Greenhead presents the 2022 Executive Q&A featuring a panel of executives sharing their must-haves, top tips and favorite memories in the field.

Austin Booth

Executive Director
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Days you hunt a season? Twenty to 25. 

Where do you hunt? All over the State. Bayou Meto WMA is my go-to.

What kind of gun do you use? Pump.

Favorite duck call? Bob Migeot’s Mellow Yellow (Maumelle). It’s what I learned to blow when I was a youngster riding in the truck with my dad. I just can’t put it down.

Fields, reservoir or timber? This is tough. You simply cannot beat hugging a tree and getting up close and personal with the ducks. But a close second is a prairie sunset in a rice field.

Austin Booth

Rainy, nasty or bluebird sky? Bluebird morning in the timber with a breeze at my back is the obvious answer. But the Marine Corps also taught me that austerity breeds character, so I am always chomping at the bit to hunt in conditions no one else will.

Favorite hunting story/memory? I’ll share two. The first memory is the last time I hunted timber with my dad and brother. It was the post-Christmas opener and was truly a lights-out hunt. The conditions were perfect and the ducks read the script that day. We limited out in less than 20 minutes. The second memory is a hunt I enjoyed this January. I had the opportunity to hunt with a friend and his young son from Alabama and a friend from Virginia who I taught to duck hunt on the Potomac River when I was still on active duty in the Marine Corps. The setting was a moist soil property that was one of AGFC’s first Wetland Reserve Program projects. This hunt summed up many things that are tremendously important to me in this season of my life: showing the next generation of waterfowlers the magic of what we love and AGFC partnering with landowners to maximize habitat.

If you have kids, do you take them hunting? Highlights? My kids are young: 9, 6 and 3. Being stationed on the East Coast for so long, I never wanted to get them out on big water in the regularly sub-freezing temperatures and breaking ice. But this year will be their first season and we are all thrilled about it.

What got you into hunting? Plain and simple, it was my dad. It was much more than picking up a hobby of his. Rather, there was not a single person that I looked up to like I did my dad. Seeing him in his element and the sense of adventure by his side were my sole motivations. Ducks were just a bonus.

What is your most unusual “must have” in the duck blind? A Maduro, Nicaraguan cigar. Normally in that 8:30 a.m. lull.

Where is your go-to spot for breakfast/meals on a hunting weekend? McSwain’s on Highway 165. Randy and his family are long-time friends, and nowhere captures my roots and the community around duck hunting like McSwain’s.

Which Arkansas executive calls ducks the best? “Best” is subjective, mostly to ducks, of course. But my favorite is one of our commissioners. (And I know I’ll catch some heat for this.) We hunted Bayou Meto together this year, and it struck me just how much his calling reflects his personality.