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Migratory Bird Seasons First Reading of Dates Announced

(LITTLE ROCK)  Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioners heard the first reading of the coming year’s migratory bird seasons, including early migratory seasons as well as duck and goose seasons.

This year sparked some debate, as new federal frameworks allow the state to extend regular duck season to the last day of January. It previously required duck seasons to end on the last Sunday of January, which could be as early as Jan. 26 in some years. As proposed, this year’s duck season would run through Jan. 31, but some shifts to other portions of the hunt were required to keep as many days as possible toward the tail end of the season while accomodating special dates, such as Christmas and Thanksgiving.

The season proposals also include new combination youth/veteran days, in which veterans of the nation’s armed forces may participate in the hunt. This also is a reflection of federal frameworks recently passed in regard to waterfowl season. This year’s youth/veteran hunts are proposed to be December 7 and February 8, similar to last year’s youth-only hunts.

In addition to the overall season dates, staff recommended the days in which nonresidents could hunt Arkansas wildlife management areas with a Nonresident WMA Waterfowl Hunting Permit as Nov. 23-Dec. 2, 2019; Dec. 27, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020; and Jan. 22-31, 2020. These dates are set in blocks of 10 to prevent nonresidents from losing hunting days when purchasing multiple 5-day permits.

Another topic of debate was the opening day of this year’s mourning and Eurasian collared-dove season, which traditionally falls on Labor Day Weekend. This year, the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend falls on Aug. 31, which is outside the time the federal frameworks allow for the season to begin. Biologists were faced with opening the season one weekend later or conducting the hunt beginning on Sunday, Sept. 1. The proposed date chooses the traditional Labor Day Weekend approach, so hunters would have as much time with families afield as possible.

 

If approved, the 2019-20 migratory bird seasons will be as follows:

 

Dove Season

Sept. 1-Oct. 27, 2019

Dec. 14, 2019-Jan. 15, 2020

 

Duck, Coot and Merganser Season

Nov. 23-Dec. 2, 2019

Dec. 11-23, 2019

Dec. 26, 2019-Jan. 31, 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’ Goose Season

Oct. 26-30, 2019

Nov. 23-Dec. 6, 2019

Dec. 8, 2019-Jan. 31, 2020

 

Snow, Blue and Ross’ Goose Conservation Order Season

Oct. 5-25, 2019

Oct. 31-Nov. 22, 2019

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