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Arkansas Game & Fish Commission Approves 60-day Duck Season

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By (hunterzig) -


The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission approved a 60-day duck season and heard a proposal to ban spinning wing decoys on Bayou Meto and Dave Donaldson Black River wildlife management areas Thursday at its monthly meeting in Little Rock.

The duck season will be in three segments:

  • November 21-29
  • December 10-23
  • December 26- January 31, 2016

The two-day youth waterfowl hunting season will split into two one-day segments, December 5 and February 6, 2016.

Traditionally the youth season was a full weekend after the end of the regular season. The commission settled on the segmented season to take advantage of better weather and greater duck numbers in December, take advantage of better hunting conditions on public areas and a greater willingness of private duck clubs to welcome youth hunters in February.

The spinning wing decoy ban will apply only to the two management areas and will not apply to private land, said commissioner Fred Brown of Corning. Brown said the commission has no intention to extend the ban to private land in the future.

The definition of a spinning wing decoy will revert to the 2007 wildlife code when a statewide ban on the devices was still in effect. The commission will vote on the proposal at its next meeting on September 16.

In other business, the commission:

  • Approved new fishing regulations that will go into effect Jan. 1. They voted to remove a regulation that prohibited use of outboard motors greater than 30 horsepower on the Eleven Point River. "A lot of people are very happy about that because they haven't been able to fish the Eleven Point for years because of restrictions on their equipment," Brown said.
  • Voted to delete a section of the wildlife code that made it unlawful to refuse inspection by a wildlife officer. This also includes requests from a wildlife officer to surrender items such as killing devices, licenses, permits, ice chests and other hunting and fishing equipment that can hold wildlife.
  • Approved entering into a partnership with Southwestern Energy, Inc., to improve wildlife habitat at Ed Gordon Point Remove WMA. Southwestern Energy will contribute $700,000 to the project. The balance will come from a Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration grant.
  • Accepted a donation of 120 acres adjacent to the Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms WMA from Magellan Midstream Partners. The donation fulfills Magellan's mitigation requirements as part of a petroleum pipeline project.

Reprinted from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's ArkansasOnline, published Friday, August 21, 2015.