Greenhead presents the 2020 Executive Q&A featuring a slate of executives sharing the moments, tips, guns and gadgets that have made their time in the field special.
Shane Speights, D.O.
Dean of New York Institute of Technology-College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University
Number of days you hunt a season? Twelve. If it weren’t for my day job … .
Where do you hunt? Harrisburg now, south of Arkadelphia growing up
Club name? Open Banks Hunting Club circa 1980; Redneck Speights
What kind of gun do you use? Browning Gold 12 gauge 3.5 inch
Favorite duck call? Duck Commander. Early on Phil Robertson sold his calls store to store; my dad sold them at his sporting goods store in south Arkansas.
Fields, reservoir or timber? Northeast Arkansas fields and Ouachita river bottoms
Rainy, nasty or bluebird sky? Bluebird sky
Favorite hunting story/memory? My father, Reggie Speights, and I had gone hunting on the Evans Farm in northeast Arkansas and had taken my oldest son, Jacob, along. Jacob was young at the time and just starting to hunt with a breakover, single-shot, .410 that I had hunted with when I was a boy and my father had when he was. We had several groups of ducks come in that morning and had killed many of them. After one group came in, one of the ducks was wounded and so I got out of the field blind to go pick it up. After retrieving the wounded duck I was walking back toward the blind in time to see a group of mallards come in. My father and my son both raised up and dropped three of the ducks. One of the ducks dropped on the side of the blind [where] my son was sitting. When I got back to the blind my son was all smiles after killing his first greenhead.
Watching your son shoot his first greenhead with the shotgun you grew up with while hunting with your father, his grandfather — that duck is now mounted in my son’s room with the spent .410 shell nailed to the wooden base. Does it get any better than that?
What got you into hunting? My father did. To be honest, I wasn’t that thrilled when we started duck hunting. I was probably 7 or 8, and getting up early on a Saturday morning after being at school all week wasn’t real high on my priority list. However, I enjoyed the time I got to spend with him and his hunting buddies. … I didn’t grow up limiting out on mallard drakes every hunt. Most times we were lucky to see any mallards, or ducks for that matter. You see, I grew up hunting in south Arkansas on the Ouachita River, south of Arkadelphia. Not too terribly far from the sewer pits (appropriately named). “Shoot only greenheads.” While that’s a typical phrase in northeast Arkansas, in south Arkansas you would get a funny look. If it flew, we shot it. A good hunt was a couple of Wood Ducks, a Teal, and a Greenhead. It really was more about the spirit of the hunt than the number killed.
What is your most unusual “must have” in the duck blind? For me, a leatherman tool. You can fix almost anything with one of those. Guns, four-wheelers, trucks, duck blinds, decoys, you name it. My kids would say the snacks.
Where is your go-to spot for breakfast/meals on a hunting weekend? In northeast Arkansas we are lucky enough to cook inside the field blind at Nolan Evans farm. That’s how my kids are growing up. In south Arkansas it was either Granny’s restaurant (yes, there was a granny and yes, she did cook there) or the Open Banks Hunting Club where we were rationed on pancakes, bacon, and orange juice. I call it orange juice for the color, not because of its lineage to anything in the fruit category. … They served great food that no doubt set the stage for cholesterol lowering medications that came a few decades later.
If you have children do you take them duck hunting? If so, what are some of the highlights from these youth hunts? My oldest is my daughter, Abby. I have three sons, Jacob, Parker, and Xavier. They love eating duck and for my daughter it’s always her “birthday meal” request. I’ve taken Abby and Jacob hunting several times, just now getting to Parker and Xavier. Taking both Abby and Jacob anywhere together is a mixed bag. It’s “safer” to pick one or the other. Those two feed off each other and if you don’t watch them one will end up face down in the water while the other is eating all the snacks. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything.