My great Grandfather was born and raised in Canada and hunted ducks and geese for a living. Though I never met him or had the chance to experience hunting with him, I still had that waterfowl hunting obsession in my blood. I grew up on the coast around Houston, Texas and at the time it was known as the goose capital of the world. I remember driving out to Eagle Lake and El Campo for goose hunts and seeing hundreds of thousands of birds. The fields would be covered in snow geese and I loved seeing them scare up and cover the sky, but it wasn’t until I went on a goose hunt in Katy, TX at 9 years old that I was captivated with waterfowl hunting. It was a foggy morning and we were setting up in a flooded rice field. My dad, brother and I set up about 500 rags that morning and found a nice hidden spot on a levy to hunt from. Not long after daylight we had a group of geese break through the fog and fly right over us. My dad told us to take them so we all raised up to shoot. As I stood up and raised my gun, I froze and never even fired my gun. I was in awe of how close these birds were and amazed how all the work it took setting up before the hunt actually worked. One of the geese went down into the distance and disappeared into the fog. The dog we had at the time took off in the direction the goose went down and vanished. I honestly didn’t think he was coming back, but 10 minutes later he appeared with a goose in his mouth. When I saw that dog running towards us with that bird in his mouth, everything hit me and I knew from that day on, I wanted to be a waterfowler for life!
I played a lot of sports growing up so finding the time to hunt became an issue as a kid, but every opportunity we had as a family, we were out in the field hunting ducks or geese. It seemed like I completely stopped hunting all together through my late high school years due to football, but I never lost my desire or passion to get back out in the field. It wasn’t until I went to a divisions 2 school, East Central University, on a football scholarship where my waterfowl hunting was resurrected. I had some buddies who lived up there that played on the team that allowed me to hunt with them. Though it was tough to get away from football, we still managed to scrap up enough hunts during the season to satisfy our obsession. I ended up tearing my ACL my last season which left me with a bunch of free time while I recovered. During this time I decided it would best to buy a puppy to start training in order to keep myself busy. I bought a black labrador retriever, which I still have to this day (Jersey), and started training him for waterfowl hunting. At first it was only about basic training for waterfowl hunting, but I ended up entering in field trials and hunt test which turned into another obsession. It started with the very first hunt test I entered in which Jersey and I failed miserably. I was completely embarrassed and blindsided by the entire process. As discouraged as I was, I was too competitive to give up that easily. 2 years later, my dog was a master hunter and I had my own dog training business.
It wasn’t until the last few years where my interest for making duck calls began. I had a buddy at the time who thought it would be good idea to make our own duck calls for fun. One thing lead to another and before you knew, my garage was a duck call factory. Most people I know learned to call with a double reed, but I had always used a single reed. Some say that double reeds are easier to learn with, but not as versatile as a single reed. Regardless my goal was to make a single reed that was easy enough for beginners to utilize, but also versatile enough that allowed more advanced callers to use. After several failed attempts, we feel like we finally created a successful call. Over the past year we have had different people use them in the field and the feedback was great. Our main purpose was to have a call that turned ducks and had them come back in and that’s what we have done. Which is why we named our company Comeback Calls.
Bill started hunting ducks in middle Tennessee as an early teen where he has spent the last 30 years hunting the Mississippi flyway! “My love for waterfowl hunting will never go away, and at no point in my life will I ever get tired of watching ducks pitch into the decoys.” Waterfowl hunting has always been a huge part of his life, and through his career, he has taught himself everything there is to know about blowing a duck call. “Not a day goes by where I don’t blow a duck call, I just love the way it sounds.” Bill’s passion for duck calls has made him a collector, but it’s his ability to blow a duck call that separates him from the rest. I only hope one day that I can chuckle into a call like him! He brings a wealth of knowledge to the CBC family and we very fortunate to have such an ambassador as himself on our team!