Ronnie Ladd

My name is Ronnie Ladd aka SwampHunter. I live in Augusta, Arkansas.

I grew up into duck hunting being from the Delta Region of Arkansas. I started guiding when I was about 15 years old. I hunt a number of areas including swamps, timber, rivers, big water, and various other types of water.



I love timber hunting, but my heart lies in diver hunting. We get huge rafts of divers here with the flood waters. It is not uncommon to see thousands in a single raft. When I am diver hunting I shoot mainly from a boat blind, or a fixed blind. My dream is to one day own a true layout boat.

I was influenced into carving by folks like Ben Schmidt, Miles Pirney, Shang Wheeler, along with many others.

I tried my first hand at decoy carving about the same age I started guiding. With no one to teach me to carve, I gave up on it quick. In 1999 I was introduced to the internet. This led me to the vast amounts of carving knowledge, and once again fueled the flames of carving. I emailed Willy McDonald looking for advice. Willy coaxed me into buying his video called, "How To Carve A Hunting Decoy." This was just what I needed to get started. Willy is an excellent teacher, and I highly recommend him to anyone that wishes to start carving.

I started out using black cork from MLB. With the need for more detail, I switched to tan cork, ordering from various places. Willy came through again, when he introduced me to the tan cork he sold. I was hooked. I use basswood for most of my heads, using tupelo, sugar pine, and cedar sometimes. I use Chroma Airbrush Colors, and Jo Sonja’s Artist Colors. I use Oak for most of my keels.

I also carve a variety of other waterfowl artwork including Plaques, duck call stands, bookends, as well as Decorative Decoys.

I have not started competing as of yet, but hope to in the near future. My decoys have sold as far away as Saudi Arabia.