Hunter Bale and black labs go back a long way.
Number of days you hunt a season?
Where do you hunt?
What kind of gun do you use?
20-gauge Benelli pump.
JJ Lairs or RNT.
Fields, reservoir or timber?
Fields and timber.
Rainy, nasty or bluebird sky?
Any time the ducks are flying, truly does not matter to me.
Favorite hunting story/memory?
Honestly any time that I get to go hunting it’s one of my favorite memories. I get to hunt with my family almost every weekend. … Our dogs are a big part of our family and why I like duck hunting. At some point it’s not as much about just getting ducks as it is watching our dogs work. The look on [6-year-old black lab] Lloyd’s face when he knows we are going hunting is only second to taking [wife] Brooke or [son] Evans with me. “He is a machine” as people say; he lives to retrieve but comes home from the hunt and shadows our son everywhere he goes to the point of playing chase with him. Our family has always had black labs, and we have bought them from Cimiroc Kennels, Dan Sayles, in Minnesota, for over 40 years.
What got you into hunting?
My dad. As a family, that is what we do is hunt.
If you have children do you take them duck hunting? If so what are some of the highlights from these youth hunts?
We have one child, a son Evans, who is 6 and he is just getting into hunting. … One of my favorite memories of taking kids duck hunting is having my godson, Clark McCarley Jr. hunting on our farm and when he killed his first band. It was very windy and we were hunting in the woods. The ducks were working into the woods about 100 yards south of us just to get out of the wind and sailing to the decoys. It was a day that you dream of with the amount of ducks we had, and Clark Jr., was with us. He was sitting in the boat barely off the decoys and the ducks didn’t care. They could see the decoys and they were coming in if we [had] been standing in the middle of them. The duck came in and Clark killed it. He was so excited.
What is your most unusual “must have” in the duck blind?
Ducks! I’m not very good at staying out there if there aren’t any ducks.
Which Arkansas executive calls ducks the best?
My dad, Johnny Bale.