Long before the Robertsons were “quacking up” the airwaves on Duck Dynasty, a family here in Hampton Roads was building a ducky dynasty of its own.
They weren’t making duck calls like Duck Commander, but they were leading parties of hunters from their lodge on Knotts Island, just across the state line from Virginia Beach.
They have persevered for more than 90 years, proving it’s never a bad time to be in the duck business.
Tim and Timothy Williams are part of the family tradition serving as duck hunting guides.
“It was passed right on down through generations to me. The good Lord knew what I loved. He knew I loved hunting and fishing. I got to do it all my life,” Tim says.
Faith, family and feathers have kept the Williams Lodge going since 1920. In the early days, it was Tim’s grandmother, “Mama Grace” who was the glue that held it all together.
“She prayed every day right here on this porch for us to catch plenty of fish and kill plenty of ducks and it must have been a powerful prayer because we usually do,” Tim says.
Now, Tim’s wife Nancy, a Boston girl, is the lodge lady.
“I never had anything to do with ducks. I had no idea. And when I first heard him doing duck calls, I thought I would die,” she says.
Nancy’s hearty laugh and hearty meals keep the visiting hunters going.
But it’s the skill at calling the ducks that make the hunts successful.
“We didn’t even have a duck call. We’d do a mouth call. We’d go hee, hee, like that or something like that, or honk, honk, like a ruddy duck. We learned it by mouth,” Tim says.
The Williams’ have guided thousands of hunters over the decades. For them, it’s all about God, guns and their little slice of heaven on Knotts Island.
“I always say I’m the most blessed man on Earth. If you want to see the most blessed man on Earth, I’m him,” Tim says.
The lodge stays pretty booked, but duck hunting season is only a couple months long. So they have other jobs. Nancy owns a hair salon in Chesapeake while Tim works for the Fish and Wildlife Service on Knotts Island.