Long before Ottawa Senators defenceman Eric Gryba marked opposing forwards in his sights for a bone-crunching hit, he was putting his tracking skills to good use as a hunter's assistant.
"When I was five or six I was retrieving birds my dad shot," said Gryba of growing up in Saskatchewan. "We didn't have a dog at the time so I was kind of a bird dog."
Legend has it Gryba's first hunting trip was actually when he was not yet two, and his mother fitted him in his father's backpack and equipped him with ear plugs. So a love of hunting was inevitable, he said.
"Didn't have a chance from day one," he said.
Watch Sandra Abma's full story on Gryba's business in her latest instalment of Made in Ottawa on CBC TV News at 6 p.m.
Gryba has turned his passion for waterfowl hunting into a new side-business, as he and hunting friends Ryan Reynolds and Dustin Pritchard have launched a series of waterfowl calls through their company, Capital Waterfowling.
It's been a whirlwind trip for Gryba, who turns 26 in April, as it was only eight weeks ago his co-founders first approached him about a made in Canada duck call company.
"In eight weeks we've done production, we've had our launch our website design, so it's been a quick turnaround," said Gryba.
Manufactured and assembled in eastern Ontario
The company on its website sells duck and goose calls — including one goose call dubbed The Goosefather — made from a tough plastic called Delrin or in acrylic, with prices ranging from $39.99 to $139.99.
The calls are manufactured in Kingston, Ont. and assembled at their head office near Perth, Ont.
This weekend the company has set up a booth at the 14th annual Valley Fishing and Outdoor Show in Carp, Ont., but Gryba is also eyeing the expected arrival of a Bass Pro Shop in 2015 in Kanata, directly across from his other workplace at the Canadian Tire Centre.