What's up with this Public Land?

Discussion in 'Arkansas Flyway Forum' started by bill cooksey, Sep 8, 2020.

  1. rhpierce

    rhpierce Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    4,729
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    You are correct, but that freedom is certainly shrinking as people get more and more urban and understand less and less. Our country had some very forward thinking people set up a system where game didn't belong to "the Crown" or the aristocracy. Doesn't mean that the upper class doesn't snatch up the premier areas for themselves, but it also means that someone who does well and can afford it or decides to spend their money on it can generally buy better or at least more private access.

    Arkansas is blessed to have the public lands we do, even with the issues we have.

    When you look at the regs in Wisconsin, for example, the laws seem designed more to keep people from hunting and/or hunting certain ways. But, when you understand those laws were enacted because very exclusive clubs with influential members had property on lakes that also had public access in the early 1900's, you understand how it came about, even if you totally disagree.

    As an example, if I take a lawn chair out and sit down in the decoys, that's legal. If I cover up with camo netting or brush, that's a blind and is illegal. If I could wade out and stand up all morning, that's fine. Use a "belly boat" where I could sit down and my feet come off the bottom, that's illegal (a floating blind, which has to be concealed at least 50% by natural vegetation rooted in the bottom, or pulled up on shore). I think "body booting" (i.e., wading out, hiding behind a large goose or swan silhouette, done on the East Coast and can be deadly) is also illegal. Most areas in the State are illegal to hunt from Erie-style layout boats, though a few areas have actually opened up the past few years. It is legal in Lake Michigan, for example, but you have to be __________ feet from shore, minimum.

    Other States have requirements on how far apart blinds have to be, and with the permission of landowners, so adjoining landowners will sometimes build "blinds" on their property line to shut out the guy next to them. Some areas are on lakes that are historic duck lakes and have since developed housing almost entirely around them...hunting ducks while looking at houses...if the people don't call the sheriff and wardens for you shooting guns on "their lake", or harass you while you legally try to hunt. Think about some of the only duck hunting opportunity you had being on Lake Katherine or Hamilton...
     
    Waxed Canvas likes this.
  2. JHS76

    JHS76 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    139
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2020
    Location:
    Bartlett, TN
    I may mistaken here but from doing the research it is not a UofA alum that wants to buy the land.

    The potential customer is Lobo Farms. Lobo Farms is under the name of Field Norris. Mark Field Norris.Jr. A Ole Miss graduate from Collierville, TN. The son of an attorney/judge Mark Norris a University of Colorado and University of Denver graduate. They both live off Collierville-Arlington Road in the rural part of Collierville.
     
  3. JHS76

    JHS76 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    139
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2020
    Location:
    Bartlett, TN
    This particular set of grounds is my main go to spot of nearly all hunting and trapping. I also do a bit of spring and fall fishing.

    I don't really want to advertise it but the duck hunting ain't bad. It's not your typical Havoc Boats Daddy's money Super Duty jacked up truck type of GTR hunting. I've always called it Poor man's WMA. You have the fella in between shifts in his tow truck out there trying to shoot a few ducks, you have another in his plumbing truck that got off early squeezing in a couple of hours of bow hunting before the sun sets. Grandpa with his two granddaughters catfishing off the bridge in his 80's model Dodge Ram.

    I've killed a limit of dove and squirrel on the same day. I've caught a stringer of bluegill. I've trapped a few beaver. I've been with a fella running beagles popping swamp rabbits. We've had success coon hunting the area. We've shot a limit of green wingers by 7 am. Knocked out a limit of green heads by 7:15 on a Sunday and made it to church with time to spare. Tagged out during the deer permit hunt. Sit a many of days of staring at empty woods from a stand or staring at empty skies on the edge of the water.

    Most of the time to get good duck hunting, you have to be in somewhat fair shape and prepared to walk a distance in multiple elements. It is majority walk-in hunting or kayak type hunting. You'd be just as well off paddling a flat bottom on a lake vs with a fancy Mercury. However in return there are plenty of easy accessible quick walk-in spots. I've a many time had comp time at work and didn't have to be in until 10am. I'd hit the faithful wood duck holes and made it out and back to Marion before time to be on the clock.

    It's a dang good spot to spend time with friends and family. It was a spot my middle son could go to early in the morning and make it back to Jonesboro before his 9:50 am class.

    It is some good frugel type waterfowl hunting. We didn't have to worry about expensive dekes or gas for the outboard. I've killed a variety of species from redheads, ringers, teal, spoonies, Woodies, and even the mallard. Participated in the snow goose conservation hunt as well as the early Canada and teal seasons.

    The family, myself, good buddies have a many of memory we still talk about everytime we hunt there.

    Our favorite is the old stubborn coot who bowed up to our jerk string. Little sucker flew in 10 minutes before LST, tried to fight the dekes on the jerk string, piddled around. My oldest said he was shooting him when it was shooting time. A flock of green wingers flew in right at time and after the first flock we couldn't fight them off. After 3 separate retrieves that silly coot finally flew off, that dude stuck around for at least 20 separate shot gun blasts.

    It would really alter our future duck seasons if they sold the place. Not to mention the other game we could hunt, catch, and trap. I've trapped enough crawfish for multiple boils.

    From what I gather they are talking of selling majority of the land south of the highway. Excellent hunting and fishing ground. Also contains a large tract of the ADA trail system. One of the slim few in the area.

    Yes the best duck spot is a marathon to get to but if one is up to it, it is worth it. Now some rich slick will sink the money into it and have it accessible to drive right up to. I honestly like how primitive it is. Natural habitat for the fowl. Natural flooding. Natural beaver dams. None of this adding/removing boards. None of this turning the pumps on junk.

    On dry years, you will still have water in the marshes, lakes, and ponds. On wet years you will have naturally flooded timber.

    Honestly I wish they'd sell it to the USDA and make it an extension of the St Francis National Forest. It's not too far from the office in Marianna. They'd treat it good.
     
    rhpierce and Fowler267 like this.
  4. JHS76

    JHS76 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    139
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2020
    Location:
    Bartlett, TN
    You made the lightbulb go off. Let the feds purchase it and be part of the Cache NWR.

    From one far point of Pinetree it is only 13 miles down one highway to the Bayou Deview access of the Cache NWR.

    Protect portions of L'Anguille watershed as well as the Cache.
     
  5. Fowler267

    Fowler267 Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    12,046
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Sounds like HEAVAN!!

    Places like that are WORTH fighting for! Light up the phones to EVERY politician from dog catcher to Governor!! Make Them check it out and request an update from each one! A lot can get done if enough people raise hell!!
     
    JHS76 likes this.
  6. JHS76

    JHS76 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    139
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2020
    Location:
    Bartlett, TN
  7. rhpierce

    rhpierce Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    4,729
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    And the fight isn't over...

    UA is still trying to sell, even over the law that says they can't. There is a clause that allows it with a Federal waiver of the reversion clause.

    Boozman says the waiver request won't even make it out of committee, but we will see.
     
    JHS76 likes this.
  8. rhpierce

    rhpierce Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    4,729
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Ok, so, wait a day...LOL

    I just saw a blurb on another site that UA has pulled out of the deal to sell the land. I am figuring the university will shut down public access and just keep it as a "research" area, or use this as a stick to pull funding from something else.

    @bill cooksey, maybe it turned out ok, but it remains to be seen if UA decides to "punish" the people who fought the sale by closing it off altogether. Maybe we get lucky and AGFC can work a purchase deal.
     
  9. bill cooksey

    bill cooksey Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    18,381
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2000
    Location:
    Bartlett, Tn., USA
    Like you, I just hope it works out for the best for both the resource and for sportsmen.
     
    JHS76 and rhpierce like this.
  10. JHS76

    JHS76 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    139
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2020
    Location:
    Bartlett, TN

Share This Page