Waterfowl Hunting Regulations 

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Legal Hunting Equipment

Legal Weapons

Waterfowl may be taken only with shotguns 10-gauge and smaller that are rendered incapable of holding more than three shells, archery equipment and muzzleloading shotguns.

Legal Shot

While waterfowl hunting, the only type of shot that may be in the hunter’s possession are: steel, tungsten-iron (Hevi-Steel), tungsten-polymer, tungsten-matrix, tungsten-iron-nickel-tin (TINT), tungsten-nickel-iron (Hevi-Shot), tungsten-bronze-iron (TBI), tungsten-tin-bismuth (TTB) or bismuth-tin or such shot approved as nontoxic by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Hunters may use only nontoxic shot size T (.2-inch diameter) and smaller when hunting waterfowl and coots. Other migratory birds (doves, rails, woodcock, snipe, moorhens and gallinules) may be taken with size T and smaller nontoxic shot or size BB (.18-inch diameter) and smaller lead shot.

Motorized Vehicles

Hunting from Motorized Vehicles

It is illegal to hunt from a motorized boat or sailboat, unless the motor has been been completely shut off and/or the sails furled, and its progress from those means has ceased.

It is illegal to hunt migratory birds from any motor-driven land vehicle or aircraft of any kind. Parapalegics and persons missing one or both legs may hunt from a stationary motor-driven land vehicle.

Rallying with Motorized Vehicles

It is illegal to hunt migratory birds with the aid of any motor-driven vehicle or sailboat used to rally, concentrate, drive or stir up birds.

Electronic Calls

It is illegal to hunt migratory birds with the aid of recorded or electrically amplified bird calls with the following exceptions:

  • Crows
  • Snow, Blue and Ross's Geese during Conservation Order 

Waterfowl Baiting Laws

It is illegal to hunt or kill migratory game birds with the aid of bait (salt, grain or other feed that has been placed, exposed, deposited, distributed or scattered to attract migratory game birds).

  • An area is considered baited for 10 days after the complete removal of all bait.
  • Anyone hunting who knows or reasonably should know the area is baited is liable for the offense. Hunters should physically inspect the field for any signs of baiting and question landowners, guides and caretakers to ensure the field is legal to hunt.
  • Hunters may hunt migratory waterfowl over fields of harvested agricultural crops or standing crops that have not been manipulated.
  • Natural vegetation may be manipulated for all migratory birds.
  • Planted millet is treated as an agricultural crop and may not be manipulated if you intend to hunt waterfowl. Millet that grows on its own in subsequent years (volunteer crop) is considered natural vegetation and may be manipulated without restriction.

Complete information about baiting is available from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website or from the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service website as a PDF document.

Federal Regulations Overview

In addition to these regulations, federal rules apply to the taking, possession, shipping, transporting and storing of migratory game birds.

Click here for a complete summary of federal migratory bird regulations. Each hunter should also consult the federal regulations found in Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 20.