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James “Cowboy” Fernandez

Founder & Owner, Sure Shot Game Calls, Inc., Groves, Texas.
The first generation of immigrant parents from Spain, Manuel & Josephine Fernandez, had James on December 12, 1931, 6th 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 25 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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