MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

May 9, 2013

COLUMN: Retreat to offer impressive speakers

By John Kilgore
Phoenix Outdoors Columnist

— Leave it to my relative, Keith Drake, to call up one of the Duck Commander's sons, Chase Robertson, and inquire about what type choke they used on their shotguns. Drake shot the breeze with him for a while and described Robertson as a most pleasant and down-to-earth individual. That was five or six years ago and long before Duck Dynasty became a household name.

Now, Keith and other men, young and old, can see a Duck Dynasty duo in Oklahoma this fall.

Neil O'Donnell, director of missions from the Leflore Baptist Association located in Poteau, announced that the Kiamichi Baptist Association's men's retreat Living Your Life on Target has engaged some impressive speakers for this year's event scheduled for Oct. 11-12, 2013.  

The speaker on Oct. 11 will be well-known fishing and hunting professional Jimmy Houston of Park Hill. The speakers on Oct. 12 morning will be Jep and Al Robertson from A&E's hit television series Duck Dynasty.  

The retreat's special activities will begin at noon Oct. 11 with a wide variety of hunting, wild game trapping, archery, fishing and skeet shooting events. There will also be a conceal and carry class held from noon-4:30 p.m.

Food and lodging is included in the $40 ticket price along with free participation in all of the venues except the conceal and carry class, which will cost an additional $30. Meals will include a Friday night barbecue, Saturday morning breakfast and lunch.

Houston is in his 35th year on national television with Jimmy Houston Outdoors on NBC Sports Network, America One, My Family TV, America Media Group and The Texas Channel Cable Network and is known as the hardest working pro in the country. In addition to working various trade shows and store promotions, he speaks at many churches around the country while still fishing the FLW Tour.

Since winning the Oklahoma state championship as a college senior in 1966, Houston has gone on to win over $1 million in bass tournaments. Houston has fished 15 Bassmaster Classics and won the Angler of the Year title in 1976 and 1986.

He was inducted in to the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 1990, the Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Fame in 2002, the IGFA Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame in 2008. In June of 2004, the Jim Thorpe Association recognized Jimmy as the Jim Thorpe Man of the Year.

Jep Robertson, youngest son of Phil and Kay Robertson, grew up in the duck blind. Utilizing these years of experience for his role as the cameraman and editor for the family business, Jep is able to think like a hunter behind the camera and, therefore, capture excellent footage for the Duckmen DVD series and the television show Benelli Presents Duck Commander.

Jep continues with the goal his father began years ago, to bring the Duckmen style of hunting out of the swamps, into the editing room and into the homes of duck hunting enthusiasts around the world.

 Jep's passion for capturing the hunt on camera was stoked when he made his filming debut in Duckmen X, and it remains his favorite Duckmen DVD to date.  Jep resides in Louisiana with his wife Jessica and four children: Lily, Merritt, Priscilla, and River.

Alan Robertson is the oldest son of the Duck Commander. He grew up hunting and fishing and helping build the foundation of the family business in the 1970's and 1980's.

Back in the day, he and Phil would travel around Louisiana and Arkansas selling duck calls to stores right out of the truck. Their sales pitch back then was the same as today – these calls are the best 'cause they sound just like a duck.

He left the duck call business when he received the call for full time-ministry in 1988 and has served as a pastor in West Monroe, La. Alan is still a part of the family's commitment to spreading the gospel of Christ through their love of hunting and the great outdoors.

Lastly, I heard  Phil Robertson has a new book out this week entitled Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander, and sells for $15. It is the remarkable story of Patriarch Phil following the call he received from God and soon after inventing a duck call that would begin an incredible journey to the life he had always dreamed of for himself and his family.

For more information, or to purchase tickets for the KBA men's retreat, contact the Leflore Baptist Association at (918) 647-8271 or order online at www.lefloreassociation.org and link to the Duck Dynasty logo on the right side of the page.

To give the females (and moms) equal time, maybe groups need to book Miss Kay and the girls of Duck Dynasty for a ladies retreat — pink camo and all.

John Kilgore's outdoor column runs Fridays in the Phoenix. You may contact him with news or other information at (918) 348-9431 or at jkilgoreoutdoors@yahoo.com.