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Arkansas - ESPN Outdoors Duck Trek 2008

12/17/2008

Duck season:
Statewide:
Nov. 22, 2008 - Dec. 1, 2008
Dec. 6, 2008 - Dec. 24, 2008
Dec. 26, 2008 - Jan. 25, 2009

Duck Trek stop: No. 8

Arkansas Features:

'Duck Classic' Hunt
This was a backward step on the Duck Trek, from Louisiana to Northeast Arkansas, in a section of flooded green timber renowned for its hunting. But we didn't turn around and reverse course because of the hunting: ESPN Outdoors wanted to be part of an annual event called the Duck Classic. Story

Banded Community
Duck Hunters gather for a local charitable organization's annual auction at the 2008 Duck Classic. Story

Aiming High
The duck hunting wasn't quite as good as it was last year, but the NEA Clinic raised as much or more money in the 6th annual NEA Clinic Charitable Foundation Duck Classic. Story

Worth a thousand words
To understand the legend of Arkansas' Claypool Reservoir, it's important to go back 50 years and learn the history behind a famous broadcast and a single still photo. Story

Bayou Meto as crowded as it is good
Bayou Meto is the largest state-owned public shooting ground in the country and is primarily known for its excellent duck hunting. Approximately 10,000 to 12,000 acres of hardwood bottoms are flooded with the aid of a series of levees, ditches and water control structures designed to capture heavy fall rains. In addition, two areas, Halowell Reservoir and the Wrape Plantation, are set aside for rest areas. Story

Hunting in Mecca
Every true religion has its sacred shrines and high holy days. If you worship in the temple of the whistling wings, then Stuttgart, Ark., is your Mecca — and the Saturday after Thanksgiving is like Christmas, Passover and Ramadan, all rolled into one. Story

Without a race
Elite Series bass pros Jimmy Mize and Clark Reehm experience a different kind of Duck Trek hunt in Arkansas as ESPNOutdoors.com becomes the host along Big Mingo Creek in northeast Arkansas. Story

Big fun on Big Lake
Duck hunting is like a religion in Arkansas. And while that might seem like hyperbole to the uninitiated, it's hard to dispute after experiencing the state's opening weekend with devout practitioners of this peculiar creed. The Duck Trek touched down at Big Lake, a vast wetlands complex in Arkansas' far northeast corner, on the second day of the state's duck season. The opening weekend dawned colder than any Arkansas opener in memory, and the waterfowling pilgrims responded positively. Story

Historic fight for duck hunting
Arkansas' Big Lake made big news at the beginning of the 20th century in a battle over hunting rights, specifically, duck hunting rights — a battle that would ultimately reach the White House. More important, the battle at Big Lake represents the time when market-hunting and the rampant slaughter of waterfowl peaked. International treaties and federal regulations, especially from 1916 on, increasingly attempted to halt the waterfowl population crash resulting from the era. Story

New Madrid Earthquake
They created two of America's most famous duck hunting holes, and are considered, as a whole, one of the most significant seismological events in modern time, yet the New Madrid earthquakes will always remain somewhat of a mystery. In a sense, the series of earthquakes, occurring from Dec. 1811 through Feb. 1812, was one massive duck habitat-improvement project. Story

Arkansas Photos: