The first time I hunted at the Fowler Farm, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I hadn’t hunted ducks in quite some time, and I had never hunted ducks outside of California, where I would take my black lab into the San Joaquin Valley and hunt the large reserves where many species migrated. I emailed David several times with no less than ten questions each time: everything from how close or far away we would be shooting to what type and shot-size of shells he preferred.
He patiently and graciously answered all of my questions. A couple of months later, the day arrived; we made our way up the 24 from Chattanooga through Nashville and into Paducah. The area was mostly farmland. We could see thousands of speckled geese high in the sky as we neared our destination. Little did we know that they would only tease us every day, always staying out of range.
We drove out to the farm, or we attempted to. The roads seemed to crisscross and curve all over. We were looking for a road strangely named Monkey’s Eyebrow. After a couple phone calls to David for help with navigation, we finally arrived. It was dark, but when we exited our vehicle, we could hear what sounded like a hundred thousand geese. The loudness of speckled and snow geese feeding in the fields was unbelievable.
We made our way around a couple of pickup trucks and into the lodge. A tall, slender man with a black beard met us with a friendly smile. “David Black, nice to meet you.”
We all shook hands and talked before heading up the stairs to the main living quarters. As we talked, I realized that David is passionate about two things; his family and duck hunting. The Fowler Farm represents those two passions for him. When David was a boy, the farm was his grandfather’s passion. He grew up learning about hunting and how to be respectful of the quarry, people, and guns.
He now has three young boys, and the oldest two have spent more hours in a duck blind than I have, despite being only ten and six. The oldest one has already taken close to as many ducks as I have. David is quick to point out that he is most concerned with them enjoying the experience and never wants to push them. He is true to his word; I have personally watched him kindly carry or walk the boys back to the lodge in the middle of a hunt when they get too cold (or maybe a little bored if the ducks aren’t flying).