John's Journal...

Guns of the Waterfowling Pros

At the Other End of the Flyway – Louisiana’s Jeff Poe and Texas’s Chris Lee

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: To become a professional in anything, you need to study a professional in that area of expertise and learn how he approaches his craft and what makes that professional successful. In the hunting world, you need to determine if a professional’s success depends on his skills or the tools the guide carries with him on a hunt.Click to enlarge I’ve interviewed five waterfowl guides to learn what guns and shells they use and why. If after hunting early duck season in Canada, you want to hunt further down the flyway, you can book a hunt in Texas or Louisiana after the ducks have flown south for the winter. Jeff Poe of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Chris Lee of Katy, Texas, also highly-successful waterfowling guides, have taken me on trips of a lifetime.

Jeff Poe guides for duck and geese after the birds leave the North and come to Cajun Country. When I asked Poe what guns he used, he explained, “I shoot a Ruger Red Label 3-inch over/under with a stainless-steel barrel and synthetic stock. I like this gun because it can get down and dirty with me, it doesn’t malfunction, and regardless of how bad the weather or how rough the ride is to the blind, the Click to enlargegun can take the rough treatment. I’m shooting Remington’s Hevi Shot in the No.2s and No.4s because we shoot both ducks and geese. I’ve found that Hevi Shot can usually dump decoying birds as effectively as any shot I shoot.” 

Chris Lee, a guide for Larry Gore’s Eagle Lake and Katy Prairie Click to enlargeOutfitters in Katy, Texas, starts hunting geese about the end of October and hunts through the middle of March. Hunters there take numbers of snow geese, blue geese, Ross’s geese, Canada and white-fronted geese. The operation employs eight full-time guides and 40 part-time guides. According to Lee, “Half of our guides shoot Remington 870s. They like these guns because day-in and day-out, they don’t malfunction. We don’t have time to break our guns down after every hunt and clean them like we should. So, even when we don’t take proper care of our guns, those ole Remington 870s keep giving us optimum performance. The other half of our guides are shooting Benelli Super Black Eagle semi-automatics, because the Black Eagles are dependable and reliable just like the Remington 870s. The ammunition we prefer is Winchester Drylok BBBs because these shells seem to hold a pattern more consistently than other shells do for us.”

To learn more, contact:

Big Lake Guide Service (Jeff Poe), 150 Junius Granger Rd., Lake Charles, LA 70607; Phone: (337) 598-3268;

Larry Gore’s Eagle Lake & Katy Prairie Outfitters, P.O. Box 129, Katy, TX 77492; Phone: (281) 391-6100;

Check back each day this week for more about "Guns of the Waterfowling Pros"

Day 1: Bob “Rip” Clark and Jay Cavanagh of Canada’s Dog ‘N Duck Outfitting
Day 2: Steve Bierle – the Creator of Hunter’s Specialties’ Bad Medicine Goose Call
Day 3: Bob “Spoonbill” Clark of Canada’s Dog ‘N Duck Outfitting
Day 4: Barnie Calef – World Duck Calling Champion
Day 5: At the Other End of the Flyway – Louisiana’s Jeff Poe and Texas’s Chris Lee


Entry 492, Day 5