The Thaw is On and Just in Time
With 4-8 inches of snow hitting most of southeast Arkansas earlier this week and nighttime temperatures in the mid to lower teens, most of Arkansas' prime waterfowl wintering grounds are completely locked up as is the hunting. Big, deep moving water remains open and some smaller sloughs and bayous with running water have the ducks all bunched up in those locations.
Flooded green timber, shallow reservoirs and fields are frozen up tight with 1/2" to 1" ice in the locations I have seen. Good news is temps are getting above freezing starting today and we are expecting some highs near 50 through the weekend which will start the much needed thaw.
We have heard mixed reports ranging from staying in bed to excellent hunts. Many hunters wrote the week off as morning wind chills were near unbearable in the single digits.
Seems to be if one was fortunate to have hungry ducks in the area, hunters were able to produce limits despite no open water. I received a call Thursday to join my buddy Jay Coker at his farm near Lodge Corner for an afternoon hunt with Greenhead Pro Staff Joel Whicker, Lynn and Chris Dickson. Jay runs Dry Lake Hunting Service from his family farm south of Stuttgart and we were lucky enough to get the call when he had a break in the schedule. The number of ducks using his farm despite it being completely frozen was beyond impressive. We caputured some oustanding footage of the hunt and will be posting those to our YouTube channel as soon as we can get it edited.
We saw enough ducks and have heard from enough hunters the past few days to feel pretty good about things once the food thaws out. Ducks should be active and very hungry which is good considering we are in the home stretch. The Arkansas duck season is closed Tuesday through Friday this coming week and the full moon is on the way.
I suspect ducks will move back north from Lousiana and Mississippi as temps warm up as waterfowl tend to stay on the edge of where they can eat. Let's hope the ducks stick around just a few more weeks and have the season end up on a good note.