The 60-day duck season starts this weekend in Arkansas. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service are predicting a record number of ducks to come into Arkansas. Trey Reid is Assistant Chief of Communications with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. He says a record 50-million ducks are expected to come south for the winter. Reid says that has followed a trend over the past several years.
“Over the past several years, we have had record or near record numbers,” says Reid. “We are just slightly below where we were last year, but not by much. The question now is trying to find out when they will get here and how many will come. Those questions are usually determined on weather and water.”
Reid says a cold and wet winter will bode well for duck hunters and will increase the number of ducks that will come to Arkansas. Reid says Arkansas has a geographical advantage in attracting large numbers of ducks. Ducks will fly south for the winter and like being in the region of the Mississippi River…thus, Arkansas is known as being in the Mississippi flyway. He says another factor is the large amount of bottomland hardwood forest that exists in Arkansas, which is very attractive to ducks. Reid says duck hunting is an economic boon for parts of the state that are impoverished.
“It is the rare instance where money flows from the cities to the rural areas,” says Reid. “It is usually the other way around. Many small communities depend on a good duck season.”
Reid says duck hunting and other forms of waterfowl tourism pump at least 60-million-dollars into the state every year during the season. The 60-day duck season is in three segments, with the first segment starting this Saturday morning. The season runs November 18th through the 26th…December 7th through the 23rd…and December 26th through January 28th.