Beards of Paradise

How a tight-knit family of godly duck hunters shot to reality-TV fame

Brady Fontenot for TIME

From left, Si, Jase, Phil and willie say they grew their famous beards for warmth and camouflage during duck season.

If you drive the 19 miles between the single-story tan brick warehouse in West Monroe, La., that is the headquarters of the Duck Commander company to the rustic, ramshackle home of its founder, Phil Robertson, easily the most famous duck caller in the U.S. today, you will pass at least seven churches, some as big as a Holiday Inn and some barely more than a trailer. But don't stop in. Because when you get to the Robertson house, you'll hear a sermon.

More than likely, you'll also get a meal cooked by Mrs. Robertson, known as Miss Kay. If it's breakfast,...

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