Kevin Chelette was Born 26 days after opening day bow of season 1961, to Earl & Earlene Chelette of Alexandria, La.
My family moved 45 miles south, to Oakdale, La. when I was in the 2nd grade. At the age of 7, I was given my grandfathers old 20 gage single shot Topper shotgun. My dad would take me to shot it on the river banks of the Calcasieu and Whiskey Chitto rivers, in rural Allen Parish. It was on the banks of the Whiskey Chitto River that I killed my 1st squirrel. I must have been around 8 years old.
In the years to come I would follow my dad squirrel hunting or rabbit hunting or fishing , catching whatever would bite or shooting whatever he would let me shoot until safety was a well-executed habit. Gun safety was a must. Reading a compass, building a fire, reading sign, identifying trees was part of the day afield. My dad was developing my “Woodsman Ship”. At the age of 12 I was allowed to hunt squirrels and rabbits by myself. Or at least that’s what I thought. It wasn’t until later in life my dad told me that he use to drop me off at woods edge at daylight and pretend to drive off, only he didn’t really go that far. He would park the truck then sneak back into the woods to watch me from a distance. He did this a few times until he was convinced I was handling my gun like a man.
It was around the age of 10, following my dad through the rice field’s ditches goose hunting. Still with my 20 gage single shot, I killed my 1st goose. To a 10 year old boy, a goose was WAY bigger than a squirrel, so it was goose hunting for me… that is until my dad took me deer hunting.
In 1974 my dad’s work transferred the family to West Monroe, La. I was 14 years old. It was here that I really began deer hunting. North Louisiana seemed to have more deer than south Louisiana. So it was deer hunting for me… That is until my dad took me duck hunting. My first duck hunt was on Cross Bayou in Caldwell parish. I went duck hunting every chance I got. I built my first duck blind in Johnson Brakeâ€¦we smash’em for a couple of years. Then the Feds turned it into a Refuge.
By the time I was 16 I had a drivers license an old pick-up truck and a dinky little alum boat. I was hunting & fishing every at opportunity… even ran a trap line for a few years. Didn’t really matter to me what I was doing, It just had to be in the woods or on the water. One might say I was obsessed with the outdoors. I once quit a job as a brick layers helper because I made more money running traps over a single weekend than I made in two months as a laborer. Made sense to me, my dad on the otherhand…
In the Mid 1980’s I started helping a life-long friend “Johnny Wink” with his Goose and Duck Guiding business in Jones, La. It has been a great learning experience for me. Johnny has taught me as much about duck hunting as anyone on this planet.
I have spent the last 38 years afield, chasing every animal available to hunt, catching every fish, fresh and salt water from this great state of Louisiana. I look back on days gone past and thank God for the many sunrises, the natural beauty of a swamp.
But don’t get me wrong, I don’t hunt for the joy of killing, but for the joy of living, and mingling my life, however briefly, with these animals that I respect, admire and value.
“Many a men fish all their lives without knowing, fish is not what there after”.