Question: When is the best time to come and hunt in Arkansas?
Answer: It really depends on the year. I have seen opening weekend be the best, and I have seen the last weekend in January be the best. Weather, water, and food sources all play a role in your hunting success. By planting food supplies you put the odds in your favor for having 60 days of quality hunting. While it doesn’t guarantee anything, it always helps to put the odds in your favor.
Question: Are we going to hunt in the timber?
Answer: We usually try to hunt the timber on a sunny “blue bird day.” The weather forecast always plays a part. We take our hunters to the hunting location we feel gives them the best chance to have a good hunt. We have over 30 different places to choose from. We want you to have a successful hunt. In essence we are going to take you where the ducks are.
Question: Do I need waders?
Answer: Yes, waders will cover any hunting situation we have. Plus, it will provide extra insulation to keep you warm and dry.
Question: Can my group hunt in the afternoon, if we do not take our daily limit in the morning?
Answer: We try to let our hunting areas rest in the afternoons. Typically afternoon hunting is much slower than morning hunting. While we don’t recommend afternoon hunts, we will accommodate your group for an additional fee for an afternoon hunt if requested.
Question: Can I pick what hunting blind my group gets to hunt?
Answer: Special requests will be taken into consideration, but the final decision will be made by the Retriever Lodge staff.
Question: What kind of ducks will we be hunting?
Answer: Generally the Mallard duck is the most popular duck among hunters. Early in the season you will have a very mixed bag wherever you are hunting. By mid December the rice fields and timber will produce mostly Mallards. Reservoir hunting and bayou hunting will always produce a mixed bag for the entire season. It all depends on the hunting area.
Question: Can I bring my dog?
Answer: Dogs are always welcome but must be controllable. Often times the hunting is fast and furious for the first hour of the hunt. If one person in your group is trying to train a new dog during that time, the success rate could be greatly diminished. I typically let the group decide. All of our guides have dogs to retrieve the ducks. If we leave ours in the truck, we want yours to be good enough to retrieve the birds.
Question: When should I book my hunt?
Answer: Arkansas sets its duck season at the end of August. As soon as you can get your party together it is a very good idea to send your deposit and book. That way you get the days you want. I realize it’s often a hassle to try and get four or five guys together to book a December hunt in August. But, booking is on a first come first serve basis. It pays to plan ahead.
Question: Will my group be mixed with another group?
Answer: If you bring at least four hunters, you will be guaranteed to be hunting only with your group. If you bring eight hunters, we will split your group down and take two groups of four. It isn’t feasible to pay a guide to take one guy hunting and burn down a hole. Anyone who tells you they are willing to do that is probably not being honest.
Question: Can I bring my wife or child?
Answer: Everyone is welcome at Retriever Lodge. We have some groups who come in and like to party and have a big time. We also hunt family oriented groups that are more low- key and just looking to make some memories. As long as you enjoy good fellowship and good hunting, you are welcome to come and hunt with us.
Question: What type of shotgun and shot size should I use?
Answer: Most adult male hunters prefer a 12 gauge shotgun for duck hunting. They typically shoot a modified choke and shoot number 2, 3, or 4 steel shot depending on where they are hunting. Some hunters who are experienced marksman prefer to shoot a full choke and increase their range. It depends strictly on the preference of the hunter.
We believe in being completely honest when it comes to running a guide service. I want everything to be up front that way there are no misunderstandings during your hunt. Some of the answers may seem a little harsh, but I have seen too many times when one person ruined the hunt for his entire group. We want everyone to have a good time and you have to run the hunt professionally in order to achieve this