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See how the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission produces more than 1 million trout per year for stocking into state waterways at the AGFC’s Jim Hinkle Spring River Fish Hatchery at Mammoth Spring.
On the YouTube channel, you’ll also find everything from interviews with first time deer hunters, to tailwater trout fishing, to elk viewing in the Boxley Valley, to Mississippi River catfishing as well as the agency’s 100th anniversary tribute “A Century of Conservation.”
Be sure to subscribe to the channel, so you’ll be notified whenever a new video is posted.

Click here for details.

Fishing Derbies will be held at each of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Hatcheries, Saturday, June 13, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you’ve ever wanted to wet a line but didn’t want to spend the money for a fishing license, this weekend is your time to give it a try. By special proclamation of Gov. Asa Hutchinson, anyone, resident or nonresident, may fish without a license or trout stamp from noon, Friday, June 12, to midnight, Sunday, June 14, 2015.

Chris Racey, chief of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Fisheries Division, said, “It’s an excellent opportunity for friends and family to get together and enjoy the great sport of fishing.”

All other fishing regulations, including daily limits, remain in effect during Free Fishing Weekend. Visit agfc.com for a free download of the 2015 Arkansas Fishing Guidebook

In addition to the license waiver, each AGFC hatchery has reserved special locations for free kids’ fishing derbies from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 13. Children 12 and younger may bring their own tackle and bait to their local hatchery to catch and keep up to three fish per child.

“We host kids’ fishing derbies at all five of our state fish hatcheries each year to provide an opportunity for children to catch fish in a fun and safe environment,” Racey said. “We hope many children will catch their first fish at one of our hatchery derbies and go on to become lifelong anglers.”

Click for Hatchery Locations for Free Fishing Weekend Derbies

Urban Deer Hunt regulations now may be different from city-to-city. Check with the hunt coordinator for each hunt's details.

Urban Deer Hunt regulations now may be different from city-to-city. Check with the hunt coordinator for each hunt’s details.

Important changes have been made to the urban deer hunt program this year. For the last few years, hunters who qualified under a standardized set of program guidelines were allowed to hunt in all participating cities. However, each city is now allowed to amend certain rules to the hunts to increase safety and effectiveness of this method of deer population control near urban settings.

Ralph Meeker, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s assistant deer program coordinator, said, “We felt that each city should have some flexibility with regards to implementing a safe deer hunt within their boundaries. Some rules will remain the same; however, rules that pertain to the use of crossbows, hunting stand requirements, season length and the minimum age of its participants will be left up to the city.”

The hunt coordinators for each city also have changed:

  • Hunters wishing to participate in the Bull Shoals or Lakeview hunts should contact the Bull Shoals Urban Bowhunters Association’s President Bill Craker at bsurbanbowhunt@yahoo.com.
  • Hunters wishing to participate in the Cherokee Village, Russellville, Fairfield Bay, Horseshoe Bend, Heber Springs or Hot Springs Village hunt should visit the Arkansas Bowhunters Association website at http://www.arkansasbowhunters.org/UrbanHunt in order to register online or contact the ABA’s urban deer hunt coordinator J.D. Crawford at jd@arkansasbowhunters.org.

The perks to participating in these urban deer hunts haven’t changed. There is no bag limit or antler restriction. Deer harvested in urban deer hunts are considered bonus deer and do not count toward the hunter’s seasonal bag limit. All deer harvested must still be checked to the appropriate urban deer zone either online at http://www.agfc.com, by telephone at 866-305-0808, or by using the AGFC smart phone app.

Meeker explained that the overall goal of the Urban Deer Hunt Program is to safely reduce deer-human conflicts within cities. “By providing some management flexibility for the cities and a liberalized set of harvest guidelines, we hope to be able to accomplish that. We will leave it up to the cities to ensure that the best and most ethical hunters are utilized,” he said.

To do so, all cities conducting an urban hunt will still require the hunter to pass a shooting proficiency test, participate in a pre-hunt orientation and have passed the International Bowhunters Education Program course. Hunters interested in participating in the 2015 urban deer hunts should contact the appropriate urban hunt coordinator listed above in order to get the date, time, and location of those tests and orientations.

Photo courtesy Dan Scheiman, Audubon Arkansas.

Photo courtesy Dan Scheiman, Audubon Arkansas.

 

A bird never before seen in Arkansas was found helpless near Oil Trough in Independence County. It was captured and taken to a rehabilitation center for treatment.

The crested caracara is a large raptor that lives in Mexico, southern Texas, Arizona, the southern tip of Florida, Cuba and South America. It is kind to vultures and feeds on carrion as well as some live small animals.

Dan Scheiman of the Arkansas Audubon Society said the bird found near Oil Trough is the first on record for Arkansas. It was on land of Craig Shirley.

Wildlife officer Roger Tate with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and volunteer birders were able to capture the crested caracara which appeared emaciated and with a possible eye injury. It was taken to Raptor Rehabilitation of Central Arkansas at El Paso for treatment.

crested caracara

Hunting traditions have historically been passed down through families, but as the modern family evolves, bridging the gap between veteran and beginning hunter has become a challenge for all conservation agencies. Through its youth turkey camp, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission introduces young people to turkey hunting at its annual youth turkey camp in the Ouachita National Forest.

Click the image to find up-to-date turkey harvest information.

Click the image to find up-to-date turkey harvest information.

During the 2015 Arkansas Youth Turkey Hunt, hunters under 16 bagged and checked 1,280 birds in two days. Since then, adult turkey hunters have been hitting the woods hard for their chance at a trophy tom. Want to know how many turkeys have been checked so far? Just click below for a real-time link to the 2015 turkey harvest reports.

Click here for 2015 Harvest Totals

ALERT: Black bear research in southern Arkansas

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s YouTube channel has a variety of interesting and informative videos. The channel is a way for people to connect with the state’s abundant outdoor opportunities.

The latest video features Arkansas’s black bear population and its expansion into southern Arkansas’s Gulf Coastal Plain. Join AGFC biologists as they perform a bear den survey on one of the first radio-collared bears in this part of The Natural State.

On the AGFC’s YouTube channel, you’ll also find everything from interviews with first time deer hunters, to tailwater trout fishing, to elk viewing in the Boxley Valley, to Mississippi River catfishing as well as the agency’s 100th anniversary tribute “A Century of Conservation.”

Just visit the agency’s YouTube channel and subscribe, so you’re notified whenever a new video is posted.

You’ll also be able to find out about each video as they’re published through AGFC social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. There are several new videos in the works, so don’t forget to keep an eye on all social media outlets for the latest episode.

Click here to visit the AGFC YouTube Channel and subscribe.

 

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