(Greenhead.net Pro Staffer Kody Riggan hunts the timber of Northeast Arkansas at his family’s club, Squareshooter Hunting Club, located in the Black River Bottoms. Look for more of Kody’s contributions throughout the fall and on through duck season.)

Well, finally after a year and a half our woods dried up enough to clean up from the 2009 ice storm. We attempted to work in there last fall, but due to the heavy rains and flooding in mid-September, we had to pull out.

As a result, we had to spend all winter standing in one spot, because the limbs under the water were so bad. If fact, Bouncer, my retriever, could only go about 30 yards out of the hole or he would get hung up in a pile of brush. 

Fast forward to now and the same place looks like a state park. We hired Kenny Dixon of Kenny’s Dozer Service of Camden to come in with his Fecon 440 timber mulcher.

If you haven’t ever seen one of these in action, you would be amazed at what it can accomplish in an hour. It is basically a stump grinder on tracks with a 440 horsepower Caterpillar engine. He spent the better part of last week grinding up all the debris on the ground as well as taking out some of the undesirable trees to let the better oak trees grow.

An example of the Fecon 440, gettin’ it done.

Later, we’ll select places to transplant new oak trees. We also hope the ducks can see the water better, which has been an issue in the last few years as a result of a heavy timber cutting in the late ’70s.

Our next move is to clean up the mulch in the areas where we hunt and then, hopefully, we start getting some rain around the middle of October.

I’m giving some thought to purchasing a Pro-Drive mud motor on a Legend Craft boat to let us get around in the woods and shallow water better. Every year the leaves and debris, which is now mulch, seem to give me trouble way up into December.