Mike “Road Kill” McMullen, 52, and his brother Freddie, 54, grew up in Treasure Island, essentially an island formed by Bayou DeSiard (pronounced DE zeerd) and Black Bayou, on the northern outskirts of Monroe, Louisiana.
The two bream killers are now to all appearances, respectable adults, but it must have taken a saint or rather a pair of saints to rear them.
Take Mike’s nickname:
“I pick up dead animals on the side of the road,” he explained. “If they are ‘eatable,’ I eat them. If not, I take their fur.” His St. Gabriel, Louisiana home is a virtual furriers’ shed of tanned wildlife pelts that he has prepared.
“Really,” he went on hugely enjoying the explanation, “the only road kill that I eat is deer. If their necks will move, they are fresh. You pick one up by its ears and drop its head. If it is stiff, you don’t want to eat them.”
I asked Freddie if Mike was a good little brother. “Yeah,” he replied.
“Huh” grunted Mike indignantly. “He sent me to catch a skunk one night. He told me it wouldn’t spray because it was a full moon.”
“I told him I learned that in college,” explained Freddie. “I was in my first year at LSU. It sprayed him pointblank in the face.”
“It was bad,” cried Mike.
“Dad had a brand new Ford Bronco II,” chuckled Freddie.
“It never smelled the same after that,” laughed Mike.
“Mike had to burn his favorite shirt,” Freddie went on. “He stripped naked in the yard.”
“We duck hunted almost in our back yard,” said Mike. “One would carry the outboard motor on his shoulder and the gas can in his hand. The others would bring the guns and shells. The area is now the Black Bayou National Wildlife Refuge.”
“There wasn’t room in the blind for him one morning, so he got left behind,” remembered Freddie. “He didn’t say anything. He got up the next morning, grabbed his pump BB gun and a loaf of bread.
“He went to Bayou DeSiard. He fed tame duck bread and got them to come up the bank so he didn’t have to get wet. He shot 6 greenheads.”
“If you shoot them in the head, they don’t move much,” grinned Mike. “Especially when you’re petting them on the head with the other hand,” interjected Freddie.
Mike flinched a bit, but ignored his brother. “Mr. Jabbia saw me toting them home. He just laughed. Hey — I shot just greenheads; no hens!”
Freddie cranked up another tale. “We were frog hunting and caught a 3-foot gator. We called Wildlife and Fisheries and they said we couldn’t keep it. So we painted it silver and let it go.”
“We wanted to identify it as it grew,” explained Mike.
“It didn’t work,” sighed Freddie. “We never saw it again.”
Their outdoors “activities” weren’t confined to hunting. In 1976, they took their family’s new Terry ABF Bass Boat to Toledo Bend Reservoir to bream fish. They found a bass tournament weigh-in.
Mike explained the rest.
“As they released the bass, we started snagging them with Tiny Torpedos (a surface bass lure popular in the 1960s and 1970s). Then we just started swimming out and catching them by hand.
“They didn’t say anything. The fish were gonna die anyway and we were kids,” he smirked.
Inevitably, they grew up, with Mike moving into energy and industrial staffing sales and Freddie staying in Monroe to become an endodontist. They still have a close bond however, with Mike coming back to Monroe about 20 times a year to fish and hunt with his brother.