LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Duck season opens on Friday, November 16 in Arkansas. Luke Naylor,Waterfowl Program Coordinator with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commissiontalks about what you need to know before heading out.
"Well, I'm a duck biologist so I think duck season is a whole lot better than deer season," Naylor says.
"There's a build up to both. But duck hunting is a real gear intensive; it's a preparation intensive activity. Not to say deer hunting isn't but duck hunting there's all the calls, the decoys preparation, people getting their dogs ready this fall, flooding up areas that they own or lease to hunt. So there's a whole lot of steps that people have been building up to the past few weeks or months."
"There's a little carry over from the drought. Food production on some of our wildlife management areas, we had to work a little bit harder to produce food for ducks this summer the way that we might do in a wet year," Naylor explains.
"We're fortunate to have a lot of places across the state where people can go to hunt.Stuttgart, of course, gets the press across the country being on the Grand Prairie and being on the Delta itself of east Arkansas. We don't look overlook places in west Arkansas, up the Arkansas River Valley, especially in dry years like this may have a lot of birds. Southwest Arkansas has some great waterfowl habitats as well," Naylor adds.
"People will typically spend a lot of days hunting in Arkansas. Some states may have a lot of opening day activity. In Arkansas we see a lot of folks that hunt for 10, 20 or 30 days throughout the season."
"Duck hunting is a little complex when it comes to regulations. So you need a hunting license, and state and federal waterfowl stamps, and a harvest information program registration to be legal to hunt if you're 16 or over," says Naylor.
"Overall we thought there were about 60-thousand active duck hunters last year. 80,000 people buy duck stamps each year. Maybe about two-thirds of those are active duck hunters."
"Just get out and try," Naylor says. "This is another, this is the all time record high for duck numbers. That doesn't guarantee success in your local hunting spot. But things look good, I'm optimistic. High number of ducks this year. We just need a little rain through December and some cold weather."