Economic Impact of Duck Hunting

Wednesday December 15, 2021

“It’s madness, I’ve never seen otherwise intelligent frugal men throw so much money at so little opportunity! ” (Unknown) This was the statement made by an unnamed source referencing the sickness and addiction of the wonderful sport of Waterfowl Hunting. The economic impact of waterfowl hunting in Arkansas can best be seen in the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2006 Economic Impact of Waterfowl Hunting report. This report states that in 2006 there was 1. 3 million waterfowl hunters nationwide, 100,000 of these waterfowl hunters were residents of Arkansas who spent 1. million days pursuing the waterfowl of their choice. During these days, waterfowl hunters spend money on hunting trips, hunting equipment, salaries and wages and state, local and federal taxes. Nationwide, waterfowl hunters spent $900 million during 2006 creating a positive economic impact for the nation’s economy. When did all of this begin and why in Eastern Arkansas? It is said that the first to have stepped foot in what is now known as modern day Arkansas were duck hunters. In an archeological find near Big Lake in north eastern Arkansas, studies found more bones from Mallard ducks than from any other bird present. Nature had set a perfect table not only for the Paleo Indians but for the future duck hunters in Arkansas. Eastern Arkansas borders the Mississippi River and is home of 8 million of the 24. 2 acres of the Mississippi Alluvial plain. There are no other states in the continental united states that have more delta land than Arkansas. Before the advent of dams and tree clearing agricultural practices the delta was covered primarily with hardwood trees, mostly oaks. These Hardwoods provided the staple food source (acorns) for the largest population of wintering waterfowl (mainly the mallard duck) in the world. Early settlers took advantage of the abundant fowl and consequently started some of the very first duck hunting clubs in the United States. In 1906 the first known crop of rice was grown in Arkansas County. Although it was a small crop, it changed the scenery of agriculture in the delta and on the Grand Prairie region. Three years later Grad Prairie rice acreage was up to 27,000 acres; by 1919 rice covered 143,000 acres of the Grand Prairie in the Mississippi Delta. Today Arkansas harvests 41 percent of the nation’s rice, almost twice as much as No. California (21 percent). Riceland Rice Corporation, located in Stuttgart Arkansas, alone is responsible for almost one-third of the U. S. crop. Local farmers founded the Riceland cooperative in 1921 to get better prices


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