Duck Blind case to continue

Friday, November 30, 2012

It's not over yet. The St. Francis Lake Association's lawsuit against the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission regarding the removal of permanent duck blinds on Wildlife Management Areas will continue.

On Nov. 16, Judge Randy Philhours dismissed the lawsuit, saying Poinset County was an improper venue for the case. The SFLA have since filed the case in Pulaski County. No court date has been set yet, but members of SFLA said a judge had been picked for the case and that AGFC is still under a temporary restraining order that prevents them from tearing down the blinds until the case has ended.

The permanent blinds have been allowed to remain since AGFC bought the land in the 1950s. SFLA maintains that the original landowners forged an unwritten agreement that the blinds would remain on the land permanently, but the AGFC amended its regulations in August to no longer allow permanent duck blinds or the practice of leaving decoys overnight on the St. Francis Sunken Lands, Big Lake and Dave Donaldson WMAs. The AGFC had planned to remove the blinds on Oct. 15.

The AGFC has said these regulations are in effect for the 2012-2013 waterfowl season and that any person found in a permanent blind on a WMA in possession of hunting gear or equipment during the hunting season or anyone leaving waterfowl decoys out overnight will be considered in violation.

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