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Outdoors: Commission sets duck season

LITTLE ROCK — Duck hunting season in 2013-2014 will look familiar to Arkansas waterfowlers under the schedule set Thursday by the state Game and Fish Commission.

The commission set the seasons and for late migrating birds, ducks and geese.

Duck hunting dates are Nov. 23-Dec. 1, Dec. 5-Dec. 23 and Dec. 26-Jan. 26. The Youth Waterfowl Hunt will be Feb. 1-2.

Federal regulations now allow for a possession limit of three times the daily bag limit, an increase from the former two daily limits. The daily duck limit is six, of which four can be mallards but only two mallard hens. Canvasback daily limit was raised from one to two, and the scaup daily limit was raised from two to three.

The white-fronted, snow, blue, Ross’ and late Canada goose season will be Nov. 14-Jan. 26. Previously set were early Canada goose hunting dates of Sept. 1-15 statewide and the Northwest Canada Goose Zone dates of Sept. 21-30.

In another matter of interest to waterfowlers in northeastern Arkansas, the commissioners heard a proposal to allow hunters to leave “slough” boats with decoys overnight at designated locations on Dave Donaldson Black River Wildlife Management Area near Pocahontas and Corning. A final decision will be made at the commission’s September meeting.

The agency presented its second Arkansas Waterfowl and Wetland Management Award to Kiah Gardner, a veteran natural resources technician stationed at Russellville. A year ago, the first award was given to George Dunklin, a former commission chairman who is now the national president of Ducks Unlimited.

The commission approved a land trade in southeastern Arkansas at the Freddie Black Choctaw Island WMA. The agency and Robert S. Moore Jr., a former House speaker from Arkansas City, will swap small tracts that will allow expansion of an access area on Kate Adams Lake.

Eight road and access projects were approved, with funds for each coming from the Marine Fuel Tax, which is state taxes paid on fuel used on boats.

The projects:

• Nimmo Access on the Little Red River in White County.

• Little Bay Access on the Ouachita River in Calhoun County.

• Dallas County Access on the Ouachita River.

• Lake Columbia courtesy dock in Columbia County.

• Sleepy Hollow Access on Lake Maumelle in Pulaski County.

• Kirby Access on Lake Greeson in Pike County.

• Hudson Landing on the White River in Phillips County.

• Temple Island bridge on Bayou Meto in Arkansas County.

Joe Mosby is the retired news editor of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Arkansas’ best known outdoor writer. His work is distributed by the Arkansas News Bureau in Little Rock.

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