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About hunting in Arkansas
Ducks, deer and more - hunting in Arkansas is good. The Natural State big-game hunting opportunities range from alligator to elk (in fact, Arkansas is currently the only state where both species are legal to hunt). The original elk herd in Arkansas went extinct by the 1840s, and, after a number of unsuccessful relocation attempts, now the population is strong enough to sustain the annual harvest of 30-35 individuals, through both public land tags and private land quota-based permits. Only residents of the state can participate in the draw, but non-residents are welcome to hunt black bear, hogs, and of course the white-tailed deer. Arkansas is known as one of the best deer hunting destinations. The deer herd in the Natural State is estimated at over a million head, with over two hundred thousand deer harvested annually by both resident and non-resident hunters. It’s not only about the quantity, either - the Arkansas deer feature great antler quality as well, through conscious management effort to maximize the percentage of trophy deer in the population. The wildlife management areas where special antler restrictions are in place to ensure only mature deer are taken are known as the “Arkansas Sweet Sixteen”, and are sometimes called the best-kept secret in American deer hunting. What is not a secret about hunting in Arkansas is, of course, waterfowl. The junction of the White, Arkansas, and Mississippi rivers is one of the strongest magnets for both ducks and waterfowl hunting enthusiasts. The state isn't just located on the Mississippi flyway, one of the major migration routes for ducks and geese, it serves as a bottleneck with the record numbers and highest densities of ducks. Rice fields, bayous, swamps and flooded forests provide ducks and geese with outstanding habitat in terms of both shelter and food. The areas surrounding the White River National Refuge and Stuttgart, a.k.a The Duck Capital of the World, are held in the highest esteem, but other areas of Arkansas are not far behind. Even with enormous public land access, the best spots can be crowded, especially early in the season, which makes a good case for duck leases. Offering both private land access and excellent guides, with the use of decoys, retrievers, blinds, and boats included, they are more than worth their rates, especially for beginners and those who haven’t any previous experience of hunting flooded timber bottoms.
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