Saturday marks the first time in Arkansas history that members of the armed services and veterans will have a special day in the wetlands chasing ducks and geese. The Special Active Duty Military and Veteran Waterfowl Hunt will take place alongside Arkansas’s Special Youth Waterfowl Hunt on December 7, 2019 and February 8, 2020.
On these days members of active duty military and military veterans may harvest ducks, geese, coots and mergansers. Active duty military includes members of the National Guard and Reserves on active duty (other than for training). Veterans must have served in active military, naval, air service or Reserves and National Guard on Title 32 orders and must have been discharged or released under honorable conditions. In addition to a valid hunting license, state and federal waterfowl stamps, a current Harvest Information Program registration is required. Participants in this hunt also will need to carry one of the following items with them during their hunt: a DD214, a Veteran Benefit Card, Retired Active Military ID, Veteran License or Active Duty ID card.
Youths and veterans may have an additional person with them during their hunt as a mentor or observer. That person may call, video the hunt, or work a dog to retrieve ducks, but they may not carry a firearm or assist with shooting. Shooting hours and bag limits are the same as regular duck and goose seasons. Veteran hunters, as well as youth hunters may hunt on wildlife management areas from 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset these two days.
Any shotshell restrictions on WMAs also are suspended for veterans and youths during these two days. Earlier this year, special waterfowl hunting days for veterans originally were approved at the federal level to show increased support for men and women who have served their country in the armed forces. AGFC voted to officially recognize this effort at its October Commission meeting after the logistics of the hunt could be finalized to make it run smoothly.