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Spinning-wheel decoys banned in Arkansas

8/11/2005

TUNICA, Miss. — Arkansas is one of two states in the Mississippi Flyway where waterfowl hunters are banned from using electrical spinning-wing decoys during the upcoming duck season.

The decoys are attractants for migratory game birds, and Minnesota has also prohibited the use of the decoys statewide for the first portion of their duck season. The state has also banned the use of the devices on their wildlife management areas for the entire season.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission proposed to the Flyway Council that the ban be flyway-wide, but the proposal failed.

Representatives from Arkansas and other states formulated a recommendation asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to study the biological, social and ethical aspects of electronic devices, and asked that states work with the FWS to develop a proposal to restrict the use of these devices, if warranted, for biological, social or ethical reasons.

AGFC waterfowl program coordinator Andrew James was optimistic even though the ban failed.

"Although the flyway-wide ban was unsuccessful, I feel confident that the recommendation we passed will put the responsibility on the Fish and Wildlife Service to make a determination on the use of these decoys," James said.