LITTLE ROCK – It may be mid-summer in Arkansas, but fall hunting was on the agenda for today’s meeting of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. During the meeting, the Commission set the state’s dove season dates. Commissioners also heard a proposal for the late migratory bird seasons.
Early migratory bird season dates:
Mourning dove and Eurasian collared-dove
Sept. 6-Oct. 25 and Dec. 20-Jan. 8
Sept. 6-Nov. 14
Nov. 8-Dec. 22
Common snipe season
Nov. 1-Feb. 15
Purple gallinule and common moorhen season
Sept. 1-Nov. 9
Early Canada goose season
Northwest Canada goose zone season
AGFC Waterfowl Program Coordinator Luke Naylor presented the Commission with the late migratory season proposals.
Proposed duck season dates:
Dec. 4-Dec. 23
Dec. 26-Jan. 25
Youth Hunt: Jan. 31-Feb. 1
Canada, White-fronted, snow, blue and Ross’s goose seasons
Nov. 13-Jan. 25
Snow, blue and Ross’s goose conservation order
Oct. 11-Nov. 12, Jan. 26-30 and Feb. 2-April 25
One regulation proposal included a restriction on the closing time of certain wildlife management areas and lakes during waterfowl season. If approved, the proposal would require the public to be off these areas after 1 p.m. each day and from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. each morning. The restriction would be in place from the first day of the first segment of the regular duck season until the last day of the last segment of regular duck season on specific WMAs. This would not apply to the last three days of the last regular duck season and the youth waterfowl hunt when access is allowed from 4 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily. Exceptions to allow afternoon access (such as archery deer hunting) to specific waterbodies within WMAs were included in the proposal. The late migratory bird season dates and regulations will be approved at the August commission meeting.
In other business, the Commission:
*Approved a $185,000 budget increase for water quality and gas royalty monitoring on the Scott Henderson Gulf Mountain WMA in Van Buren County.
*Heard the first reading of the proposed fishing regulations for 2015.
*Approved a $99,000 budget increase to pave a one-mile section of K Avenue in Felsenthal. The road leads to six boating access areas at the Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge and Beryl Anthony WMA.
*Authorized the director to enter into an agreement accepting a 1.9-acre land donation adjacent to Salado Creek in Independence County. The land is being donated by Kenny Kramer.
*Approved a budget increase of just over $6 million from unobligated Wildlife Restoration Grant program money and a budget transfer of $718,020 in earmarked non-resident waterfowl funds. The budget transfer will be used to restore and enhance waterfowl habitat, complete greentree reservoir assessments, perform drainage restoration mulching and several other projects on various WMAs.
*Heard presentations on the state’s Canada goose population and the 2014 turkey harvest.