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

Jarrod Yates

Director, Public Affairs and Government Relations
Arkansas Farm Bureau

Days you hunt a season? Thirty-five.

Where do you hunt? South of Lonoke, between Lonoke and Coy.

Club name? Pecan Lake Duck Lodge.

What kind of gun do you use? Semi-auto.

Favorite duck call? RNT and Zink calls are on my lanyard. I’ve been wanting to check out an Elite, but haven’t picked one up yet.

Fields, reservoir or timber? [As] everyone who has ever done it at least once would agree, there is no better duck hunting than timber hunting. But, we do a lot of field and reservoir hunting at Pecan Lake.

Rainy, nasty or bluebird sky? Not hot is my first preference. We started last year’s season in T-shirts. I will say clear, sunny days are always best, but some of my most memorable and fun hunts have been snow hunts.

Favorite hunting story/memory? My brothers and I were obsessed with duck hunting at an early age. I remember my younger brother Matthew sitting in his bedroom blowing the duck call nonstop. We’d get home from school and he’d go straight to it. Long story short, his constant practicing led him to be pretty darn good on a duck call. My dad and some guys he worked with planned a hunt on Millwood Lake in southwest Arkansas and dad let us tag along. The hunting was slow, but we had done some early shooting. The 9 a.m. flight brought a large group of about 25 ducks circling high above our decoys. Matthew was calling and the birds were responding. They were getting a little lower with each pass. Everyone was impressed with his calling as we were stealing looks up at the ducks coming down. They kept coming, everyone was getting excited about this big group, but no one more so than Matthew. We were all ready, and Matthew yells as loud as he can yell “Bust them fools!” The problem was, the ducks hadn’t quite come into gun range. Everyone looked at each other and laughed as the ducks flared away. No shots were fired. Needless to say Matthew has never lived it down and it’s usually how we call all our shots now. Not “Take ’em” or “Shoot ’em,” but “Bust them fools!” 

Jarod YatesIf you have kids, do you take them hunting? Highlights? I have two children: my daughter Annison, 19, and my son Tanner, 15. They both enjoy hunting. If I’m duck hunting, it’s very rare for Tanner not to be in the blind with me. He’s become a really good duck hunter. He’s a good shot, great caller and even cleans the ducks. Annison would probably tell you she’s more of a deer hunter, but she likes being in a duck blind or deer stand either way. 

What got you into hunting? My dad took me duck hunting at an early age and I was hooked. I’ve been doing it ever since. I’ve gotten to hunt in a lot of great Arkansas locations. I deer hunt, dove hunt, squirrel hunt, turkey hunt, but duck hunting is what I love the most.

What is your most unusual “must have” in the duck blind? This isn’t [what] every hunt must have, but I’ve been told it fits the unusual category. Our club has a tradition of having a big fish fry the last weekend of duck season every year. Everyone brings fish from the freezer and we have all the fixings. We cook a lot to make sure we have several half-gallon Ziploc bags of fish left over. We throw it in the fridge overnight. The next morning each group takes a bag of cold fish to the blind. So, on the last weekend cold fish is a must have.

Where is your go-to spot for breakfast/meals on a hunting weekend? Arkansas duck country is home to a lot of great places to eat. The Grumpy Rabbit in Lonoke is close to us and has outstanding food, drink, atmosphere and staff. If you haven’t been, do yourself a favor and check them out.

Which Arkansas executive calls ducks the best? I’ve had the opportunity to hunt with a lot of great people and great duck callers. I’d say Mr. Rich Hillman, president of Arkansas Farm Bureau, knows what he’s doing. He does pay me, but not to say that — so it’s nothing but the truth.