Wiley Meacham and friends enjoy a morning duck hunt near Monroe. (By Bryan Hendricks)[View Full-Size]
I have hunted mallards within yards of perhaps t
he most famous “kitchen” in Arkansas.
The kitchen’s centerpiece is, of course, the table. One would expect such a table to be made of mahogany or bird’s
eye maple, or maybe pecan or burled walnut, but no, it’s just an ordinary
plastic card table with foldi
ng legs. A wooden table wouldn’t last long in this kitchen.
It belongs to Wiley Meacham of Brinkley and Don Thompson of Little Rock, owners of Piney Creek
Ducks Inc. The Piney Creek area is an undeveloped part of Meacham’s farm that’s managed
especially for green timber duck hunting. They hunt only in the mornings, and generally they huntjust one hole, so the entire place is basically a giant rest area for mallards.
The “kitchen” was my first exposure to this place. I saw a photo of it nearly 15 years ago
in theArkansas Duck Hunters Almanac written by Steve Bowman and Steve Wright. It showed a group of waderclad hunters standing around a table in the middle of the water eating cheese and sausageon crackers.On Monday, I joined Thompson, Wiley Meacham, Steve Meacham, Talmage Baggett of Fayetteville,N.C., and Billy Peel of Mabelvale for a duck hunt in this revered forest. A man with a name like
Talmage Baggett couldn’t be anything else but a judge. He presides over the 12th Judicial District
in North Carolina and has an accent that would win any actor an Oscar. When I told him I had oncebeen editor of North Carolina Game and Fish magazine, it was like old home week.
A hunt at Meacham’s is “Cadillac” hunting at its finest. The area around the duck hole is gr
so you don’t sink into the mud, nor are there any roots to send a hunter sprawling. The boat
delivers each hunter to a bench.Ducks began flying shortly after we arrived, and a couple of groups landed and left beforeshooting time. Precisely at shooting time, the Meachams and Baggett blew the mallard version of