Home: West Virginia
I grew up on the Elk River hunting small game, turkey, White tail deer, and most recently, waterfowl. Since graduating college in 2008, I have dedicated myself to helping encourage and educate high school students as both a social studies teacher and football coach. However, the role I enjoy the most in life is that of father and husband. I look forward to teaching my daughter to love and respect the outdoors. My father and uncles instilled within me a love of the outdoors that was only amplified when I discovered water fowling. I had always been interested in water fowling, and when I met up with Nick Watts for a hunt in 2013 I was instantly addicted. I enjoy hunting with veterans, children and just anyone interested in water fowling. I’m honored to be a part of the KES team. Knock Em Stiff!!!!
Hometown: Neenah, WI
I was born and raised in Northeast Wisconsin and have been here all my life. I graduated from Hortonville High School in 2004. I attended Fox Valley Technical College for a couple years to further my knowledge in Natural Resources.
I started following my Dad into the woods and duck blinds when I was 7 years old. I shot my first duck, a young drake woody, at the age of 12 and was sucked in to the waterfowling world. I have always been awed by working birds and enjoy the challenge of getting them to decoy exactly where I want them to.
I feel that Im lucky to live in a state that is rich in waterfowling history both past and present. I enjoy jumping shooting potholes, skiffing marshes, laying in fields and chasing big water divers. I am a proud member of Ducks Unlimited and believe if it wasn’t for organizations like this, we would not have the hunting opportunities we have today. My Dad and I have built, put up and maintained woodduck nest boxes for years.
If Im not after ducks and geese, Im in the deer stand chasing white-tails in the fall and big gobblers in the spring. Fishing keeps me busy during the summer and winter months. I am lucky to have friends and family who enjoy many of the outdoor activities that I do. Even though I have learned a lot on my own by trial and error, I credit much of my success to my father who has taught me a lot about the outdoors.
I have lived my entire life in Northwest Ohio. My father and grandfather taught me about the outdoors and hunting at a young age. As soon as I could, I was joining them in the woods through winter chasing Red Fox and Coyotes. Following in my father’s footsteps, I am a volunteer firefighter and EMT for the Ridgeville Township Volunteer Fire Department in my home town. I graduated from The Ohio State University in 2012 and have been working in the agricultural field ever since. I started waterfowl hunting when I was 26 and have been hooked ever since. Any chance I get, I am out scouting and looking for birds. I am proud to be a part of KES Waterfowlers as it is a group of people that have the same beliefs as I do. Knock Em’ Stiff
After graduating from high school, I joined the Army National Guard and took advantage of the G.I. Bill. I earned my Associates Degree in Applied Science in the Medical Laboratory field from Columbus State Community College. This degree allowed me to work as a Medical Lab Technician for eleven years at Lab Corp of America.
I married my wife, Karen, in 1995. We had our first son, Matthew, in 1999. Our son was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 18 months.
I decided to leave the medical lab field in 2000 to pursue a career in golf course maintenance. In 2003 I started classes at Clark State Community College for Golf Course Maintenance. I earned an Associates of Applied Science in the Golf Course Maintenance option. With this degree I became an Assistant Superintendent at private golf course.
I love the outdoors and enjoy hunting and fishing. I met Neal Piotrowski and Chris Wright with KES Waterfowlers in 2007 and they introduced me to waterfowl hunting. Both Chris and Neal spent time teaching me how to blow goose and duck calls. I am spending time in their shop learning the process of call making.
In 2009, I attended a Ducks Unlimited banquet in Madison County and purchased an American Water Spaniel at the auction. Brandy is a lively addition to our family. She loves to swim, play fetch and play with Matthew. Hopefully by next season she will be able to go on hunts with us.
Born and Raised in Central Ohio. I attended THE Ohio State University, where I received my degree in Agricultural Business and Economics.
While in school, I competed for OSU on their Bass fishing team, winning the Regional Championship on the St. Lawrence River. To this day, I continue to fish in local circuits to pass the time until duck season.
Started hunting and fishing on the family farm at a young age. Like most hunters, I am opportunistic, hunting what is in season at the time. However, birds have always had the priority. I enjoy bringing new people into the sport along with watching my dog work, whether its retrieving fowl or flushing pheasants.
Eric D. Gallup
Nickname: El Lobo “wolf”
I was born January 06 1980, in Streator Illinois. I Joined the Army in 1999 and served 12 years as an 11B Infantry. During my tour as an 11B I have been in two combat tours and 1 peacekeeping tour in Kosovo/ Balkans area. I have completed Air Assault School, recruiting school, combat lifesaver school, LRM Long Range Marksmen School, and many other schools. My last deployment is what prompted me to start WOUNDED VETERANS WATERFOWL CLUB. Fifty-three of my fellow brothers lost limbs during the deployment many of them who hunted. I had this notion or dream to start a guide service that was for veterans wounded or not and make it completely free for the veterans. I started WVWC in 2011. The first person I took out was an Iraqi war veteran who was hit by an RPG or rocket propelled grenade. He loved to hunt but thought it was impossible to get back out in God’s country and I wanted to be the person to get him back out. He was able to harvest his first ducks that day. WVWC was at its beginning stage and after that hunt, and I felt driven to take this guide service to its top level. The difference between our guide service and everyone else is we do not charge veterans to hunt. We pay out of pocket to take veterans hunting because we are not in it for the money, fame, or recognition. We are in it for the brotherhood and to make a difference many heroes’ lives. My best hunting accomplishments include 3 banded geese one which me and my buddy Corey harvested, his and my band numbers were consecutive band numbers, a 170 inch mule deer and a 15 inch antelope with my bow.
I was born and raised near Charleston, West Virginia, and have been an avid hunter and outdoorsman since I was 7 years old. I grew up with my father taking me squirrel, deer, and turkey hunting and teaching me about the outdoors. From an early age he taught me about how to stalk game and identify trees, and how hunting was not about the kill but about enjoying the wonders of nature that God has provided us. I grew up focusing on God first, the love of America and family second, and the outdoors a close third. I took this love of the outdoors to college with me where I decided to major in Wildlife and Fisheries Resources so that I could get paid to spend time in nature. I received my degree from West Virginia University in 2008 and now work as an Environmental Biologist. I didn’t go on my first duck hunt until I was 22 years old when a close friend of mine invited me to go. He had worked as a waterfowl biologist in Paducah Kentucky and described to me that if I would go duck hunting with him once, that I would be hooked for life. Well he was right. I still remember the cold December morning like it was yesterday. The snow was falling and the first duck that I shot at, and missed of course, was a drake pintail. I didn’t shoot a duck that day, but I knew I would do this for the rest of my life. Duck and goose hunting are now my biggest hobbies and favorite hunting activities. I love everything about it, especially the people that I have met through the sport, and the time spent in the blind with my friends. I look forward to introducing my 3 children to the sport, getting them hooked on ducks, and spending our days in the blind teaching them about the outdoors and conservation just as my father taught me. My wife Jessica and I reside in Cross Lanes, WV with our 3 children Brandon, Skylar, and Jaylee and our black lab pup Suzy.
Hometown: Cross Lanes WV
Favorite call: Snub Nose
I was born and raised in central West Virginia, and still live there to this day. I started hunting deer and squirrel at an early age with my Grandfather. For the longest time that is all I hunted and still hunt to this day along with a new love of Waterfowl. 6 yrs. Ago I had a friend of mine ask me to go, from there it started a new love for hunting Waterfowl. I remember my first hunt like it was yesterday, it was cold and sunny, even though we didn’t harvest any birds that day I was hooked. I am always practicing my calling and trying to scout for places to hunt. The biggest thrill I get is a chance to share this with friends and the kids of tomorrow with calling techniques and decoy placement. Knock’Em Stiff
Before I found my love for waterfowl I used to train and compete in martial arts. I also served 6 years in the Army Infantry and deployed to Afghanistan from 2011-2012. I now am a member of the Ohio Air National Guard as Security Forces. I love the outdoors and often go hiking and camping with my wife and daughter.
I was actually introduced to hunting at a later age than most. My first time hunting was when I returned home from deployment and found out my parents neighbor made duck and goose calls. He invited me out to a veterans hunt sponsored by KES, and the rest is history. The generosity, coaching, and leadership of the pro staff and Chris Wright, is why I found my love for being in a field waiting for birds to show up.
Home Town: Warren, PA
Occupation: Carpenter Foreman
Areas of Hunting Expertise: Waterfowl
Favorite Method of Hunting: Canadas & Mallards in a corn field
2004 Ohio SYC Shootout Champion (Team Captain)
2006 Ohio SYC Shootout Champion (Team Captain)
Matt grew up and has spent his entire life in Warren, PA. He started his outdoor life by following his dad and his dad’s buddies chasing rabbits and pheasants with beagles. When Matt was 7, he started shooting trap and skeet. To this day he still loves smashing clays and spends a lot of time in the off season doing just that.
Matt started duck hunting in the 1998 season by floating a local creek in a jon boat shooting mallards and wood ducks. Then, he and his dad, made two dozen plywood goose silos and it has been on ever since. Matt has since built an arsenal of some of the best full body and floater duck and goose decoys on the market. Matt specializes in field goose and duck hunting and big water divers. Matt has guided in Canada, NY, and PA. Since then, Matt has passed on his passion for hunting to his sons Hunter and Connor. Together with a great group of friends Matt and his boys Knock EM Stiff every chance they get.
In 2006, Matt met his loving and very understanding wife, Erin. Together they have 4 children Hunter, Brooklynn, Alexandria and Connor. He has a pretty busy family life with all the kids’ activities and coaching sports. Erin still understands Matt’s love for waterfowl and supports his hunting addiction.
I was born in South East Ohio in 1986. At the age of nine my father introduced me to waterfowl hunting in a slough bordering our farm. I spent most of my time sitting by the water listening to live ducks and teaching myself how to call. After a few years, my calling techniques were tested in the bayous and the rice fields of Eastern Arkansas with great success. I began studying calls trying to figure out just how much it would take to make my own call one day. At the age of 16 I began working on developing my own call design. One year later the call went from a drawing on a piece of notebook paper to a functional duck call. I guess I have my high school shop teacher to thank for letting me pursue this dream for two out of the four years I spent in his class. As a senior in high school in 2004, I aquired all of the tools I needed and started my own call company called Redneck Game Calls. With the company started and graduation over, I then focused on furthering my education by attending college. I graduated from Hocking College in 2008 with a degree in Natural Resource Management. I also became involved with Ducks Unlimited in Athens County while attending college , and helped to start our own chapter in Noble County, Ohio in 2010. Dedicated to the conservation and preservation of our wetlands, we hope to keep ducks flying for future generations. Presently, I have joined forces with KES Waterfowlers. Whether blowing competitions, sitting in the swamp working mallards, or laying in a frozen corn field waiting on a flock of geese, it all comes down to one thing……Knock ‘em Stiff!!!!
Hometown: Cross Lanes, WV
I was born and raised in Southern West Virginia, and I have been hunting all my life starting at an early age with my father. I didn’t start waterfowl hunting until I was 25, when I was introduced to it from a friend who attended college in Arkansas. It all started then, I found myself addicted. I am constantly scouting, looking for new places to hunt year round, and practicing my calling. Being from West Virginia, I have found that it is a virtually untapped sport and it grows each year. I find myself helping to begin a tradition within my home state, by taking an active role within the industry. I started competing in duck calling contests in 2009, where I placed 3rd with Chris Wright at Cabelas Waterfowl Weekend in the Two Man Duck Meat Competition in Wheeling, WV, since then I have competed and judged in several calling competition.
Hello my name is Jason Thacker my friends call me (Cracker) which has been my nickname since middle school. I’m 41 years old live in southeast Ohio have been hunting since I was 8. It’s my addiction no matter what it’s not all about killing it’s about friends family and memories for me. The first time I setup on some ducks started a new chapter in my life it has to be the most addictive hunting I do. I have meet some really great people that I probably wouldn’t have meet if it wasn’t for waterfowl hunting and I’m sure I’ll meet plenty more. POUND’EM
Nick Watts is an avid outdoorsman in West Virginia. He grew up bass fishing on lakes and rivers and chasing small game through hills and hollows. In 2012 he was introduced to waterfowl hunting on the Ohio River. The addiction took its hold and Nick chases ducks and geese all winter in WV, KY, and when he’s lucky, Canada. Nick is primarily a water hunter. He prefers to hunt ducks on flooded backwaters and sloughs, but loves to chase geese and ducks in corn-fields along the Ohio also.
When he’s not chasing waterfowl he’s bass fishing, skeet shooting, golfing, or skiing. He attended college at The University of Charleston on a football scholarship and went on to later obtain a Master’s degree in education. He now works as a high school Football Coach and Special Education teacher. He and his wife Gina live in the Charleston, WV area where they raise their three children and manage a small business.
Nick was introduced to KES through a fellow hunter and immediately saw the quality and realism they produced in their calls. He has also greatly enjoyed the brotherhood and camaraderie present within the team at KES. He’s honored to represent an outstanding product and count himself among a great group of outdoorsmen.
Hometown: Louisville, Ohio
Favorite Calls: Muskeg (duck) & Quill (goose)
I was born and raised in the small town of Louisville, Ohio. I am married to my hometown sweetheart, Nicole, who also shares a love for the outdoors. I grew up bass fishing, hunting rabbit, squirrel, pheasant, and deer with my father and uncles from a young age. They taught me to enjoy and respect the outdoors. At the age of 20, a good friend of mine introduced me to waterfowl hunting and I fell in love with the sport instantly. Ever since then, I have dedicated my hunting life to the sport and comradery of waterfowling. My favorite days are the days spent hunting ducks and geese in a cornfield! I also love introducing kids to waterfowl hunting. I am a member of Ducks Unlimited and Delta Waterfowl. In the off season I enjoy fishing bass tournaments.