Based on favorable habitat conditions on the breeding grounds and another banner year for the breeding population, Arkansas is looking at another 60 day, 6 duck limit for the 2014-15 season. The US Fish and Wildlife Service recently released their 2014 Waterfowl Breeding Population survey which showed total populations were estimated at 49.2 million breeding ducks in the surveyed area. Those totals reflect an 8% increase from last year’s estimate of 45.6 million birds, and is 43 percent higher than the 1955-2013 long-term average. The survey took place in late May and early June and the rise is attributed to excellent habitat on the breeding grounds.

Notable to Arkansas waterfowlers, mallards are up 5% over last year and 43% over the long term average (LTA).

The proposed dates are as follows

  • DUCK
    Nov. 22-Nov. 30, Dec. 4-23, Dec. 26-Jan. 25, 2015
    Youth waterfowl season Jan. 31, 2015-Feb. 1, 2015
    Nov. 13-Jan. 25, 2015
    Nov. 13-Jan. 25, 2015

Looks like the daily limit will follow the same parameters as recent seasons with no more than four mallards, of which no more than two may be hens. The daily limit for wood ducks will be three, and the limit for pintails and canvasbacks will be two.

The Commission also discussed some new regulations for highly used WMAs to prevent privatization of public duck hunting. The most notable proposal would restrict access to WMA from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. Boats would be restricted from 1 p.m. to 4 a.m., with possible exceptions to accommodate bowhunters and those hunting other game.

The duck season dates and the WMA proposals will be voted on at the Commission’s mid August meeting.