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Finally … Cold weather and new ducks!


recent heavy rains T he and much colder temperatures have finally pushed new ducks into northeast Arkansas. The rivers are up but not flood stage and supplying much needed new feed for the migratory birds. Anybody that has been outside lately agrees that Ole Man Winter has arrived. Our friends up north have had icing and snow that push the ducks our way. Reports of new birds and good hunting this last week is music to the ears of water fowlers. If all goes right the last half of January should offer the best hunting of the season. Several duck clubs within a two hour drive have reported good populations of birds. Unfortunately, hunting pressure have them moving around due to the rains and fresh food. Managing a hunt area is critical to keeping the birds in the hunting area.

Archery deer season continues until the end of February. For the bow hunters it is nice to have the woods to them selves because the gun hunters are finished for the year. The state will probably get close to the 225,000 deer harvest for the year. If a hunter does want to use the old fashion bow and arrow, the modern cross bows are extremely accurate out to 50 yards.

Fishing is for the hardy. Serious crappie fishermen are taking fish at Horseshoe and Midway but you can bet they have their long handles on and a heater in the boat. Some have reported the crappie are moving into the canals at Horseshoe, but expect small or medium sized fish. Every year about this time the crappie start using the canals even if they tend to be muddy. Tilden Rodgers and Marion Rec look deserted due to the cold and windy weather in spite of the recent trout stocking. Don’t forget to look for the tags on the trout that get you a prize from the Arkansas Game & Fish.

The days are starting to gain a couple minutes each day and it won’t be long before spring will be here and everyone will get serious about catching a fresh fish supper. Be sure to get a copy of the new AGFC fishing regulations. There are a few changes that slip up on us. It is cheaper to read the new laws than it is to explain to the warden you just didn’t know.

There is prime duck hunting ahead so take the kids and head to the blinds. Warm clothes and plenty of food is essential. We have used an old fashion charcoal bucket in the blind to cook hot dogs and enjoy the heat. They are extremely hard to find unless one shows up at a flea market. Let the kids build the fire and roast the dogs. It keeps them busy and they become part of the hunt.

Lakeside Taxidermy enjoys mounting your game at a reasonable rate, quick service, and returning a beautiful trophy. That kid’s duck, deer, and fish sure look good on the wall and many years from now it will bring back great memories.

Papa Duck Lakeside Taxidermy 901-482-3430

What cold weather? Arkansas duck hunters know cooler temperatures mean more ducks in the sky and more ducks in the bag.

Photo courtesy of John Criner

Looking for a hunting spot? Harrison Ellis, L’angille River guide, knows where the ducks are.

Photo courtesy of John Criner

John Criner

Outdoors Columnist

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