Snow geese in Arkansas and Rodney Dangerfield have a lot in common. They get no respect.

Snow geese in Arkansas and Rodney Dangerfield have a lot in common. They get no respect.

The legions of waterfowl connoisseurs in our ranks are of the greenhead-only mindset, meaning mallard drakes are their thing. Talk to them about hunting snow geese, and they may look at you as they would a raving lunatic.

But snow geese are present in great numbers in parts of Arkansas when other hunting seasons have closed. Snow geese often are found feeding on young winter wheat. They begin migrating north when weather warms in late winter and early spring.

What snow geese offer as February arrives is a chance to get in some more waterfowl hunting. Many, perhaps most, in our area didnít get nearly enough during the duck season. Empty sky duck season, they are calling it.

What is available is this hunt that isnít called a hunt. Itís a conservation order. Yes, the federal folks created the term, but the bottom line is we have too many snow geese in North America, and we can go after them from now until April 25 with practically any method. An exception is Saturday and Sunday, when the Youth Waterfowl Hunt is under way, and the special snow goose event is closed.

Technically, this isnít a special hunting season but a Conservation Order. The regulations are relaxed because itís important that hunters be allowed to harvest as many snow geese as they can. Thereís no daily bag or possession limit on light geese during the Conservation Order, guns do not have to be plugged, electronic calls can be used and shooting hours have been extended to a half-hour before and after sunset. Non-toxic shot is required.

The requirements for hunting are a valid hunting license, either from Arkansas or from the hunterís state of residence, and a special snow goose registration number. The hunting licenses can be either resident or non-resident. Hunters may get registration numbers free online.

You will need your hunting license number and your driverís license or Social Security number for identification. When you complete the application, you will be given a registration number. Hunters also may get the registration numbers by calling the AGFC at 800-364-4263 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Overpopulation of snow geese is destroying their breeding grounds in the far north of Canada, and their numbers need to be reduced. Hunting is the chosen method of United States and Canadian authorities.

The target is what many people call ďlight geeseĒ and the term includes snow geese, blue geese and Rossí geese.

Snow geese winter in Arkansas in large numbers, sometimes in flocks of several hundred or even 1,000 or more birds. Agricultural lands of east Arkansas are where most of them are found, but they may turn up in many other areas of the state, AGFC officials said.