Waterfowl Hunting Frequently Asked Questions 

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Who needs to register for HIP?
Answer
Hunters 16 or older are required to carry proof of Arkansas Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration when hunting ducks, geese, doves, coots, woodcocks, snipe, rails, gallinules or moorhens. Available at no charge, HIP registration can be obtained by completing a short survey at license dealers or any Game and Fish Commission office and will be noted on the license form.
What is a nonresident WMA waterfowl permit?
Answer
In addition to a valid Arkansas hunting license, nonresidents must purchase a permit to hunt waterfowl on certain wildlife management areas (See Where to Hunt for details about each WMA). The cost is $25 for a five-day permit and $100 for an annual permit. The annual permit expires June 30. The nonresident permits are valid for all WMAs.
When hunting waterfowl, how do I determine the correct sunset/sunrise times for my particular location in the state?
Answer
You can look up exact sunrise and sunset times for your location on the Astronomical Applications Dept. of the U.S. Navy Observatory Web site. Click this link: http://aa.usno.navy.mil  

Then click Data Services>Table of Sunrise/Sunset, Moonrise/Moonset, or Twilight Times for an Entire Year. Scroll down and fill in the required information.
Can I hunt ducks with a bow?
Answer
Archery tackle is not specifically prohibited for hunting waterfowl, so yes, you can hunt ducks with a bow.
How far from a baited duck hole can you be and still be legal?
Answer
There is no set distance. The law prohibits hunting if bait is present that could lure or attract birds to, on, or over areas where hunters are attempting to take them. Distance will vary depending on the circumstances and such factors as topography, weather, and waterfowl flight patterns. Therefore, this question can only be answered on a case-by-case basis.
When duck season is closed, are we allowed to scout a WMA, either by walking in and or boating?
Answer
Yes, you may. Some folks even take decoys, calls and video cameras. Just make sure there are no weapons present.
What licenses and permits do I need to waterfowl hunt in Arkansas?
Answer

Waterfowl hunters 16 and older must carry:

  1. A valid Arkansas Waterfowl Stamp (residents: $7, nonresidents: $35), signed in ink across the face (code on license valid for 30 days);
  2. A valid federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp ($15), signed in ink across the face (code on electronic stamp valid for 45 days);
  3. Proof of Arkansas HIP registration; and
  4. One of the following hunting licenses:
  • Resident Wildlife Conservation License (HNT), $10.50
  • Resident Sportsman’s License (RS), $25
  • 65+ Resident Sportsman’s License (PLH), $25
  • 65+ Resident Combination License(PLC), $35.50
  • 3-year Resident Disabled Sportsman’s License (RDH), $25
  • 3-year Resident Disabled Combination License (RDC), $35.50
  • Nonresident 5-Day Small Game Hunting License (SG5), $55
  • Nonresident Annual Small Game Hunting License (NRH), $80
  • Nonresident 1-Day All Game Hunting License (AG1), $50
  • Nonresident 3-Day All Game Hunting License (AG3), $100
  • Nonresident 5-Day All Game Hunting License (AG5), $150
  • Nonresident Annual All Game Hunting License (NBG), $300
  • Lifetime Sportsman’s Permit (state stamp not required) (LSP), $1,000

Nonresidents hunting on certain WMAs also must carry one of the following permits (See Where to Hunt for each WMA's details):

  • Nonresident 5-Day Wildlife Management Area Waterfowl Hunting Permit (NW5), $25
  • Nonresident Annual Wildlife Management Area Waterfowl Hunting Permit (NWP), $100

Also, anyone hunting on one of the Sweet 16 WMAs, must have a free Sweet 16 Permit on their person while hunting (Click here for details).

What licenses or permits do I need to participate in the Snow Goose Conservation Order?
Answer

All hunters 16 and older participating in the Light Goose Conservation Order must have the following:

  • A valid hunting license (it may be from any state), and
  • A free Snow Goose Conservation Order Permit (available by calling (800) 364-4263 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) or clicking here to visit our permit page and click "Submit New Permit Application."

A federal or state waterfowl stamp is not required during the conservation order.

What public areas are good for duck hunting?
Answer
Essentially, any area with some water and food will hold a duck or two, but many of the AGFC's WMAs and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Wildlife Refuges are managed specifically for waterfowl. The best way to keep tabs on where to go in Arkansas, is to sign up for the Weekly Waterfowl Report, which runs from one week before duck season until it ends. Click the following link to sign up and have the waterfowl rerpot delivered to you via email each week: http://www.agfc.com/hunting/Pages/HuntingWaterfowlReport.aspx
Is breasting ducks legal?
Answer
Breasting ducks is legal and does not constitute wanton waste. However, when breasting ducks, you must make sure to keep the head or one fully feathered wing attached until you get home or to the processor. This is for identification purposes.
What sort of gun may I use to waterfowl hunt?
Answer
Only shotguns 10-gauge and smaller, using steel or other approved non-toxic shot may be used. Shotguns that can hold more than three shells must be plugged with a one-piece filler that renders it incapable of holding more than three shells and cannot be removed without disassembling the gun.
May I give someone else my ducks during the hunt?
Answer
According to federal law, you may not give your birds to another person in the field, regardless of whether or not they are properly tagged. Once out of the field, you may transfer them to another person by tagging them with a piece of paper including your signature, address, number of birds, species of birds and the date they were shot. You may not give someone your birds if that would make them go over their possession limit.