When it comes to hunting, the Robertsons are the first to volunteer. However, when it comes to their favorite pastime, the Louisiana natives dread one aspect of duck hunting: the annual cleaning of the duck blinds.
“Being a hunter isn't just about whacking ducks,” said Jase. “There are truly someone mundane and tedious tasks involved. The annual debugging of the blinds is one of those tasks.”
Tedious, but dangerous. Duck Commander employee Godwin was the first to stick his head in a blind and he quickly ran away crying alligator.
“He’s Godzilla big!” whined a scared Godwin after Jase pulled out a baby alligator from the blind.
“One of the positives of debugging the blinds is you never know what you're going to find,” said Jase. “The water rises and leaves behind all of these surprises when it [falls] back down. Over the years we've come across things you can't even imagine.”
But it wasn’t long before Jase and the rest of the blind-cleaning crew were distracted from their duties.
“All outdoorsmen have their nemesis,” explained Jase. “With Phil, it's the beaver, with Si it's the mystical blank panther [and] with me, it is the dreaded fire ant.”
All hope of cleaning out the blinds were abandoned and Jase quickly turned their attention to killing as many fire ants as possible.
“When I was about 12, I was swimming in the river,” he recalled. “I just barely brushed up against an ant pile and they immediately just engulfed me. I went to stripping clothes. I [ran] back to the house and I open the door [and] I was unaware that my mom was having a muffin group brunch and there I am in my birthday suit covered in ant bites. I’ve never forgiven the ants.”
But even he knew that if they ignored the blinds, Phil would be upset. “There’s a pretty good chance that my dad isn't going to be happy about that but if there's a choice between pleasing Phil and killing fire ants, I’m going to kill me some fire ants.”
One Robertson who accomplished what he set out to do was Uncle Si whose marketing plan to help attract people to the charity car wash the rest of the Robertson clan were hosting to raise money for their church was starting to work. While Si brought in customers easily with a big yellow arrow to draw them in, his nephew Jase still needed some convincing.
“Car washes, they're not for me,” said Jase. “If you wash your vehicle, it just gets dirty again.”
“Just like you wash your body when it gets, dirty,” explained his wife Missy.
“That’s optional,” said Jase who ended up giving in. “Well, I'll support my family.”
“In business, hiring the right person for the job is crucial because the people you hire represent you, but family though, you don’t get to pick and choose,” Willie said over the family’s dinner. “Sometimes you get lucky, like Si's crazy marketing plan actually working, other times the guy you asked to help on a cleaning job ends up cutting down half the forest in a fit of blind rage.
“In the end, you have to take the good and the bad because you can't fire family even if there's times when you really might want to.”