By Paul Wait
Nearly every waterfowler knows that Arkansas is a top destination for hunting mallards in the green timber. But there’s another “Bucket List” waterfowl hunt to check out in the Razorback State: Snow geese in February.
While ducks garner nearly all of the attention during the regular waterfowl season (which ends Jan. 29, 2017), the focus shifts to the light goose conservation season the moment duck season closes. And with good reason. Huge flocks of snow geese settle in Arkansas and nearby states to gorge themselves in flooded rice fields.
Light geese are legal to hunt during most of the Arkansas duck season, but once duck hunting closes, the regulations change dramatically. During the Conservation Order Season, which runs Jan. 30 to Feb. 3 and Feb. 5 to April 25, hunters can use electronic calls and unplugged shotguns. Daily shooting hours are extended from a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset, and there are no daily bag limits or possession limits. Snow goose hunters must possess a hunting license, but it can be from any state. No federal or state waterfowl stamps are required, but hunters must obtain a free permit from Arkansas. Call (800) 364-4263 or visit agfc.com.
The best snow goose hunting generally occurs in February, but the weather can certainly impact the migration. Several outfitters in the state’s rice belt offer fully guided hunts, while other hunting operations rent daily spots in pit blinds.
So if you’re looking to extend your waterfowl season, or kick off the spring snow goose hunt as early as possible, consider a rendezvous in Arkansas.