Ask a hunter what the purpose of their hunt is, and you’re bound to get a plethora of answers. But for Darryl Moore, the “why” of his hunting is the relationships he cultivates along the way.
Moore’s grandfather took him on his first deer hunt when he was around 6 years old. From there, his love for the sport took off, and he began avidly hunting deer and raccoon any chance he had.
His love for duck hunting, however, didn’t come around until high school.
“I was about 16, and some of my buddies in high school were like, ‘Let’s go duck hunting.’ I was a big deer hunter, coon hunter – squirrels or anything else,” Moore said. “I said ‘I’m not going duck hunting, I’m not getting in cold water and waking up at 4 o’clock in the morning.’”
But with the perseverance of his friends, Moore eventually made it out on the water.
“I just fell in love with it,” Moore said. “I went and bought a dog. I went for…three or four seasons in a row. I was going all 60 days.”
These days, Moore’s love of the hunt has extended outside of the field and into the world of influencing.
With over 24,000 followers on his Instagram page (@dmoore23_), Moore’s platform has the ability to reach audiences far and wide, and the opportunity to open duck hunting to all communities.
“The goal is to help the sport grow and keep going,” Moore said.
Part of how he keeps the sport alive among minority groups is the work he does with 24.7hunt, an outdoor brand with the goal of “building community through the outdoors with an urban influence.”
Ranar Moody, the driving force behind the brand, said, “We’re just kind of staking our claim. Black folks in general have a history of hunting that the average American really doesn’t know about, and we’re just trying to spread light on that. We’ve been part of the duck hunting community just as long as anybody.”
The brand has amassed over 68,000 followers on Instagram and over 25,000 subscribers on YouTube, where they take subscribers along for hunts and give a behind-the-scenes look at their trips. And just for fun, the guys at 24.7hunt throw in some original music and a podcast about their hunting experiences. The guys sit and talk about what they would want to hear and learn as hunters. Moore says the authenticity in their videos and podcasts is what draws people in.
Introducing and inspiring the Black community and other minorities is important to Moore because “the whole culture is changing; people are changing.”
“If we don’t introduce different diversity, different people, then the sport’s going to die. The way the world is going now, everybody is canceling everything,” Moore said. “So if we’re not showing all these different people that what we love is what we love, it can’t grow and keep going. Because who’s going to fight for it?”
Changing of the Seasons
While he may have hunted every day of the season when his love for the hunt first took hold, Moore’s life began looking a little different in 2021, when his first son was born. His hunting habits changed a bit more in January when his second son entered the world.
On a MLK Day hunt, about 30 minutes before he would have lost cell service, Moore’s wife called to tell him she had gone into labor.
“He had almost made it all the way to the duck hole, and it was just God’s timing,” said Haley Moore. “He walked in and suited up literally as they were walking to take me to surgery. He barely made it.”
Darryl and Haley met in high school, giving her the opportunity to see Darryl’s passion grow.
But navigating two kids isn’t quite the same as navigating a duck hole, which is why Darryl and Haley are set on working as a team.
“It’s always crazy during duck season. We’re learning as a team how to navigate how important that [duck season] is to him and also big events from birthdays to just having two kids under two in general,” said Haley. “As long as we’re doing that, then it’s [duck hunting] something that I’ll always support.”
According to Haley, Darryl is intentional with his time out of season and always makes sure to have every hunt planned out in advance.
As for Darryl’s work as an influencer, Haley is more than happy to see him share with the world.
“It gives him the opportunity to really advocate for his beliefs in inclusion in the hunting world,” she said. “Something he’s always strived for is for people to understand that there isn’t a certain type of person or people when it comes to loving to hunt. For so long, we’ve lived in a time where people make you feel like you have to be a certain stereotype to be an outdoorsman.”