There’s no denying the fact - There are a LOT of companies out there offering products designed or intended to make you a better hunter, angler, survivalist, shooter, or Fill-In-The-Blank. The “well,” as they say, is quite deep, and often, the most difficult part of any “What do I need?” decision is just that - deciding between Companies A through Z. Is it good? Will it work? Is it the most wise choice financially? Does it last? It can get confusing -
Through trial and error, we have over the years come to rely on the good folks and the companies you’ll find listed below. Perhaps you’ll pay a little less for some of their products or services; that’s a good thing. Maybe you’ll pay a bit more, but what they’re offering is far and away more rugged, realistic, dependable, effective, consistent, worthwhile - You see where I’m going with this, right? - that the Other Guy’s Stuff.
Here’s the Bottom Line. Anybody can promote anything for any number of reasons; however, when an outdoors enthusiast puts his or her money where their mouth is - that is, when they actually use Product X in the field…no cameras, no lights, no media…just damn good equipment - that’s when I start to look just a little more closely at what it is they’re talking about. That’s the case with these folks. They provide quality products and services, and I go to them because I want to, not because I have to.
Try ‘em. You won’t be disappointed - M.D.J.
Avery Outdoors / Greenhead Gear
PO Box 820176
Memphis, TN 38182
If you need something waterfowl, Avery Outdoors / Greenhead Gear has it. From the finest, most realistic production decoys on the market to a complete line of duck/goose hunting accessories – and more dog training paraphernalia than you can shake a big ‘ole stick at – the folks down Memphis way have something for everyone. My first-place picks? It’s tough to say given the selection, but I’m partial to the FFD (fully-flocked) “Lesser” Canada decoys and the matching six-slot carrying/storage bags. And the Ground Force blind. And the life-size bluebills. And the…
Zink Calls, Inc.
30 Park Drive
Port Clinton, OH 43452
An Ohio boy like myself, Freddie Zink is one of the foremost authorities on what Canada geese will and won’t do. Julie and I have had the pleasure of hunting with Freddie and his crew, which includes World Champion goose caller, Field Hudnall, and his videographer and no-slouch-as-a-waterfowler brother, Clay, on several occasions, and each trip is a tremendous learning experience. Zink’s name is synonymous with goose calls, as well as a trio of recently released hunting DVDs known as the “24/7” series.
Allen-Curtis Waterfowl Adventures
Allen-Curtis Wildfowl Adventures
508 West Salcedo
Sikeston, MO 63801
573-380-0032 (Christian Curtis)
I met Christian Curtis several years ago while hunting waterfowl in Canada, and was impressed enough with the young man to put him on the cover of our fourth book, Successful Goose Hunting. Since then, Curtis, along with business partner, Keith Allen, have recognized a mutual dream in the form of their recently introduced “Allen-Curtis Wildfowl Adventures” outfitting business headquartered in southeastern Missouri. From Christian -”Allen-Curtis Wildfowl Adventures is much more than simply a waterfowl outfitting venture. It’s a lifestyle. I, along with partner, Keith Allen, have dedicated our lives to the pursuit of waterfowl, and to that most traditional lifestyle, and we’re excited about the opportunity to share these incredible experiences with our hunting brothers-in-arms. Are we serious about bringing birds to hand? Absolutely, but we’d like to think we’re more than simply ducks on a strap. Here, it’s all about unsurpassed calling, fantastic dog work…even some guitar pick’n back at camp! Our first priority is to ensure that you have a memorable experience all ’round - and during duck season, we get it done right!”
Columbia Basin Waterfowl
c/o Alex Langbell
4302 Polo Way
West Richland, WA 99353
Eastern Washington’s, Alex Langbell, is as nice a guy as you’ll meet – and one of the West’s top-rated goose hunting guides. Along with partners, Craig Riche, and long-time Basin waterfowl notable, Steve Schultz, Langbell offers his clients not only top-notch gunning, but an extraordinary learning opportunity. Washington’s goose season runs from mid-October through the end of January, with the eastern part of the state being open only on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Mighty Layout Boys (MLB)
1215 State St.
Hobart, IN 46342
Every waterfowler should, at one time in his or her life, get to meet and hunt with Mark Rongers, owner of the Mighty Layout Boys. In addition to being the consummate duck hunter, Rongers – as is his brother, John – a simply wonderful human being. And their products – traditional layout boys and assorted gear – are second to none.
5985 S. 6th Way
Ridgefield, WA 98642
Headquartered in southwest Washington state, ATTBAR, Inc. is the father of the Aquapod duck boat. Over the years, I’ve owned four ‘Pods, and to be honest, I can’t say enough good about them. They’re tough and dependable, yet light enough to be carried in the back of G’pa’s pickup and thrown into the water off the old railroad grade.