National Wildlife Refuge
|3858 Hwy 8 E
Parkdale, AR 71661
Phone Number: 870-473-2869 Or 870-364-3167
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
|Quite a few migratory birds take advantage of the shallow water areas and mudflats found in our moist soil units. Stopping here to rest and feed before continuing their migrat|
Continued . . . The bottomlands of Overflow Creek in what is now the refuge have been a well known duck hunting area for decades. In the late 1940's individuals using a small crawler tractor would dam the creek at the spot known as the "Pothole" to impound a small area so they could have a place for duck hunting during the early part of the season. The small earthen dam would generally wash out each spring, however, this is most likely the first of many disruptions of the Overflow Creek channel that impacted the hydrology of this bottomland ecosystem.
Prime duck hunting in the bottoms didn't really happen until Bayou Bartholomew flooded and the backwater would inundate the entire area. Sometime in the 1950's a group of hunters got together and constructed a levee with water control structures to provide a more reliable system of flooding the area. This levee is still in use today but the water control structure has been replaced several times.
Prior to refuge acquisition, there was virtually no wildlife law enforcement in the area and hunters pretty well killed as many ducks as they wanted when conditions were right. During these times it was not uncommon for hunting parties to bring out well over 100 ducks per day! Other groups used the area for various types of outdoor recreation. Netting buffalo was popular in early spring. In the summer, fishermen would drive to Gee Lake to fish for bowfin. There were jeep and horse trails all over the woods that led to informal hunting camps used by the same families for generations.
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