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Arkansas Duck Hunting Tips

When you think of incredible Mallard hunting, only one place comes to mind; Stuttgart, Arkansas. Stuttgart is known as the Rice and Duck Capital of the World.? Hunting waterfowl in Southeast Arkansas is not considered a pastime, but rather a way of life. Anyone who enjoys wing shooting at its finest must make this trip to the Mecca? of duck hunting at least once in their lifetime.

Below you will find some interesting questions and answers about duck hunting in Arkansas.

Question:  When is the best time to come and hunt in Arkansas?

Answer:  Depends on the season. Weather, water, and food sources all play a role in your hunting success. By planting food supplies you put the odds in your favor for having 60 days of quality hunting. While it doesn’t guarantee anything, it always helps to put the odds in your favor.

Question:  Do I need waders?

Answer:  Yes, waders will cover any hunting situation you face while also providing extra insulation to keep you warm and dry.

Question:  What kind of ducks are hunted?

Answer:  Generally the Mallard duck is the most popular duck among hunters. Early in the season you will have a very mixed bag wherever you are hunting.  By mid December the rice fields and timber will produce mostly Mallards. Reservoir hunting and bayou hunting will always produce a mixed bag for the entire season. It all depends on the hunting area.

Question:  Should I bring my dog?
Answer:  Dogs are welcome but must be controllable. Often times the hunting is fast and furious for the first hour of the hunt. If one person in your group is trying to train a new dog during that time, the success rate could be greatly diminished.

Question:  When should I book my hunt?

Answer:  Arkansas sets its duck season at the end of August. As soon as you can get your party together it is a very good idea to send your deposit and book. That way you get the days you want. I realize it’s often a hassle to try and get four or five guys together to book a December hunt in August. Plan ahead because booking is usually on a first come first serve basis.

Question:  Will my group be mixed with another group?

Answer:  Guides usually do not like to mix groups when they are taking hunters. It all depends on the size of your group. If you bring at least four hunters, you will be guaranteed to be hunting only with your group. If you bring eight hunters, they will most likely split your group down and take two groups of four.  It isn’t feasible to pay a guide to take one guy hunting and burn down a hole. Anyone who tells you they are willing to do that is probably not being honest.

Question:  What type of shotgun and shot size should I use?

Answer:  Most adult male hunters prefer a 12 gauge shotgun for duck hunting. They typically shoot a modified choke and shoot number 2, 3, or 4 steel shot depending on where they are hunting. Some hunters who are experienced marksman prefer to shoot a full choke and increase their range. It depends strictly on the preference of the hunter.

Where to lodge: Retriever Lodge is a duck guiding operation that specializes in small groups. We hunt exclusively on private ground and offer some of the finest rice field and flooded timber hunting known to the area. We provide the atmosphere of a buddy hunt? rather than that of a commercial operation. This helps to guarantee an enjoyable hunt, and gives you a true experience of an Arkansas duck hunt.

Retriever Lodge hunts exclusively on privately owned ground. We own several thousand acres of prime duck hunting habitat in the heart of Arkansas County. We have rice fields, soybean fields, dead timber reservoirs, bayou hunting, and green timber hunting.  All of our hunting areas are managed to provide optimal hunting.  The key to good duck hunting is food. We plant many of our areas exclusively for the ducks. Most of these crops are left standing and periodically flooded throughout the season. We plant rice, milo, and millet in all of our reservoirs and green timber holes. We do not hunt any of our hunting areas over twice a week, and try to let the ducks rest in these areas as much as possible. During the season we check each of our hunting areas to prepare for the next days hunt. Last year Retriever Lodge killed 2505 ducks on our privately owned ground. Two of our groups killed over 225 ducks in a 3 day period. We manage year-round for the ducks. My family owns a fertilizer plant and farms, and we use our labor to work on our hunting areas in our spare time. Two of my employees are basically working on hunting areas full time. I also fly my airplane to scout hunting areas so we don’t disturb the ducks. We take the time and dedicate ourselves to provide exceptional hunting. I personally do not like to go on a bad duck hunt and I really don’t like taking people on a poor hunt. While we can’t guarantee success, we do everything possible to put the odds in our favor.

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