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story.lead_photo.caption Ducks are shown in public duck hunting areas in eastern Arkansas.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission heard a proposal for a 60-day duck season ending on Jan. 31, during its monthly meeting Thursday at Little Rock.

After considerable debate during Wednesday's monthly work meeting, the commission tabled the duck season proposal for further tweaking by the agency's wildlife management division staff. On Thursday, the commission settled on a 60-day duck season divided into three segments with two splits. The proposed segments will run Nov. 23-Dec. 2, Dec. 11-Dec. 23, and Dec. 26-Jan. 31.

The commission reserved two days of hunting for youths and military veterans on Dec. 7 and Feb. 8.

Also, the commission proposed 30 days during which non-residents may hunt on waterfowl-intensive wildlife management areas. Those dates will be Nov. 23-Dec. 2, Dec. 27-Jan. 5, 2019, and Jan. 22-Jan. 31.

The proposals will be available for public comment for 30 days. The commission must submit its final duck season proposals to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by April 30.

The proposed opener for dove season will be Sept. 1, a Sunday. Traditionally, the commission opened dove season on the first Saturday in September. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prohibits opening dove season before Sept. 1, and the first Saturday will be Sept. 7, so the commission opted for a Sunday opener to give hunters an earlier opportunity.

"In September, you might be covered up with doves one day, but a cold front can come through, and they will all move out overnight," said Commissioner Joe Morgan of Little Rock. "Opening the season earlier hedges your bets a little bit."

In fisheries-related business, the commission accepted a donation of .45 acres of Mississippi River frontage in Chicot County from Farmers Grain Terminal, Inc. The commission also accepted a quitclaim deed releasing Farmers Grain Terminal Inc., from any future interest in 2.23 acres previously used as a right of way for the old U.S. 82 Bridge and the old Greenville Bridge. The commission will develop a new Mississippi River boating access on the site.

In other business, the commission honored four landowners with its first Landowner Achievement Award for successfully restoring native upland wildlife habitat on their properties.

Honorees were Walker Morris of Memphis for restorative habitat work on his property in Cross County near Earle; Twigg Satterfield and Branch Satterfield of Conway for improvements on their property in Faulkner County; David Love and Becky Love of Greenwood for improvements to their property in Sebastian County, and to James Gibbons and Julia Gibbons of Ozark for improvements on their property in Franklin County.

Sports on 03/22/2019

Print Headline: AGFC hears 2019-20 duck season proposals

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