“Carving a Legacy”—produced by Ducks Unlimited for its new video series, DU Films—follows a family of Long Island, New York, waterfowl hunters and the role the outdoors have had in their relationships.
The piece focuses on Duane Arnister, the family’s patriarch, who helms Deerfield Guide Service. In the first few minutes of the film, Arnister admits that operating an outfitting business affected the amount of time he could hunt with his son, Brandon, when he was a boy. However, Arnister explains that this provided an opportunity for Brandon and his grandfather to head afield together, strengthening their familial bond.
Soon Brandon and his grandfather not only hunted but also carved wooden decoys together as a way to share yet another interest. Arnister says, “The bonding between my father and my son was a big help to me, and when I got the opportunity to go [hunting] with my son, it was special; and we still do it today.”
It’s easy to think about hunting on the macro-level, focusing on the legislative concerns and larger issues pertinent to the outdoors, but “Carving a Legacy” offers a glimpse into the lives of people intimately shaped by time they’ve shared in a blind. The film is certainly hyper-aware of its message, but it’s one we never get tired of hearing: Hunting connects people in a way unique unto itself, a way that forges an unshakable bond between brethren and friends, the young and the old.