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Waterfowl dates proposed

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Waterfowl may not be on the mind of many duck hunters, but the latest meeting of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission mainly focused on that sport.

Specifically, the Commission announced the proposed duck season dates. The Commission also heard a proposal to ban any electronic device used as a wildlife decoy for the 2008-2009 migratory bird seasons.

AGFC waterfowl program coordinator Luke Naylor said that the quality of habitat for breeding waterfowl in the U.S. and Canada is better in 2007 than in 2006, in some cases much better. "The late spring habitat condition reports have been positive and that may lead to more young birds in the flight this season," Naylor said. "Overall, this information bodes well for Arkansas waterfowlers," he added.

Based on this year's survey results of more than 8 million mid-continent mallards and more than 5 million ponds in Prairie Canada, the prescribed regulatory option for the Mississippi Flyway will be the liberal package, Naylor explained. "This will result in a 60-day season with a six-bird daily bag limit," he said.

Using the liberal season parameters, the proposed season dates for the 2007-2008 waterfowl season are:

Nov. 17 -- Dec. 18, Dec. 26 -- Jan. 6 and Jan. 12 -- Jan. 27

Youth waterfowl hunt:

Dec. 22-23

The proposed bag limits are the same as last year's limit of six ducks consisting of four mallards (only one of which may be a hen), two wood ducks, two redheads, one black duck, one pintail, one canvasback, three mottled ducks or two scaup.

The season structure will be approved at the August commission meeting.

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