LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – It doesn't feel much like waterfowl season these days, but commissioners with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission were discussing duck hunting during their monthly meeting. The Commission also approved the early season migratory bird dates.
AGFC Wildlife Management Chief David Goad presented the Commission with the late migratory season proposals.
Proposed duck season dates:
Nov. 17-Nov. 25
Dec. 6-Dec. 23
Dec. 26-Jan. 27
Youth Hunt: Feb. 2-3
The late migratory bird season dates will be approved at the August commission meeting.
Early migratory bird season dates:
Mourning Dove and Eurasian Collared Dove
Sept. 1-Oct. 25 and Dec. 26-Jan. 9
Sept. 8-Nov. 16
Nov. 3-Dec. 17
Common Snipe Season
Nov. 1-Feb. 15
Purple Gallinule and Common Moorhen Season
Sept. 1-Nov. 9
Early Canada Goose Season
Northwest Canada Goose Zone Season
Sept. 22-Oct. 1
Goad also presented the Commission with a proposed plan to remove permanent blinds on St. Francis Sunken Lands and Big Lake wildlife management areas in northeast Arkansas. The commission will vote on the blind removal proposal at its August meeting. Each person claiming a blind and would like to remove it, will be required to secure a blind removal permit. The permit will allow for specific vehicles and equipment to be utilized in the removal process. The proposed permit states that no habitat degradation will be allowed. If approved in August, blind removal could begin Sept. 1 and end Oct. 14. On Oct. 15, AGFC personnel will remove all remaining blinds.
There are 128 blinds on St. Francis Sunken Lands WMA and 98 blinds on Big Lake WMA.
Goad also presented the commission with other recommended proposals on the state's public hunting land.
• Allowing all day hunting on Corps of Engineers land outside Lloyd Millwood Greentree Reservoir in the Lake
• Prohibiting surface-drive motors of more than 36 horsepower on the state's WMAs.
• Increase the non-resident Arkansas Waterfowl Stamp from $20 to $35 and the non- resident five-day WMA waterfowl hunting permit from $10 to $25.
• Allow all day waterfowl hunting on private land inside the levee of St. Francis Sunken Lands WMA during waterfowl season. The proposal excludes inholdings in the WMA.
In other business, the Commission:
*Approved grants of youth elk hunting permits (either sex) for the October-November season – one to the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation and one to the Arkansas Wildlife Federation – for fundraising purposes.
*Proposed adding Texas to the Carcass Importation Restriction list. If approved, carcasses from any cervid (deer, elk, moose, red deer, etc.) originating from Texas may not enter Arkansas unless certain disease prevention measures are taken. These measures include clean skulls or skull plates and meat must be deboned. Texas recently discovered two mule deer that tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease. There are currently 18 states and Canadian provinces that are on Arkansas's importation restriction list.
*Heard the first reading of the proposed fishing regulations for 2013.
*Honored three individuals with the Campbell Award. The Campbell Award originated with former Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioner Craig Campbell to honor his grandfather, also a former AGFC commissioner, and his father, a great outdoorsman. The three employees were: Stephen R. O'Neal, a Stream Team Coordinator in the Fisheries Division who has 13 years with the AGFC; Mikki L. Moore, an Administrative Specialist II in the Operations Division, who has been with the agency for just over seven years and Michael W. Neal, an AGFC Wildlife Officer, who has been with the AGFC for almost five years.
After the commission meeting, commissioners met with legislators at the state capitol during the Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission Oversight Committee meeting.