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Thinking about hunting …

Thinking about hunting …


Y ou must be crazy! It’s fishing time and hunting is a long way off. Wait a minute. Dove season opens on Sept. 5, and that is only a month away. Dove season starts the hunting season for Arkansas sportsmen and even though it is still hot, it signals the start of a long outdoor season that ends on the last day of February.

There are several things we need to do to be ready to get a limit of doves. The three most important items are get the dog in shape, get the shotgun ready and shoot a few rounds, and last but not least, get yourself in shape.

The opening weekend of dove season is always hot.

Let’s start with the dog.

I bet you have not given him much exercise, much less training. As hot as it is, please be careful because he is wearing a fur coat.

The training must be early or late in the evening and for only a very short time to start with. Training times can increase as he starts to get into hunting shape.

Do as much water work as possible and always have drinking water available for both you and the dog. Start with simple short singles on both land and water. As the dog starts to get in hunting shape the distance and difficulty of the retrieves are increased. If you have any left over birds from last year and you are not going to mount them, (remember Lakeside Taxidermy) this is a good time to use them.

This is especially true if you have a first year pup.

If you are thinking about a professional trainer, it needs to be done quickly.

When was the last time you had the Ole Smoke Pole out? Did you put it away for the summer dirty?

Either clean it up or take it to a gun smith like Steven and Samuel Gattis at Webb Arms in Marion. They offer detailed advance cleaning

John Criner

Outdoors Columnist

for all guns for $40.

That means the guns are taken completely apart, cleaned, and inspected for problems.

Replacement parts are extra. Even though some guns and ammo stores are having problems getting ammo, Webb Arms has a very complete selection of shot gun, pistol, and rifle ammunition. A very complete line of hunting and personal protection guns are on display at the store along with scopes and mounts. If the scope is sold at the store.

mounting and bore sighting is free. Webb Arms charges $20 for mounting and bore sighting if the optics are purchased else where. They also offer gun transfers for $30. The Gattis boys are the only store in town for archery equipment. They not only have a 10-75 percent clearance on bows, they can string bows and do the basic set up for sights plus cut off and fletch arrows.

Archery fishing is popular and reels and fish arrows are available. The store now has Arkansas Hunting a nd fishing license. They do an annual cleaning on Papa’s Ducks equipment and it is good as new. Call 870-636-9592.

We got your dog and guns in better shape. Now, what kind of shape are you in?

Bet you have been sitting in the cool and watching too much TV. Papa Duck visited with Kevin Holt at Holt Therapy & Wellness to find out how to get in hunting shape. Kevin is both a hunter and fisherman so he understands the problem. Kevin said the biggest early season problem is keeping hydrated and to drink 8oz of water 8 times on a hot afternoon.

Stay away from the alcohol products because they cause dehydration. He suggests walking 30 minutes each day while wearing your shooting vest with shells in the pockets. Because I do not have enough self discipline, I asked Kevin about getting help at his center.

For more information, give Kevin a call at 870-732-2929.

When was the last time you pulled the trigger?

Time to burn some ammo!

Around Crittenden County there is not a shooting range, so it’s buy some clay birds and shotgun shells and hope some body in the county will let you shoot on their property. A lot of hunters have portable traps that can be transported to where you shoot. It takes at least two people to shoot, one shooting and the other loading the trap and pulling the release. If you want to go to a shooting range, it’s either the Memphis Gun Club out past Lakelands, or the Harrisburg Gun Club that is about 40 miles up I-55. Papa Duck recommends Harrisburg because it’s quicker to get there and the price per round is less.

It’s a very nice 3 trap range located about 8 miles off Hwy 555 on the way to Jonesbooro.

We have enjoyed cooler weather the last few days and the fish have also enjoyed it. Horseshoe Lake is still the place for crappie and catfish. Wapanocca bream are enjoying crickets and black beetles back in the woods on the north end of the lake. Midway bass and bream have slowed down, but there are enough being caught to make a respectable ice cooler. Catfish in all these lakes are good and limits of 10 fish are common. Tilden Rodgers and Marion Rec are enjoyed by bank fishermen but the fishing tends to be slow.

Its time for the AGFC to restock.

We will soon be going to the polls to elect our officials that will govern us for several years. Be careful who you vote for. There are those that will do their best to remove the 2nd Amendment that allows Americans to own and carry guns. Do not vote for these people!

They do not want you to be able to protect your family, your home, yourself, and your country. They do not love our America. We do not want our towns, cities, and way of life destroyed!

Let’s all enjoy Arkansas outdoors by taking the kids and Mama. There is still plenty of fishing time and getting ready to hunt can be enjoyed by the entire family. Take plenty of pictures and send them to Papa Duck so we can all enjoy your trip. Lakeside Taxidermy needs some critters to stuff. The price is reasonable, quick, and the mounts look fantastic!

Papa Duck Lakeside Taxidermy 901-482-3430

Wapanocca was the place to be this weekend for some fatherson fishing. Jered and Kenny Roberts of Marion were catching all the bream.

Photos by John Criner

Timothy Parnell, Mary Delaney and Qua Williams found a shady spot to fish out at Tilden Rodgers Park in West Memphis.

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