In Ducks Unlimited’s film “Lake Mattamuskeet,” the DU Films crew visits the Farley family in North Carolina, where they have been hunting and conserving habitat for decades.
Since he was seven years old, DU Biologist Ed Farley has hunted with his father, John B. Farley; his grandfather, John R. Farley; and his uncle, Jack Whichard. In this film, the four reunite at Lake Mattamuskeet for a few days of waterfowling and to reflect on the importance of family traditions, hunting and conservation.
“Mattamuskeet is a special place,” said John B. Farley. “You stand beside it and look out across it and see the number of waterfowl and shorebirds. You see things here you don’t see many places. There’s not a stoplight in the whole county. It’s my favorite place in the world.”
John R. Farley is 86. Jack Whichard is 89. With Ed’s help, they still enjoy spending time in the duck blind.
“Coming full circle is a great way to put it,” said Ed Farley. “When I was nine years old, everybody was taking me. I was the little guy that they put up with. Now I can try to give back and take them out and go retrieve the ducks and put out the decoys and do those things they once did for me and try to give back to them. It’s the least I can do for all they’ve given me.”
For nearly a century, the family has passed on a love of the outdoors and a sense of responsibility to conserve waterfowl habitats through Ducks Unlimited.
“My whole life has been involved in either trying to hunt or involved in Ducks Unlimited,” said John R Farley. “It’s been kind of a labor of love . . . hunting, helping, working with Ducks Unlimited for all my life.”