The current U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service framework has four major criteria concerning season dates:1) Total regular duck season hunting days cannot exceed 60;2) The regular duck season cannot open before the Saturday closest to Sept. 24;3) The regular duck season must close by Jan. 31, and 4) Only two splits are allowed in the season, creating three season segments.
The proposed 2019-2020 season also includes new combination youth/veteran days, in which veterans and active members of the nation’s armed forces may participate in the hunt. This also is a reflection of federal frameworks recently passed in regard to waterfowl seasons which state that veteran/youth days:
a) may be held up to 14 days before or after any regular duck-season frameworks or within any split of a regular duck season, or within any other open season on migratory birds, andb) must be held outside any regular duck season on weekends, holidays, or other non-school days when youth hunters would have the maximum opportunity to participate.
This year’s youth/veteran hunts are proposed to be December 7 and February 8, similar to last year’s youth-only hunts.
In addition to the overall season dates, nonresidents will be allowed to hunt Arkansas wildlife management areas with a Nonresident WMA Waterfowl Hunting Permit from Nov. 23-Dec. 2, 2019; Dec. 27, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020; and Jan. 22-31, 2020. These dates are set in blocks of 10 to align with permits sold in 5-day increments.
Other migratory bird seasons are proposed to align as best as possible with the proposed duck season structure.
Proposed 2019-2020 Duck Hunting Season Dates:-First Segment Nov. 23-Dec. 2, 2019-Second Segment Dec. 11-Dec. 23, 2019-Third Segment Dec. 26, 2019-Jan. 31, 2020