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Archive for the ‘Turkey Hunting’ Category

The AGFC youth camp at Lake Sylvia was an ideal setting for young hunters and their parents to learn the ropes of turkey hunting.

The AGFC youth camp at Lake Sylvia was an ideal setting for young hunters and their parents to learn the ropes of turkey hunting.

Seven lucky youth hunters were selected to participate in the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Youth Turkey Camp April 15-16 at Lake Sylvia in Perry County.

The camp, now in its fourth year, was created to help introduce those youths with no outdoor mentor to the sport of turkey hunting.

AGFC Regional Education Coordinator Jason Hooks said many of the traditions historically handed down from parent-to-child or grandparent-to-child have been lost as people’s attentions has been devoted to other pursuits in urban settings.

“So many of these kids and even their parents have never been introduced to turkey hunting,” said Hooks. “Some have never been camping or stayed in a tent before. Hopefully this sparks their interest.”

Cade Johnson of Cabot harvested a nice 20year-old gobbler during teh 2016 youth turkey camp at Lake Sylvia.

Cade Johnson of Cabot harvested a nice 2-year-old gobbler during the 2016 youth turkey camp at Lake Sylvia.

Participants are required to complete Hunter Education before attending camp. A parent also is required to attend the camp with the youth hunter. Hunters must be 12 to 15 years old to participate.

“Kids can start hunting turkeys and other big game in Arkansas at age 6, and most kids whose parents are already turkey hunters likely will take them before they’re 12,” said Hooks. “But this camp is for those youths and parents who don’t know how or where to get started.”

Participants meet for dinner Friday afternoon before opening day of the youth hunt. They learn about turkey identification, different types of turkey calls and hunting techniques. They also learn about turkey biology, gun safety and other aspects of the hunt few people think about unless they’ve been taught by a mentor. The evening wraps up with dinner and hunting tales around a campfire.

“We’ll get up at 4:30 or 5 a.m. the next morning to put that knowledge to use and hunt some birds,” Hooks said.

AGFC staff and hunter education instructors volunteer to take the young hunters and a parent out to the woods for a hunt.

This year’s lucky hunter was Cade Johnson from Cabot. Johnson, who participates in the Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program, was able to take a 2-year-old gobbler the morning of the hunt.

Hooks says the event would not be possible without the help of many men and women who are concerned with the future of turkey hunting in Arkansas.

“Many of the volunteers are members of the National Wild Turkey Federation, which also helps sponsor the hunt,” Hooks said. “We also get help from Bass Pro Shops, Quaker Boy Game Calls, Lynch Traditions Turkey Calls Jim Pollard Elite Calls and Natural Gear Camouflage.”

Contact Jason Hooks at 501-251-7839 or email Jason.Hooks@agfc.ar.gov for more information about the AGFC Youth Turkey Camp at Lake Sylvia.

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Click here to learn about WMA turkey hunts and how to purchase an unclaimed permit.

Click here to learn about WMA turkey hunts and how to purchase an unclaimed permit.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will be offering all unclaimed wildlife management area turkey hunt permits through an online sale at http://www.agfc.com, beginning at 8 a.m., Feb. 16.
Each year, the AGFC conducts a lottery for special permit turkey hunts to increase the quality of the hunting experience on many popular wildlife management areas. Any hunter may apply, free of charge, from Dec. 15-Jan. 15, for a chance at one of these permits. Once drawn, hunters have a few weeks to pay a $10 processing fee to claim their permit.

“The processing fee helps offset the cost of using an unbiased third-party vendor for the draws,” said Brad Carner, chief of the AGFC’s Wildlife Management Division. “It also helps to make sure the person that gets the permit is serious enough about drawing it to invest a little money into the hunt.”

Unclaimed turkey permits are available for modern gun season as well as youth hunts.

Unclaimed turkey permits are available for modern gun season as well as youth hunts.

All permits are drawn for, but each year, a few will remain unclaimed by the deadline. The AGFC sells these permits on a first-come, first-served basis through its online license-purchasing site to give other hunters another chance at a hunt they were after.

“The online sale usually is over in a matter of minutes, and the most popular WMAs will be spoken for within seconds of the launch,” Carner said. “The website will have a banner on the front page to click, and you need to click it at 8 a.m. sharp if you want a chance at one of these unclaimed permits.”

More information on special WMA permit hunts.

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Many WMA's have different season dates than their surrounding zones. Click here to look at the available hunts and dates.

Many WMA’s have different season dates than their surrounding zones. Click here to look at the available hunts and dates.

The 2016 Arkansas turkey season begins April 16, but right now is the time to apply for a permit to hunt the best public land in the state. The deadline to apply for turkey hunting permits on many Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife management areas is 11:59 p.m., January 15.
Many public hunting areas hold enough opportunities for any hunter willing to put in the miles, but some locations are too small or too popular to handle the hunting pressure. These WMAs are reserved for those who draw a permit through a random lottery-style drawing each January. Applying for a permit is free, but hunters lucky enough to draw their desired location must pay a $10 processing fee by February 2 to claim their permit. All unclaimed permits will be available at http://www.agfc.com on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 8 a.m., February 16. Visit http://www.agfc.com/licenses/Pages/PermitsSpecialWMA.aspx for more information and to apply.

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Apply now for a turkey permit hunt.

Apply now for a turkey permit hunt.

Hunters may now apply for limited permits on several Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife management areas for the 2016 turkey season.

Many WMAs offer special permit youth hunts as well as standard permit hunts. Click here for a list of available permits.

Many WMAs offer special permit youth hunts as well as standard permit hunts. Click here for a list of available permits.

April may seem like an eternity for dyed-in-the-wool turkey hunters, but now is the time to start the process of bagging your bird on public land.

Jason Honey, turkey program coordinator for the AGFC, says access to many popular wildlife management areas must be restricted using a permit draw to prevent overcrowding.

Applications will only be processed from Dec. 15, 2015 until Jan. 15, 2016. Applicants will be notified of their application status in late February. Permit winners must pay a processing fee of $10.

Click here to apply

Many WMA's have different season dates than their surrounding zones. Click here to look at the available hunts and dates.

Many WMA’s have different season dates than their surrounding zones. Click here to look at the available hunts and dates.

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