Like many young men growing up in South Carolina, I chased wood ducks from Thanksgiving until the end of January every year. A group of buddies and I wanted to go to Stuttgart, Arkansas to hunt ducks in 1994. I had no idea, this trip would change my life.
My Duck Hunting Start
This was right before technical clothes and waders became a thing. We wore brown waders and a mix match of camouflage. We hunted with Steve Schultz, a bona fide duck killer in Arkansas. Steve grew up around those parts and knew the famed Bayou Meto green timber like the back of his hand. We were threatened with our lives not to peak around the tree, he would tell us when to “get em”. I can remember the cut down Olt call and the sound it made in the timber, echoing off the water. A little after daylight, and after about 10 minutes of persuasive calling, Steve hollered “get em” and I looked up to what looked like 200 mallards in the hole. I think I flock shot them from being so excited, not sure if I even cut a feather! From that trip with my buds in 1994, I’ve been hooked on the Prairie region of Arkansas, the rice fields, and the flooded green timber.
I have been back to Arkansas almost every year since. When I had kids and my oldest was 6 , we hunted with a great outfitter in western Tennessee in big blinds, where my 2 young boys could spread out a little and get out of the elements if needed.
A few years went by and I felt Arkansas calling my name again. I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to create something special for my boys, and a few of my buddies. I wanted to create something generational that was ours. I wanted to create Duck Camp.
The Creation of Prairie Oaks Duck Club
In 2018, we created Prairie Oaks Duck Club. Located 26 miles southwest of Stuttgart, Arkansas, in a small community of 800 people, 6 miles from the Bayou Meto, a place we can call our own. We hunt flooded fields and timber from Tucker to Dewitt, and all in between. The infamous Bayou Meto with over 33,000 acres of flooded green timber, is 6 miles from our lodge, with some of the best public duck hunting in the country.
I love hearing those train horns as those long freight trains snake their way across the Prairie, I love the frigid cold and wind as it whips across the Prairie at 4 am, I love the sound of whistling wings over the decoys right before sunrise, I love the jokes and ribbing in the duck blind, I love watching a Labrador work and do what they were created for, I love Cut Down calls and Benelli shotguns, and I love sharing time with family and friends over a steak at night. This is what keeps me grinding, day in and day out.
Our club’s mission is simple: To create lifelong memories, lasting friendships, enjoy the beauty of a working duck dog, and marvel at Gods creation as the sun rises across the Prairie; all while sharing a duck blind, a great meal, or telling stories around the fire pit.
That last week in November can’t get here fast enough for me every year.
Hope to see you in the woods,
Founder- Prairie Oaks Duck Club