This week I am taking a look back at a special duck hunt I went on back in January of 2005. My friend Jason Vickers is originally from Stuttgart, Arkansas, which is the duck hunting capitol of the world. Growing up, Jason was friends with and went to church with now president of the Rich-N-Tone (RNT) duck call company and 3-time World Champion Duck Caller, John Stephens. Jason invited me to take a weekend trip to Stuttgart with him to do some duck hunting. I had read about how good the hunting was over there, and had seen duck hunting television shows filmed there, so I wasn't about to pass up this opportunity. He had another close friend named Ken who allowed us to stay at his house and hunt on his family's property the entire weekend.
The first morning's hunt was the best of the whole weekend. Jason's friend Ken had managed to pull some strings and got us permission to hunt on the Stephens' property. I've never seen so many ducks in all my life! We got our limit easily within an hour. But, according to both Ken and Jason, the hunting was slow compared to normal conditions. I was used to hunting public lakes here in Texas, where you see more duck hunters than you do ducks. I was in duck paradise! It was a mecca for Mallards! Geese were flying over in droves!
Jason had actually given me a Rich-N-Tone call just a few weeks before the trip, and I was very impressed with the sound of the call. While we were there, we stopped by the RNT factory where we were given a personal tour by John. It was neat to see the different stages and machines used in making the duck calls. They have some really nice products and a very professional looking website. Check it out: RNT Calls
Jason's friend Ken and his family were very hospitable, as was the entire Stephens family. We went to church with them Sunday morning at First Baptist Stuttgart and had dinner with a group of several families after church. I enjoyed getting to meet them all and really appreciated their hospitality.
Here are some pictures from the trip. We were hunting over flooded rice fields.
This is Jason (left) and Ken, Sr. (right). Ken, Jr. had to work while we were there and didn't get to hunt on this particular morning.
Here is a typical view of the flooded rice fields we were hunting. You could drive down the roads heading back into town and see these fields absolutely covered with ducks!