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Duck Season is Here

Jim Harris, AGFC

The Season Is Here

Duck season in Arkansas will open 30 minutes before sunrise Saturday, Nov. 18, with 60 days of hunting. With near-record numbers of ducks from the northern breeding grounds for yet another year, Arkansas hunters will enjoy 60 days of hunting for the 21st season in a row.

Arkansas should see the typical number of ducks for this time of the year, but the biggest concern for hunting on public grounds is the lack of water, according to Luke Naylor, the AGFC’s waterfowl program coordinator.

Wet conditions in the prairie pothole region, which ranges from Canada and Montana through the Dakotas and into Iowa, have offset a recent loss of duck habitat in those areas, Naylor said, and the results are continued outstanding breeding numbers. Those wet conditions aren’t carrying over down south, though, and these early birds passing through on their migration won’t find much water here. Naylor says this is typical for Arkansas.

“It sounds like a broken record but it’s kind of consistent for us,” Naylor said. “Artificially flooded habitat is where it’s at, but that’s really normal for now. That’s what the climate history is here. September, October and November are dry, the rain and the water build up in late November a little, and in December it changes real quickly.”

“If you have water, you have ducks. That’s pretty much the story. As soon as we get a 3-, 5- or 6-inch rain, be ready.”