Start Making Plans: 2019 Arkansas Duck Season Dates

Arkansas is on the "must visit" list of any diehard waterfowl hunter. Here are the dates for the 2019-20 duck season so you can start making plans for a trip to the famed flooded timber or a cool lodge.

Start Making Plans: 2019 Arkansas Duck Season Dates

Whether in flooded timber or a flooded rice field, duck hunting in Arkansas is considered a bucket list item for many hunters. (Photo: AGFC)

Arkansas is on the "must visit" list of any diehard waterfowl hunter, whether it's for a chilly wade in the flooded timber or a sunken pit blind overlooking a rice field. Hunters throughout the country who watch migration reports, weather forecasts and have more camo, calls and muddy gear often think of the Natural State as something to do before they hang up the calls.

Thanks to the vast network of rivers running through eastern Arkansas, ample food sources and the state's location on the Mississippi Flyway, millions of ducks and geese migrate there each year. The first rice field was flooded about 95 years ago and the migrating ducks poured in to eat the easily available grains. Hunters filled game bags, more fields were flooded in controlled efforts — more water in winter, less with the natural rains that came in spring and  summer — and the state's reputation as a Southern waterfowl destination was born.

Waterfowl hunters eagerly await the season dates to begin planning trips, along with any other news out of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The group recently met in Rogers, Ark., for one of its regular meetings and approved the dates for the 2019-20 waterfowl season.

Early Teal Season 
Sept. 15-30, 2019

Early Canada Goose Season 
Sept. 1-30, 2019

Duck, Coot and Merganser Season 
Nov. 23-Dec. 2, 2019
Dec. 11-23, 2019
Dec. 26, 2019-Jan. 31, 2020

Special Youth and Veteran Waterfowl Hunt 
Dec. 7, 2019, and Feb. 8, 2020

White-fronted Goose Season 
Oct. 26-30, 2019
Nov. 23-Dec. 6, 2019
Dec. 8, 2019-Jan. 31, 2020

Canada Goose Season 
Oct. 26-30, 2019
Nov. 23-Dec. 6, 2019
Dec. 8, 2019-Jan. 31, 2020

Snow, Blue and Ross’s Goose Season
Oct. 26-30, 2019
Nov. 23-Dec. 6, 2019
Dec. 8, 2019-Jan. 31, 2020

Snow, Blue and Ross’s Goose Conservation Order Season
Oct. 5-25, 2019
Oct. 31-Nov. 22, 2019
Feb. 1-7, 2020
Feb. 9-April 25, 2020

Other Arkansas Waterfowl News

New federal frameworks allow regular duck season to extend to the last day of January. Previous frameworks required duck seasons to end on the last Sunday of January, which could be as early as Jan. 25 in some years.

The season proposals include new combination youth/veteran days, in which veterans of the nation’s armed forces may participate in the hunt.

Commissioner Andrew Parker of Little Rock asked about extending those hunts to two full weekends for youths and veterans, but U.S. Fish and Wildlife frameworks allow only two days outside of normal waterfowl seasons for these special hunts.

This season’s daily waterfowl limits will remain unchanged, with the exception of a decrease to one pintail per day and an increase to two canvasbacks per day. Both changes are adjustments in federal frameworks based on fluctuating populations of the species.

Nonresidents will be able to hunt on Arkansas’s most popular wildlife management areas with the addition of 5-day Nonresident Waterfowl WMA Permits, which are specific to each WMA. There is no limit to the amount of permits a nonresident may purchase, but they will be valid only on the following days of the season: Nov. 23-Dec. 2, 2019; Dec. 27, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020; and Jan. 22-31, 2020. This regulation was passed last September, but implementation was delayed until this season.



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