– Drew Burrell –
What happens when you take some good ole boys from Tennessee and put them in the middle of the best waterfowl hunting spot in Louisiana? Well, let’s just say it’s a bad day to be a teal!
Last summer, I was back home visiting with some of my buddies from my childhood. It’s always a great time with them, and to provide a little more context about my group of childhood friends and their passions, the 3 things they love most in life are God, Tennessee Football, and duck hunting. So naturally, our conversations focused on those 3 topics. After a few stories, we realized that due to Covid, we had not hunted together in years. I knew that I needed to change that, and thankfully, I knew just the man to call.
Blake Soileau and his family have been duck hunting and operating an outfitting business in Central Louisiana, primarily on Historic Catahoula Lake, since the early 1970s. I knew their outfit, “Full Strap & Stringer”, was the perfect place for us, and following a quick phone call with Blake, a teal hunt was booked and we were all set for September!
After a few months of anxiously waiting, September finally arrived. We loaded up the truck and headed toward Louisiana, arriving on a beautiful Friday afternoon. We were greeted by Blake (the greatest duck caller I have ever seen), Blake’s son, and some of the other guides. After we discussed the schedule for the next few days, we feasted on a meal that would rival anything I’ve eaten in the great state of Louisiana. With full stomachs, we anxiously looked forward to what the morning would bring… imagine a bunch of grown men, as giddy as little kids on Christmas morning!
The next morning, coffee is made, a little breakfast is eaten, and we load into some of Blake’s boats. With over 100 years of combined experience in the duck hunting and fishing industries, the guides knew each twist and turn in the pitch black on the way to our blind. We set up in one of Blake’s 45 blinds with our guide, Hunter Soileau (Blake’s son), get settled in, and began counting the seconds to daylight.
As light begins to break, we don’t have to wait long for teal! I will never forget looking out at a beautiful sunrise, as teal cupped their wings towards the water, with Hunter in the background yelling “shoot!”. We repeat this fast and furious style of hunting for the next 2 mornings, ending each day with a boat full of teal and big smiles on our faces!
Besides incredible Louisiana teal hunting, Full Strap & Stringer also offers some of the best fishing I have ever experienced. The fishing features bass, bream, and crappie as well as inland coastal options for redfish and trout fishing. Additionally, they have 2 stocked ponds where you can enjoy some great catch and release fishing close to the lodge! If that’s not enough to satisfy clients, they will be offering nighttime hog and predator hunts with thermal and night vision equipment as an addition to any waterfowl package this season. This place is practically a year-round amusement park for hunting and fishing enthusiasts!
To say we had a great time would be an understatement, the hunting was exceptional, but the memories made, and the camaraderie would be remembered forever. Our group is headed back for teal seasons this 2022 and we hope to see you around the lodge with us!