Duck Season Brings in Bucks for Local Rice Farmers
November 19, 2003 at 10:58 PM CST - Updated June 25 at 5:57 AM
November 19, 2003--Posted 6:00 p.m.
Walnut Ridge, AR--The Arkansas rice harvest is over and it was a good one this year, but now what do farmers do between seasons? More and more Region 8 rice farmers are turning to a second cash crop: ducks.
For Scott Brady and his brothers duck hunting began as a passion when they were kids, but 8 years ago it turned into a budding business, Woody's Guided Hunts.
"It's a supplemental income to the farming, and some guys are more into it than others, but it's a way to make a little money in the off season," said Scott Brady.
In fact, more and more rice farmers are realizing the cash potential. Arkansas Game and Fish estimates the 60 day duck season brings in more than $1,000,000 dollars a day to the state's economy.
It seems everybody wants to go duck hunting in Arkansas. That used to mean going to Stuttgart, the self proclaimed duck capital of the world, but that just isn't the case any more, more and more hunters are headed to Region 8's rice fields.
"There's not a duck in Stuttgart that didn't fly over here first," said Greg Brady.
But getting those ducks to land in north east Arkansas takes takes time, effort, and money.
"We've spent the last three weeks pretty steady on getting ready for duck season," said Scott. "We start by patching the levies, where we've knocked holes in them. That way we can hold a flood. We have to roll the stubble down. Then it's caneing blinds and putting out decoys and I believe we have about 2000 decoys."
And Scott and his brothers hope those decoys and their calling will bring the ducks diving come Saturday.
The Brady boys have 19 blinds on their 4,000 acre Cache River Mallard Farm and for more information on their hunts, go to www.arkansasduckhunting.com, or call870-759-2096.