After a three-year experiment, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission lifted the ban on spinning-wing decoys during waterfowl hunting season.
The Commission also increased the daily bag limit for hen mallards from one to two.
Commissioner Brett Morgan cast the lone vote to continue the spinning-wing decoy ban. "I can't support something that we know helps kill juvenile ducks," Morgan said. "This is an issue that we (commissioners) raised -- not the public. The majority of e-mails and phone calls that I've received support keeping the ban in place."
Commissioner George Dunklin, chairman of the Commission's waterfowl committee, said the decision to rescind the ban was difficult.
"I know there's some dissention about removing the ban, but a UALR survey showed the majority of people wanted spinning wing decoys brought back," Dunklin said. "We asked all of the surrounding states to come aboard with us on this, but to no avail."
In support of his position to remove the ban, Dunklin read from a letter from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that stated there was "no demonstrable impacts on either overall harvest rates or population levels."
In other waterfowl news, Arkansas hunters will get 60 days of duck season for the 12th consecutive year. Commissioners removed the WMA shell restriction during the youth hunt, and changed the time for shooting to cease on WMAs to noon; hunters must be off the water by 1 p.m.
Duck season dates are: Nov. 22-Dec. 1, Dec. 6-Dec. 24 and Dec. 26-Jan. 25.
The youth waterfowl hunt will be Jan. 31-Feb. 1.
The northwest Canada goose zone season will be Sept. 1-15 (with a bag limit of five) and Sept. 27-Oct. 6 (bag limit two).
The statewide Canada goose season will be Sept. 1-15 (bag limit five) and Jan. 10-Feb. 1 (bag limit two).
White-fronted goose season will be Nov. 15-Dec. 1, Dec. 6-Dec. 24 and Dec. 26-Jan. 30 with a bag limit of two. Snow, blue and Ross' goose season will be Nov. 8-Dec. 24 and Dec. 26-Jan. 30 with a bag limit of 20.
The snow goose Conservation Order is Feb. 2-April 25 with no bag limit.
Bag limits remain much the same as last year, with the exception of the additional hen mallard.
Duck hunters will be allowed no more than four mallards, two of which may be hens.
The daily bag limit may contain one pintail, three mottled ducks, one scaup, three wood ducks, two redheads and one black duck, but no more than a total of six ducks. Canvasback season is closed by the FWS because of low numbers.