Eli Haydel, founder of Bossier Cityís Haydelís Game Calls and a lover of all things outdoors, passed away last night in his sleep, according to his son, Rod Haydel.
Haydel, who suffered a stroke a few years ago, had been ill for the past month. The family will meet on Tuesday to set funeral arrangements, which are expected to be Friday and Saturday.
An inductee into the Ark-La-Tex Museum of Champions, the Louisiana Sportsmanís Hall of Fame and the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame, Haydel was known worldwide for his hunting exploits.
A native of Raceland, La., Haydel loved duck hunting, became a champion caller and formed his duck-calling company in 1981, caressing it into one of the most successful businesses in northwest Louisiana. Sons Rod and Kelly Haydel are now active in the business.
During his hunting career, which took a hiatus only during his stroke-recovery year in 2005, Haydel hammered ducks below Lake Charles with a number of celebrities, including Will Clark, Steve Bedrosian, Bert Jones, Larry Nixon, Tommy Casanova and former Los Angeles Rams All-Pro Jack Youngblood.
He became an accomplished musician playing the saxophone at the Cowboy Church in Greenwood and at the Rose Park Baptist Church on Buncombe Road in Shreveport.