According to the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, waterfowl numbers are remaining near all-time highs.
There has been a shift in habitat conditions in the Prairie Pothole Region in the U.S. and Canada per the Wildlife Service’s release of their 2016 Waterfowl Population Status. However, the AGFC is remaining firm that the Arkansas duck population has not been affected, which is of course, great news for hunters who want with as much game to shoot at as possible.
Bird population is determined by gauging the amount of wetlands available for waterfowl throughout their traditional breeding grounds, specifically in the Dakotas and Canadian provinces. Biologists look at the number of ponds that have been filled by spring rains and snowmelt, which correlates to the number of waterfowl that settle in that particular area.
Biologists also take data regarding the amount of breeding waterfowl in order to determine an estimate of total quantity of each bird in the region. Reports are indicating that the population of birds is 48.4 million.
For Arkansas hunters, the mallard is the most sought after bird and has a count of 11.8 million, which is considerably higher than the long-term average of 7.8 million birds.
The AGFC states that temporary ponds in the Southern part of the region were dry, which impacts the early part of the nesting season, but did get enough rain water later on to help the re-nesting and later-nesting species. The Northern portion of the region remained unchanged. There has also been a decrease in population of nest predators this year.
Arkansas duck hunters are expected to have a great hunting season beginning in October. Pluck-A-Duck is gearing up and working to get ready. If you want to join us on a duck hunt, contact us today.