I was born on November 21, 1982 at Glenwood Regional Medical Center in West Monroe, Louisiana. My father, however, was in a duck blind that morning off a rural highway some 25 miles outside the Monroe city limits. Needless to say, I was going to be raised an avid hunter who would appreciate the outdoors.
Four years later, Dad was back at his favorite duck hole on a frigid morning in late November. This time around, I accompanied him armed with a single-shot, 4-10 shotgun. Mallards, pintail, and widgeon were on the move, as we maneuvered a pirogue through flooded timber to recover the most recent of the morning’s harvest. Out of nowhere, four mallards swooped over the opening of the flooded timber directly overhead. Without missing a beat, Dad grabbed the shotgun, pointed it in the direction of the sailing birds, and yelled at me to pull the trigger. A green-head mallard drake splashed into the water in front of the boat, and a sportsman was born.
Since day one, my life has been shaped by his experiences in the outdoors. Whether it was the thrill of seeing mallards lite into decoys or a large mouth bass attack a top-water bait, I have always been drawn to nature. But it wasn’t until later in life that I realized the true gifts received from being in the woods or on the water were the manner in which it strengthened my relationship with God, nurtured my entrepreneurial spirit, and taught me the importance of being a good father.