Though the hit show is based in Louisiana, it is indeed a small world after all. Cast member “Mountain Man” who has gained a massive fan base all around the world just happens to be a former Portland resident. Before he was televised as Mountain Man of Duck Dynasty, he was simply known as Tim Guraedy, a 1975 graduate of Portland High School.In an exclusive interview with The Portland Leader, Guraedy’s humble Portland personality shines right on through, and the fact that he once resided here just doesn’t come as a surprise. Interviewing him following a recent hunting excursion just added further validity to the likeable backwoodsman we see on television.
“I didn’t get no deer, but it was good to be in the woods, even though I couldn’t get in a shot. Getting out in the woods is a pleasure to me no matter what…it’s always been like that,” Guraedy said.
So what is his story and how did he end up in Portland?
“I was born in Louisiana and my Dad worked for a natural gas pipeline. When I was 3 we were transferred to Minnesota, and when I was 9, we moved to Portland right after my Christmas break. I graduated from Portland High, and I grew up around there,” said Guraedy.
“I loved the hills, and the clear water. I loved to fish most of the time,” continued the Duck Dynasty star.
“Portland was real small when I first got there, and there was only one stoplight. Now when I go back, I could get lost around there,” he chuckled. “It’s huge to me compared to what it used to be.”
“After high school, I went to Volunteer State Community college for a few years, then went on to college in Indiana,” he continued.
After some changing seasons, and making a few moves, Mountain Man has been settled in Louisiana for the past 25 years. In addition to being a thriving public figure on A & E, and being the ultimate air conditioning man (as we’ve seen on the show), he is also part of a radio show as a disc jockey.
“They’ve combined the show with ‘Duck Dynasty,’ and it’s gotten really big. We get callers from all over -- Arizona, California, Australia, Canada, and everywhere. It has really gotten out there. You can go online to listen to it,” he explained.
When it comes to ‘Duck Dynasty,’ Guraedy said, “What you see is what we are. We like to make it funny and keep it clean, and people are watching it. We’re what you see on TV.”
How did Guraedy and the Robertson’s become friends, and what caused him to land a spot on the show?
“I met Willie three years ago when I came and fixed an air conditioner for him. I ended up working for him again,” he recalled.
“I didn’t know I was going to be on the show. At the time, A & E had just gotten to town, and asked me to be a part of some filming. I went to it, and was amazed by all of the cameras and equipment. I had never seen so much in all my life. They didn’t get around to my part of the filming at the time, but the producers liked me. The scene was when I was at the yard sale buying the squirrel,” continued Guraedy.
“They liked me so much that they decided to keep me on the show. Outside of the family and the people that make duck calls, I was the only one cast,” he explained.
A & E clearly made a good choice, as Mountain Man’s genuine personality, and good ole’ boy character continues to be well received by viewers everywhere. As real off screen as he is on screen, it’s no wonder that Tim Guraedy has won the appreciation of ‘Duck Dynasty’ fans.
Though the Robertson’s often tease Mountain Man, he knows it’s all in fun, and they’re all good friends who really enjoy one another’s company.
“Willie and I cut up a lot on the set, and always pick on each other. He’s a good guy. They’re all good people.”
Whether famous or not, Guraedy stays humble and true to who he is, though he can barely go to Wal-Mart without being recognized anymore.
“I’m just a country boy…a redneck sticking to my roots,” he said with conviction.
“It’s actually gotten kind of hard to do anything, but I don’t mind! I always gladly take pictures with anyone who wants them. When someone spots me…if they ain’t got their camera phone…they get someone else to take it. I always find it hard to believe that even country music singers want a picture or an autograph,” he said with a laugh.
Don’t think for a second that Guraedy’s work stops there though. He just got back from Arkansas after giving three speeches at a middle school, where he spoke against bullying and drug use, and encouraged positive decision making. He always brings his Bible along and touches on spiritual principles when he can. Guraedy’s ultimate joy comes from serving the Lord and being a positive messenger.
Guraedy’s strong Christian faith is another commonalty that he shares with the Robertson family. He and the Robertson men sport long beards, love to hunt, and love to share the message of Jesus. Mountain Man spoke very highly of the Robertson family saying they’re some of the nicest and most down to earth people you will ever meet. He noted that the Robertson men sure know how to preach a sermon.
“We all attend the same church. Whenever we’re together, we don’t talk about the show. We talk a lot about hunting, and we’re all about our faith.”
“Willie and I didn’t know this was gonna go big. We talked about that a while back. He said, ‘Mountain Man, when you were going around Tennessee as a young’n, did you ever think anything like this would happen?’ I said not in a million years…..not in a million years.’”
With his feet firmly planted, Tim Guraedy may be a ‘Duck Dynasty’ star and known all around the world, but he knows who he is, and where he came from.
“I enjoyed living in and being brought up in Tennessee. I think that around Portland, and in the small town environment, that kids grow up happier. I’ve noticed that in bigger towns there is so much for them to get into. Being brought up in a small town is a great place for a kid to grow up. You can make your own fun…even if it’s swinging off a grapevine. The people in Portland are so down to earth. I’ve always loved Portland…it was always great. I wish all kids were brought up in a small town.
“Many nights I’d go out frog hunting with my classmates. I loved fishing and spending time in the woods. It was a simple way of life back then, and still today….I wouldn’t trade nothing for growing up in Portland,” he concluded.
Be sure to tune into A & E’s ‘Duck Dynasty’ on Wednesday nights to catch this entertaining and inspiring Portland star! He’s proud of us, and we’re proud of him!