The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission met today to approve hunting dates for this year’s late migratory bird season.

With three options available, the AG&F voted to approve Option 3, with the duck hunting season now falling on the following dates:

Nov. 20 (Saturday) – Nov. 28 (Sunday)
Dec. 7 (Tuesday) – Jan. 17 (Monday)
Jan. 22 (Saturday) – Jan. 30 (Sunday)
Youth hunt: February 5 & 6

Six duck bag limit.

The other two options considered by the commission were

Option 1:

Nov. 20 (Saturday) – Nov. 28 (Sunday)
Dec. 9 (Thursday) – Dec. 23 (Thursday)
Dec. 26 (Sunday) – Jan. 30 (Sunday)

Option 2:

Nov. 25 (Thurs) – Dec. 5 (Sunday)
Dec. 11 (Saturday) – Dec. 23 (Thursday)
Dec. 26 (Sunday) – Jan. 30 (Sunday)

The commission’s waterfowl committee had recommended the first option while hunters we had talked to — and even the ones weighing in on our Greenhead Facebook page — seem to have wanted option two, a later start to the season that includes early December, when the first big push of ducks always seems to arrive.

With what seems like a compromise between the waterfowl committee and hunters, it should be an interesting season. Ducks will certainly not want for habitat as they make their way south. This, as the federal government is paying land owners to flood their fields so ducks will stay away from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico for as long as possible. It remains to be seen whether a few more flooded fields can change eons of migratory habits, however.

Then there’s the matter of duck population. Wildlife officials noted last month a slight drop in total population over last year. But the count of 40.9 million is 21 percent higher than the long-term average.

Was this the option you were hoping for? Let us know in comments.