Patriarch of the family, Phil, is a living legend in Louisiana and is better known by his alias: the Duck Commander. He may not look like it now, but Phil played American football at Louisiana Tech University in the ’60s. He was drafted into the NFL but turned it down because it interfered with duck season. Instead he stayed in Louisiana, married his high school sweetheart, Miss Kay, built a house down by the river and together they raised four sons.
Never satisfied with the duck calls on the market, Phil began to experiment with making a call that would produce the exact sound of a duck. A duck call for duck killers, not for, as Phil described, “world champion-style duck callers.” Phil stated, “No duck would even place in a duck calling contest.” In 1972, Phil Robertson gave up a coaching career for his love of duck hunting when he whittled a better duck call than any on the market, the first Duck Commander call. His first year, Robertson sold $8,000 worth of duck calls and his wife, Kay, somehow managed to feed four boys on that salary. The same year, he received a patent for this call and in 1973, formed the Duck Commander Company.
The Robertson family home in West Monroe, Louisiana, became the Duck Commander factory, from where he and family members assembled, packaged, and shipped all the calls. Phil traveled from store to store and state to state in those early days, with most of his attempts to sell the new product line ending in rejections.
In the beginning, Kay and their sons not only helped Phil with the Duck Commander business, but they also ran the nets and took fish to market in a side commercial fishing business that kept food on the table.
Since 1973, the Duck Commander Duck Call has become the most trusted duck whistle ever.
Phil's biography, Happy, Happy, Happy, spent many weeks at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list.
Duck hunting is so important to Phil that he follows a strict routine of no showering, no shaving and no clothes washing of any kind during the ten-week season to ensure a bountiful haul.