I hope you boys like zones...

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I hope you boys like zones...

Postby ol' yeller » Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:10 pm

If not send an e-mail. I have placed the e-mail addresses for the Commissioners at the bottom of the article.

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We have received several comments over the past week concerning the AGFC's proposed waterfowl regulations for the 2006-2007 season. The following explanation should help answer questions and address concerns about the proposed changes. If you would like more information on the proposed regulations, please visit www.agfc.com/waterfowl/.

We chose to adopt the two-zone structure to enhance our ability to provide more hunter opportunity during periods when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determines a shorter season framework is necessary. Once the zones are chosen, there is a five-year commitment to that structure. Keeping in mind that future seasons may be shorter, this zone structure provides more options. The commission is providing flexibility for hunters in future regulation-setting cycles and at the same time taking a conservative path toward the resource.

Harvest data also tells us that Arkansas' mallard migration typically comes from both the Mississippi and Central flyways. Ducks in Zone 1 characteristically migrate in mid-December and mostly come from the Mississippi Flyway. The proposed Zone 1 dates take advantage of the peak migration for Mississippi Flyway mallards. Arkansas also receives a number of mallards from the Central Flyway that usually arrive in Arkansas later in the season. Zone 2 would be open when Arkansas receives that push of birds from the Central Flyway.

The importance of reducing the mortality of female mallards in Arkansas is crucial. To achieve this goal, we are maintaining a one hen bag limit on mallards for the third consecutive year. Long-term data suggest that 20 to 40 percent of all female ducks produce 60 to 80 percent of all young. Higher survival rates for adult females potentially save more of the hens that are responsible for the majority of the duck production.

We have also banned spinning-wing decoys. Research strongly suggests that SWDs increase the kill rates for dabbling ducks, especially mallards and American widgeon. The increased harvest of adult females further reduces reproductive potential in subsequent years.

The vast majority of female mallards are paired by late December or early January. Later seasons increase the likelihood of breaking pair bonds, forcing the remaining pair member to find another mate. Because most adults are already paired, the probability of re-pairing with a quality mate is reduced, thus jeopardizing reproductive potential. See www.agfc.com/hunting/waterfowl_section/ ... ality.html for more information on pair bonds and homing traditions of female mallards.

In summary, if mallard hens arrive in Arkansas and find quality habitat conditions, they will pair early with adult males, become fat, survive at higher rates, produce more young the following spring and return to Arkansas.

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Sheffield Nelson
Chairman- mail to: esn@jlj.com

Sonny Varnell
Vice-Chairman mail to: svarnell@alltel.net

Freddie Black- mail to: Freddie.black@simmonsfirst.com

Brett Morgan- mail to: HRCHCasey@aol.com

John Benjamin- mail to: johnbenjamin@alltel.net

George Dunklin Jr. mail to: gdunklin@dunklingrain.com

Ronald Pierce mail to: ronjan@cox-internet.com

Kimberly G. Smith mail to: kgsmith@uark.edu
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Postby imaheelsfan » Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:46 pm

OK, I'm planning a hunt in Arkansas this season. When should I come?
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Postby ol' yeller » Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:52 pm

They haven't set the dates in stone yet. The meeting will be in mid-August. I'll post them up once they've been set.

Seems like for the last 4 or 5 seasons later in the season has been best for mallards. However, I get most of my birds from the Central Flyway. Maybe someone from the east side of the state can chime in.
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Postby greenster » Fri Aug 04, 2006 6:16 pm

what are they trying to say? the southern most zone would not be open untill Mid december? b/c thats when the biggest push is, and if so do we still get 60 days which would be during pairing up?
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Postby greenster » Sat Aug 05, 2006 2:26 pm

Heres the newest inofrmation I have got. If it is like this I will approve it. as long as I'm in zone two :toofunny:



Zone 1 duck hunting would open six days before Zone 2 and would close seven days before Zone 2, with one split in the middle for each zone.

The proposed dates are:

Zone 1: Nov. 18-Dec. 20 and Dec. 26-Jan. 21, inclusive.

Zone 2, Nov. 24-Dec. 19 and Dec. 26-Jan. 28.

The Youth Waterfowl Hunt was suggested for Dec. 22-23, a Friday and Saturday, but Commissioner Brett Morgan of Little Rock said he preferred Dec. 23-24, a Saturday and Sunday, so working parents could go to the hunt with their children. Only youths 15 and younger can hunt during the two days, and they have to be accompanied by an adult.

Recommended goose hunting dates are the same as last year with calendar adjustments. They are: White-fronted (specklebelly) geese, Nov. 18-Dec. 18 and Dec. 26-Feb. 4; snow, blue and Ross' geese, Nov. 9-Dec. 21 and Dec. 26-Feb. 4; snow goose conservation order, Feb. 5-April 29; Canada geese, Northwest Canada Goose Zone, Sept. 30-Oct. 9 and statewide, Jan. 13-Feb. 4.

Naylor told the commissioners that the duck picture is generally favorable in the breeding grounds of the northern United States prairie region and in Canada.

"Habitat is a lot better," he said. "The pond counts are up about 13 percent from last year and 32 percent above the long-term average. The number of ducks is up 14 percent from last year, and mallards are up 8 percent."

Mallards are the favorite ducks for most Arkansas hunters.

Also increased in the northern areas were numbers of shovelers, pintails and wigeons, along with redheads and canvasbacks. Blue-wing teal, an early migrating species, have also increased significantly, Naylor said.

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"Thomas Jefferson said I had a God-given right to pursue happiness. What makes me happy is to take a mallard's head smooth off at about 20 feet.

Lanyard: KM Custom Cut (hand),KM Cut red label Black Monster #1,RNT Timber hog,DS mondo,6n1 whistle
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Postby Smackaduck » Sat Aug 05, 2006 3:25 pm

Thats about how ours go only our zones are east and west. One starts a week earlier than the other and one ends a week later. Not really any big deal, of course ours has been this way. Just dont go to zone 2 thinking your in zone 1. :laughing:
If they're dumb enough to be lured in by plastic you're really just doing them a favor.

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Postby greenster » Sat Aug 05, 2006 4:15 pm

only problem I see with this would be the arkansas river hunters, like me I sometimes hunt the river and go EAST, or WEST of the river depending on where the ducks are going.. so that may get confusing. ill see what AGFC has to say about that monday morning.
"Thomas Jefferson said I had a God-given right to pursue happiness. What makes me happy is to take a mallard's head smooth off at about 20 feet.

Lanyard: KM Custom Cut (hand),KM Cut red label Black Monster #1,RNT Timber hog,DS mondo,6n1 whistle
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Postby ol' yeller » Sat Aug 05, 2006 4:23 pm

The biggest problem I see out of the zones is one opening and closing on different weeks than the other one. You can bet that the first week of the season for Zone 1 will be busy as all get out and the last week of Zone 2 will be horrible as well. I'm not looking forward to this. I've sent in multiple e-mails, but I think the AGFC has already made up their minds on this despite saying they want to hear from the public.
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Postby Smackaduck » Sat Aug 05, 2006 8:07 pm

They did the same thing with us about how our season was going to go two splits, three splits, one, etc. But you can bet they did what they wanted to do anyway no matter the results or opinions.
If they're dumb enough to be lured in by plastic you're really just doing them a favor.

Know your target before you pull the trigger.

Duck Hunting is ALL about the bag.
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Postby greenster » Sun Aug 06, 2006 3:00 pm

Yeh, goverments will always do what they want to no matter what the public may have to say about it. fact of life just as taxes.
"Thomas Jefferson said I had a God-given right to pursue happiness. What makes me happy is to take a mallard's head smooth off at about 20 feet.

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