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5 Best Places for Duck & Waterfowl Hunting in Arkansas

Arkansas is one of the best states for duck and waterfowl hunting in the US. With thousands of miles of scenic wetlands and rice fields, Arkansas is the perfect place to find a wide variety of both local and migratory ducks and large waterfowl. It doesn’t matter if you’re an avid gamesman or a first-time hunter, Arkansas has a vibrant population of game that puts this state on any hunter’s bucket list.


Before You Go:

If you are a resident of Arkansas, then you will need to get a Resident Sportsman’s License (RS) before you can legally begin to hunt any game. If you’re a non-resident, then you will need to get a Non-Resident Game Hunting License and, an Arkansas Waterfowl Stamp. Each area may require additional documents or have its own unique restrictions.

  • Duck hunting season is from Nov 20–Jan 31.
  • The daily bag limit is six ducks per day (with some additional rules based on the type of fowl).
  • The duck possession limit is 18 ducks.

You can check out a full list of regulations at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Website.


Stuttgart

Stuttgart is known as the Duck Capital of the World, and after a single day out in the wetlands, you’ll see why. Acres of flooded timber and wetlands make Stuttgart prime real estate for any waterfowl looking to build a home or just passing through during migration. Stuttgart is located 50 miles southeast of Little Rock and attracts thousands of hunters each year. Duck hunting in this area contributes over $1 million a day to this small town’s economy.


Each year Stuttgart hosts the World’s Champion Duck Calling Contest & Wings Over the Prairie Festival. This festival is the largest duck and waterfowl hunting event in the US, with over 60,000 attendees and hunters from all over the world. If you’re looking for the best place to go duck hunting in Arkansas, you can’t go wrong with Stuttgart. It has dozens of hunting lodges and hundreds of guides, so you’ll easily find everything you need for the hunting trip of your dreams.


Bayou DeView Wildlife Management Area

If you’re looking for a specific place to set up near Stuttgart, then the Bayou DeView Wildlife Management Area is widely considered to be one of the best hunting spots around. Bayou DeView is the largest state-owned waterfowl management area, with 33,700 acres of protected wetlands and flooded timber forests. It's often called the crown jewel of public waterfowl hunting.


While most of this area is open to the public, some spaces are reserved for the Stuttgart Hunting Club. Non-members can gain access to these areas through guided tours or by befriending one of the club members. Both the public and private areas can be accessed from the highway or by boat. For the best duck hunt of your life, be sure to visit Bayou DeView and see why hunters from across the globe come to this little town.


For a complete list of boating restrictions and regulations, visit the Bayou DeView website.


Bois D’Arc Wildlife Management Area

These 185 acres of bottomland hardwoods are home to mallards, scaups, wood ducks, redheads, pintails, Canadian geese and more. Bois D’Arc is located in southwest Arkansas, just off highway 174 in Hampstead County. This wildlife management area also has an engineered green-tree reservoir for waterfowl, making it the perfect spot for duck hunting.


While this spot is great for duck hunting, it also attracts visitors for its fishing and natural beauty. A more serious duck hunter might want to focus on another location, but if you are looking for a great time outdoors doing more than just hunting waterfowl, then Bois D’Arc WMA is perfect for you. Some areas of the reservoir are only accessible by boat, making them less crowded and excellent for fishing or hunting.


White River National Wildlife Refuge

For some of the best duck hunting around, take a trip down White River. This refuge is nestled along the floodplain between the Mississippi River and the White River, creating over 90 miles of waterfowl-inhabited flooded bottomland forests surrounded by rice fields. This flooded area has a rich ecosystem with dozens of species of waterfowl, including the largest concentration of wintering mallards and Canadian geese in the region. The Fish and Wildlife Service offers visitors a variety of guided tours and private hunts, and the reserve has 40 boat ramps, so renting a vehicle or bringing your own is strongly encouraged.


Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge

Just a bit north of Stuttgart, you can find a wide expanse of wetlands and flooded plains teeming with migratory waterfowl. Bald Knob Wildlife Refuge is both an excellent location for hunting and a farmed cropland. Be sure to stay within the designated hunting area so you don't accidentally wander into a farmer’s fields. The refuge is in White County and can be accessed just off highway 367. The roads in this area are prone to flooding, so you may want to check ahead to see if you will be traveling on foot or by boat.


Stretching over 12,000 acres of former rice farms, Bald Knob is home to the largest winter population of pintail waterfowl in the state. This refuge acts as one of the major wintering or stopover spots for migratory birds. Each year it attracts thousands of mallards, wood ducks, snow geese and more to its warmer waters. You can also hunt white-tailed deer, rabbits and squirrels. Only hunting during the day is permitted in this area.