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On the second day of Christmas, we were fortunate enough to see …

12/16/2007

This is not only two duck hunts: As a special Christmas bonus we bring you two duck hunts with two guys who both have big Santa beards … only on ESPNOutdoors.com.

The Duck Commander

Duck season was winding down when ESPNOutdoors.com sent a writer and photographer to Phil Robertson's house in northeast Louisiana. Robertson is better known to legions of hunters as "The Duck Commander," for the duck call he designed 30 years ago and still manufactures with his sons in a small workshop a few steps from his house.

Robertson once upon a time quarterbacked Louisiana Tech ahead of a backup named Terry Bradshaw. Today he travels the country, describing to hunting groups and church congregations his view of hunting's roots in America's founding documents and Christian scripture

"God's talking to Noah," Robertson said in his kitchen. "He says, 'I have given them into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you.' He was basically saying, 'Whack 'em and stack 'em. You have my blessing. Do it.'"

A few days later, ESPNOutdoors.com caught one of those waterfowl sermons at a church in Little Rock, Ark. There, in front of a full house finishing their suppers, he described some of his weaker moral moments — "I was a rank heathen" — in explaining how the word of the Almighty leads him not only to whack and stack flocks of mallards, but to salvation itself.

The Duck Classic

The second hunt comes from the Duck Classic: a charity event benefiting the NEA Clinic in Jonesboro, Ark.

Team "Shotgun Formation," consisting of three guys who know each other through the NEA Clinic and one guy with a dog, had basically been beat down by the Duck Classic in previous years. They had about three ducks between them in three years, and they came in dead last at least one year with a score of negative two points.

When recounting the story, team member Jeff Mullen smiled and said, "People kept asking how we ended up with a negative score, and I kept having to show them the score sheet and explain that we only shot a hen. That's it."

But in 2007, when their name was drawn and placed beside that of guide/host Charles "Hammertime" Snapp, owner and operator of Davy Crockett's Guide Service in Walnut Ridge, Ark.

The transformation in attitude was amazing, confirming the notion that duck hunters as a whole can be a bunch of greedy SOBs. Shotgun Formation went from hoping to shoot a duck to wanting a perfect score of 16 Mallard drakes and eight "bonus" ducks, which Snapp decided was a nicer word than the usual term, "scrap."

The group passed on ducks to start the day, hoping for the drakes, but HammerTime wouldn't have it for too long. HammerTime's a man who likes to see people shoot.

The final tally was a limit of 24 duck, which was good enough for 66 points and fifth place. But more importantly a clinic that offers free health care and services to those that can't afford it netted more than half of their annual budget.