Joe Balog was born and raised on the Great Lakes, where he's earned a living as a charter boat captain, pro bass fisherman and outdoor communicator. As waterfowl editor for Realtree.com, Balog was bitten by the duck bug while hunting the world famous St. Clair Flats. Between duck hunting, fishing, and dog training, Balog spends some 300 days a year on the water.
Meet Joe Balog
Whoever came up with the idea of Internet blogs must have thought of me at the time. Take a far-fetched story, add a little truth, some controversy, and even a dash of conspiracy, and you’ve got a blog. And that sums up my specialty.
I’ve been involved in the outdoor industry full-time for over a decade, so I’ve been around the block a bit. I grew up in an outdoors family, went to school to study fish, and a decade ago began a company that is 100 percent fishing and hunting. So the outdoor lifestyle particularly hits home with me, because it puts bread on the table, as they say. And I get pretty ticked off when things come along that may jeopardize that, as you’re sure to see in the future.
I began waterfowling fairly late in life, by many hunters’ standards. I, like most other hunters in the Midwest, started as a deer hunter. What a mistake. If you want to talk deer, hit the back button now and pick Hansen and Brantley's blog. Because you’re not going to read any of that nonsense here. This is a blog for waterfowlers, those of use who finish the day so dirty that we contemplate just throwing our clothes in the garbage, rather than even attempting to wash them. This is for the hunters who feel it deep down: the lifestyle, the need for the marsh. This is for the guy who knows in his heart that he is only half as smart as a duck, but twice as smart as a turkey. For the true outdoor enthusiast who would rather learn more about habitat and food preference than new guns and ammo. Don’t get me wrong; we’ll talk innovation and new products. And I’ll tell you what I think: whether something is junk, or worth your money.
We’re going to talk ducks. Mallard ducks, diver ducks, duckweed, Ducks Unlimited, Peking duck and Duck Commander. We’re going to talk gear, guns, and gadgets. And we’re going to talk about dogs. A bunch. Sticking to my promise of being non-partial, I’ll allow those conversations to include all three types of dogs: black ones, brown ones and yellow ones. We’re going to include geese, too, although I’ll probably check in with some of our experts in the field for goose material. I kill a few geese from time to time, but I’m nothing compared to some of my buddies here in the Midwest. These guys absolutely throttle ‘em every time out, and they know more about geese than most people know about themselves. So we’ll press them for info.
I can’t wait to get started. As we journey down the road together, all I ask of you is one thing: tell me when I’m wrong. I don’t pretend to know everything. I take that statement back. I may pretend to know everything, but I don’t. So leave a comment below or on the Realtree Facebook page when I’m completely off my rocker. Share the blog with your buddies, so they can tell me too. We need that voice in the duck world. I’ll start the conversation, but it’s up to you to “stir the pot."