BRUMMITT, Ark. (KTHV) - This weekend, one of the busiest seasons for Arkansans comes to an end. Duck hunting ends Sunday, followed by a youth weekend on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.
This week's Science with Sarah puts a new spin on the sport, exploring why duck hunting is so special to Arkansas.
Whether it's the culture, legacy, or thrill, duck hunting is a major sport to the natural state. Feather Farms of in Brummitt, Ark. took Sarah Fortner on a duck hunt to learn what it's all about.
Geography of Arkansas plays a huge role in the duck hunting success. As birds migrate in from Canada, Arkansas is in the path to warmer weather. It's not just the temperature that appeals the birds, but typically in winter, most land in the northern plains are frozen or snow covered, so the ducks don't have a food source. In turn, when the weather is very icy up north, it typically means hunting in Arkansas is that much better.
The agriculture of Arkansas is also to thank for the great hunting. Dennis Adkins explained that before the advancement of farm equipment, more rice and other crops were left behind. So historically, ducks favored Arkansas for the abundance of food.
Now the state manages land for the ducks to have a rest stop. Arkansas Game and Fish provides habitat areas like Bayou Meta that are open to the public.
Weather plays a big role in hunting ducks, too. Other than geography, wind, temperatures, pressure changes and even moon phases can determine when waterfowl are more or less active.
"It's harder to kill the ducks when you've got a full moon and they eat all night," added Adkins.
After a 12-hour hunter safety course and rounds of practicing shooting, the THV 11 crew went out on an afternoon hunt in Lonoke County at Feather Farms. Although the season may be ending, you can plan ahead for next year by signing up for safety courses and renewing your licenses. You can do that at http://www.agfc.com.