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STUTTGART, Ark. (KTHV) - Earlier this month deer hunters had their opening day. Now, duck hunters are getting ready to head out to rice fields and flooded timber this weekend.

When commercial production of rice began in Arkansas decades ago, Marion McCollum, owner of Mack's Prairie Wings said ducks and geese began flocking to the Stuttgart area.

"As the ducks started their migration they had to have somewhere to go and these flooded fields of rice, they got customary to coming to this area."

Mick Wagner from Fayetteville said he's been coming to Stuttgart to hunt for 35 years.

"Well, after all, it's the duck capital of the world."

Wagner said while it is a sport, hunting ducks is also a social occasion.

"The ducks are a bonus, you know, it's a social event as much as anything else."

The Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce estimates that a million dollars a day is spent on food, lodging, and supplies in the small Arkansas town.

Matthew Finley from Little Rock said he spends days preparing for opening weekend.

"Got our decoys, decoy weights, you know all that kind of good stuff. You know obviously the season opens up on Saturday. Just kind of getting ready. Of course we kind of like to do it at the last minute."

Waterfowl expert, Aaron Copeland said water levels are low, but they're hoping conditions will improve.

"Right now we need all the rain we can get to have a good duck season, so this front coming, this cold front, this rain, I'm loving it, I'm liking it a whole lot."

McCollum said no matter the forecast, conditions are always ideal in Stuttgart.

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