June 23, 2006 - Posted at 4:29 p.m. CST
JONESBORO, AR -- Region 8 duck hunters could soon enjoy more days of their sport than they otherwise would.
The Arkansas Fish and Wildlife Commission voted Thursday to separate the state into two hunting zones through the year 2011, giving more flexibility in the future for setting duck season under the guidelines of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife services.
It's a decision that doesn't come along very often.
"Once every five years the states have the options of making some basic changes and this would be our only chance for the next five years to have this option," said Robert Zachary, a regional supervisor for the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission.
Duck season lasts 60 days. It's determined by the population in the Mississippi Fly-Away.
But if waterfowl numbers drop and the federal government imposes shorter seasons, the two zone system could allow Arkansas hunters to pick up more season days then they normally would.
"This will give us the option, in future years, if we have to go to a shorter season framework, simply to allow the seasons to be open in the respective zones when the ducks are there. Also this could give people more opportunity," said Zachary, "It's a really big deal in Northeast Arkansas and the whole state."