Interview with Capital Waterfowling (3/3) - Canadian Call Makers
In our final segment of the interview with Ryan Reynolds and Matthew Wilson of Capital Waterfowling, we get to talk to them about their favourite hunting memories and even get to hear them call. This is the technique that allowed them to successfully defend their Canadian championship in the team goose calling competition.
Wilderness Obsession: Canada Geese have become a nuisance bird in many parts of North American in the past ten years. We love them, but ask most golfers how they feel about the geese on their fairways, and you’ll get a pretty different sentiment. To that end, many places such as New Brunswick have added additional hunting seasons to attempt to “control” the population. As someone that spends over 100 days in the field each year chasing them, have you seen an impact of these measures?
Ryan: If anything I think that they get mad when we kill their own kind because they just keep adding to their numbers out of control (laughs). They repopulate faster than we do!
Matthew: Geese are such an aggressive bird; they're not scared to chase somebody away from their nest that's 250 pounds and way bigger than them. If anything gets near their nest they just chase them away. The success rate of their nests is always high. They can nest just about anywhere. [To Ryan] You see it especially in your area where there's a lot of them they'll land and nest on people's roofs. It's unbelievable. I agree too, we're going to see more of them. They're pretty hard to stop.
Ryan: I look back and I think of when I started goose hunting, and a field of 150-200 geese was huge! My dad would tell me “20 years ago there were two of them, and so-and-so killed one and it was in the newspaper because it was such and unseemly thing.” Well now if someone was in the newspaper for killing a canada goose it would probably be the two sitting here interviewing with you right now! (laughs). They've just become so established over the past 20-30 years that I don't think you can put a dent in them. Hunting pressure alone will not put a dent in them.
Matthew: With the increase in farming, especially in my area, they're always clearing more and more ground and [geese] are so able to adapt to any area. And again, the success rate of their nests is so high. Look at snow geese for example. Their population has just completely exploded. The Canada geese could get like that. It doesn't seem to matter how many we shoot... more and more just keep coming.
Ryan: It's good for business!
Matthew: It's completely fine with us! (both laughing)
Wilderness Obsession: When you’re not hunting waterfowl, do you pursue other game, or does the waterfowling (and mafia) essentially take up all of your time at this point? Favourite animal to hunt (other than waterfowl)?
Ryan: It takes up a good bit of time, but turkey is definitely another passion. We didn't get into the hunting industry because we're desk people. We like to be outside. It's who we are. We are outdoorsmen. Matt spends a lot of time ice fishing in the winter. Turkey hunting is really big.
Matthew: We bear hunt a lot in the spring. We are big into bear hunting. Once all the snow goes and we can get back in the fields, training the dogs through the summertime, we travel around doing that a lot of the time. I travel as far as Connecticut training dogs and all over the Maritimes. When you think about it, doing that and travelling around for calling competitions, shooting sporting clays through the summertime... everything we do is part of waterfowling. We do other things like the bear and the turkey and ice fishing, but waterfowling for us is a way of life so it never really stops. Training dogs: we do all of that so when the fall comes they can be spot on. We do calling competitions so that we can keep ourselves fresh. It's not just for the company.
Ryan: The amount of hours that we've spent on the phone, talking between Ontario and New Brunswick. “Hey what are you doing... I'm bored.” And we end up talking about waterfowl hunting or something related to it like dog training or whatever.
Matthew: We're all hunters and we're thinking about it: it's always on our mind. As soon as our feet hit the ground in the morning it's one of the first things that we're thinking about.
Wilderness Obsession: What is your favourite species to hunt other than waterfowl?
Ryan: Personally, it's turkey.
Matthew: For me, I'd have to say crows. It would be a tossup between crows and bears. We go hunting crows a lot of the time and we really have a lot of fun with that. I like to hunt anything I can call. I haven't had much success calling bears so [with crows] the dog gets a good workout and she loves it, and we love to shoot them. They respond to calls, much like a turkey. I almost think that's half the reason we like hunting crows and turkeys so much; it's because we can call.
Ryan:There's an influence; you're communicating with that bird. I had never turkey hunted until seven years ago, and that's what hooked me on it; the calling part of it. That bird wakes up in the morning, and he has no intention of coming to you, and you brought him to you. It's a lot the same as duck and goose, and that's true of crows.
Matthew: Oh yeah for sure! They respond so well if you know what you're doing (laughs).
Wilderness Obsession: We talked earlier (off camera) about the next steps for Capital Waterfowl and seeing maybe a turkey call line. Do you see maybe a crow call line?
Ryan:The sky is the limit! We can keep building the ground that we're building and things like that. We don't have sleeves big enough to tuck all our ideas in there pretty much!
Matthew: For sure. We go through a lot of paper some days! You've always gotta be brainstorming.
Wilderness Obsession: Describe your favourite (or most perfect) hunting memory.
Ryan: I'll have to go back in the bank a while for that one. As I mentioned at one point in the interview, there's been a good road going to hunt in a lot of places across the country, premiere destinations, to work there and take people hunting. I've hunted with at least a thousand different people, and a lot of those being new hunters or hunters that only get to hunt for a three day window. To see the excitement on their faces when they shot that first group, or they got that limit of goose. I've had a lot of days where I've killed more birds on one hunt out west with snow geese, ducks, canada geese, specklebellies than some guys will take in a hunting career. I've had a lot of days where birds just do it without even thinking about it. All that to say I guess, as you get a little bit older, for anybody that has a family... I have a five-year old son. The days that I get to spend out in the field with him or the days that my dad will go with us. To turn around and see my dad watching me and my son hunt, and Austin's on the goose call. He's out scouting with us, setting up decoys, doing what he can to carry one or two at a time. I think the idea of a perfect hunt has changed for me from ten years ago when a perfect hunt was a limit of geese with buddies to being able to do it with family or really good friends. To have the camaraderie and maybe kill half as many birds [is better]. I have a more sentimental side.
Matthew: I was going to say the same thing. Of all the times we've been out... I've had people ask me that before... it's hard to pick one. You think, “well we had this day too.” Nowadays where you've been out so much, it's not that I don't love it anymore but I love different parts of it. It's not just about getting out there and hammering a bunch of birds. That's what we're out there to do is shoot birds, but like Ryan said, I've got a little boy and any time I can get out there with him or when I get a chance to get dad out, or just being out there with family and friends [is best]. We hunt with so many different people, including clients, that when you get a chance to go with family it's the very best. That's what waterfowl hunting is about. We have a big duck blind that we have on a river, and it will hold like 20 people. And any time we get there I could leave my gun right in the case. I can just get in and just enjoy the time. That's a great thing; that's what makes waterfowling: just to be able to cut up, laugh and joke around!
We thank Ryan and Matt for being with us for the interview. You can find Capital Waterfowling calls at most Canadian Tire stores across the country, along with other outdoor retailers. Their products can be bought online at www.capitalwaterfowling.com including Matthew Wilson's signature series of calls.
Matthew will be travelling to Stuttgart, Arkansas this year for the 2016 World Duck calling championship where he will be using one of those signature series calls and hopes to make further history. We wish him all the best and will interview him following his performance there.
Wilderness Obsession hopes to be able to share the field with these sportsmen this year, and we'll be reviewing some of their products and showing them in action to prove from an independent viewpoint how effective they are not only on the calling stage but out in the field!
Contact us and let us know!