LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – Waterfowl hunting last season set a record in Arkansas. The number of hunters was an all-time high, and this doesn’t necessarily mean hunting success was at a peak.
Sale of duck stamps is the yardstick used for hunter participation.
Federal duck stamps are officially migratory bird hunting and conservation stamps. Arkansas calls its duck stamp a waterfowl stamp. Both are required for any hunter 16 or older to go after ducks and geese.
For the 2013-2014 waterfowl hunting season, 97,117 stamps were sold in Arkansas, displacing the previous record of 95,863 posted in the 2002-2003 season, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The past season’s sales were 55,935 for resident stamps and 41,182 for non-resident stamps. In the previous peak of 2002-2003, sales were to 62,405 residents and 33,458 non-residents.
Roughly 40 percent of the stamp sales for 2013-2014 were for non-resident stamps, an indication that hunters from other areas continue to find Arkansas a fertile place for their waterfowl activities. This percentage is noticeably higher than in 2002-2003 when less than one-third of the stamp sales went to non-residents.
Luke Naylor, AGFC’s waterfowl program coordinator, said, “The non-resident stamp sales this past season were an all-time record for Arkansas. The resident stamp sales were the third highest on record, so this tells us that our waterfowl hunting is highly popular with both Arkansans and with non-residents.
Arkansas duck stamp sales have climbed significantly since 1992, a low point in modern times for Arkansas duck hunting. Then, less than 40,000 stamps were sold. The sales climbed steadily until the previous peak in 2002-2003 then dipped a bit for several years until rising again in 2007-2008
The long-term average for duck stamp sales in Arkansas is about 67,000 with a 70-30 ratio for residents and non-residents.