AGFC votes to remove permanent duck blinds

Thursday, August 23, 2012

LITTLE ROCK Permanent blinds on two northeastern Arkansas wildlife management areas will be removed before this years waterfowl season. Commissioners with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission unanimously approved a plan to remove the blinds on Big Lake and St. Francis Sunken Lands WMAs. The vote came today during the Commissions monthly meeting. Permanent blinds are not allowed on any of the states other WMAs.

Last year, AGFC Director Loren Hitchcock stopped the practice of sportsmen accessing and manipulating habitat on Big Lake, St. Francis Sunken Lands and Dave Donaldson Black River WMAs. The practice is not allowed on any other state WMA.

The blind removal plan will allow hunters, who claim a blind, the opportunity to remove the blind and any personal equipment between Aug. 30 and Oct. 14.

Hunters would first be required to obtain a blind removal permit from the AGFC. The free permits will be available beginning Aug. 20. To acquire a permit, contact the Jonesboro regional office at 877-972-5438 Monday-Friday, 8 4:30 p.m.

The removal process allows specific types of vehicles and equipment to be utilized in the removal process. The permit points out that no habitat degradation will be allowed on the WMAs.

Beginning Oct. 15, the AGFC will begin dismantling the blinds.

Decoys also will no longer be allowed overnight on the three WMAs.

For the 16th consecutive year, Arkansas will have a 60-day hunting season for waterfowl.

Duck season will be Nov. 17-Nov. 25, Dec. 6-Dec. 23 and Dec. 26-Jan. 27. The popular youth hunt will be Feb. 2-3.

The daily duck bag limit of six will consist of no more than:

Four mallards (two hens);

Three wood ducks;

Two redheads;

One black duck;

Two pintails;

One canvasback;

One mottled duck, and

Four scaup

The Northwest Canada goose zone season will be Sept. 22-Oct. 1 with a bag limit of two. The statewide early Canada goose season will be Sept. 1-15 with a bag limit of five, and the late season will be Nov. 17-Jan. 27 with a bag limit of two.

White-fronted goose season will be Nov. 17-Jan. 27 with a bag limit of two. Snow, blue and Ross goose season will be Nov. 3-Jan. 27 with a bag limit of 20. The Goose Conservation Order will be Jan. 28-Feb. 1 and Feb. 4-April 25 with no bag limit.

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