The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is stepping up its efforts to halt duck hunters’ daily “boat races” at Bayou Meto Waterfowl Management Area.
Beginning today through the end of the season, AGFC wildlife officers will be cracking down on unsafe boating practices by hunters racing to popular hunting holes at Bayou Meto and other popular access areas.
Videos of the morning “races” taken at Bayou Meto and Hurricane Lake have been shown online, and wildlife officers and WMA manager Mark Hooks expressed their fears to the AGFC that the dangerous practices will become glorified, leading to serious injuries or worse.
A 17-year-old boy was thrown from a boat and injured during a recent race at Bayou Meto.
The AGFC is looking at new regulations for 2013-2014, but wildlife officers say there are steps that can be taken now, including posting signs that would allow officers to assess penalty points to hunters committing boating violations.
Col. Jeff Crow, chief of law enforcement, said a compromise to write warning tickets was a good first step.