About Robert Milner and the History of Mud Motors

Robert Milner of Beaver Dam Mud Runners Librety Twin on a Box

Having grown up in a family of hunters, I caught the duck hunting "bug" at an early age. Since my father is a gun dog trainer, I didn't have much of a choice! I grew up at the Wildrose Kennels that my dad founded, owned for 23 years and made famous. He now owns the Duckhill Kennels in Somerville, TN. My father introduced me to duck hunting at the legendary Beaver Dam Lake in Tunica, MS. I was very fortunate to be able to put together a group of duck hunters to purchase a small section of Beaver Dam Lake in 2012. We have a small private club called the Nash Buckingham Rod and Gun Club. It was a very dry year and the lake was very low. I wanted to buy an inexpensive shallow water motor for a small boat but was having a hard time finding one. This Quest led to the founding of Beaver Dam Mud Runners.

After thoroughly researching the market and the history of the mud motor, I quickly found out that there were very few inexpensive mud motor options in the US. Most were over priced and over engineered for what I wanted. I started asking around and found that most of my fellow duck hunters agreed. As my dad did with Labrador retrievers, I started researching the history and origins of the mud motor. I knew there had to be a better option and that history might lead me to a better solution as it did for my father. I quickly found out that since the 1950's, Thailand had been making shallow water motors, more specifically the long tail design. I bought a couple Thai motors and quickly found out they were the answer to my quest. I used them through duck season and talked to some duck hunters that had used them. Mine worked great and everybody I talked to had good reviews of them.

Thai Long Tails are the worldwide standard for long tail mud motors but have not effectively been brought to and marketed in the US. Long tail mud motors made in the US are designed off of the Thai long tail motor design. The Vietnam War exposed the US to the Asian long tail mud motor. In the 1970's, a company was founded in Louisiana that started making expensive long tail mud motors very similar to the Thai design. However, long tails had been made in the US since the late 1800's by various companies. Strelinger, Caille and Gierholtt were some of the companies in the US in the early 1900's. They often had different names like stick motors or shallow water motors instead of long tail's. Germany used a long tail mud motor in World War II and maybe even WWI.

As a result of my research and my experiences at Beaver Dam Lake, I decided to go "Back to the Original" and that is how Beaver Dam Mud Runners was born and named. I found that there are many duck hunters that need an inexpensive simple, solution for a mud motor. Duck hunting is expensive enough without having to spend a ton of money on a big mud motor and boat. Most of us don't need a 250lb, 35hp mud motor that costs about five thousand dollars. Thailand companies have been making and distributing long tail mud motors throughout the world for at least 50 years. My mission is to provide duck hunters with an inexpensive but high quality and simple solution for shallow water navigation.

Having grown up fly fishing, duck hunting, sailing and white water canoeing, I am obviously a fan of water and boats. For 8 years, I served as a K-9 Handler with a Federal Urban Search and Rescue Task Force. (Tennessee Task Force One (FEMA US&R)) I went through swift water rescue training and deployed to several hurricanes on the Gulf Coast including Katrina where I was involved in various rescues. The outdoors, water and boats have obviously always been a passion in my life.

I plan on selling the best shallow water boats and motors on the market. With a 30 acre swamp, I want to be the place to go to test boats and motors.

I am a fan of old hunting artifacts and old duck boats. Since, I enjoy the nostalgia of of duck hunting, we will also be designing aluminum boats based on old boats used by duck hunters. Welcome to my website and I hope that you become a customer.

Links to pictures and articles of early American and Foreign Manufactures of Long Tail Mud Motors

Old Mud Motor Ad American Manufactures
Gierholt
Spencer
Strelinger

Foreign Manufacturers
Cudell- Germany- Early 1900's
British Long Tail from the 1940

Interesting Links
The Liberty Single was a popular long tail in America in the early 1900's:
Liberty Twin
Liberty Single

The Motogodille was a popular French Motor in the early 1900's:
Motogodille

Video of an antique Motogodille working today:
Essais de Motogodille

Electric Motor similar to a long tail- 1895
Allen
Salisbury

Video of German Soldiers using Long Tail Mud Motors in war
German assault motor for bad water Maybach S5

Blog Entry on Longtail boats and motors:
Thai Things - Longtail Boats

Article on my father, Labradors and my family
"Back to the Original"

Article on Mud Runner Boats and Nash Buckingham
"New Beaver Dam Club Plus Four Mud Runner Boats Celebrate the Ducking Hunting Spirit of Nash Buckingham"