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Willie Robertson quotes (showing 1-30 of 40)

“I think that’s the only way you can ever be truly successful in this world. You have to acknowledge that it is from above. And you have to have the confidence that even if you lose it all, things will be okay. You have to be willing to fail, and all the while work your tail off to succeed.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“Korie: Willie and I dated for about eight months, and then I was getting ready to leave for school at Harding University. Willie was still attending seminary school, and I wanted him to go to Harding University with me. But Willie said he wasn’t leaving West Monroe. He wanted me to stay in West Monroe with him. We broke up before I left for school in August, and I’m sure he thought I’d find someone else at college, because that’s what typically happens when you leave home. Willie called me one night in September 1991 after I had been gone a few weeks and said, “Let’s get back together.” I knew I loved him, but I told him I wasn’t sure about it. He was trying to change my life, and it was really his way or no way. I just didn’t know what to do.
“Let me think about it,” I said. “I’ll call you back tomorrow.”

I was convinced she’d found someone else. I was telling all my buddies that it was over between us, and I was gathering other girls’ phone numbers to prepare myself to move on. I just knew it was over, and I wasn’t waiting to hear it from her the next day. I was convinced she wanted to end our relationship but couldn’t muster the courage to tell me. Korie called me the next day, and I was ready to tell her that I didn’t want to get back together anymore and that our relationship was over. I was certainly going to end it before she ended it. I just knew she already had a new boyfriend at Harding.
“I’ve got something I want to tell you,” Korie told me.
“What do you want to say?” I asked her, deciding I’d better hear her out first.
“Let’s get back together,” she said.
My ears started buzzing. I threw all the girls’ phone numbers in the trash can. About a month later, Korie and I decided we were going to get married.

Korie: I had turned eighteen in October 1991, so legally I was allowed to do whatever I wanted. But I knew I had to call my parents, Johnny and Chrys, to get their permission. We had had some discussions about my getting married that summer that had not gone so well, so I knew they were not going to be excited about it. I mustered up the courage to make the phone call.
“Look, I’m legal, so I’m just going to say it,” I told them. “I’m getting married, and you’re going to have to be behind me or not.”
Of course, my parents told me it was the worst idea ever, and they were naturally worried that I was going to leave school and come home. They asked me to at least wait until I’d finished college. I hung up the phone and called Willie immediately.
“I just told them and it didn’t go so well,” I blurted out.
“They’ve already called me and they’re on their way over here,” he said.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“Korie’s parents came to the house to see me, and I sat on the couch with Johnny and Chrys. It was not pretty. The argument was so loud that Alan came out of his room. He looked at us and asked, “What in the world is going on?” Johnny was making all of his arguments, and I was acting like a little punk, twisting his words to put them in my favor, which only made him madder and madder.
Johnny told me that according to studies he’d read, 50 percent of all marriages between young people ended in divorce. He had the articles with him to support his arguments.
“So you’re calling that right now?” I asked him. “In all your wisdom, you know we’re going to get divorced?”
“I’m not saying that,” Johnny told me.
“You just said it,” I responded. “You just said half end in divorce. Well, what if we’re the good half?”
Then Johnny went on to say that if we got married, he didn’t want me coming to him for advice. But then later on in the conversation, he told me I could ask him about anything. He was completely irrational, and I, of course, had to point that out to him.
“You just said I couldn’t ask you for advice,” I told him.
He was so mad, I thought he was going to leap off the couch and hit me. Before they left, Johnny looked at me and asked me one last question.
“What’s your plan?” he asked.
“What’s my plan?” I said to him.
“What exactly is your plan?” he said. “Where are you going to work? Where are you going to live?”
“Well, I reckon I’ll just buy a trailer and put it on the back property at Phil’s house,” I told him.
That threw Johnny over the top. He and Chrys stormed out of Alan and Lisa’s house, and I was convinced there was no way they were going to give us their blessing to get married. I called Korie to tell her how the meeting went.
“It went terrible,” I told her. “We were yelling at each other. It was pretty ugly.”
Then Korie had to hang up because her parents were calling her phone. She called me back a few minutes later.
Much to my surprise, her parents told her, “Okay, if you’re determined to do this, we’re going to support you.”
Johnny didn’t say much to me for the next few months, during the planning of the wedding, and I knew Korie’s parents still didn’t like the idea of her getting married so young. I told Phil that Korie’s parents didn’t want us getting married and asked him what I should do.
“Here’s what I’d do,” Phil said, while sitting back in his recliner. “I’d call them up and say, “Y’all missed that. The wedding was last week when we went to the justice of the peace and got married. Y’all missed the whole thing.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“Korie: He loved to read, just like I do, so we spent hours reading books, and he seemed to love to learn about everything. He was also a climber who loved the outdoors. He loved animals so much so that at one point we weren’t sure if he would follow in the family hunting tradition. He had every kind of animal, from goats to rabbits, to snakes, to leopard geckos, to an iguana.
One time, when he was about six years old, he and Willie found a bat down at the camp that for some reason they decided they were going to nurse back to health. We set up a little cage for the bat on our back porch and warned John Luke not to touch him. He begged and begged to touch the bat, and one day decided that he would not really be touching him if he put on gloves first. So he put on some of my yellow rubber kitchen gloves and without my knowing tried to pick up the bat! Of course, the bat bit him on his little finger. He came and told me what he had done and showed me. Sure enough, there were two little bite marks on his finger. I immediately Googled what you do for bat bites and found out that bats are highly likely to carry rabies! We rushed John Luke to the hospital. They gave him the first round of rabies shots just in case and said that they would have to test the bat. If the bat tested positive for rabies, then John Luke would have to go through about five rounds of shots. The doctor asked if we still had the bat and said that we had to turn it in to have it tested for rabies. That’s when John Luke started crying. “He doesn’t have rabies, I know he doesn’t. It’s not the bat’s fault!” he cried. He was devastated that they had to kill the bat to test him because of something he had done. John Luke said that he would get the shots so that the bat wouldn’t have to be tested. This was huge. John Luke hated shots and still does, but he was willing to get more if he could only save the bat.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“Korie: Phil and Willie are so much alike. We went to a marriage seminar at our church one time, and Phil and Kay and Jase and Missy were there as well. Each of the couples took a personality test to see if their personalities were compatible. We all laughed because Phil and Willie scored high in the characteristics for having a dominant personality. They were almost identical in a lot of areas, but somewhat different in that Willie was high in the social category as well. I think Willie got that part of his personality from his mother.
It’s funny because people look at the Robertsons and think Jase and Phil are just alike, and they are certainly similar in their love for ducks. But when we took the personality test, we saw that Jase’s personality is much more like his mother’s. So I guess it makes sense that Phil and Jase get along so well in the duck blind. They made a good team, just like Phil and Kay do at home. Kay has always said that Willie is a lot like Phil and even calls him “Phil Jr.” at times. While I wouldn’t go that far, I definitely saw the similarities. They both have strong, charismatic personalities. They are both big-picture guys with big ideas and deep beliefs. Whatever either of them is going in life, he does it all the way, and they are both very opinionated, which can sometimes be a challenge. Phil and Willie haven’t always been as close as they are now. As they grew, they recognized the attributes they have in common and learned to value one another’s differences and strengths. Willie says it couldn’t have happened until after he was thirty, though. He needed to grow up and mature, and Phil has gotten more relaxed as he’s gotten older. Willie loves to hunt with his dad and brothers, but there have been times when he’s had a hard time sitting in Phil’s blind. You can only have one leader in the duck blind, only one man who lines up the men and yells, “Cut ‘em!” when it’s time to shoot. Willie and Phil have both always been leaders, whether it’s in the blind or in business.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“Whoa, Kay, what happened, did you forget how to cook?” I asked her.
Phil was even more critical, but it was all in good fun.
“Don’t you know you’re only supposed to cook shrimp for three minutes?” Phil asked her. “These are terrible. I wouldn’t even put them in my crawfish nets.”
At every Christmas dinner since, we always ask Kay if she’s going to serve overcooked shrimp and everyone has a good laugh at Kay’s expense. She doesn’t mind; she can dish it up as good as she can take it.

Korie: I ate those shrimp and thought they were delicious. But in the Robertson family you can’t get away with anything. I think I burned the break like once and Willie loves to joke that you know when dinner’s ready at our house when you hear me scraping the bread! They’re a tough crowd in the kitchen, but it’s all in good fun. I tell people you have to have healthy self-esteem to be married to a Roberston.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“Korie: Jase lives right across the street from us, and he and his wife, Missy, have three kids: Reed, Cole, and Mia. Jase and Missy like to joke that our oldest son, John Luke, is like Kramer from Seinfeld. On nights when we’re not cooking at our house, John Luke busts through their front door as soon as he sees the dining room light go on to join them for dinner. He seems to know exactly when Missy pulls the rolls out of the oven. Our baby girl, Bella, and their daughter, Mia, are great friends. We say Mia is like the ghost of our house. She appears in our house at all times. You’ll turn around in your recliner, and she’ll be standing there. As soon as we pull in the driveway, she’s in our house, waiting to play with Bella. Our entire neighborhood is actually family. My parents are next door, along with four aunts and uncles and two grandparents. That’s the absolute best thing about where we live. It’s all about family.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“We had to sit there for an hour doing nothing. After about three days of sitting there, I said, “Screw this. I’m going to West Monroe High.” I realized I wanted to be in town anyway, so I just transferred schools during the first week of school.
After about a month, the principal from West Ouachita called our house.
“Willie hasn’t been to school for twenty-seven days,” the principal told Phil.
“Well, he leaves for school every morning,” Phil told him. “I don’t know where he’s going. I thought he was going to school.”
When I got home that day, Phil asked me where I had been.
“School,” I told him.
“Uh-uh,” Phil said. “The school called and said you haven’t been there in a month.”
“Oh, yeah,” I told him. “I transferred to West Monroe. I don’t go to that school anymore.”
“Okay,” Phil said. “I figured something was up.”

Korie: Can you imagine a tenth-grader transferring schools without even notifying his parents? Willie just showed up at West Monroe High School and said, “Hey, I’m here.” He didn’t even think about telling Kay and Phil about transferring.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“Willie called me one night in September 1991 after I had been gone a few weeks and said, “Let’s get back together.” I knew I loved him, but I told him I wasn’t sure about it. He was trying to change my life, and it was really his way or no way. I just didn’t know what to do.
“Let me think about it,” I said. “I’ll call you back tomorrow.”

I was convinced she’d found someone else. I was telling all my buddies that it was over between us, and I was gathering other girls’ phone numbers to prepare myself to move on. I just knew it was over, and I wasn’t waiting to hear it from her the next day. I was convinced she wanted to end our relationship but couldn’t muster the courage to tell me. Korie called me the next day, and I was ready to tell her that I didn’t want to get back together anymore and that our relationship was over. I was certainly going to end it before she ended it. I just knew she already had a new boyfriend at Harding.
“I’ve got something to tell you,” Korie told me.
“What do you want to say?” I asked her, deciding it better to hear her out first.
“Let’s get back together,” she said.
My ears started buzzing. I threw all the girls’ phone numbers in the trash can. About a month later, Korie and I decided we were going to get married.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“My advice is: Don’t take yourself too seriously, laugh a lot, enjoy your time with family, and appreciate the unique talents of others. Trust in God, love your neighbor, say you’re sorry, forgive, and work hard. Sit down to a good meal, turn off your cell phone, respect your elders, and, of course, get out in the woods and enjoy some good ol’ frog legs. That’s the Robertson way!”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“For some reason, Jase thought it would be really funny to lock me out of the house, and I was furious. I kept banging on the door, but Jase had turned the music up loud so he wouldn’t hear me. He kicked his feet up on a table and kept yelling, “I can’t hear you. I can’t hear you.” I went to Granny’s house and told Kay what Jase had done. Kay went marching back to our house and was hotter than a catfish fry in July. She started banging on the door, but Jase thought it was still me and just kept blaring the music and enjoying having the house to himself. Kay got so angry that she banged on the glass pane and her fist went right through the window, cutting up her hand pretty badly.
This caught Jase’s attention. When he saw her hand, he knew he was in big trouble. “When your dad gets home, he’s going to whip y’all’s butts,” Kay told us.
I hadn’t even done anything, but Phil didn’t usually conduct and investigation to find out who was at fault. He just whipped whoever was in the vicinity of the crime. Jase and I ran back to our room and padded up with anything we could find-socks, underwear, and pillowcases. We sat on our bed with our butts padded, waiting for Phil to get home, certain we were in big trouble. Phil came into our house and saw the bandage on Kay’s hand.
“What in the world did you do?” Phil asked her.
“Look at what these boys did,” Kay told him. “Jase locked Willie out of the house, and I was banging on the door for him to let us in. My hand went right through the window.”
“Kay, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Why would you bang on a glass window?” Phil said.
Phil walked right by her and took a shower. Jase and I were standing there with padded behind, our mouths wide open with relief.
Phil was always in charge of disciplining us, but sometimes Kay tried to take matters into her own hands. Unfortunately for Kay, she was really an uncoordinated disciplinarian. One day when Phil was out fishing, Kay announced that she was going to whip us. She grabbed a belt that had a buckle on one end and told us to line up for a whipping. Now, Kay never liked whipping us and always closed her eyes when she swung because she didn’t want to watch. This time, she reared back and swung and missed, and the buckle flew back and hit her right in the forehead. Jase and I just looked at her, started laughing, and took off running into the backyard. I really don’t know how she survived raising us four boys.

Korie: Poor Kay! All that testosterone in one house! Maybe that’s why she is so great to us daughters-in-law. She is thankful we took them off her hands. She has definitely enjoyed all of her granddaughters. She has set up a cute little library and a place for tea parties. They have coloring contests and dress-up parties. She didn’t get to do any of that with her four boys so our daughters have gotten the full “girly” grandma treatment.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“Kay lived in a house full of Robertson boys and men, and I’m still not sure how she survived. There were Phil, me, and my three brothers, and there were usually a couple of our friends hanging around. But Kay has a lot of patience and has always been very funny-I think that’s where I get my sense of humor-and she has a mechanism for turning anything into fun. I’m not sure Phil has ever really understood her humor. Jase and Phil are a lot more serious and have a much more dry sense of humor, so Kay and I are always making fun of them and have our inside jokes about them. Sometimes, Kay and I will be in the kitchen laughing together, and Phil will walk in and tell us we’re being too noisy. He’ll be trying to watch the late news and will say, “Hey, Saturday Night Live is over.” Every time Phil walks out of the room, I’ll make a face at him, almost behind his back. Phil says he doesn’t even know how to laugh, while Kay is always jovial and constantly has a big smile on her face. You know what they say about how opposites attract.

Korie: The thing that has impressed me most about Kay is that she really rarely gets truly aggravated or mad at Phil and the boys. She knows how to not sweat the small stuff. She’s been through a lot in her and Phil’s marriage, and I think it taught her that most things are really not worth getting mad at. She has a really fun side to her. Willie and Jep are always putting food down her back, grabbing her from behind, or throwing something into her hair, and I’m sure it got pretty old about twenty years ago. At some point, most people would be like, “Okay, enough already.” But Kay laughs every time. She doesn’t take herself very seriously, which I think is one of the most important qualities for enjoying life and one I have made sure to try to pass on to our children.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“Korie: I met Willie for the first time when we were in the third grade at Camp Ch-Yo-Ca, the camp I grew up at. Willie and Jase went to my session of the camp, and Alan came for high school week. Kay was cooking in the kitchen that summer, so her boys could attend the camp for free. I remember thinking Willie was the cutest thing I had ever seen and was so funny. We called him by his middle name, Jess, at the time. He had these big dimples and the cutest sideways smile. I had a diary that I never really wrote in, but that summer, I wrote: “I met a boy at summer camp and he was so cute. He asked me on the moonlight hike and I said ‘yes’!” I even wrote “Korie Loves Jess” on the bunk of the cabin I was staying in that summer.
Yes, Willie asked me to go on the moonlight hike with him. It was always a big deal every summer figuring out which boy was going to ask you to accompany him on the moonlight hike, and I was thrilled when he asked me! Willie was definitely my first crush.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“Korie: Ray’s daughter, Rachel, and I were best friends, and they were going to Phil’s house for dinner one night. They invited me to go along. I still remembered Willie from camp, so needless to say, I was just dying to go. I begged my parents to let me go with them. They said yes! I even remember what I wore at Willie’s house-a black top with fluorescent green earrings. Don’t judge…it was the eighties.
When Rachel and I got to the Robertsons’ house, the first thing Phil said to us was: “Have you met my boys, Jason Silas and Willie Jess? They’ll make good husbands someday. They’re good hunters and fisherman.” I was so nervous. I couldn’t believe this was happening. The other thing I remember about walking in their home was that Phil and Kay had a sign on the door that said, “Honeymoon in progress.” Phil and Kay have never been shy about their honeymooning…another thing that shocked me about their family.
Once we had eaten, Willie took us back to his room, which was actually the laundry room. He made us laugh the whole time. He would stick his thumb in his mouth and pretend that he was blowing up his muscles. He did acupressure tricks and showed us our pressure points. This was all very impressive to a couple of fifth-grade girls.

After a while, I decided I was going to try to really impress Korie. I started punching the tiles on the ceiling of the laundry room, which was a trick one of my buddies taught me. I’d rear back and just punch my fist through the ceiling and busted tile would fall over onto the floor. I’m sure she was really impressed.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“I’ll never forget the first time Willie asked me out. We liked each other off and on through middle school and high school, but we didn’t attend the same schools so we never really dated. He was attending West Monroe High School, and I was going to Ouachita Christian School, which is where Phil used to teach. When I was in the eleventh grade (Willie was a year older), he sent one of his friends, Jimmy Jenkins, to ask me out for him. Willie was pretty cocky and all the girls in the youth group were dying to go out with him. But I remembered how he treated my friend, so I told him no. It was a big blow for him, but he needed to be knocked down a few notches.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“I found out Si was taking naps every day on Kay’s couch! I went to Phil and told him it was a problem.
“Look, I know he’s your brother and he’s my uncle, but he’s not the kind of worker we need to have,” I told Phil, while trying to make a good first impression.
I was trying to instill a new work ethic and culture in Duck Commander, and I couldn’t have Si sleeping on the job!
“Don’t touch Si,” Phil told me. “You leave him alone. He’s making reeds and that’s the hardest thing we do. Si is the only guy who wants to do it, and he’s good at it. Si is fine.”
Amazingly enough, in the ten years I’ve been running Duck Commander, we’ve never once run out of reeds. Six years ago, Si suffered a heart attack. He smoked cigarettes for almost forty years and then quit after his heart attack, so we were all so proud of him. Even before his heart attack, I wasn’t sure about putting Si on our DVDs because I thought he would just come across too crazy. He cracked us up in the duck blind and we all loved him, but I told Jep and the other camera guys to film around him. Honestly, I didn’t think anyone would understand what he was saying. When we finally tried to put him on the DVDs, he clammed up in front of the camera and looked like a frog in a cartoon just sitting there. He wouldn’t perform. Finally, we put a hidden camera under a shirt on Si’s desk. We were near the end of editing a DVD and showed a shooting scene to Si. He always takes credit for shooting more ducks than he really did. He’s said before that he killed three ducks with one shot! We were watching patterns hitting the water, and Si started claiming the ducks like he always does and going off on one of his long tangents. After we recorded him, we ran the DVD back and showed it to him. I think Si saw that he was actually pretty funny and entertaining if he acted like himself. We started putting Si on the DVDs and he got more and more popular. Now he’s the star of Duck Dynasty!
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“Kay loves her dogs. One time, Phil chopped a copperhead in three pieces with a shovel, and then he picked up the snakes head and threw it close to one of Kay’s dogs. Even though the snake was cut in three pieces, it somehow managed to bite the dog’s head and latch on to its eye. The dog’s head swelled up like a basketball. Phil looked at me and said, “Don’t tell your mother.” I was like, “Uh-huh, she’ll never notice.” The dog was fine. These are country dogs; they can take a little snake venom and keep on going. Phil is always throwing dead snakes at dogs to see their reaction, but not the poisonous ones anymore. He’s not going to take a chance on hurting one of Miss Kay’s beloved dogs.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“I used to love going to Willie’s little house before school. He would cook me these elaborate omelets and even put a garnish on the top of them. Up till that time, I was never one for waking up early, and I’m still not, for that matter. But during our dating days, I didn’t mind getting up early if it meant that I got to spend a little more time with Willie. Plus, his cooking really impressed me. Willie’s actually very romantic, which a lot of people might not realize. He’s written me a ton of love notes and even poems, and he likes to cook for me. Thankfully after twenty years of marriage those things haven’t changed.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“Some of my best friends work for us, too. Justin Martin, or Martin as we call him, played football at West Monroe High School. I pick on him, joking that he’s the only man I know who looks dumb but is really smart and looks old but is really young. If you’ve seen him on the show, you know exactly what I’m talking about. He only lacks his thesis to complete a master’s degree in wildlife biology, and he had a full scholarship to college. Martin is actually the only employee we have who ever worked in a sporting goods store that sold hunting products. He understands competitive pricing and inventory. I met Martin when he came to play poker at our house one Friday night. While on summer break from college, Martin was looking for some work. I was going out of town the next week, but I told him to come in and start calling sporting goods store. About three days later, I received an e-mai from martin@duckcommander.com. The guy already had a Duck Commander e-mail with his name on it! I really thought he was only going to be with us for a few days and then go back to what he was doing. I never really hired him; he just ended up staying. But Martin is an excellent hunter-which gave him an advantage-and he knows all about animals. Martin will do anything for you, and he is my liaison in the blind. I’ll give him new products that companies want us to try out, and he’ll come back to me with everyone’s feedback. Most important, Martin learned how to make our duck calls, which made him invaluable. Plus, he’s another guy I enjoy hanging out with, and what’s it all worth if you can’t work with people you like?”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“When we were taking classes, we’d come home between classes and eat lunch together every day. We would cook lunch and then watch Matlock together and see who could guess the killer. Willie bought a little white truck from one of our professors for seven hundred dollars. The best part about the truck was it still had a faculty parking sticker on the windshield. We were so excited we could park the truck in the faculty lots when we went to class. Because we were married, we could even write excuses for each other when we were sick. Willie always seemed to catch a cold during March Madness and on the opening day of baseball season.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“During our last year at Harding University, we spent the summer in a study-abroad program in Florence, Italy. It was an unbelievable experience and was our first time really being away together. We traveled all over Europe on a Eurail pass. We didn’t have any money for hotel rooms, so we would just sleep on trains and wake up the next morning in a new country. It was so exciting. As part of our studies, we had to visit certain museums and write essays on the art we saw. I was an art education major, so I loved every bit of this part of our trip, but it was a totally new experience for Willie. By the end of the trip, he said he had more culture than the yogurt section of the grocery store!”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“Willie and I are both pretty directionally challenged, so we spent most of our time lost. We would jump in a bus that seemed to be going in the right direction and end up having to walk for miles to get back to town. We were both super skinny from all the walking when we got back, despite the good Italian food we ate while we were there.
We had the best time, but there were a few scary moments, as well. One night we were sleeping on the train heading to Barcelona, Spain. We were traveling through the south of France and a group of thieves were on the train. Willie was sleeping with his feet on the door, so every time they would try to open the door he would wake up and they would run off. One time, he didn’t feel the door open and the thieves grabbed the backpack of one of the girls who was traveling with us. Willie jumped up and started chasing them through the train! They dropped the backpack, but Willie kept chasing them through a couple of cars. I was standing there thinking, “What’s going to happen if he catches them!” Luckily, Willie had that same thought, gave up the chase, and came back to our car. He didn’t sleep the rest of the night; he just sat up and protected us. What a man!”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“Another exciting but scary adventure happened in Salzburg, Austria, where we were staying at a youth hostel named Stadtalm Naturfreundehaus. It was at the top of a mountain that surrounded the city and had the most beautiful view. It had bunk beds in the rooms and only had one bathroom that everyone shared. You had to put coins in the shower for the water to come out. It only gave you like two minutes of water. I remember calling down the hill to Willie to bring more coins. Two minutes wasn’t quite long enough.
The way you got to the hostel was on an elevator through the middle of the mountain. One night, we got back to the elevator about eleven-thirty P.M., after exploring the city, only to find that the elevator closed at eleven P.M. We had no idea what to do. We certainly didn’t have enough money to get another hotel room for the night, so we went back into the town and asked around to see if there was a staircase that would get you there eventually, but it was a long walk up the mountain. We didn’t have any other choice. We walked what seemed like forever. At one point, we passed a guy in a trench coat, just sitting by himself on a bench on the trail. We were totally freaked out. Well, I was, at least. We finally got to the top about two A.M. We ended up sitting outside under the stars and talking once we got there, and we thanked God for keeping us safe. It ended up being really fun and romantic, but I was scared to death walking in a foreign city up a creepy trail in the middle of the night.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“Nowadays, people often ask me what it’s like hunting with my dad. We’ve actually had offers of tens of thousands of dollars from people who want to spend a day in Phil’s blind. It always amazes us because when we were growing up, duck hunting was our everyday life. When we were kids, we were always in the blind with Dad. I don’t remember my first hunt or the first duck I killed, like other young hunters. It was a different time and Phil wasn’t exactly a traditional dad. He didn’t take pictures of our first duck. It wasn’t sentimental; it was just life. We hunted and fished because we wouldn’t eat if we didn’t. Phil’s number one concern was always safety. If you were careless with a loaded gun, you would not come back to the blind. You’d be stuck at home with Mom the next time.
Also, you had to be prepared because Phil wasn’t gonna baby you out there. If you didn’t wear the proper clothes, you were gonna freeze your butt off. And I did many times! You had to get your stuff together as well: shells, guns, and whatever you needed. I will never forget a time when I was about ten and we were all going on a dove hunt. It was opening day, and we were all excited. I was shooting a .410 shotgun, but I could only find one shell. Since we were leaving early in the morning, Phil let me know we wouldn’t be able to stop at a store because none of them would be open that early in the morning.
“You better make that shot count,” Phil told me.
So I shadowed Phil during the entire hunt, watching him drop ‘em. I rant to fetch the birds for Phil, and if any were still alive, he would pinch their heads. With one flick of Phil’s wrist, the dove’s head separated from its body. I was fascinated and yet a little freaked out. You can’t be sensitive when you’re hunting with Phil. I kept throwing my shotgun up to shoot, but I knew I had only one shot. Finally, about eleven o’clock in the morning, I saw my opportunity. I told Phil I was gonna take my shot. He was supportive and told me to make it count. Boom! Wouldn’t you know I smoked the dove? I couldn’t believe it. I went one-for-one with only one shell. As I turned to look at my dad with the biggest smile ever, I noticed he was putting his gun down. He’d shot at the exact same time. He wanted to make sure my shot counted.
“Good shot, Willie boy, put your safety back on,” Phil told me.
I didn’t know why the safety mattered since I only had one shell, but he wanted to instill the practice in my brain. We’ll never know who hit that bird, but believe me, I told Jase that I got it for sure.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“But in the winter of 2008, the Ouachita River flooded its banks, and the water slowly made its way up to my parents’ house.
I can still remember asking Phil how he was going to ship orders if his property flooded.
“Well, I guess we’ll put them on a boat,” Phil told me, with a scary sense of seriousness in his voice.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“A Robertson family tradition is eating seafood for Christmas dinner, and it’s usually better than you could get at any five-star restaurant. But at our Christmas dinner in 1998, Kay fried the shrimp for way too long. Kay and Phil’s shrimp are usually fried lightly, but not these; they were dark brown and tasted like rubber.
“Whoa, Kay, what happened, did you forget how to cook?” I asked her.
Phil was even more critical, but it was all in good fun.
“Don’t you know you’re only supposed to cook shrimp for three minutes?” Phil asked her. “These are terrible. I wouldn’t even put them in my crawfish nets.”
At every Christmas dinner since, we always ask Kay if she’s going to serve overcooked shrimp and everyone has a good laugh at Kay’s expense. She doesn’t mind; she can dish it up as good as she can take it.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“As far as the duck-blind rules, they are sort of unwritten in Phil’s blind. He always does most of the calling. You wouldn’t dare pull out your duck call and start wailing. He’ll let you call a drake whistle, but not a hen call. In fact, Jase had to wait several years before he could call with him. And you really only need about two good callers in a blind. People ask me, “Why don’t you call in the blind?” I ask them, “Would you call with Phil Robertson in your blind?”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“People ask me, “Why don’t you call in the blind?” I ask them, “Would you call with Phil Robertson in your blind?”
It’s like pinch-hitting for Albert Pujols. It doesn’t make sense when you have the best duck caller in the world in your blind. The benefits of not screwing up are better than those of taking a chance on doing something stupid. Believe me: if you mess up, you’re going to hear about it. I never will forget when we had about twenty-five mallards almost in the hole. They were on their third pass down when the text message alert on my phone went off. After my phone buzzed, the mallards decided not to come in. Phil looked down the row of guys with a look that was a mixture of craziness, agony, and Satan himself.
“What was that?” he hollered.
Now, there was no way I was gonna fess up.
“I heard something!” Phil yelled again.
I didn’t feel like trying to explain to him that there was no way the ducks heard my phone from sixty yards away, so I didn’t say a word. I’m glad waterboarding isn’t allowed in the blind, because ol’ Phil would have filled our faces with water to find the culprit. There is always a lot of pressure to have 100 percent success. If we get four out of six ducks, we’ll sit there and debate for the next two hours why we didn’t get all six.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“On another memorable hunt, a lone mallard came in. Jase told Phil, “Let’s let Willie take this one.” Now, I know why he said it. Jase was convinced I would raise my gun and miss. Well, I raised my gun and folded it. Phil looked at Jase and said, “Ol’ Willie’s been practicing.” We laughed and talked about my shot the entire morning.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family
“With Kay, everything is an exaggeration and ever conversation with her centers around food. When I call their house to talk to Phil, if Kay answers the phone, I have to listen to what they ate for lunch that day or dinner the previous night. I might be calling to talk to Phil about a big business deal, but Kay only wants to talk about how she cooked green beans, ham, and fresh corn, or how she’d already cooked lunch, but then a couple more people came over so she pulled a couple packages of sausage out of the freezer. Then she’ll ask you what you had for lunch and dinner, and she’ll want to know exactly how you cooked it. She always wants to know the details. Every conversation with her involves food, and it’s either the best thing she ever put in her mouth or it was a disaster. I’ll never forget the time she cooked meatloaf for Phil and ran out of ketchup. She never runs out of ketchup and couldn’t believe she’d let it happen. It was like the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor again.”
Willie Robertson, The Duck Commander Family

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