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Quackertime Outfitters is owned by Todd and Paula Bryant. We are a small outfitter
that concentrates on the customer and their satisfaction. We are a laid back
and easy going outfitter with a professional outlook and attitude. We offer
many personal solutions for our customers.
Todd Bryant, President of Quackertime Outfitters Inc. and Nikki Who has been at his side for over 11 years of Duck Hunting. A self taught Waterfowler Hunter learned the hard way. Driven by the love and the passion of the sport and the desire to be one of the top Waterfowl Outfitters in this Nation.
In the beginning...
It was cold deep, bone-numbing cold. You couldnt see the sun for the low-hanging white haze of unfallen snow in the skies. The thick gray clouds hung low and the animals instinctually were burrowed in for warmth. Only a crazy person would be venture out into this soup of a mess. I didnt care. I had waited for this day for almost a year the opening day of duck season.
My obsession with hunting has always amused my family. My father doesnt hunt, so I didnt gain my love of the sport from my family. My cousins deer and turkey hunted, and upon occasion I tagged along but no one duck hunted. Its possible I decided to try duck hunting when I was in my early teens stopped the television while channel surfing. When I saw that Labrador Retriever working and witnessed the marvel of the dogs beauty and skill on the screen, my fascination began. I had a Lab for a pet as a child, but really didnt realize exactly what that amazing animal had been bred to do. I remember calling my family into the room to watch, and Im sure I rattled on throughout dinner about the show. That same night I rented a dog training video and sat my family down to watch it with me. Frankly, I cant really tell you a thing the trainer said through the entire two-hour episode except, you gotta know your dog. If he said that phrase once, he said it a hundred times in a litany to the extent that my dad began to pick up on the mans speech pattern and would say the sentence with him simultaneously. My family was laughing the entire time with Dads antics, but I was hooked. To this day, when someone mentions my business or my love of hunting, my family will chime out, You gotta know your dog, and it always brings a smile.
Several years later, I was ready to get a dog. My first hunting dog was a Golden Retriever. Frankly, I wanted a Lab, but the Golden Retriever was free and being in college, I didnt have a lot of expendable funds. Heidi had a soft mouth, a sweet disposition, and wanted to please. I faithfully worked with her through the training videos, but everything I tried to teach her was a struggle of teeth-pulling proportions. I was frustrated. Heidi would eventually do as I asked her, as she was so willing to please, but she didnt particularly like it. Frankly, the hunting instinct had simply been bred out of her, but I didnt realize it at that particular time. I can tell you the exact minute I finally gave up - when I first shot a gun around Heidi, she ran for miles. Folks, the training videos neglect to mention anything about the possibility of a dog being gun-shy. I didnt know what to do, and almost just gave it all up at that point. I do know I picked her up, took her to my sister, dropped her into Shannons lap and said, "the %*$& dog wont hunt". Unfortunately, that phrase has also become a part of our family vocabulary.
After moping around for a couple days, I talked with an old fella who had been a duck hunter. It was this man who told me I needed to get a dog with a bloodline of proven hunters. I worked an extra part-time job that Summer, and bought a beautiful six week old chocolate Lab, Nikki. I figured if Nikki didnt hunt, I was in trouble her mother had been featured on the cover of a Ducks Unlimited issue. Happily, Nikki responded to training like a duck to water if youll pardon the phrase. However, working with a Lab puppy is not just basic obedience and fetching duck dummies. While Nikki was an absolute joy to train and work with, the training videos also fail to mention that Lab puppies will chew the siding off the house.
The first day of duck season finally arrived. I had practiced shooting skeet until my shoulders were black and blue. Nikki would hit the water off a boat deck after a duck dummy like a pro. I had spent the last of my money buying insulated coveralls, gloves and parka. At 3:00 a.m., I got everything packed and my four-legged hunting buddy and I were headed out. The weather was miserable, and my sister commented I was nuts to even get out in it. What she didnt realize was that ducks fly under the clouds and on snowy, rainy days theyre closer to the ground and easier to drop. What a glorious day! Yes, duck hunters are somewhat crazy.
Three hours later I came running into the living room flashing my first Canadian goose (seasons are simultaneous) in a wing-span and whooping over my prize. Nikki and I were a success. I hadnt missed my shot and Nikki retrieved the goose. Never mind that Id gotten my feet wet and was freezing and Nikki got the first only goose flogging shes ever received. I was so proud. Nikki hunted like the big dog that she is instead of leaving that goose in the water after it whalloped on her, she got even and chomped down on its neck on a part you dont eat, and drug that trophy in to me. Man, it was great, and that first goose cemented our united passion for hunting forever.
Since that day, Ive continued to explore hunting methods, avenues and techniques to facilitate the duck hunting experience to even more enjoyable and comfortable levels. I transferred colleges so I could make my home in the Mississippi flyway. Eventually, I have managed to make my obsession my lifes work and love nothing more than sharing my passion with others. Thus, Quackertime Outfitters was born.
Nikki is eleven years old now, and retired from the field. She is the training supervisor for the younguns now, but make no mistake about it, folks, she trains us all and runs the show. When I start pulling out the camo from the closets, she still starts shaking with anticipation. She stays in the blind or in the boat with me now, but theres no way on earth shell stay home. This dog and I are bonded in our goal to bring home the ducks. My wife has made comments that during hunting season, shes a duck widow and Im married to Nikki. She may be right. Paula gives me the same disgusted look when I tromp mud into the house as Nikki gives me when I miss a shot. Still, I love my girls and wouldnt trade my life at home or at work for anyone elses. Hope I get to share a part of it with you. After all, if youre out hunting with me, you dont have to worry whether " you gotta know your dog", Ive done that for you, and folks this old dog and I will hunt.