Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson assembled the Duck Commander’s 1 millionth call of the year at the company’s retail store on Kings Lane in West Monroe.
Phil Robertson put the call — fittingly his wooden Classic Commander with cedar insert and poplar barrel — and blew a few mallard notes.
“Not bad for the 1 millionth duck call,” said the Duck Commander, who said it was his first time in the store.
The Robertson family, whose Duck Commander business has exploded following their Duck Dynasty fame, is auctioning off the duck call with proceeds to benefit the Northeast Louisiana Veterans Association for its Wounded Warrior hunts.
“This has been the best thing to ever happen to the Warrior hunt,” said veteran John Nolan, who coordinates the hunts in northeastern Louisiana, including an upcoming event with 24 disabled veterans.
“For the (men and women) who have sacrificed with their lives and limbs … the least I can do is try to help out,” Phil Robinson said.
More than 100 fans, among them a tour busload from Oklahoma, packed the Duck Commander store to cheer the milestone, a far cry from the reaction Phil Robertson received when he presented his first duck call to his family in the early 1970s.
The Duck Dynasty patriarch said he walked into the house and presented the duck call to his parents, his wife Miss Kay and the couple’s two young sons Al and Jase as they were playing dominoes.
“I walked in and said we’re going to sell a million dollars worth of these before it’s over,” Phil Robertson recalled.
He said the family never looked up and continued the domino game.
“They said nothing,” Phil Robertson said.
“Little did I know 40 years later I would be erroneous,” he said.
Instead of $1 million worth of calls, “we literally sold 1 million in just a year.”
The Robertsons aren’t revealing annual revenue generated by the company, but consider that Duck Commander calls sell from a low of $19.95 to a high of $179.95 for the Cold Blooded series calls made of acrylic that look like snakeskin. Phil’s Classic Commander goes for $44.95.
“It’s a momentous occasion,” Al Robertson said while introducing his father to the crowd.
“Who’d have thought from one duck call this empire would emerge?”
Duck Commander call sales have surged from 60,000 in 2011 to 1 million and counting this year. Robertson said he sold 2,000 his first year.
Phil Robertson, with his Classic Commander in one hand and the Bible, credited God for his and the family’s success.
“I’m a C-plus man, so I can’t attribute it to intellect,” he said.
“God has poured out his blessing toward us.”
He recounted his story of redemption to fans Thursday.
“I repented at 28 and turned to God,” said Phil Robertson, who often uses the stage of fame to profess his Christian faith.
“There’s no down side to loving God and loving your neighbor.”
But even with that faith Phil Robertson said he could have never predicted the company’s current success.
“I didn’t think it possible,” he said.
“But I’m still the same dude. The only difference is I’ve sold a million duck calls.”