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#6323280 - 06/04/16 10:41 PM Arkansas WMA DIY green timber mallards...here we go!
Fishuhalik Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 03/10/14
Posts: 412
Loc: Katy, TX
So I've decided that it's time to tackle a new waterfowl challenge. From what I've read in my research, it might be my biggest challenge yet. Between the crowds, getting lost in a flooded forest and the rules and regs, it sounds like I'm in for a beating. Honestly, I don't know why I'm gonna do this to myself after I'm just starting to figure out these coastal birds down here, but hey, I guess I'm a sucker for punishment. Not to mention, I'm not getting any younger and I figure I might as well get started now so when I'm old and decrepit like most of you codgy ol' sons of guns, I'll have this all figured out smile Any tips and tricks any of yall would be willing to share? Wisdom to pass down to an adventurous young man? Not to mention, if any of you seasoned vets would be willing to trade knowledge and spots first hand, I'd love to put you on some salty ol' pintails and wigeon, or divers if that's your preference.
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#6323283 - 06/04/16 10:43 PM Re: Arkansas WMA DIY green timber mallards...here we go! [Re: Fishuhalik]
Fishuhalik Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 03/10/14
Posts: 412
Loc: Katy, TX
I should add, I'm no stranger to mallards, or timber hunting for that matter. We used to do a lot of beaver pond hunting growing up in Minnesota, which is pretty much the same thing just on a MUCH smaller scale. And they're comparatively dumb as a rock up north
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#6324121 - 06/05/16 06:45 PM Re: Arkansas WMA DIY green timber mallards...here we go! [Re: Fishuhalik]
bill oxner Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 41052
Loc: Katy-Fulshear
I grew up in Arkansas. I don't know how it is these days but my daddy and I saw ducks flying into timber just off highway 79. We just parked and walked in. Here's what we came out with. I could tame a mallard back in those days. We didn't use decoys in flooded timber.

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Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill









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#6324126 - 06/05/16 06:53 PM Re: Arkansas WMA DIY green timber mallards...here we go! [Re: bill oxner]
Guy Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 27274
Loc: Lake X
Bill you looked a little over weight back then, not the James Bond physique you carry now.

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#6324138 - 06/05/16 07:06 PM Re: Arkansas WMA DIY green timber mallards...here we go! [Re: Guy]
bill oxner Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 41052
Loc: Katy-Fulshear
Originally Posted By: Guy
Bill you looked a little over weight back then, not the James Bond physique you carry now.


Underwear in those days was quilted. We hunted in frozen timber with only a couple of thawed areas.
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Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill









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#6324160 - 06/05/16 07:23 PM Re: Arkansas WMA DIY green timber mallards...here we go! [Re: Fishuhalik]
Fishuhalik Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 03/10/14
Posts: 412
Loc: Katy, TX
Very cool picture Bill
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Cigarettes are like hamsters. Perfectly harmless til you put it in your mouth & light it on fire

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#6324197 - 06/05/16 07:51 PM Re: Arkansas WMA DIY green timber mallards...here we go! [Re: Fishuhalik]
SnakeWrangler Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 29181
Loc: Fairfield, TX
Originally Posted By: Fishuhalik
Very cool picture Bill
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Originally Posted By: bill oxner
Now that food has replaced sex in my life, I can't even get into my own pants.

"Death is permanent...everything else is temporary!"

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#6324282 - 06/05/16 08:59 PM Re: Arkansas WMA DIY green timber mallards...here we go! [Re: Fishuhalik]
Sniper John Offline
gumshoe

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 16658
Loc: North Texas
Originally Posted By: Fishuhalik
So I've decided that it's time to tackle a new waterfowl challenge. From what I've read in my research, it might be my biggest challenge yet. Between the crowds, getting lost in a flooded forest and the rules and regs, it sounds like I'm in for a beating. Honestly, I don't know why I'm gonna do this to myself after I'm just starting to figure out these coastal birds down here, but hey, I guess I'm a sucker for punishment. Not to mention, I'm not getting any younger and I figure I might as well get started now so when I'm old and decrepit like most of you codgy ol' sons of guns, I'll have this all figured out smile Any tips and tricks any of yall would be willing to share? Wisdom to pass down to an adventurous young man? Not to mention, if any of you seasoned vets would be willing to trade knowledge and spots first hand, I'd love to put you on some salty ol' pintails and wigeon, or divers if that's your preference.


I have done lots of successful trips to other states for birds I knew nothing about on public lands I knew nothing about. Unfortunately Arkansas is not one of them. So though I have made some long fishing trips to AR, I have no duck hunting spots to share.

When I am planning an on my own hunting trip I usually do a search on half.com amazon, ebay, etc. for hunting or public land guidebooks. Just search for Arkansas hunting, Arkansas wildlife management areas, Arkansas waterfowl, etc. on those sites. Older out of date books can usually be picked up for dirt cheap and though out of date, can still give you some ideas and information much more detailed that is published online. I also like to subscribe to one or two of the state's hunting magazines if I know a year or two in advance I am doing a road trip there. There are always long forgotten smaller hunting locations or hidden accesses to big ones to be found that are not the overcrowded talk of the day.

Don't rule out any WMA or other public land waterfowl hunting drawn hunts. They can be a stepping stone to learning where to go next. In my trips across AR I have found the locals some of the most friendly and most helpful on where to go when making conversation at the local cafe or hardware store. Even while pumping gas. Make it a point to start up conversations in these places, especially with the older gentlemen.

And when you have places in mind, call the area wildlife manager, biologist, or game warden. Call them now and again before your trip. Before calling, I have even mailed a snail mail letter with questions and a large self addressed stamped envelope more than once before. I have maps of places in my files that were mailed back to me with primo hunting spots marked on them. Keep those phone numbers with you on your trip. Always call back and thank them.

I know it is not always possible, but be flexible if you can. Migrations, weather, and hunting pressure always changes. This especially since your after a specific type of waterfowl hunting, not just any waterfowl hunting. Using real time information and tips you get from others, sometimes it is best to pick up and move to an entirely different part of the state if the first day or two is a bust.
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#6324455 - 06/05/16 10:47 PM Re: Arkansas WMA DIY green timber mallards...here we go! [Re: Fishuhalik]
Fishuhalik Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 03/10/14
Posts: 412
Loc: Katy, TX
John, that's one of the best, most informative posts I've seen in a while. Tons of good ideas there. Definitely gonna be using em. Like I said, I'm not expecting much out of this. At least not for the first year or two. Hopefully between the couple forums I've posted on I can hook up with a local or someone that's been doing it for a few years, but I wouldn't be too bummed if I had to figure it out on my own. Always liked figuring stuff out on my own
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Cigarettes are like hamsters. Perfectly harmless til you put it in your mouth & light it on fire

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#6326603 - 06/07/16 03:05 PM Re: Arkansas WMA DIY green timber mallards...here we go! [Re: Sniper John]
ZachW Online   content
Woodsman

Registered: 10/11/13
Posts: 219
Loc: Texas, TX
Originally Posted By: Sniper John
And when you have places in mind, call the area wildlife manager, biologist, or game warden. Call them now and again before your trip. Before calling, I have even mailed a snail mail letter with questions and a large self addressed stamped envelope more than once before. I have maps of places in my files that were mailed back to me with primo hunting spots marked on them. Keep those phone numbers with you on your trip. Always call back and thank them.


This is a great suggestion. I would add that the more research you can show you've done beforehand the better the response you'll get. Whether here on the forum or elsewhere I always try to send over some maps or information about where I've been scouting and what I've seen when I ask a question about a specific spot.

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#6336692 - 06/15/16 06:00 PM Re: Arkansas WMA DIY green timber mallards...here we go! [Re: Fishuhalik]
Astater Offline
Tracker

Registered: 06/10/11
Posts: 607
Loc: Forney, TX
I grew up in Eastern Arkansas.

1) Go to Stuttgart so you can say you've been. It's cool.
2) Leave. Go anywhere else up and down the Mississippi and you'll see tons of birds. There will still be crowds but not as bad. I go back every year and the birds seem to be staying farther and farther north. Missouri is really kickin tail. I'd hunt NEA but those are my stompin grounds so I'm kinda biased.

Every year I go back I'm amazed by the experience and I've been doing it 20 years.
_________________________
The things we do for ducks...
NRA Life Member
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Lifetime License/Member

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#6336903 - 06/15/16 08:24 PM Re: Arkansas WMA DIY green timber mallards...here we go! [Re: Fishuhalik]
woodduckhunter Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 04/25/11
Posts: 283
is the trip solely focused around you wanting to kill public land timber mallards in Arkansas? if so go for it. I did something very similar to what is stated above. hadn't hunted anywhere other than managed places I'm at 3 days a week all year long and wanted to change the scenery. Picked up a new chessie puppy at Arkansas during the split one year, made a trip to Stuttgart, and drove onto Missouri for duck/goose combo hunts each am/pm. macks is worth stopping at strictly for the call counter if youre a call nut like myself. Probably safe to say that's the largest selection of calls you can put your hands on anywhere. rnt shop right down the road is definitely worth stopping at as well. It is also worth the trip so that when you get to little rock and head east, you can see the amount of farming that is going on on the eastern 1/3 of Arkansas, Tennessee, and Missouri. Rice, rice, more rice with some beans and corn mixed in....cool place. I can understand wanting to hunt the green trees, but most of the good guided hunts in Arkansas now come outta the rice. Hope it works out for you and its a trip well worth it. I just couldn't risk that much time, money, energy on something that could be ruined by some public land yahoos. If youre more interested in freelancing, might look into the Dakotas or montana. its hunting no matter where you go or what you do...always fun and worthwhile

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#6337000 - 06/15/16 09:39 PM Re: Arkansas WMA DIY green timber mallards...here we go! [Re: woodduckhunter]
duckiller Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1217
I did exactly what you are talking about doing @10 years ago. I have made at least 2 trips back per year since then. I look forward to it every year. There is nothing else like it. Don't be scared of the crowds. Usually they are there for a reason. Be respectful while hunting to those you run into and you shouldn't have any problem with locals. You'll be surprised how many ducks they have when the birds "aren't there". When you catch it right it's unreal how many birds you can get into.

If you are going to plan a trip then lean towards January. That will be your best bet at good water levels and catching a cold front. Make sure you check the waterfowl report on the ark fish and game website for the water levels in all the managed green trees.

PM me if you have any questions. I definitely don't know it all but I'll be happy to help if I can.

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#6338070 - 06/16/16 09:11 PM Re: Arkansas WMA DIY green timber mallards...here we go! [Re: Fishuhalik]
Fishuhalik Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 03/10/14
Posts: 412
Loc: Katy, TX
@woodduckhunter,
That's really all it isn't about. I've shot big water divers off the coast & Minnesota reservoirs, and shot hundreds over wild rice lakes in MN. I've shot puddlers down here in the marshes. I went to NoDak and Montana a few times every year for several years and even lived in NoDak for a couple years. I just really love finding new areas and types of hunting and trying to figure it out. If I want guaranteed birds, I'll go on the coast or NoDak. This is mainly for the challenge
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Cigarettes are like hamsters. Perfectly harmless til you put it in your mouth & light it on fire

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#6338647 - 06/17/16 12:20 PM Re: Arkansas WMA DIY green timber mallards...here we go! [Re: duckiller]
Astater Offline
Tracker

Registered: 06/10/11
Posts: 607
Loc: Forney, TX
Originally Posted By: duckiller
You'll be surprised how many ducks they have when the birds "aren't there". When you catch it right it's unreal how many birds you can get into.

Make sure you check the waterfowl report on the ark fish and game website for the water levels in all the managed green trees.

PM me if you have any questions. I definitely don't know it all but I'll be happy to help if I can.


Good Points. When the birds are "there"...especially in the timber, there's nothing like it. Opening day 2 years ago we shot a 16 man limit in a little over 40 minutes. It was on public and we hunted with 12 guys we'd never met. Was it ideal? Absolutely not. Was it fun? Yeah, it was alright. But I've never, I mean never, seen birds like that. Guys were standing in the timber, with no hole, shooting limits 100 yards apart in every direction. Insanity in lots of ways. Some guys would never enjoy that. It's different, that's for sure.

Download the AGFC app. I have no idea how Arkansas has such a great app and Texas doesn't.

Feel free to PM me as well. Scouting is the key on those public spots...and working to get where not many others are willing to go.
_________________________
The things we do for ducks...
NRA Life Member
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Lifetime License/Member

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