Located in the geographical center of the Mississippi flyway, while sporting flooded Rice fields galore, the Razorback State is a duck hunter’s favored destination above all others.
Last week, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) announced that the state reached an all-time record in the sale of duck stamps for the 2013-14 waterfowl hunting season, with a total of 97,117 stamps sold. The previous high point for state stamp sales was recorded in the 2002-2003 season, with 95,863 stamps sold to both resident and non-resident hunters.
In Arkansas, both a federal Migratory Bird/Duck Stamp and a state stamp are required for hunters aged 16 and older.
The AGFC reports the past season’s sales included 55,935 resident stamps and 41,182 non-resident stamps. The previous peak year of sales 11 years ago included 62,405 residents and 33,458 non-residents.
Roughly 40 percent of the stamp sales for 2013-2014 were for non-resident stamps, an indication that hunters from other areas continue to find Arkansas a fertile place for their waterfowl activities. This percentage is noticeably higher than in 2002-2003 when fewer than one-third of the stamp sales went to non-residents.
“The non-resident stamp sales this past season were an all-time record for Arkansas,” said Luke Naylor, AGFC’s waterfowl program coordinator. “The resident stamp sales were the third highest on record, so this tells us that our waterfowl hunting is highly popular with both Arkansans and with non-residents.”
Arkansas duck stamp sales have climbed significantly since 1992, a low point in modern times for Arkansas duck hunting. Then, less than 40,000 stamps were sold. The sales climbed steadily until the previous peak in 2002-2003, and then dipped a bit for several years until rising again in 2007-2008.
The long-term average for duck stamp sales in Arkansas is about 67,000 with about 30 percent of those sales coming from non-residents.