Our Story

After a 2018 cold November perfect morning in the duck blind with just a couple of boys shooting their wood duck limit in the first half hour into shooting time in southern Illinois. They headed back to an old dairy cow barn that is known as the 'Parlor' where they kick back and relaxed in a small 10X8 room with a propane tank heater after a great hunt watching old waterfowl hunting on VHS tapes from before they were born. They discussed where hunting is going and how it is being poorly portrayed across modern society through social media and word of mouth. There are all these pro-hunting pages, companies, and YouTubers, to further create a positive light on what hunting & conservation is all about. They figured, why not us too?

That became Whitetails & Waterfowl

Hunting gets a bad reputation in the media spotlight as cruel and inhumane but that is not at all what hunting is about. Hunters also get portrayed as "unintelligent rednecks" and other derogatory terms by society. However, hunting is not only a crucial and necessary part of conservation to ensure protection of many wildlife species, every time you walk out to the duck blind or the tree stand you make memories. Hunting isn't about the amount of animals you harvest, how many times you shoot, or a contest of who can kill the most ducks or the biggest buck. Hunting is also being flooded with that type of mentality and it's being lost what hunting is all about. Memories with the ones you care about that will last with you for a lifetime and watch God's creation come to life. This is why we do what we do!

Meet Our Team

Grayson Slagle

Grayson is the CEO & founder of Whitetails & Waterfowl. He was born and raised in Edwardsville, Illinois located 45 minutes from St. Louis. Grayson graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2023 with a Political Science degree and will attend law school at the University of Southern Illinois this fall. Grayson came from an outdoor background watching his grandpa, dad, uncle, cousins deer hunt and started fishing at a very young age. However, when he was introduced to waterfowl hunting in his early teens he was instantly hooked. He created this brand not only to sell apparel or gain publicity but more to improve the hunting community as a whole. Above all else Grayson values being out in the woods, where times seems to go a little bit slower. In a society that moves so fast it doesn't seem like a bad idea to be in the woods.

Max Ringering 

Max Ringering is another member of our team who aids in the brand and social media exposure. Max is born in Wood River, Illinois and now resides in Worden, Illinois. Max is a former college baseball player and is now finishing his degree in wildlife biology at Missouri State University located in Springfield, Missouri. After graduation Max plans to make his journey to serve and become Border Patrol Agent. Max has always had a love for whitetail deer hunting to go along with multiple impressive trophy Illinois whitetails. His reputation proceeds him as his love for hunting continues to only grow.

Grant Schaefer

Grant Schaefer has always been in love with the outdoors at a young age growing up in Midway, Illinois. Grant loves nothing more than watching a morning sunrise waterfowl hunting with his friends. Grant is a former college baseball player and obtained his welder's certification in Springfield, Missouri. Currently, he is working full-time as a welder in the southwestern Illinois area. Grant has grown up with waterfowl & dove hunting but his true joy is sitting in the deer stand waiting on that trophy whitetail.

Hudson Slagle

Hudson is a 17 year old high school student who enjoys everything about the outdoors from deer hunting to bass fishing since he became attached to it at the young age of 6 years old by hunting waterfowl with his dad. Hudson is a Southern Illinois native since birth and his favorite part about hunting is being in the blinds with his friends and making memories every time he steps into the woods.

AJ Robertson

AJ was born and raised in the world of outdoor sports whether that be fishing or hunting. Currently, AJ resides in Prairietown, Illinois, and lived in Paducah, Kentucky in his younger years. AJ was a decorated member of the bass fishing team in high school and has participated in several goose-calling contests near the St. Louis metropolitan area. He graduated from SLTC in Georgia in 2020 and is currently employed by True North Electric. AJ is an all-around outdoorsman but his favorite place to be is in the duck blind over his flooded corn field at his property working those ducks.

Drake Wescott

Drake is a man who loves the rush of waterfowl hunting with his friends. He was a top-recruited baseball player throughout high school and began his collegiate career at the University of Louisville. Drake currently plays for his home state at the University of Illinois. Drake became hooked on waterfowl hunting when he first saw those ducks coming in locked up to the spread and it has never gotten old since then.