Hunters excited for duck hunting season to kick off - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Hunters excited for duck hunting season to kick off

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PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - November 17th marks the beginning of a week-long duck hunting season in Region 8.

Many hunters already have their ducks in a row.

Avid outdoorsman Trevor Gramling stepped into a world of waterfowl earlier this week.

At least 6,000 ducks arrived on his land following recent rain and a cold shot of Canadian air.

"It looks like it's going to be a really good year. Duck numbers from the breeding survey that was done earlier in the year look to be really good. Looking at numbers up the long-term average. Over 43% higher long-term average on total ducks. Over 7% higher than last year."

The 2 inches of recent rainfall helped this year's hunt tremendously by bringing up water levels.

Gramling adds that recent increased duck conservation efforts have paid off as well.

"They're doing a better and better job every year of controlling predators and saving some wetlands and some potholes up there, that are really increasing our duck numbers and getting more ducklings hatched every year."

Gramling adds that the weather is the biggest player in duck numbers.

Last year, the cold and rainy conditions stayed well to the north--and so did the waterfowl.

However, this season offers encouragement; cool air is already in place.

"If the weather works with us this year and we can get some systems that move through, and we can actually get the cold down here. If you've got water, you've got ducks."

Gramling says he hopes to make his 6-duck daily bag limit, he knows others may not be so lucky.

"You will lose a lot of older duck hunters who that's all they can do anymore is go out and get in a blind and hunt. They can't really wade in the water anymore, stand in the water all day."

According to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, permanent blinds are not allowed on Big Lake, the St. Francis Sunken Lands, or the Dave Donaldson Black River WMAs.
Duck hunters are also prohibited from leaving decoys on the water overnight.
Get the latest from the AGFC here.
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