Duck hunting expert to tell of birds, Christ in Pasco

PASCO -- If you want to find out how duck hunting, guns and Christ go together, check out Faith Assembly Christian Center's fourth annual Wild Game Extravaganza on Feb. 19.

The main speaker will be Phil Robertson, aka the Duck Commander of TV, video and hunting fame. He'll be telling hunting tales and speaking of his connection to Christ.

Hunting and Christian values may seem an unlikely combination, but as David Neff, co-chairman for the extravaganza, explained, "We have a lot of sportsmen, and women, in the church. This is one way we can reach out to men in general to try and erase that image many have that Christian men are very soft.

"We want to show you can still be a guy and have fun doing guy stuff and go to church too and have a relationship with Christ."

David Myers of Pasco said Robertson is the biggest name they have engaged for the event and they waited more than two years to get him. He has not heard the Duck Commander speak in person but is familiar with his videos and TV show.

"He has good hints and is a fun person," Myers said. "All the camouflage and his big beard are all a part of his persona. His favorite saying is 'Fear the beard.' "

Faith Assembly members distributed posters in Cabela's stores in Spokane and Post Falls, Idaho, and as a result they have a busload of Duck Commander groupies also coming to hear him speak.

Inquiries also have come from the Seattle area and San Francisco.

"Robertson has quite a following. He only makes a limited number of appearances because he only travels part of the year. You can't get him during duck season," Myers said.

Neff, who owns an outfitting business, says Robertson is an icon in duck hunting circles. The Duck Commander and his family been making duck calls and waterfowling equipment for 30 years.

"Many hunters, even those who've never met him, consider him the best there is," Neff said.

Before Robertson gives his talk, scheduled for 7 p.m., there will be a mini sportsmen's trade show set up outside the auditorium.

Many of the outdoor and sporting goods stores in the Tri-City area, outfitters, a taxidermist and fishing guides will have booths, some with merchandise for sale. There also will be a display of vintage and modern guns and pellet gun, Nerf crossbow and archery ranges set up.

"We're also trying to get a man with targets for throwing tomahawks," Neff said.

There will be activities and fun for all ages. Women, even if they don't hunt, usually have fun too, Neff said.

Admission includes a variety of appetizers featuring game, fish and waterfowl.

Myers is the head chef and is planning to serve venison meatballs, venison nachos, salmon dips and, of course, some duck-based dishes.

Doors open for the sportsmen's show at 5 p.m. and the event runs until about 8 p.m.

Tickets are $15 each or $25 for two. Gather a group of three or more and admission goes down to $10 per person.

Tickets are available at the church office, 1800 N. Road 72, Pasco, and at the Kennewick Ranch & Home store on Columbia Center Boulevard. If available, tickets also will be sold at the door.

For more information on the Duck Commander Phil Robertson, his merchandise or TV show, go to www.duckcommander.com.