3Joe: Have you ever really been lost?
Phil: I’ve been turned around for a couple of days, but I’ve never really been lost.
Joe: For a couple DAYS? So it doesn’t mean you’re lost unless you NEVER come back?
Phil: I had a pretty good idea of what state I was in.
Joe: How has your new reality TV show changed the way you hunt (seen on the Outdoor Channel)?
Phil: It’s one of the biggest hassles I’ve ever gotten into in all of my life. I told my boys, we’re going to take all the fun out of duck hunting if we keep this up. However, it’s a great thing to do from a business standpoint. But from a hunter’s love, it’s (a hassle). I have to transport and hide five or six of us, and transport and hide five or six of them, and they don’t duck hunt at all. If they’re seeing the ducks, the ducks are seeing them, so there’s no telling what we could have done if they had not been on the premises. We notice when they’re not (there), we do WAY better. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to stay focused on that. It’s such an intrusive thing. When I walk out of the bedroom at 5 in the morning, the lights are already on.
Joe: When you go on TV and say that your group kills in excess of 1,000 ducks each year, the big question is, what do you do with all the ducks? Does everybody eat them to the point that they’re all gone?
Phil: Yes. We donate a few but not many. The vast majority of them are eaten. When I say eaten, I mean every way known to man.
Joe: What’s your favorite way to eat them?
Phil: I’d say my favorite way is the duck gumbo. It’s about a seven- to eight-hour ordeal. But it’s no problem. A duck has to be cooked real slow or real fast.
The other end of the spectrum is grilled ducks with jalapeno peppers. And baked ducks with vegetables and gravy. That’s my favorite three ways. They’re as fine as anything you’d want to put your mouth on.
Joe: What’s the best duck to eat?
Phil: Wood ducks and teal are tied for first.
Joe: What’s your favorite (duck) to hunt?
Phil: To me, there is no such thing as a trash duck. There are ducks that are a lot better to eat than other ducks. But a duck is just that. And all the way down to the lowly hooded merganser, I would say he is the most non-edible — he’s a pretty thing, though. I would say the most elegant and graceful is the pintail without a doubt. Them old greenheads — I do love to hunt them because they’re pretty slick, but we’re not mallard purists.
Joe: So you don’t have a favorite?
Phil: I love them all.
Joe: Have you ever been shot?
Phil: Peppered, but no pellets in the skin.
Joe: If you could give every duck hunter in North America one piece of advice, about anything, what would it be?
Phil: Fear God. Love your neighbor. And shoot ducks.