Duck Hunters Could Get Longer Season

June 23, 2006 -- Posted at 3:30 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- A proposed rule change by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission means the state's duck hunters could enjoy more days of their sport than they otherwise would.

Thursday, the commission backed the idea of creating two waterfowl management zones for all the duck seasons through 2011. The idea still awaits final approval.

Commission spokesman Keith Stephens says hunters aren't likely to notice any changes unless the U-S- Fish and Wildlife Service reduces the number of days the state allows people to hunt.

In recent years the federal government has allowed 60-day seasons in Arkansas. But if waterfowl populations drop and the federal government imposes shorter seasons to avoid wiping out the birds, the two-zone system would allow hunters to pick up more hunting days than they otherwise would. That's because the timing of the seasons in the two zones would be different. Hunters could lengthen their season by traveling to the other zone to hunt at a time when hunting wasn't allowed in their zone.

Arkansas plans to present the two-zone plan to the Mississippi Flyway Council in July, and the interstate group will likely approve it. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission would then vote to formalize the arrangement in August.