have dried up, well they might be using another pond down the road that has water in, it’s closer to that field, but that area and that location will probably always be used. And that’s what we usually go by.

Scott (19:21):
Do you take notes then? Is that how you keep track of everything?

Billy (19:24):
We use to not only take notes on that, but we used to keep a…I used to keep an excel spreadsheet of everything from temperature of the day, pressure, humidity, number of ducks we killed, species, types, what time we shot them, I mean I kept up with that for several years and to be honest with you, we’ve gotten away from it and I don’t know if maybe the years of experience as far as the scouting stuff goes, you just kind of know. And now I’m not gonna say that we haven’t had some things slip. So we do keep some notes on our phones about hotspots.

Dennis (19:24):
Now I think they have apps for it.

Scott (20:09):
Actually I was going to ask you like, how has technology helped with your research? Is there anything, is there an APP or anything that you…?

Dennis (20:15):
Yeah. One of my buddies from my hometown, if you’re a young hunter and you want to start doing that and kind of keeping up things to where you want to start having to look back and reflect on to help you build waterfowl. It’s a sky busters out. I think he’s done a great job of getting all that stuff down and it’s for younger guys. You can mark the location. Once you mark that location, it automatically downloads what whether was there, if it was freezing, raining or whatever. So that’s a good app I think young guys can use.

Billy (20:52):
I personally don’t like providing my information on anyone else’s platform. That’s just me[there is a back door to that] [crosstalk] so not that I don’t like you because I really do. And I think this relationship is up to a great start, but I’m not going to give you my spots and not that any of these app share that information, but you know, how many horror stories you heard about. Goggle…Yahoo got hacked a couple of years ago and all of his information is taken.[but Facebook just got an app for it?] Yeah. So, hey, you could take,…you could steal my debit card number, credit card account, whatever you want, but you ain’t get my duck holes. So I do, we both don’t gpss. In fact, I think my gps may be one of the only,one of the first ever made. It is an absolute…it’s a rock.[ It works], but it works and it’s got all these spots still marked in it. A lot of times when we’re struggling throughout the year. I’ll go back through there and I’ll check that, then I’ll check some notes that I have. So that does help. I think personally, the biggest factor with technology is the combination of, google earth and a smartphone. We got to use in some…I think on x is pretty savvy and there’s a couple more I’ve read about. I have not used them. I think maybe the hunt wild. There’s a couple of them out there and there’s some positives on all of them, but I think the end of the day, the bottom line, the cheapest thing, everybody carry smartphones now and you get accustomed to know when what water levels are during particular time of year in these areas and you can utilize google earth to really find some, you know, find a lot of spots that we were unable to come across 10 years ago.

Dennis (22:52):
Yeah. And the main thing too, don’t get lazy. You might not get your boat there, but you’ve got two legs. You can get out and walk. There’s always new beaver ponds that pop up. There’s always new holes kind of created maybe about through flood and washed up stuff you just never know. And you’ll be surprised how many holes we found just by walking. Right? So and then riding off the river there are slews off the river, it makes a big difference. My main thing is…the best advice I can give anybody. Just don’t get trapped and doing the same old thing everyday. Think about getting outside the box. After you get through hunting, especially if you’re on the road, you don’t have anything for me anyways in the afternoon. So just keep looking. You might find something better. So that’s my best.

Billy (23:40):
I couldn’t tell you how many times we’ve set up and not had a great day, So I don’t know, how many hunted over that tree line somewhere. We were going to go find that spot. so it’s just paying attention. Not just being locked in to where you’re at today, but pay attention on which way these birds are headed. You may be familiar enough with the area, know this river runs this way or that over there is this body of water and we need to go over that direction, check it out,

Scott (24:07):
And I agree. if everybody’s using the same technology, no one’s going out and exploring more and obviously what you’ve put in the time in the work and you do go out, but yeah, you find gems. [Oh yeah]. You can’t…Those gems aren’t on any APP or anything? [No], it’s just they…and I actually.

Billy (24:21):
And if they are, I didn’t put them there

Scott (24:26):
I actually…I enjoyed the hunt before the hunt a lot. To me that’s competitive. And that gets the blood going. [Oh yeah, for sure]. So what do you hear out there about public water hunting that drives you nuts?

Dennis (24:38):
I guess the biggest complaint you got is bad neighbors. We get that question a lot and that’s probably the nightmare of the day. I guess because you got some guys that Kind of like us. You know depends on what the rules are, but you know, you’re getting there early as you can, whatever the rules allow that to be and you do a good job of holding that hole if you’re allowed to go and sit in it. And then you got a guy that just shows up, right for shooting time, probably didn’t put any effort in it, maybe going off what’s buddy information gave him and he’s trying to get close as he can tell you. That’s probably the nightmare of public land hunting. That’s probably every duck hunters, not many right there. And you know, me and billy, what we try to do is we try to be respectful. We try not to do that number one. Well, number one where you usually already got our spot. But for the guys, I understand that’s a little late to the game for whatever reason. Just if you do show up late, always be respectful, set up, you know, a far away, enough distance that you’re not going to disrupt somebody else’s hunting. Be a good neighbor, allow those guys to watch those birds in, maybe they get their limit early enough, maybe [with time], they’ll get out and then let you slot in. A lot of times we try to invite those guys if we got enough room, if we’re not just limited that with guys and if it’s just me and him and one other guy and there’s just two of those guys, we’re like, Hey, just come on and join us. We’ll hunt togather. I think things like that will make a public land more enjoyable. But that’s probably the biggest nightmares, than having a guy like that on you.

Billy (26:21):
Yeah, you’re right. He’s right on it. But I might add to that just like…, and it’s not just hunting, o one of the big things is coming to east Texas area finally that I’m really excited about. We’ve got two local breweries. I liked to enjoy craft beer, wine, so I like to do any kind of beer once in a while. Right. But my son is stationed in Fort Lewis, Washington area and traveling to Washington. They’ve got several districts there. They’re just all these breweries with unique foods and unique beers that they create. It’s not just about the beer and the food, it’s about these communities that they cultivate. Right? East Texas brewing and true vine brewing are two outstanding new breweries and these texts are last few years, I think one of these had their fourth or fifth year anniversary, the Dixon family, great people and they’ve created these communities and I was certified and coached and crossfit and had a couple of gyms in the east Texas area. Obviously it’s about the workout, people want to be in shape, we need to be in shape, come duck season, but they build these communities and I think it’s the same thing with hunting. It’s about the community. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be on you guys’ podcast, Scott. To share this time with you. As you’re well aware. We’ve started a podcast and that’s kind of why we started it. It’s too…you know, we haven’t seen a great avenue for this public land hunting community to come together. And so we just opened up on instagram live and it’s not huge the response we got from it. In private message people getting on the podcast I think is pretty big. The Instagram lab part hadn’t grown tremendously yet, but you know, we’ve got people participating on a consistent basis and that’s all we’re doing. We’re trying. I think there’s a great opportunity if you do have a guy that shows up and [inaudible28:18] ride over there. I think it’s the community’s responsibility. I heard I listen to podcasts on the way up here on this draft and they talked about this very specific thing and their solution to some of this was to add more government regulations in hunting, and personally I just believe that anytime you take any situation and add more government regulations, it just creates a bigger problem. That’s just me and I know a lot of people have different opinions on that, but I think it’s our responsibility, especially as experienced outdoors feel doing it. I feel doing it]Yeah. [You live it, you breathe it, you know, let’s talk about. And I had a boss I worked for for for 30 years in our market and he always used to talk about not so much the end goal but the journey and that’s something that stuck with me that. Dennis and I talk about. We don’t really talk about that much. We just do it. It is, like you said, the hunt before the hunt. It’s the hunt. It’s hunting the beer after the hunt. It’s cleaning., and [crosstalk]

Dennis (29:22):
Well I suggested my favorite part being honest with you. I mean, you know, the scouting part is probably my favorite part of the duck because there’s nothing like it. When you find them, when you see them coming in and sinking into that hole when it’s like, oh my gosh, Neither hurt,, just starts beating. You feel it a hit the against the chest.

Billy (29:39):
But it’s all part of the journey right now. Whichever part is your favorite. And I agree, I know He knows the scout and you know they dog me a lot because I’ll have these in my face shots that I don’t take all the time and I keep telling us because I can make that shot when we’re there or not., but the truth of the matter is bird walking, so that moment, that moment is so spectacular for me. It’s not necessarily shooting that bird. I’m going to shoot it at some point, but you know, if I could talk him in another two or three foot, you know, that experience. It’s all part of the journey and that’s a cool moment. But when you take the scout and you take the shooting, Take take a [Tati?] afterwards, you cleaned the meat, you’re cooking that meat, you provide that meat on the table for your family. This is all part of the journey and I think a lot of people get tied up sometimes in this specific moment and a lot of say was that a result of social media? Is that a result of the millennials is. Yeah, I don’t know, I couldn’t say, but I know anyone that’s overlooking the value and the experience and the enjoyment that you can gain from the entire journey is…if they’re missing out, they’re missing a whole bunch of stuff. So that podcast that we’re doing, we’re just asking people, hey, just jump into conversation with us. let’s just…we can talk about this stuff . Maybe it’s only 40 or 50 people today. Maybe it’s…, I know one day we had 3000 at the end of the day, that had come in and out in this conversation. That to us is outstanding. Maybe they start this conversation with other people and who knows what this community of public land hunters can become[ yeah, the last time there’s more regulations of ], for men which is hard enough to keep up with. How many been there having issue this year? I mean last year it was two. [No, it is one]. I know that is just a small part of… you know, either way, I think that’s…. Enjoy the journey, [enjoy the journey], [respect your neighbor. And I think a lot of it will be solved on that issue].

Scott (31:43):
Social media. I mean, it’s kind of a highlight reel pretty much from any one.[Absolutely. Yeah]. What I like about you guys, you’re very authentic and you don’t have perfect days. You probably have a lot of bad days. I guess for the person out there that will be listening to this or follow you and say, well, if I had all this time on my hands, I could go do all this too. But I don’t think people know how hard you’re working, I don’t think they understand when you say I do the scouting, but you both have families and you’re still work quite a bit, right? [Yeah.] Yeah. So, but when you’re not working, you’re not working, you not taking care of your family is not like you’re sitting on the couch watching TV.

Billy (32:23):
The cool thing about Dennis’ job he’s got good people that, that he’s put the work with him doing what he does. You take ownership and accountability for that and you handle that. So he’s got the freedom in his schedule, but he’s created that. Dude when we first started hunting together, he worked for this guy named Lester at a White House. God bless him and love him to death[. He was hard], was a wonderful, wonderful man. And he did a great job for his class. It was the AC business. Dennis, it’s learning to, I guess you got to be like an apprentice for so long, essentially where you go get your license and he didn’t have no free time, you know, so you just create those opportunities without rocking the relationship at home. You know, obviously family is a priority for both of us. Dentists still coaches his kid’s baseball and you know, you just, you got to get it where you can get it and go find them, you know, you got to make it work. And that’s the cool thing about him, about us really. We’ve been so passionate about it. We were able to get these things done and still go find them. And maybe you don’t hunt this weekend. [Yeah[,There hadn’t been weeks. Every week during the season that you can get out and look for, so maybe maybe Saturday for us is going to be a day trying to find them, which is really hard when a lot of people are out hunting, you don’t want to disrupt so you’re going to start a little later in the day and like I was talking about earlier, those birds may be disrupted in other places, but maybe we find a hole they feel safe in now that we can go hit it another time.

Dennis (33:59):
I think a lot of young guys, I’m going to give them some advice. Pick your poison, if is duck hunt? just duck hunt. you can’t duck hunt, And then when duck says, oh, start your fishing and then you’re golfing and then other whatever else you decide you think you’re going to do. I think it helps If you’re a family man, you’re married, you got kids, you pick that one thing, you ride it to the end and you know, I think your wife or I know my wife has appreciated the fact that only time she has to worry about for me is duck hunting. Now the season’s over. I’m on the road a little bit now, but I’m older, but when I was younger I didn’t golf. I didn’t go fishing, I didn’t do those other things, so it opened up the door for one duck season, got there. It allowed me to do that and I think that’s one reason why she allowed me to do that. Is because I didn’t take advantage all the time on every little thing.

Scott (34:53):
Right. And don’t… people discredit. It’s been 20 plus years. I mean it’s not like you’re running a business now that just happened yesterday. I mean it’s 20 plus years and fight, like you said, pick your poison and you know you just stuck with that passion. But it wasn’t like you blew your whole day off and you’re out. You mean you were had to provide for your family, you have to spend time with your family, and then you get everybody to bed and like you said, then it’s like research or figuring out where to go or what to do.

Billy (35:21):
Exactly. We didn’t have anyone take us under their wing per se and say, this is how you duck hunt. When I said earlier that Dennis said he wanted to learn to do this, he and I learned. The first few years it was us just showing up to a Hole and sitting and waiting to see what would happen if it took a long time for us to figure out that doesn’t get it done. And we got beat a lot early on and I couldn’t tell you how many different boat schemes we’ve put together paddles or walks in or how many diverse situations we tried to find what was the magic for us. What made it happen for us. I mean, it took a long time for us to get things going and like you nailed it. I mean we’re 27 years down the road and we’ve still got a lot to learn and but we’ve got the experience to go along with it.

Scott (36:17):
Good or bad, the way you look at. You didn’t have a mentor or you didn’t go to school for it. So there are no rules. Your rules are the ones that you’ve hard knocks, that you’ve learned and you’ve done and that your rules might not apply to someone else. But what I really appreciate about both of you is that you’re willing to share except for your spots. You’re willing to share with the people that do…you know, you’re answering questions all the time. And the podcast is fantastic for you guys.

Dennis (36:46):
The thing is, I guess two things is: don’t be scared to make mistakes because duck hunting is a very hard sport, especially on public land. To me it’s harder in baseball. Baseball is a very difficult sport. So you know, if you get one or two ducks out of every 10, you’re doing great. Don’t get caught up in the numbers. That’s the second thing. Don’t worry about getting limits, just try to be a better duck hunter. And don’t be scared if you make a mistakes, guess what? You got another day or you got another year and you got the next year. So the only way you’re going to learn is to get out there and just do it. And that’s how we’ve done it.

Billy (37:21):
One of my favorite sayings is an old mentor of mine hit singles for a baseball. Just go out and, hit singles.

Dennis (37:32):
And you do that in duck hunting?[10 times, right?] Yeah. if you do, eventually you’ll get your limit. You know, you start going from doubles and triples and you’re trying to get the whole wad and sometimes it’s just the workout for you. But with swing[swing it away], that’s the way you have to approach duck hunting. Take one duck at a time, work that duck the best you can. Don’t worry about overcoming and undercalling, that’s going to let you know and from that, Duck, if you overcall he leaves with the next duck, you try to work in a little softer. That’s the way you learn and you learn the corners and you learn when to call, when not to call. Once you start playing around and doing that, then you’ll learn. And the thing is don’t worry about making mistakes. Number one question, well, how do I call this or how do they call that? Well, if I’m not there with you, it’s hard for me to know that situation. So the best thing is just if… sometimes we go hunting and the ducks they want…we call, we lit up. Guess what? They pick up and leave. Well, the next group we’re like, okay, we’re going to stay hunting this time and say, well if we how far down we can get them so we stay hunting, they sat on the water, then we know, hey, we’re going to have to talk them all the way in and then the next day it might be like as soon as I hear a duck call they might be gone, so you just have to go to a jerk string and maybe just do a little fake call. So every situation and every duck hunt is different. So don’t be scared to make mistakes.

Scott (38:54):
All right, I’m going to go do some quick questions and we’ll start to wrap this up. These will be for both of you guys. What un-expensive item tool for duck hunting that you count on

Dennis (39:09):
[jerk rig?]I mean you can make it yourself if you just…you could tie a string and a bungee cord to the tree if you need to. [or else Twenty-Five dollars or less] [jerk rig?], we always carry it and it’s probably the cheapest thing we carry. Yeah.

Scott (39:22):
What’s your favorite sound? [inaudible39:23]

Billy (39:26):
He said the favorite sound was nine. I answered it. But I like posted that just a while of that. I love[crosstalk] he looked at my hands. I love to hear suzy sing. Especially before shooting light. You got a bunch of moroose over there and she hollers you’re not hunting yet. You still sitting up, but I dig in my bag and find my call everybody else. Come on. You got to help. Hold on. [sound] I hit it. She holler back. You holler back.. You get holler at each other. You know it was the beginning of our first video that we did, but it’s just something we do all the time. It’s fun part of that journey for us.

Dennis (40:07):
In here, in whistling wings is probably right there with it too. That early, that sun… before the sun comes up and you could hear him fly over your head, that’s first probably one of my favorite as well.

Scott (40:17):
What are you terrible at?

Billy (40:20):
Oh, hold on. Do I get to answer this for him? About him? or…

Scott (40:25):
Actually, this would be great. I think you should answer for each other and then answer what you think you’re terrible at.

Dennis (40:33):
I’ll answer it for me, mine is I get a little impatient and I try to work on that every year, but patients to me is probably something I need to continue to work on. And my deal is that I’m looking down the road because once I saw a ducks flying out, he’ll be the first to tell you. I’m looking around to see what’s wrong and because you know, when ducks are flying over they’re not looking to see what’s right, they’re not. Vehicles won’t fly the ducks. So I’m looking down there and see what’s wrong and I got some guy’s sticking his face up or something like that. So I’m real bad about not being patient enough to be nice and I’m real critical. So that’s probably mine.

Billy (41:12):
Oh, I don’t know if I got one. [What were you going to say?] Communication. So in that spot, he is impatient and I don’t know because we’ve [inaudible41:22] twice every year, but he’ll get to move it around and shuffling. So I know he’s seen something and he’s wanting me to communicate it.

Scott (41:32):
You should know what his minds…you should be reading his mind?

Billy (41:35):
I get to hear about or get back to track. you know, he’s a super nice guy. There’s sometimes when you’re with new guys and you maybe get that one guy who’s standing with the sun directly on his face and he’s standing in front of the cover, not in the shade and you try to look for that stuff. But you know, you want to get the decoys right, you got birds work and you’re trying to tuck in. All of a sudden they just lift straight up and yeah, you could see just his head poked out down there. [laughs]And what’s really funny is I’ve been doing this as long as we’re there, but I’m the first guy, he looks at. He looked ‘hi’ he don’t want to say it to nobody else. He’s too nice. So Hey, were you hit? Come on man. Where’s you looking at?

Dennis (42:19):
I’m like, I’m calling him out like billy what you looking up? Kind of letting him know, hey, I’m, you know. Oh he’s calling, he’s asking Billy if he’s looking at. I bet I was looking up. So maybe the next time they allow it come on their head I need to look down or something. So that’s the way I try to do it.

Billy (42:34):
And to be honest and honestly on my end, I’m not…I can’t see very well and I refused to wear glasses. [Oh that is it right there]. So there’s a lot of times that I may take a bad shot, I may make a miraculous shot, but the biggest really fault with me is a lot of times I don’t even take the shot. I will. He gets really. You thought about that patient showing up and I will, I’ll have a shot. But if I got four guys to the left of me and I sit this bird and he…A lot of times these ducks will work right to the call and you know [you can’t shoot the duck because he’s in between the duck and me and I’m just like furious], I got back to sit down and finally duck rolls out and I never take the shot. why didn’t you shoot? I like that one more. I’m not going to shoot that duck. I’m the only guy that had that shot. He gets mad about that. But for me it’s not that shot, it was that moment and I’m having a blast, but I’m getting my tail too down here because one got out.

Dennis (43:42):
Then on a cloudy day, two ducks role in [drink?] in a hand. You can just bet he’s gonna shoot the hand cause he can’t tell the difference between the drink or the hand did he gets yelled at again and I’m like, I just don’t understand it, but on a cloudy day he can’t [crosstalk] [inaudible43:49]. Oh No, he’s colored blind.

Scott (43:58):
What do you want your legacy to be?

Dennis (44:05):
I would want to be remembered as a great duck hunter, but like billy said, us together, bringing everybody in as a community, as duck hunters and look at each other. It’s more of a brotherhood instead of outcast on some guys. And the reason I say that is a lot of older guys like me, that’s been around a while that knows how to do it or Kind of knows how to do it however you want to put that. But except the younger guys are still learning realize they’re going to make mistakes, overlook it, be patient with those guys. So our goal is to bring those communities together as a big brotherhood and that’s what I want to be remembered as.. As the guy that maybe opened that door up for everybody. And hopefully that continues to happen. That’s us and not be so secretive as much, kind of opened your arms up and let these younger guys have an opportunity to get out and enjoy what we’ve enjoyed for years. You know everybody talked about passing it on, but are you really passing it on. Be true to that, just not only to your own kids, open your arms and eyes up to every youngster out that’s trying to do it and that’s what we’re trying to do and we want to be remembered to the guys that’s given back and that’s what we started here with big frig, he is given back to those guys and open the doors up to other guys that are bigger names than us or whatever says, Hey, these guys are doing it. They have a lot better availability than us to start giving more back as well. And then everybody does that and just make it a better life for everybody.

Scott (45:51):
Do you guys have any last mentions? Do you want to send people to your Instagram accounts or whatever you want to say here?

Dennis (45:58):
Well, again, I like to thank Big frig for giving us the opportunity to give back because that was a big deal for me and him before he ever got that door to open up and had that opportunity to give back and that’s the first step that we wanted to take. I just can’t thank you guys enough for allowing that to happen and hopefully this thing grows. Even if we only sell five coolers this year, maybe somebody else’s picks it up, runs, gets the football and runs with it and does a better job than we do. That’s the only thing is. We want to motivate other people to do better things in life. And it starts with the guys like you all. And I just appreciate you all giving us that opportunity.

Billy (46:36):
Yeah. We get a lot of communication back and forth on Instagram. It’s really exciting. But it’s also kind of interesting to see, even though people may follow us on Instagram that they haven’t seen the videos, and a lot of people that are new to duck hunting that just stumbled across us through hashtags or whatever on social media that aren’t familiar with some of what we’ve done. We’ve got not only with big Frig and you guys this relationship, we’ve got some outstanding relationships that we’ve formed [I’m sorry], with people we’ve worked in the industry with gluten pro drive, real tree drake waterfowl, you know, these guys, hero decoys. We excited to do some super cool stuff with them this year. So I would just ask that people find Dr_duck on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the fowl hunter. And we just want to share that journey that we enjoy so much with as many folks as we can. So yeah, it’d be cool if everybody caught it.

Scott (47:41):
Well guys, we really appreciate you. Thank you.

Billy (47:43):
Thank you very much. Good stuff.

Scott (47:47):
Till next time. Get out there and create your own. My way of life. It would be really cool if you would subscribe to our podcast on Itunes, big Frig, my way of life. Look for us on Facebook and Instagram at big Frig coolers. You can find me at Scott topic. Thanks for listening. We appreciate you.


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