As the dog days of summer hurtle by, the news of improved conditions on the duck breeding grounds has the juices flowing for the upcoming season. After a few dry springs and summers, the ducks finally have some wetlands to work with which, in turn, should produce a bountiful breeding season. Nature goes in cycles so the ducks and the hunters were due a good turn.
Working on Greenhead’s 13th annual edition also inspires daydreams of mallards fluttering over the decoys, wet dogs and big, post-hunt breakfasts. I don’t think anyone imagined when we started this publication in 2010 that it would have come this far — multiple awards, national advertisers and a growing fan base inside and outside the state. Arkansas duck hunting is unlike anything else on the planet and we do our best to capture the essence of the sport.
The 2022 edition features an eclectic mix of personal profiles, conservation stories and a touch of history. The lineup ranges from a photo profile of the artistic, custom gun rooms crafted by Julian and Sons of Heber Springs, to a duck ramen recipe that will tickle the taste buds, to a profile of Jonathan Wilkins of Black Duck Revival and his unique experiences in the waterfowling world.
We hear from some of the state’s champions of conservation, learn who inspired them and hear their ideas. We also let Arkansas waterfowling personalities quiz each other in in a round-robin format, and we take a “Mythbusters”-themed look at topics causing conjecture in the industry.
George Dunklin and Doug Osborne are educating the next generation of conservationists at the Five Oaks Ag Research and Education Center, while we travel the flyways with a GPS transmitter duck, courtesy of Arkansas Waterfowler Hall of Famer Mickey Heitmeyer.
Speaking of the hall of fame, after a long, pandemic-related hiatus, two classes of industry giants were inducted before a sold-out crowd in Little Rock. We also continue our Q&A series with a slate of duck-hunting executives and hear their favorite stories and tips.
We all have to purchase Arkansas duck stamps to be legal afield. In this issue we learn the program’s history and where the dollars raised by stamp sales go. Finally, Bernard Washington explains his love for the nontraditional hunting dog breeds he trains at Broneck Kennels.
This year’s lineup will hopefully tide you over until we crank things up in November. As our final thought says, think about why you hunt — the sport needs hunter/investors more than ever.
Limits or not, enjoy the chase!