In 1974 our founder, Gene Campbell, began a lifelong journey to create one of the premier waterfowl outfits in the country. Under the tutelage of a Chambers Co legend, Joe Lagow, he began his work on the Barrow Ranch in Chambers County, TX. Many of our current guides including, Bob Campbell, Tim Wolfford, and Burl McBride soon joined the Oyster Bayou clan and helped to make it what it is today. We formed a close relationship with local biologists by cooperating and sharing with them in their work and the knowledge that was shared in return has been an invaluable asset to our business. Former USFW biologists, Jim Neville and Patrick Walther along with former TPWD biologist Charles Stutzenbaker were all longtime friends and mentors of ours and we have done our best to continue the spread of their knowledge on creating natural habitats for a wide variety of flora and fauna. Gone were the days of relying on luck and a good rice yield and into the science of wet soil management and seed bank maintenance. All of our upland fields and rest areas have been managed in the same manner for well over half a century. As the new migrants come each season and winter in the fields, we have assured there will be season-long food for them. Natural vegetation that lasts throughout the year will sustain these migrants where agricultural crops cannot.
A wetland biologist became interested in partnering with us early on to conduct a lead shot survey on blue-winged teal. It was this man, Frank Fisher, a Rice University Professor that spear-headed the push for the ban of lead shot for waterfowl and where else to do it besides the legendary Barrow Ranch.
The next step in the evolution of the Oyster Bayou Hunting Club came when we decided to not only have excellent hunting, but also to make it as easy as possible for our customers. It was the time of the oil field and entertaining large corporate events. Some of these men were incapable of what most used to consider duck hunting, and some were simply inexperienced duck hunters. We were one of the first outfitters in the country to introduce dry dock access for waterfowl hunting. Our blinds are all handmade by us out of long-lasting materials and they are warm and dry.
Waterfowl Hunts and Habitat - We hunt over a variety of habitats and we share about 20 miles of border with the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. We have around 2400 acres of intermediate and tidal marsh, and about 4,400 acres of higher ground which was once used for rice farming. Though we do still have some rice fields which are in a rice rotation, the majority of our habitat comes from the enhancement of natural vegetation and high quality aquatics. Wigeon grass, Najas, Elodia, Sprangletop, Wild Millet, Seedbox, Smart weed, Panicum, and several varieties of Duck Potatoe, are just a few of the native plants which are able to grow throughout the season and are a very productive natural resource.
Over the years we have enhanced the native plants and now have a seed bank that is able to guarantee the finest habitat every year. These seed banks are loaded with virtually every possible duck food that can be found in this part of the world. Native sedges, millets, other grasses are abundant across this large acreage. We have 6 marsh blinds and 9 field blinds all of which can accommodate between 5 and 7 hunters.
Blinds - Our blinds are handmade by us to be spacious, warm and long-lasting. They are 6 feet wide for each pair of hunters.
Guides - Our guides are very seasoned, most of whom have between 20 and 40 years of guiding experience. They are all extremely safe and have very talented dogs.