Back in August one of Manhattan’s swankiest and most celebrity-friendly hotels (Trump International) mistook one of America’s biggest celebrities (Duck Dynasty’s Jase Robertson) for a wino and shooed him from their lobby.
The following day in a story on the huge popularity of TV show Duck Dynasty one of Manhattan’s most media-obsessed publications (The New York Post) wrote that a product featured on America’s most-watched TV cable show (Duck Commander duck calls) consists of a “whistle” used by duck hunters to “roust the feathered birds out of their hiding places.”
“Their hiding places,” got that? But, a duck that’s flying is not exactly hiding, New York Post. The duck hunter is the one that’s hiding, usually in a blind or in brush or against a tree with decoys in front of him. This hunter blows a duck call (more a kazoo than a whistle, actually) not to “roust” a duck that’s hiding, but to beckon a duck that’s flying, out of the sky and into range of his shotgun.
Webster’s defines roust as: “cause to get up or start moving.” In fact, the purpose of a duck call is to entice a moving (flying) duck to land in your decoys--in other words, to stop moving. So the New York Post TV specialist had it exactly a**-backwards.
Granted, the duck is not (usually) shot after he lands. Ideally he’s blasted while hovering over the decoys contemplating whether landing is wise.
What we have here, amigos, is some serious failure to communicate. The disconnect between Manhattan and the heartland has rarely been showcased as dramatically, or as hilariously. Jase Robertson, after all, laughed the wino incident off with no hard feelings whatsoever.
And for duck hunters, the image of us bumbling around “whistling” into bushes in hopes of “rousting” out hiding ducks is not without an element of humor.
But even with the best calls, duck hunting usually consists of maybe 99 per cent bird–watching, the rest shooting. Sometimes the watching gets old. One way to keep alert (if not exactly vigilant at the decoys) is texting, as my son and favorite hunting chum Robbie can attest. But some duck-blinds are quite warm and comfy, allowing a hunter who’s been up since 3 AM and left his I-Phone in the truck …. to…briefly…doze..and…even dream:
Humberto Fontova holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and is the author of four books including his latest, The Longest Romance; The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. For more information and for video clips of his Television and college speaking appearances please visit www.hfontova.com.