A ‘Case’ for enjoying the great outdoors

by Donna Lampkin Stephens

Jordan Case of Conway is a true outdoorsman.

Case, 21, loves flyfishing, duck hunting, deer hunting and turkey hunting, among other outdoor activities. He loves the peace of mind that comes from being in the outdoors, away from the busyness of city life.

“It’s definitely not the thrill of the kill,” he said. “I feel like that’s what hunting has become, people out trying to bag a big buck, and that’s not what I like about it. I think a lot of people hunt for the wrong reasons.”

He’s also an accomplished duck caller. Case recently won a Team Real Duck duck-calling competition in Conway, a competition that is a little different from the World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest in Stuttgart over Thanksgiving weekend.

He did a lot of competitions when he was an intermediate caller and got fifth in the World’s while he was still in high school. Now, though, he’s moved away from that type of calling to “meat competition.”

“That’s mimicking the actual ducks,” he said. “That’s the competition I won in Conway.”

Case got serious about hunting when he was about 13, and he started competition duck-calling at that point. Butch Richenbach of Stuttgart, who has won at every level of the Stuttgart competition and taught and mentored dozens of callers, worked with him.

“I already knew how to duck-call, but he taught me how to competition-call,” Case said.

There is a difference, he explained.

“Competition calling is very loud, a totally different way of calling,” he said. “It’s nothing that a duck actually does. The really, really loud duck-calling is unrealistic, more for people’s ears.

“You’ve got to know how to call ducks. Just because you can blow a call on stage doesn’t mean you can go out there and read the ducks.”

Case said he’d been a lover of the outdoors since he was about 10, when his cousin, George Baker, and Baker’s son, Dustin, first took him deer hunting. George Baker’s wife, Susan, and Case’s mother, Lori, are first cousins.

“I come from a very close family who have always been big on hunting, fishing and being outdoors enjoying God’s creation,” George Baker said. “Dustin is the one who really took Jordan under his wing and helped him get started hunting, fishing and just enjoying times in the outdoors. I just took them and tried to show and teach them the way.”

George Baker describes Case as “a very skilled and accomplished” duck caller.

“His abilities are really something,” he said. “He was very fortunate to be able to have his parents behind him helping with the paying for equipment, calls and lessons and providing time for him to get away. He was very blessed to be instructed by one of the best duck-calling instructors around.

“But it took a lot of practicing and hunting to become familiar with all the aspects of duck hunting and to become a great duck caller.”

Whatever the season, Case likes to eat what he kills.

“I like to say I’m a good cook,” he said. “Me and my girlfriend together are pretty good cooks.”

Spoken like any true outdoorsman.

Case is happy to share some of his favorite recipes with 501 readers:

Duck Nuggets – Barbecue

2 duck breasts

1 pound bacon

A few toothpicks

12 oz. container of barbecue sauce

Cut the duck breast into 1 1/2 inch cubes.

Cut the bacon strips in half and wrap a strip around each cube, holding each in place with a toothpick.

Grill the nuggets, basting them with barbecue sauce as they cook. Once the bacon is cooked the duck is usually done as well.

Duck Nuggets – Spicy

Mallard duck

Zesty Italian dressing

Lemon pepper

Cavender’s Seasoning

Jalapeno peppers

Cream cheese

Marinate duck in Italian dressing for at least 12 hours. Season with lemon pepper and Cavender’s Seasoning. Stuff jalapenos with cream cheese then wrap duck around the pepper. Wrap bacon around the duck and grill for 20 minutes.


Duck Gumbo

2 ducks, cut into serving pieces (or chicken and smoked sausage)

Cajun marinade (like the kind you put in a turkey before you deep fry)

2 quarts water

1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cooking oil

1 onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 small bell pepper, diced

1/3 cup parsley, chopped

2/3 cup green onion tops, sliced

Inject the ducks with marinade using 1-1/2 ounces per pound, cut into serving pieces and put the ducks to boil in the water over medium heat. While the ducks are boiling, make a roux in an iron skillet by putting the oil and flour together. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the flour is a dark brown.

Add the onions, celery and bell pepper, cooking until the vegetables are transparent. Now, add roux to the boiling water and cook until the duck is tender, about two hours total. Add water, if necessary, for proper consistency.

Add the green onion tops and parsley just before serving. Serve hot with cooked rice.