The story of Phil Robertson and the flipped deer has been on our minds since we first saw the video.
Years ago, we came across an old video that absolutely blew us away. We knew we had to share it as soon as possible. As it turns out, the clip was already an old one, but it was an instant classic, and we've finally unearthed the full story.
The YouTube clip showed Phil Robertson, everyone's favorite duck hunting patriarch and the Duck Commander founder, in the Duckmen 4 film, spicing it up and shooting a deer in the Louisiana swamp.
He's certainly at home in that setting, but you'd have to trade a duck for a deer and a shotgun for a rifle for him to be at total ease. The Duckmen are duck hunters who make duck calls, after all.
Instead, the clip shows Phil aiming at a running deer, working its way through the knee-deep water. One shot sends the deer airborne, and it flips before falling dead.
Now, the Duck Commander crew has revisited that epic video, and filled us in on what was actually going on.
Isn't that incredible?!
The cameraman, Greg Eppinette, was actually getting a crash course in filming a hunt. He hadn't received much practice yet, and it was an easy way to get him accustomed to the kind of filming that a good Duck Commander hunt deserves.
The number of shots it required to finish off one particular crippled gadwall seemed enough to scare all wildlife within a five-mile radius, but sure enough, as Phil retrieved the duck, Jase tipped him off to the deer that had wandered into range.
Even though they weren't actively deer hunting, killing it and harvesting some wild game meat from a duck blind seemed like the natural thing to do.
This happened well before the Duck Dynasty TV show ever became a reality and took the American television audience by storm, and it would have been a throwaway filming session if it weren't for the action with the deer. There's something about a deer flip in midair that is going to make any filming a success, as long as the shot was captured.
Sure enough, Eppinette did his job perfectly, and recorded what's likely to be Phil's best shot at a deer to date. It got captured, and the rest is history. Did Phil react with glee and cheers, excited over the shot of a lifetime like most deer hunters would be?
Nope, he was cool and collected, as was Jase, who just wanted another cup of coffee. Phil was glad to oblige.
Big game may not be the forte of the Robertson family, or what made them important amongst United States TV show audiences, but it's cool to know they've got the skill and composure to make it happen.
"I'll take it," says the man who flipped the deer.