Bahn: It 'Only' Took Three Decades To Get A Duck Hunting Story Of My Own

by Chris Bahn  on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011 12:00 pm  

My first duck hunting experience in January was memorable and gave me an appreciation for what friends had been talking about all these years. (Photo by Gabe Holmstrom)

This story is from the archives of

It’s tough to find an Arkansan without a duck hunting story. Many folks have a favorite memory of their first or most recent trip with friends and family.

In the Natural State, hunting is as much family tradition as business or recreational pursuit, a legacy passed down through generations. From the rice fields of Northeast and Southeast Arkansas to the flooded timber regions in between, the state is full of duck hunters with stories to tell.

This year’s Greenhead: The Arkansas Duck Hunting Magazine again contains many cherished memories from avid hunters. It’s a fantastic read for anybody who enjoys duck hunting and folks who just enjoy beautiful photos and great storytelling.

Not surprisingly, my earliest memory of hunting isn’t included in the gorgeous 68-page, full-color magazine [click here for the digital edition]. For years the first thing that popped into my head when the subject came up was … geometry class.

Geometry class?

Yep. Any mention of hunting used to take me back to Jonesboro High School in 1994. An early morning math class is the first place I remember my first real exposure to duck hunters.

As you’ll find in this year’s magazine — or in a conversation with avid hunters — the sport is often passed down from generation to generation. That’s why we chose “A Sport of Legacy” as this year’s theme.

My father, Robert, passed down many things to me: his appreciation of music and an interest in sports are two that impact my life daily. Also shared between Bahns is a less than favorable opinion of cold weather and earlier-than necessary wakeup calls.

While I have always appreciated what the state’s rice fields meant to our local economy — today $1 billion and thousands of jobs are produced thanks to rice farming in the eastern portions of Arkansas — the idea of spending time in a flooded, frozen field at an unreasonably early hour did little for me.

So when the classroom bell rang at 8 a.m., a healthy number of students at Jonesboro High would roll into the second floor classroom dressed in camouflage and my sleep-deprived classmates did little to sell me on the enjoyable aspects of hunting.

They were dressed for extreme wet and cold. When they were awake enough to provide details of their trips into the local fields, they spoke of 4 a.m. wakeup calls.

Sounded awful.



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