The year was 1972. Louisiana hunter Phil Robertson had been experimenting with a new duck call. Never satisfied with the duck calls on the market, he built his own call, one that would reproduce exactly the sound of a mallard duck.
He says, "It was a duck call made for duck killers, not world-champion-style duck callers."
Robertson tested the new call while hunting with a friend, and much to his delight, it didn't take long to get the attention of some passing mallards. The birds were wary, but as Robertson blew that new call, the ducks were convinced to drop in for a visit. The mallards circled several times before cupping their wings and falling from the sky. The two men each killed a bird, the first of several they would take that morning.
"That buddy of mine has since passed on," Robertson says today. "But I'll always remember one thing he told to me back then. ‘Robertson,' he said. ‘You should sell that duck call, and I have a name for it. You should call it the Duck Commander. When you get it going, send me a check for coming up with the idea, would you?'"
And so, the first Duck Commander call was born. Robertson received a patent for this call, and the Duck Commander Company was incorporated in 1973.
"The name was originally for the call," says Robertson. "Now they call me the Duck Commander."