Skilled craftsmen have always impressed me. I’m no rookie when it comes to working with building materials and power tools, but seeing some of the work that a talented carpenter can do, reminds me of seeing a canvas filled with the aftermath of a fine artist’s brush strokes.
My hunting buddy Brad Taylor is one of these artists. Brad, a full-time school teacher, has been building duck-hunting boats for about as long as I’ve known him. And it seems like with each one he builds, his work gets even more impressive. Brad, under the name Toller Boatworks, spends his summers shaping marine-grade plywood into narrow vessels that any duck hunter would be proud to own.
I’ve been fortunate enough to watch the evolution of several Toller Boatworks pieces from the first form being used to their first trip across water. I’ve even had the pleasure to take a duck or two from the confines of more than one of Brad’s creations. The time and detail that Brad puts into making everything perfect are the reasons why I’ve never heard one complaint from one of his customers. Because it’s a part-time gig, Toller Boatworks builds only a handful (no more than four, I believe) of custom boats a year.
The reason Brad and Toller Boatworks are top of mind for me in February (duck season closed almost a month ago) is because I’m hoping to get a shot at one of Brad’s boats next week at our annual Ducks Unlimited banquet.
This year will mark the second time that Brad has built a boat for our chapter to raffle during our event. The raffle this year, is for a DHMini and I’m hoping to win! It’s a one-man (and hopefully a dog too) duck-hunting boat that I can’t help but see visions of Sage and I sitting in.
For what it’s worth, tickets still remain for the boat. And you do not need to be present to win. If you’re not from these parts, though, you would need to arrange transfer. Tickets can be purchased from Brad directly – details available on his site. Catch up with Brad at http://www.TollerBoatWorks.com.
I’m looking forward to making my first trip to the Dixie Deer Classic next week. In addition to seeing what new hunting-related products will be on the shelves this summer and fall, I’ll get a chance to meet Josh and Tyler from Riverview Outfitters. I’ll be joining a small group to hunt with Riverview later this fall on an archery hunt during, what should be, the middle of the rut.
I’ll be sure to take some photos of anything noteworthy while at the Classic to add to AHT.