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Legend Biography

James "Cowboy" Fernandez


Co-Designer of the Double Reed Duck Call & Founder of Sure Shot Game Calls

Sponsors: Coming Soon

The first generation of immigrant parents from
Spain, Manuel & Josephine Fernandez, had James on December 12, 1931, 6 th of 8
children, first born in Texas. James was given the nickname “Cowboy” a moniker
still used today. As a boy “Cowboy” knew the value of hard work. He started
selling peanuts and worked various jobs. Cowboy started hunting with a
homemade bow & arrow and then moved up to a sling shot & marbles. At age
12 his dad bought him a single shot 410, now he was actually able to hit field
larks. When he was 15 years of age his brother took him duck hunting & made
an avid outdoorsman. At the age of 17 he joined the Army during the Korean
War and served 4 1/2years before returning to Port Arthur, Texas. Cowboy met
the love of his life and future wife Iva Mae Coody, they had 5 children in which
grew to 8 grandchildren and 12 great- grandchildren and 1 great- great-
grandchild. While working for Gulf States Utilities and active in church work and
raising a family and attending Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas in pursuit of
an Engineering degree and hunting, he also worked with George Yentzen
building duck calls. In his garage at home he worked on fine tuning the calls, he
wanted the best and so he continued improving the trough, peg & the double
reed producing a perfect duck sound in which lead to the start of Sure Shot
Game Calls, Inc. Though further research and design the invention and patent of
the triple reed duck call was born. After forty years he retired from Gulf States
Utilities and Sure Shot Game Calls was a full time job for him and his family. For
52 years traveling, promoting, selling, and teaching hunters of all ages, over the
good ole USA, was an honor and brought such a closeness and joy to hunters
and their families and contributed to 42 employees and their education. He
started developing, inventing and expanding on his products of calls and saw
the need to develop a catalog for the many wholesalers and retailers and
individuals that bought the Duck, Goose, Turkey, Squirrel, Deer, Predator and
the other 7 calls and miscellaneous hunting accessories. James won several
awards with the original duck call “Yentzen”, The Gulf Coast Duck Calling
Contest, 3 time winner of the Gulf Coast Regional Duck Calling Contest, 6 time
winner of the Texas Open Duck Calling Contest, 3 time winner of the
International Duck Calling Contest, qualifying and winning the 1959 World Duck
Calling Contest, and a winner of the World Champion of Champion Duck Calling

Contest. And to date he is still recognized as the legendary world champion
duck caller. Cowboy served as president of the Port Arthur Hunting Club, Shell
Lake Hunting Club. As the founder of Sea Rim Hunting Club in which later
resulted in the United States Parks & Wildlife Wetlands appropriations for Sea
Rim State Park located in Sabine Pass, Texas. Served on the first board for
Beaumont and Port Arthur Ducks Unlimited Chapters for several years. James
was presented the Green Wing Award from Ducks Unlimited for dedication and
preservation of waterfowl in the USA. He served two terms on the Groves City
Council and served on the board for Jefferson County Regional Planning and
Zoning board. While employed with Gulf States Utilities served as president of
first Neighborhood Watch Program for Jefferson County, Texas. Served on the
committee for Office of Jefferson County Emergency Management in Texas. In
September of 2012, James and Iva sold their passion and love and as James
refers to “his baby” Sure Shot Game Calls, Inc. to a great and well respected
man and friend Charlie Holder. I must say the times I taught teenagers all over
the United States how to call ducks as their parents observed was a valuable
rewarding experience. At the close of each promotional event I shared one final
thought, “Take a young person hunting to day and you won’t have to hunt the
streets for them tomorrow”.

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