Duck Dynasty – Have the Bearded Boys Helped Increase the Numbers of Duck Hunters?

Have you been watching Duck Dynasty on A&E?  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that show!  Duck Dynasty is a reality tv series about the Robertson family, creaters of the Duck Commander and Buck Commander brands.  Mostly through sales of duck calls and other branded outdoor gear, the Robertsons have gone from down-home, self-proclaimed rednecks to down-home, self proclaimed redneck MILLIONAIRES.  The show gives us a little insight into the family-run business, but more so into the quirky antics of the family members.  If you don’t hunt you may think you wouldn’t enjoy the show but you’d be wrong!  These guys are so hilarious in their one-liners and their homemade projects that everyone can find something to relate to.  I love the show so much that for Halloween, I dressed as Willie Robertson (the main “character” on the show and CEO of Duck Commander)!   I even carried a Duck Commander teal call with me 🙂

Yup, that’s me, a 25-year old girl, as Willie Robertson from Duck Dynasty on Halloween!

For those of us that do hunt, you’ve probably noticed the wide-spread popularity of Duck Dynasty.  Many of our friends who’ve never picked up a shotgun enjoy the show.  So the question is, will the Robertons’ new fans move over into an active conservation role?  Will more duck hunters be born from Duck Dynasty?  Guest blogger Travis Brenson sheds some light…

Duck Dynasty – Have the Bearded Boys Helped Increase the Numbers of Duck Hunters?

Well, that’s the million dollar question and unfortunately it’s too soon to tell. Certainly there are those who work in State Regulated Fish and Game Agencies that might hear of stories about hunters who retrieved those dusty duck hunting caps to revisit those frigid duck blinds of their youth only after watching A & E’s wildly popular reality series, “Duck Dynasty”. Or there are those who’ve been seen trading hikes into the mountains with their scopes and rifles for waders, shotguns and duck calls.

The bearded boys doing what they do best, duck hunting.

But without hunting or license statistics, duck stamp purchases and ammunition sales, it is hard to predict. Even looking at the most recent copy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Migratory Bird Hunting Activity and Harvest During the 2009 and 2010 Hunting Seasons can’t prove or disprove the numbers since it was released in July 2011, long before the show first aired in March of 2012. So, is there any evidence to support the claims?

Duck Commander brand duck calls, available in their online store: http://store.duckcommander.com/

There is. Namely, duck calls. As in millions of dollar’s worth. According to Celebritynetworth.com, Willie Robertson has a net worth of ten million dollars directly related to his family-owned and operated duck call business. Well, that and an ever-increasing cult popularity that Duck Dynasty has created with their diehard duck fans. On their website you can find episodes to download and watch in case you missed anything big that might have happened between this week’s show and lasts or you can find the location of their next live appearance. That’s right, you can meet the bearded boys in person. Trade frog leg recipes or talk turkey (or duck) about which of the many duck calls work best in each and every duck hunting situation.

It’s a family business. Phil Robertson, the creater of Duck Commander, along with his brother Si, his son Jase, and his son and current CEO of the company, Willie Robertson.

But best of all, if you grew up hunting then you can experience firsthand the love of family and tradition and how hunting can be the glue to tie generations together with. Either way, Duck Dynasty is sure to please with its light-hearted humor, bumbling brothers and their juvenile antics. Something that is always in short supply it seems. But whether or not the show will end up reviving the age-old traditions of duck hunting is only left to anecdotal evidence, for now. Or until we get the most current U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Migratory Bird Hunting Report.

Who knows, maybe the beards will be the catalyst for a whole new generation of duck hunters.

Travis Brenson is an avid hunter and marksman who enjoys the big Texas outdoors and appreciates a good venison steak. When he’s not in his deer stand he’s working for Scopes n More, home of the best deals on scopes.

Hearing Protection during Hunting Season

Most of the hunting/shooting community knows the importance of using hearing protection while on the range.  But not many hunters will use hearing protection while in the field.  We often need to be able to use our ears to detect prey or to make sure we aren’t making noise ourselves.  But at what cost?  Guest blogger John O’Connor offers some insight.

Safe Shooting

Hi my name is John O’Connor, I am a father, outdoorsman and passionate about living a healthy lifestyle.  Over the past few years I have become more and more interested in hearing loss.  My father and grandfathers, who are and were all hunters, are affected by hearing loss.  I feel that there is a general lack of understanding around the issue and it is our job to spread awareness where we can.   

How to Protect Hearing While Hunting

For many, hunting is a fantastic hobby that allows a person to live off the land and spend time with their loved ones.  While hunting can be a fun sport, it is also important to understand just how damaging it can be to a person’s hearing.  Many hunters put most of their emphasis on their guns and the game that they catch, but they may forget about protecting their ears from hearing damage.  In order to ensure that your hearing health is up to par in the future, it is essential that you protect your hearing each time you go out hunting.

Radians Rad Band Banded Hearing Protection $6.22

First, you may be interested to know why hearing loss is so common amongst hunters.  The reason for this is simply because some hunters use guns without using ear protection or are not using the proper hearing protection when hunting.  The loud noise that guns make when they are fired can drastically damage hearing and cause hearing loss over a period of time. My father who is now in his late 70’s has been an avid hunter for years.  He often times neglected his hearing while out in the woods and now uses a hearing aid to help increase his hearing levels. Although he still finds time to get out to the range he always makes sure he has the proper hearing protection with him to protect his ears from further damage. If you notice that you constantly use your gun while hunting without wearing ear protection, you are putting your hearing at risk.  There is also another thing that you should consider if you are going hunting with family members and friends.

3M Peltor Combat Arms Earplugs $12.84

All of your loved ones should also be wearing some type of hearing protection while they are in the wilderness with you.  You don’t have to be the one to fire the gun to get severe hearing damage.  If you have children or teenagers with you, it is imperative that you protect their hearing every single time that they come hunting with you.  You can do this by visiting a local pharmacy or by looking in your local sporting goods store to find the best type of hearing protection available.  Most hearing protection products are cheap and easy to wear while hunting for game.

3M Peltor Optime 98 Earmuff $13.81 on Amazon

There are a couple of options available to you if you make the decision that you need to wear hearing protection.  Your first option is to buy a pack of earplugs from your local pharmacy.  Earplugs are great because they insert right into the ear canal and stay put for as long as you need them to be there.  They reduce the amount of noise that would have reached your eardrum, causing damage and hearing loss over time.  Earplugs are great for people who want something small and convenient.  You can also invest in noise-reducing headphones that can be found in your nearby sporting goods store.  These will be a little more expensive, but are a good investment for those who want something more long lasting.

MSA Safety Works 10087625 Foam Ear Plugs $13.08 for 80 pairs

Your hearing is such a precious thing and is often taken for granted every single day.  Even if you don’t want to protect your hearing in other areas of your life, at least consider wearing ear protection when firing guns and hunting.  You should also have everyone else in your hunting party wear some type of hearing protection as well to ensure that everyone enjoys the hobby to its full extent.

Howard Leight R-01526 Impact Sport Electronic Earmuff $43.59

When someone in my group is shooting and I am not, I will always plug my ears with my fingers.  If we are hunting from a blind and I have the time and space to put earmuffs on before shooting I will do that as well.  If you don’t want to limit your ability to hear your game while hunting, a great option is to use electronic ear muffs.  Electronic muffs have a microphone on the outside that allows you to hear sounds with low amplification (conversations, movement) but will automatically turn off loud noises, such as blasts from guns!  I have a pair and I love them.  I find I can actually hear things better while wearing them, which is kind of neat!  And there are some cheap options at your local shooting or sporting goods store!  

Thanks for reading and stay safe this hunting season!