Duck boys grew up

The first time I wrote about Matt Laird and Matthew Turner, they were sophomores in high school — both standout prep athletes and excellent students.

You could tell even then that their futures would be closely entwined with duck hunting. That was in 2003.

I had written a series for the local paper on Duck Commander Phil Robertson and the ways of the Duckmen, who are now known nationally as the stars of Duck Dynasty.

But I also wrote a story about the hundreds of young hunters who wanted to hunt just like the Duckmen, and I called Laird and Turner “the Duckboys.”

They had shared the Duckmen’s passion, and had shared my duck blind on numerous occasions.

The gist of the story was that you don’t have to be a grizzled old duck hunter to love the sport. There are lots of “Duck Boys” right where you live, too, and they have the same desire, the same fire in their eyes and the same want to hunt ducks as the adults.

“There’s a whole lot of bad out there in this world, and teaching your family to hunt and fish is a great way to give them something good to do,” I quoted Robertson.

There is another generation of duck hunters coming up behind the Phil Robertsons of the world. Some have families who take them. Some have friends.

As hunters we have a responsibility to look for these young hunters and help them grow in the sport. Laird and Turner are prime examples.

As they have grown into responsible young men and veteran (although not grizzled just yet) duck hunters themselves, the last paragraph of that article written more than 10 years ago came true.

“Make sure if there are some Duck Boys in your neighborhood that you do what the Duck Commander himself says: Give them every opportunity to go hunting — and don’t be surprised if they end up out-shooting you, out-calling you and then making sure they tell everybody back home that they did.”

I’m sure they will take some more “Duckboys” who will return the favor many times over through the years.

That’s what it’s all about.

About Kinny Haddox 595 Articles
Kinny Haddox has been writing magazine and newspaper articles about the outdoors in Louisiana for 45 years. He publishes a daily website, and is a member of the Louisiana Chapter of the Outdoor Legends Hall of Fame. He and his wife, DiAnne, live in West Monroe.