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Click to apply for Arkansas WMA Turkey Hunting Permit.

Arkansas WMA Turkey Hunting Permit applications available until Jan. 15. Click here to apply.

Apply for your 2014 WMA turkey hunting permit by Jan. 15, 2014.

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Wildlife Management Areas offer some of the best public hunting opportunity in the United States. To prevent overcrowding on popular WMAs, the AGFC limits some hunting opportunities through a permit draw system. Hunters have until Jan. 15, 2014 to submit a free application.

The drawing will be held in early February and successful applicants must pay a $10 processing fee to receive their permit. All permits left over after the drawing will be sold online beginning at 8 a.m., March 3, 2014.

Click here to learn more about the turkey permit applications and apply for your permit. 

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The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission set the state’s deer hunting seasons last week, with modern gun deer season opening Nov. 9, archery season opening Sept. 28, and muzzleloader season opening Oct. 19. The deer season dates are part of the 2013-2014 general hunting regulations approved during the Commission’s monthly meeting.
To see a summary of the 2012-13 hunting regulations, go to: http://www.agfc.com/enforcement/Pages/EnforcementRegulations.aspx.
In other business, the Commission:

  • Approved a strategic plan for the agency that outlines the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s mission, vision and goals, and articulates the Commission’s core values.
  • Reviewed the 2012-2013 deer harvest. AGFC Deer Program Coordinator Cory Gray told Commissioners that hunters checked a record 213,487 deer, an increase of 11 percent from the 2011-2012 deer season.
  • Approved a $40,000 budget transfer to help in the development of the Devil’s Eyebrow Natural Area in Benton County.
  • Approved a $96,519 budget increase for an Enforcement Education trailer.
  • Approved a $64,000 budget increase from surplus Recreational Boating funds to purchase patrol boats for the Enforcement Division.
  • Approved clarification of fishing regulations related to trout fishing and commercial turtle harvest restrictions. Language regarding trout waters was inadvertently deleted from previously adopted trout permit requirements, and portions of Randolph County were added to regulations governing turtle harvest.
  • Approved the adoption of the Arkansas Aquatic Nuisance Species Plan. The National Invasive Species Act of 2006 requires all states to have an aquatic nuisance species plan. Arkansas’s plan has been developed by a task force representing state and federal resource management agencies, nongovernmental organizations, private aquaculture interests, civic groups and private individuals.
  • Authorized AGFC Director Mike Knoedl to employ third-party contractors with expertise in oil spill remediation to assist the AGFC in the wake of the Mayflower oil spill.

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Leftover WMA turkey hunt permits will be on sale at agfc.com beginning 8 a.m., March 4.

Leftover WMA turkey hunt permits will be on sale at agfc.com beginning 8 a.m., March 4.

If you didn’t draw one of the AGFC’s WMA turkey hunt permits, you still have a chance to bag a gobbler on one of our best Wildlife Management Areas. All leftover permits will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis at agfc.com beginning 8 a.m., March 4.

Even some of the hardest permits to draw will be available as leftovers, because the person who originally drew the permit did not pay for it before the deadline. This is the first time the AGFC has offered leftover turkey permits for sale, and it’s expected that permits for some of the top WMAs will be spoken for within the first hour of going online.

To purchase a permit online, visit https://www.ark.org/agfc/permitting/apply.php, beginning at 8 a.m. on March 4. Permits cost $10, and people who have already drawn and paid for another WMA permit are eligible to purchase leftovers.

 

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Public input is a crucial component of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s process for setting hunting and fishing regulations. Meetings are part of the AGFC’s annual hunting-regulations process, providing hunters with the opportunity to make comments and proposals on the 2013-14 hunting seasons. The meetings will be held 7 p.m.-9 p.m., Jan. 29, at the following locations:

  • Calico Rock AGFC Regional Office, 1125 Highway 56, Calico Rock, 877-297-4331
  • Fayetteville Ozark Electric Cooperative Corporation,  3641 Wedington Drive, Fayetteville,  866-253-2506
  • Hope AGFC Regional Office,  7004 Highway 67 East, Perrytown,  877-777-5580
  • Jonesboro Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center,  600 East Lawson Road, Jonesboro,  877-972-5438
  • Little Rock AGFC Central Office 2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock,  800-364-4263
  • Monticello AGFC Regional Office 771 Jordan Drive, Monticello,  877-367-3559
  • Mount Ida Montgomery County Courthouse 105 Highway 270 East, Mt. Ida,  877-478-1043
  • Russellville AGFC Regional Office 1266 Lock and Dam Road, Russellville, 877-967-7577

Written comments may be submitted at any of the meetings or mailed by Feb. 28 to the AGFC, attn: Hunting Regulations Proposals, 2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205. There will be a brief presentation starting at 7 p.m. followed by oral comments from the public. After the meeting, AGFC personnel will be available to answer questions.

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Click here to get your free use permit for Arkansas’s Sweet 16 WMAs.

 

Hunters using one of Arkansas’s Sweet 16 WMAs will need a free permit this year. Use permits for the following WMAs are available at agfc.com or by clicking the image above.

  • Ed Gordon Point Remove WMA
  • Hope Upland WMA
  • Mike Freeze Wattensaw WMA
  • Moro Big Pine Natural Area WMA
  • Bayou Meto WMA
  • Freddie Black Choctaw Island Deer Research WMA
  • Harold E. Alexander Spring River WMA
  • Shirey Bay Rainey Brake WMA
  • Dr. Lester Sitzes, III Bois D’Arc WMA
  • Sheffield Nelson Dagmar WMA
  • Rick Evans Grandview Prairie WMA
  • Scott Henderson Gulf Mountain WMA
  • Trusten Holder WMA
  • Henry Gray Hurricane Lake WMA
  • Dave Donaldson Black River WMA
  • McIlroy Madison County WMA

All hunters, regardless of the game they are after, are required to carry this free use permit while on the WMA.
AGFC deer biologist Cory Gray says the free permit will enable the AGFC to capture hunter-use information on the WMAs and offer better information to biologists before setting or adjusting management objectives.
For more information about Arkansas’s Sweet 16, click http://www.agfc.com/hunting/Pages/HuntingSweet16.aspx

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Click here to take the AGFC survey about 2012-13 hunting seasons.

Click the picture above to take the AGFC survey about 2012-13 hunting seasons.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is looking for input from the state’s hunters. Late last month, the AGFC held a series of eight meetings around the state in an effort to develop regulations for the year’s hunting seasons.

As part of that planning process, the AGFC has set up an online survey where there is information about the regulation process and detailed information on each proposal. The deadline for input is Feb. 29.

To learn more about your opportunity to provide input visit http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9TGYR75. Written comments also may be submitted by Feb. 29 to the AGFC, attn: Hunting Regulations Proposals, 2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205 or by email at at AskAGFC@agfc.state.ar.us.

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Youths will be the only hunters allowed to take a jake in 2012.

Commissioners with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission today shortened the turkey season from last year’s total of 18 days to 16 days. The season framework was approved after a review of recent harvests and brood surveys along with input from turkey hunters.

The statewide turkey season will be April 14-29 in zones 1, 2, 3, 4B, 5, 5B, 6, 7, 7A, 8, 9, 10 and 17 with a bag limit of two bearded turkeys and no jakes, except for a single jake that youth hunters may harvest. In zones 4, 4A, 5A and 9A the season will be April 14-24 with a bag limit of one bearded turkey and no jakes, except for a single jake that youth hunters may harvest. Zone 1A will be closed. The 2012 youth turkey season hunt will be April 7-8 in all open zones. The bag limit for the season will be no more than one legal turkey taken per day and no more than two legal turkeys taken in any combination of open turkey zones. Youth may only take one jake during the season, either during the youth hunt or statewide hunt, but adult hunters will be limited to mature gobblers only.

In other business, the Commission:

  • Approved a grant to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to be used for conservation fundraising purposes. The grant includes an either-sex elk permit for the September 2012 elk hunt. The permit will be auctioned at the Arkansas RMEF banquet. Money generated will be used for elk habitat improvements, public education and research.
  • Approved $34,844 for the purchase of new life jackets for the AGFC’s wildlife officers.
  • Approved a budget increase of $113,231.45 for the purchase of new Glock pistols for AGFC wildlife officers. The new guns will replace existing weapons that are as old as 19 years.
  • Approved a pass through Federal Boating Infrastructure Grant, sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for $100,000 to be used for the construction of the Hastings Bay Marina on Arkansas River in North Little Rock.  The facilities will be built to accommodate transient boats in excess of 26 feet on the river.
  • Authorized an increase of $173,732 in the spending limit from funds already budgeted for consulting engineering services on Dam # at the Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery. The engineering firm of Crist Engineers, Inc. of Little Rock was chosen for the work.
  • Approved five Marine Fuel Tax fund projects around the state. The City of Clarksville will match $42,955 to pave the parking area at Lake Ludwig. Total cost of the project is $85,910. Desha County requested $67,000 to chip and seal the parking area and access road at Lake Kate Adams. The City of Oil Trough will received $82,518 from the tax to be used to pave and increase the size of the parking area at the White River access. Oil Trough will provide an in-kind contribution of $25,753 for the $108,271 project. Perry County will use $46,108 to chip and seal a 2.75-mile section of access roads and parking areas at Harris Brake Lake. Perry County will provide an in-kind contribution of $47,000 for the $93,108 project. White County will receive $12,000 for additional and unanticipated worked at the Little Red River Nimmo Access. Additional work was required on the project to stabilize the roadway. The county has provided an additional $24,000 of in-kind money to the project.
  • Heard a presentation on the Beaver Tailwater Habitat Project. The project included various work on riparian areas, improving water quality, increasing water depth and improved angler access.
  • Heard a presentation on 2011 alligator season harvest. A total of 23 alligators were taken during the recent season.
  • Heard a presentation on the number of boating accidents in the state. As of October, there have been 73 boating accidents and 15 fatalities this year.

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