Extreme Cold In Store For Arkansas Hunters

Extreme Cold In Store For Arkansas Hunters

Arkansas Game & Fish Commission
Arkansas Game & Fish Commission

LITTLE ROCK, AR –-(AmmoLand.com)- Arkansas waterfowl hunters will face extreme hunting conditions over the next several days as some of the coldest air in a decade bears down on The Natural State.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for every county in the state through noon Thursday. During the overnight hours today and into Thursday morning, forecasters are calling for 1-2 inches of snow across the northern half of the state, while freezing rain, sleet and a dusting of snow are predicted for southern counties.

The wintry precipitation will be followed Thursday by an Arctic high pressure system that will bring the state some of the coldest temperatures since February 1996. Low temperatures are expected to be near zero degrees in northern Arkansas, and as low as single digits in southern parts of the state. Gusting winds will create dangerously cold wind chill factors, with temperatures feeling as low as 20 degrees below zero across the northern counties. Daytime high temperatures on Friday likely won’t climb out of the lower 20s. Temperatures for most areas of the state aren’t expected to climb above the freezing mark until Sunday or Monday.

Thursday’s plummeting temperatures follow a round of high pressure that moved across the state earlier in the week, sending temperatures into the teens across central and northern portions of the state.

Because of the extended period of extreme cold, most of the state’s shallow wetlands have been frozen and will remain frozen for several days.

“Hunters looking to brave the cold should probably look to rivers, streams, big lakes and other bodies of water that may remain open through this period of extreme weather,” said Luke Naylor, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission waterfowl program coordinator. “You probably won’t find a lot of ducks in the usual places like fields and shallow flooded timber.”

The AGFC urges hunters to exercise caution while hunting in this week’s extreme conditions, a period in which risks of frostbite and hypothermia will be increased.

AGFC biologists have been conducting aerial waterfowl surveys this week, and preliminary population estimates should be available in time for next week’s waterfowl report. Biologists also will fly surveys near the end of the month, in time for hunters to see estimated waterfowl numbers prior to the last week of duck season.

Maps showing mallard and overall duck densities have been created to show relative densities around the state. The maps are included among several Web links AGFC has created to assist hunters in tracking waterfowl movements throughout the flyway and within the state.

For a list of links, visit http://www.agfc.com/hunting/huntingseasons/waterfowl-migratory-birds/waterfowl-locations.aspx.

This waterfowl report provides capsule information from agency staff in all corners of Arkansas and is updated each Wednesday throughout waterfowl season.

Information on river levels can be found at: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/lmrfc/ or http://water.usgs.gov/realtime.html. Sunrise/sunset tables are available at: http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneDay.html and in the Arkansas Waterfowl Regulations Guide.