AGFC proposes late migratory season

Commission proposes late migratory season LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – The mercury may say the temperature's over 100 in Arkansas, but Commissioners with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission were discussing duck season during last week's monthly meeting. The Commission also discussed the early season migratory bird dates which will be set during a special Commission meeting on July 26.

AGFC Waterfowl Program Coordinator Luke Naylor presented the Commission with three season proposals.

Proposed late migratory bird season dates:
Option 1
Nov. 19-Nov. 27
Dec. 6-Jan. 16
Jan. 21-Jan. 29
Youth Hunt: Feb. 4-5

Option 2
Nov. 19-Nov. 27
Dec. 8-Dec. 23
Dec. 26-Jan. 29
Youth Hunt: Feb. 4-5

Option 3
Nov. 24-Dec. 4
Dec. 10-Dec. 23
Dec. 26-Jan. 29
Youth Hunt: Feb. 4-5

The late migratory bird season dates will be approved at the August commission meeting.

Proposed early migratory bird season dates:
Mourning Dove and Eurasian Collared Dove
Sept. 3-Oct. 18 and Dec. 10-Jan. 2 or Sept. 3-Oct. 30 and Dec. 26-Jan. 6

Teal Season
Sept. 10-25

Early Canada Goose Statewide Season
Sept. 1-15

Northwest Canada Goose Zone Season
Sept. 24-Oct. 3

Naylor also presented the Commission with a proposal to improve the waterfowl hunting permit process on Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms Wildlife Management Area. The proposal calls for continuing to require a permit to waterfowl hunt, elimination of the permit draw during weekdays and continuing the permit draw on weekends with a revised online draw process. A public meeting on the proposal will be held in Griffithville on July 28.

In other business, the Commission:

*Agreed to reduce the acreage in several of the AGFC's leased land properties. The AGFC leases hunting rights for the public on large blocks of private land in areas where they cannot purchase the land or a hunting easement outright. The wildlife management areas affected will be two tracts totaling approximately 4,570 acres on Cherokee WMA, a single tract of 1,235 acres on Caney Creek WMA; three tracts on Casey Jones WMA totaling 18,720 acres; a single tract on Muddy Creek WMA totaling 2,230 acres and two tracts on Winona WMA totaling 16,150 acres.

In addition, hunters also will be required to purchase a leased land permit on Dr. Lester Sitzes, III Bois D'Arc WMA, Howard County WMA and Lake Greeson WMA. The annual permit fee to hunt the leased lands also will go up from $20 to $40 per year.

*Selected the marketing and public relations firm of Martin--Wilbourn Partners to serve as the Commission's firm of record.

*Approved a conservation license plate fund policy and procedure document. The document outlines procedures for the disbursement of funds for conservation scholarships, land purchases and educational programs.

*Authorized the AGFC Director to enter into an agreement to accept the donation of 3.1 acres near Bethesda on the White River in Independence County. The Commission authorized up to $10,000 to cover an environmental inspection and real estate closing expenses on the land. The land will be used to develop a public boat ramp, parking area and access road.

*Heard the first reading of the proposed fishing regulations for 2012.