The most wonderful time of the year: Duck Season!

By John Criner Outdoors Columnist

Hurry, Hallelujah and How About That! Duck season is almost here. This is my favorite time of year. I guess that’s why they call me Papa Duck. East Arkansas is the epicenter of the duck world. I would guess that there are more duck clubs within a 125 mile radius of Crittenden County than any place in America. The Arkansas Game & Fish reports there are more mallards shot in Arkansas than any other state with Missouri being a distant second. Not only can we hunt locally, but there is good hunting in north Mississippi and eastern Tennessee. If you enjoy duck hunting, you are in the right place. There are several ways to hunt: Small rivers like the St. Francis and the Black, large rivers like hunting Mississippi River are very good at times of high water with cold and clear weather. Occasionally we can find ducks in dry fields when the wetlands freeze up, but most of our hunting is in flooded fields quite often with low profile pits. Large lakes like Horseshoe and Midway have very good hunting at times. For the lakes you need a portable boat blind or built up permanent blind. Arkansas is famous for flood timber hunting. Just hide by a tree and kick the water. Unfortunately there is not mush flooded woods hunting close by. To duck hunt you must belong to a club, hunt the open lakes and rivers, or go the state public wildlife management are like Dave Donaldson Black River WMA, Big Lake WMA, Henry Gray Hurricane Lake WMA, Rex Hancock Black Swamp WMA, St. Francis Sunken Lands WMA, Dale Bumpers White River NWR and many more. These are all within a couple hours drive time. Get a copy of the Arkansas Waterfowl Guide book. If you don’t mind driving and doing some scouting, duck hunting is possible for most folks.There are several commercial duck clubs with a couple hours drive time. These clubs charge a fee for the hunt with the price range based on what services are provided. Day shooting is just that. Hunt with or without a guide and then go home. Some full service clubs offer a hunting lodge and great meals with a better chance to meet other hunters. These clubs cost quite a bit more, but boy are they nice. If any of my readers have a commercial club, I will be glad to share the information with my readers. We still need to talk about equipment like waders, shot guns, and not-toxic shot. Plus a myriad amount of duck talk. Don’t forget the duck calls and duck boats. We can discuss these topics in later columns. Good hunting, Papa Duck Lakeside Taxidermy 870-732-0455 or 901-482-3430

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