Hunters who utilize duck blinds on several northeast Arkansas public hunting areas will soon get their chance to access these Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Wildlife Management Areas. Sportsmen may access Big Lake, St. Francis Sunken Lands and Dave Donaldson/Black River WMAs from Sept. 10 through Sept. 25 in order to maintain duck blinds, waterfowl hunting holes and boat lanes.
There are no blinds on Dave Donaldson/Black River WMA, but hunting holes may be maintained on that WMA. Maintenance will only be allowed into the areas during daylight hours. Permits will not be required this year.
Maintenance may be done under the following guidelines:
* All blinds located on Commission owned or controlled property are public property and are available for use by the public on a first come first served basis. Blinds may not be locked at any time and may not be reserved in advance for future use regardless of previous use, maintenance or construction history.
* Maintenance and use of public duck blinds is at the users own risk. The Commission assumes no liability for personal injuries, damages or loss of property by anyone entering or hunting from public blinds.
* Only blinds that are in good condition may be maintained. Blinds that have been destroyed or are no longer safe or serviceable may not be rebuilt.
* Maintenance is limited to repairs necessary to keep the structure in a safe and serviceable condition. Construction of new blinds is not permitted and existing blinds cannot be enlarged or replaced.
* Blinds determined by the AGFC to be unsafe, unserviceable, or to have been illegally built, moved or altered will be permanently removed.
* Certain levees and roads usually open to vehicular traffic may be closed because of construction or logging operations on Big Lake and Dave Donaldson/Black River. Only ATVs will be permitted beyond signs, locked gates or barricades for maintenance purposes.
* Identification numbers that have been placed on or near blinds are not to be removed or painted over.
* Boats; three wheeled, four wheeled, six wheeled or eight-wheeled all terrain vehicles may be used on existing roads or trails to access blinds or hunting areas. Utility trailers may be used with ATVs to transport repair materials and/or equipment to blind locations.
* No trucks or other passenger vehicles, farm tractors or implements, including implements for use with four-wheelers, riding mowers or power mowers may be used.
* No chemicals, herbicides or defoliants may be used.
* Chainsaws will be permitted only for the cutting of fallen logs from boat lanes, trails and hunting spots.
* No trees are to be cut, regardless of size.
* No new holes or clearings are to be created.
* Soil may not be plowed, cultivated or disturbed in any manner and no seeds of any kind are to be planted.
* No maintenance may be done in areas that have been closed to hunting by painted boundaries or signs.