It all started as an internet date, back in 2005. Josh Pelletier posted a photo of greenwing teal on a local duck hunting chat board, and up popped a direct message from a total stranger: "You don't know me," wrote Cullen Ports, "but I can tell exactly where you killed those ducks. Careful." They met a few days later over a beer at Hooters. It was like a match on Duck Tinder. They've been tight ever since, and from there the gang took shape.
Pelletier knew a pretty cool guy from college, Josh Eddings. That made three. Travis Grimes married Pelletier's sister-in-law, who had been a debutante with Gabe White's wife, so add those two to the mix for a hunting party of five—about as many folks that can crowd into a blind and not flare ducks.
And then there's John Webb.
"No one knows how in the hell we inherited John Webb," White says.
Six friends who hunt, fish, and golf together. Their families vacation together. They watch one another's kids. They even run a small nonprofit, Combat Warriors, guiding soldiers on local hunting and fishing trips. A half dozen buddies tight as ticks, and maybe not so different from close friends all over, with one possible exception: Come September, these guys fully commit to an exhausting, highly coordinated, monthlong regimen of scouting and hunting resident Canada geese that flock up in vast North Carolina farmfields. And they shoot them by the truckload.