How King of Eights was Originated
A Message from Blake Marshall, Owner and Head Guide of King of Eights Outfitters.
To tell you how I got to where I am at now is a long story, but I’ll do my best. I was destined to do this at an early age. I was blessed to have a father that was as devoted to spending time with me as he was in honing his abilities in the outdoors.
When most of my friends were handed a baseball glove and a football, I was handed a fishing rod and reel and a shotgun. I’m not saying I didn’t play sports but it wasn’t first priority. In our household, it was just as important to learn how to do a roll cast, or sight in a rifle as it was to do your homework, maybe even more so.
I began hunting at a very early age and recall my first deer hunt when I was just 3 years of age. My father took me out to our local family property. He laid a blanket down at the base of an oak tree and had me to practice being silent as “deer” aka the gray squirrel made his way through the forest floor harvesting nuts and acorns for the winter months ahead. I never will forget that day. My second most memorable experience from that early age was our first fishing trip together. We went to the same piece of property and fished the farm pond there. It was chocked full of bass and bream at the time. We had been out there all day paddling around in the blue and white paddle boat my mother used to use for exercise. After what seemed like an eternity of daddy wearing the fish out and me catching a sun burn, I hung my bottom lip and began to pout. Dad grew tiresome of this really fast. He asked me if I wanted to fish or go home to my Momma. Being the hard head I am, even at that age, I said go home to my Momma. So he commenced to paddling that boat over to the bank and call it quits. With my bottom lip hung and my crank bait in the water I began to get upset because I didn’t really want to leave. We were almost to the bank, maybe 10 feet away, and a 4 1/2 lb largemouth struck that crank bait and the fight was on. I landed him with the help of my fathers instruction. That day and trip will forever be etched in my mind. Dad said to me after landing the bass, “Now son, you want to fish? Or go home to your Momma?!” I promptly responded, “I wanna fish”.
I have many tales since those days, but those I consider to be the two most important ones. I was forever changed during both outings. I would forever be searching. I went on to hunt and fish year after year and hone my craft. I knew after laying there one morning watching TNN Outdoors that I wanted to work in the outdoor industry. I just didn’t know how that was going to take place. By the time I was 17 I was guiding people on deer and turkey hunts on a regular basis. I spent more time than most people in the woods and on the water during those years and I learned so much.
I went on to go to school for an Associates Degree in Business Management and, later on, a Bachelors Degree in Construction Management. I did that for awhile, but my passion for the outdoors wouldn’t leave me alone. After my father passed December, 1 2011 I prioritized my life and realized the importance of following my heart. I truly believe it is what The Lord wants for me to do. I made the conscious decision that I was going to become an outfitter and I started doing everything I could do to break into the industry. As fate would have it, family illness brought me to Texas in August of 2012. I had no idea that I was well on my way to become a leading outfitter then, but I was. My mother and stepfather both beat cancer and are in remission, but I decided Texas was a good fit for me. I worked several odd jobs during this period of time, but always kept my dream alive.
I made call after call to people I knew that might know someone who knew someone that was tied to the outdoor industry in any way. I would talk to whoever would lend an ear and bounce my ideas off of them. I was given a break by a friend of mine, Dustin Vaughn Warncke who introduced me into being a hunting broker and wrote an e-book on marketing for guides and outfitters. I did that for awhile as well as worked in the construction industry. In the interim, I went on a deer hunt back in my local state of GA. While there I wound up shooting the my personal best deer of my life which is a 100 percent free range typical 8 pointer that scores over 150 B&C points. Now, I have guided deer hunts where we have killed much bigger deer, but this was my all time best personally. While taking the deer around showing him off, I was asked by my cousin Keith Marshall to bring him by the fire station where he is a fireman. I have hunted with and looked up to Keith my entire life so I was very anxious to see his reaction when he saw my buck. He walked out of the station ahead of me. He dropped the tailgate of my truck and laid eyes on my buck for the first time. I never will forget his reaction. He said “My Lord son, now that is a buck”! And he followed that up with ” I’ll be damned if you don’t have the king of eights”! I asked him what he meant. He said, “Think about it. We’ve been hunting together forever and I’ve never killed a big nice symmetrical 8-pointer, and that’s ALL you’ve ever killed, they’ve just gotten bigger and bigger. You’re the King of Eights, Blake.” I thought to myself, man he’s right. So on my drive back home from Georgia to Texas I pulled off on the side of the road to take a nap, as I was completely exhausted. When I awoke, I had the image of my logo for my company etched in my mind and I scribbled it down. King of Eights was born!!
While building houses, a friend I was working for introduced me to the owner and manager of one of the premiere ranches in Texas. After speaking with them for awhile they introduced me to the leader of The Christian Outdoor Alliance, which I am proud to say that today I am partnered up with. Together we offer some premier hunting and fishing expeditions. I can now tailor a package to fit your wants, needs, and last but definitely not least, your budget.
I am now the proud CEO, president, founder, and owner of King of Eights Outfitters and I look forward to planning your next big hunting adventure with you. The Lord has tasked me with showing others the way and to Him as I have been shown. I couldn’t think of a better way to help minister the Word than while being in his mighty creation. This is where I connect with The Lord and I hope to have a similar experience with you. I am what I am today, because of the great I AM!
Thank you for considering us for your next hunting and fishing adventure!