Southern Arkansas Waterfowl Hunting
Ben Cole 01.14.19
Arkansas is one of the most popular duck hunting destinations in the Mississippi flyway for many reasons. However the main reason is due to the large populations of birds that that migrate through the delta region of the state. Recently I accompanied the fine folks of Sportsman’s Box at Silverside Outdoors for a weekend of hunting waterfowl.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by Nick Andrews along with the guides that would be accompanying us on the mornings hunt. Nick has an outstanding operation with accommodations that are among the best in the state. Although everyone was excited, our late arrival forced everyone straight to bed for some much needed rest after the lengthy drive.
As alarms came to life, making annoying noises, I sprung up with excitement for the hunt. On the first morning we hunted a pit, located along a flooded field which was loaded with mallards, pintails, as well as teal. With shooting light moments away the skies filled with birds of all species that most hunters would recognize. Before long Nick called the shot as a large group of teal entered the landing zone. Quickly everyone sprang to action dropping several birds out of the group. Shortly after the dogs made their retrieves another group worked into range, this cycle would repeat itself for most of the morning. Except for the pintails, they are among the most weary birds in the sky when referring to waterfowl species. With the hunt in the rear view, lunch was our next priority. As one could imagine the food was purely outstanding as well as fulfilling, so much so that most of the group embarked on an afternoon nap.
With what seemed like a short nap those loud alarms climbed their time once again. Although the weather conditions were less than exciting to most people, it was a hunters dream day. Cool winds mixed with rain can make for some exciting hunting conditions when referring to fowl. On this particular morning we hunkered in a blind that was nestled into the tree line next to a flooded field. Like most would expect with the rise of the sun ducks began piling into the open water hole, feeding amongst the decoys. With the clock landing on shooting light everyone began sending steel shot down range except for me. I was using shot shells from Apex Ammunition that we’re filled with tungsten. After making several good shots to start the morning I had a little dry spell, missing a couple of birds that should have been chip shots. However that’s just part of wing shooting and know that everyone misses at some point. After the slapping of hands took place it was back to business and we quickly achieved our six man limit, capping off the hunt with a mixed bag of gadwall, teal, and wigeon.
You learn a lot about someone when time is shared in the blind. I can tell you that Nick and his group of guys, at Silverside Outdoors, are outstanding and have the experience that won’t soon be forgotten.