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Authors: Willie Robertson,Korie Robertson

The Duck Commander Family (10 page)

BOOK: The Duck Commander Family
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Curly Don was sitting on the couch watching us fight.

“Don’t y’all look like two fine Christians?” he told us, once we settled down enough to hear what he was saying.

I ran out of the house and jumped into Uncle Si’s Nissan
truck and drove around for a while. I knew I had to go home and clean up the mess before Phil and Kay got home, or we’d both be in big trouble, but I needed to calm down first. I walked back into the house and apologized to Jase. He did his best to apologize to me (he told me to shut up or something). We’ve never had a physical fight since. We both realized we were too old and too big to be fighting like that. We could hurt each other or break something else. And to be honest, Curly’s comment about our being fine Christians really made an impact on us. Jase and I are brothers, and we realized that wasn’t the way God wanted us to be treating each other. Kay was always quoting 1 John 4:20: “For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” This was a time in our life when our spiritual walk was growing, and this was a lesson that has stuck with me.



All of our Robertson confidence and stubbornness could serve us well in life, but if we were selfish and didn’t use it for the good, it could be to our detriment. We had to figure out how to get along with each other and with others, and we were learning those lessons. Most important, we had to learn how to love as God defines it. As 1 Corinthians 13:4–5 says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” These were tough lessons for a couple of
country boys, but I’m glad Phil and Kay kept “beating” it into us and Curly Don was there at the right time to remind us.

We shook hands and cleaned up the kitchen. The worst part was that during all the commotion, I burned my frozen pizza.



Looking for something weird? Well, here it is! We love pizza at the Robertson household. I have tried all sorts of weird toppings on pizza, and am actually building a pizza oven so I can explore even more. Cooking is all about the exploration. Pizza is the most fun food you can experiment with. Put on whatever you like.


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

cup crushed red pepper

1 thin pizza crust, fully baked

cups grated mozzarella cheese

cup tomatoes, diced

teaspoon dried oregano

cup green onions, diced

2 smoked duck sausages, sliced

cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Mix olive oil, garlic, and red pepper in small bowl.

3. Place pizza crust on baking sheet.

4. Sprinkle pizza crust with mozzarella cheese.

5. Top pizza with tomatoes, oregano, green onions, sliced sausage, and Parmesan cheese.

6. Drizzle olive oil mixture over pizza.

7. Bake pizza about fifteen minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is brown.





rowing up Robertson meant we were all involved in the family business, whatever it was at the time. As we got older that meant helping with duck calls, but in the early days, Phil had other ways to support his family while Duck Commander was getting off the ground. Some of these jobs we enjoyed; others, not so much.

For several years, Dad was in the commercial fishing business, and of course, we all helped out. I started fishing with Phil when I was about six years old. Jase was older than me, so he would go out on the boat and be his motorman, while Phil pulled up the nets.

One of the worst jobs was baiting the nets, which involved filling socks with rotten cheese. I can still recall the horrible smell! Phil would buy a fifty-five-gallon drum of rotten cheese, which was always covered in maggots. We had to reach our
hands down into the drum to scoop the cheese and then shove it into an old sock, gagging the entire time. We filled the socks with the rotten cheese at daybreak, and then Phil would go out and set out the traps. At daylight, Phil and Jase would leave and run the fishing nets until about ten o’clock in the morning. Kay and I would be waiting on the dock for them when they returned, and then Jase and I unloaded the fish and carried them back to the house.

After we put the fish in the back of the truck, Kay and I would then drive to town to go to the markets and sell the fresh fish. One store would take maybe half of the fish, and then we’d head to another store to sell the rest. If we had any fish left after hitting the markets, we’d sit on the side of the road and sell them to the public. I learned pretty quickly that the faster you sold the fish, the faster you got to go home. I learned how to be a good salesman by selling those fish on the side of the road when I was a kid. When it’s hot, fish spoil quickly, so there was no time to waste. Once I saw that Mom was more likely to spend some of that cash we made on something I wanted at the store if I did a good job that day, that was just the motivation I needed to work on my craft.

As I got older and wanted to buy more things, I realized selling stuff was my ticket. I mostly wanted an awesome boom box, tapes, and parachute pants. Mom wouldn’t buy me the really cool parachute pants with all the zippers; she got me crappy ones that just looked like a windbreaker and didn’t have zippers all over them. One summer I sold enough worms
on the boat dock to finally get those pants, which looked exactly like Michael Jackson’s. They were awesome.

When I was in high school, Phil decided he wanted to get into crawfishing. Like most other things, I’m sure we were doing it unlike anyone else. The problem with crawfish is you can never have enough bait. A crawfish will literally eat anything—as long as it’s dead and smells really bad. So if Jase and I spotted a dead possum lying in the road, we’d pick it up and throw it in the back of the truck. We were always looking for roadkill! We took the dead animals home, chopped them up, and threw them into the crawfish nets. Getting the bait became just as fun as the crawfishing.

We had an old deep-freezer in the shop and started throwing roadkill in it. By the end of the summer, the freezer was filled with dead cats, dogs, deer, coons, possums, ducks, and anything else we could find in the road. It smelled awful! We also put tons of snakes in there. We baited snake traps in the water with little perch. We’d pull up the traps at night and then blast the snakes with shotguns. We’d get maybe eight snakes a night; most of them were water snakes but there were always a couple of water moccasins. You never knew what you were going to find in a snake trap.

One night I caught a huge water snake and shot it in the head. I carried it up to the freezer and came back about ten minutes later with my cleaver to chop it up. I reached down in the freezer and grabbed the snake. That snake coiled up and reared its head back with its mouth wide open, ready to strike.
It apparently wasn’t dead yet, but it nearly scared me half to death! I threw it down and hit it with the cleaver as hard and as fast as I could. Water snakes aren’t poisonous, but that was a big snake. Its bite certainly would have hurt. My heart was racing!

Whenever one of our friends or cousins came to the house, we made them look in the freezer. It looked like a pet cemetery in there! Our family’s staple foods were the fish and the crawfish we caught, and you had to have food for the crawfish and bait for the fish as well. The stuff we found on the road worked great for both of these duties, and it was free. We were making lemonade out of lemons, son!

We hunted snakes a lot when I was a kid. In the summer of 1991, the Ouachita River flooded Phil’s property pretty badly. Granny and Pa’s house was lower to the ground than Phil’s, so there was almost six feet of water in their house. Once the snakes got into their house, they couldn’t get out. I remember floating around the property on a big Styrofoam block, shooting snakes in the water. We would just sit on the front porch and shoot water moccasins.


Willie and I were dating by this time, and this was just crazy to me! Because everything was flooded, we had to park up the hill and take a boat to get to their house. They would always have a gun in the boat and would shoot snakes as we rode up. I remember one day when I was down there, Granny needed something from the kitchen in her house,
which was literally halfway underwater. Willie got on a block of Styrofoam and paddled into the dark, snake-infested house to retrieve the pot his granny wanted to salvage from her upper kitchen cabinets. It seemed like he stayed in there way longer than he should have. I was scared to death for him, but he came out triumphant and I was proud of my man!


Our crawfish business ended up being pretty lucrative. We sold crawfish commercially to the markets in Monroe. We actually put a boat up on sawhorses and sold live crawfish out of it in the Super 1 grocery store. It was hard keeping the boat filled with crawfish all the time. Like with a snake trap, you never know what you’re going to find when you pull up a crawfish trap. You can pick up a trap and find poisonous snakes and about everything else. I picked up a trap one time and there was a big, green river eel in it. This was a good find for crawfish bait. When Phil shoots a duck, he bites its head to make sure it’s dead. That eel was still alive, and I didn’t have anything with me to kill it, so what’s the logical thing to do? I bit the eel’s head as hard as I could, and let me tell you something, you can’t bite through an eel’s head! It’s hard and slimy, and just nasty. It took me a week to get the slime out of my teeth! I never tried that again.

BOOK: The Duck Commander Family
12.37Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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