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Here is a little video to remind everyone to tell someone you trust where you will be hunting.

 

 

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The perfect stand location is not about seeing deer, but getting a safe shot at one. Be sure to inspect any tree where you hang your stand for signs of dead or decaying limbs. Make sure there aren’t any overhanging limbs waiting to fall on you and your stand. For more treestand safety information, visit http://www.agfc.com/education/Pages/TreestandSafety.aspx 

 

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Urban Deer Hunt Applications available April 1-May 1, 2014. Click here for more information.

Urban Deer Hunt Applications available April 1-May 1, 2014. Click here for more information.

The first step in a unique but demanding form of Arkansas hunting – urban deer hunts – opens April 1. Potential hunters can register online at http://www.agfc.com/licenses/pages/permitsspecialurban.aspx.

Hunts will be held Sept. 6 through Jan. 31, in eight communities – Fairfield Bay, Bull Shoals, Russellville, Fort Smith-Barling, Horseshoe Bend, Lakeview, Heber Springs and Cherokee Village. Hunting is with archery equipment only – longbows, recurve bows or compound bows. Crossbows are not allowed.

The hunts are cooperative events with the communities, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Arkansas Bowhunters Association. Registration closes on May 1.

Hunters also must meet a list of requirements:

  • Attend an urban hunt orientation and pay the $50 annual confirmation fee, which includes membership in the ABA for liability insurance purposes. A portion of the registration fee also goes to support Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry.
  • Pass the International Bowhunter Education Course. A list of scheduled IBEC classes and orientations can be found at http://www.agfc.com.
  • Pass a shooting proficiency test.
  • Possess a valid Arkansas (resident or nonresident) big game license. Hunters must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Possess a valid Urban Bowhunting Permit issued by AGFC. The permit will be valid for all the urban deer hunts for the year.

The urban hunts themselves have more requirements, such as:

  • Hunters must hunt on public land or have written permission from landowners.
  • Hunters must shoot from stands that are at least 10 feet above the ground.
  • No walking, stalking or use of ground blinds is allowed.
  • Hunting must be at least 50 yards from designated trails or parks.
  • Without written permission, hunting must be at least 50 yards from any occupied dwelling.
  • The first deer taken must be a doe, and must be donated to Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry. All other deer harvested may be either-sex.

There are some unique perks to participating in one of the seven urban deer hunts:

  • 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.

For a complete list of urban deer hunt rules and scheduled IBEC classes and orientations, visit http://www.agfc.com.

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Urban archery hunt applications are now online. Click here for more information

Urban archery hunt applications are now online. Click here for more information.

The application to participate in Arkansas’s 2013-14 urban archery hunts is now online and will remain open until June 1.

Arkansas is blessed with a robust deer population throughout the state. This is excellent news for hunters, but can be troublesome for gardeners, homeowners, farmers and drivers. Each year, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission coordinates with local towns and the Arkansas Bowhunters Association to put on highly regulated archery hunts in urban areas to reduce nuisance deer and allow hunters an added opportunity.

Hunts are scheduled for Sept. 7, 2013-Jan. 31, 2014 in the following cities:

  • Bull Shoals
  • Cherokee Village
  • Fairfield Bay
  • Fort Smith/Barling
  • Horseshoe Bend
  • Lakeview
  • Russellville

All participating hunters must have written permission from the landowner if they are on private property and the first deer each hunter takes must be donated to Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry.

Participants must have a valid hunting license, must pass the International Bowhunter Education Program course and must attend an orientation before the hunt.

Only longbows, recurve bows and compound bows with at least a 40-pound pull are allowed for the hunt, and hunters must pass a shooting proficiency test with their bow at the orientation.

For more information about Urban Archery Hunts, times for IBEP education courses and times for urban hunt orientations, visit http://www.agfc.com/licenses/Pages/PermitsSpecialUrban.aspx

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Click here to apply for urban bowhunting opportunities

Unique deer hunting opportunities are increasing in Arkansas. There is a catch, however. Hunters have to meet a somewhat stringent list of rules.

These opportunities are urban deer hunts, and more Arkansas communities are turning to them as a means to meet the problems of deer in town – nuisance deer that can be driving hazards as well as unwanted flower bed grazers.

The procedures are administered by a partnership of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC), the Arkansas Bowhunters Association (ABA), and the cities involved. This fall’s participating communities will be Fairfield Bay, Heber Springs, Lakeview, Bull Shoals, Horseshoe Bend, Cherokee Village and Russellville.

Urban deer hunters must:

  • Pass the International Bowhunter Education Course.
  • Attend an urban hunt orientation; after attending the orientation, hunters will be eligible to hunt all the urban deer hunts for that year.
  • Pass a shooting proficiency test.
  • Pay an annual confirmation fee, which includes membership in the ABA for liability insurance purposes.
  • Possess a valid Arkansas (resident or nonresident) big game license. Hunters must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Possess a valid Urban Bowhunting Permit (issued by AGFC). Permit will be valid for all the urban deer hunts for that year.
  • Display a vehicle dashboard placard that must be signed by a representative from each municipality that he or she wishes to hunt.
  • Carry the approved urban deer permit at all times while hunting.
  • Use a longbow, recurve or compound with at least a 40-pound pull and broadheads at least 7/8-inch wide (mechanical releases are OK but string locks are not permitted). No crossbows.
  • Hunt in designated areas, and if hunting on private property, hunters must possess written permission from the property owner.
  • Hunt at least 50 yards from designated trails or parks.
  • Hunt at least 50 yards from any occupied dwelling without written permission.
  • Keep all bows cased to and from stands.
  • Shoot from stands that are at least 10 feet above the ground (no walking, stalking or ground blinds).
  • Cover harvested animals from sight before transporting or moving from the field.
  • Remove harvested animals during daylight hours if at all possible.
  • Special considerations will be made for disabled hunters in wheelchairs.
  • Donate their first deer to Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry, a 501C-3 charitable organization.
  • Check deer online at www.agfc.com or by telephone toll-free at 866-305-0808.

There is no bag limit. The first deer taken must be a doe, and must be donated to Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry; all subsequent deer harvested may be either-sex. Deer are considered bonus deer and do not count in the hunter’s seasonal bag limit. There are no antler restrictions.

Officials of the AGFC, ABA and participating municipalities will attend and oversee each hunter orientation. Scheduled activities for each orientation will include shooting proficiency tests, payment of annual confirmation fee, review of hunt rules and distribution of permits and dash placards.

Dates for the International Bowhunter Education Course are:

  • July 14, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Lake Dardanelle State Park Visitor Center (Conference Room).
  • July 15, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Lake Dardanelle State Park Visitor Center (Conference Room).
  • July 21, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Fairfield Bay Senior Center (385 Dave Creek Parkway).

Dates for the orientations are:

  • July 28, Fairfield Bay Department. of Public Safety, 101 Little Rock Dr.
  • Aug.11, Lake Dardanelle State Park (Weigh-In Pavilion).
  • Aug.18, AGFC Regional Office, Calico Rock.

Each orientation will start at 8 a.m.  Participants will be able to attend any orientation even though it may not be the area they want to hunt. The urban deer hunt fee is $50 which will cover insurance, ABA membership and permit fees. Payment must be made by cash or check. No credit or debit cards will be accepted.

Applications will only be accepted June 1 to July 1 online at www.agfc.com.

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Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioners were presented with proposals for the 2012-13 hunting seasons at the March Commission meeting. Commissioners will study the proposals and make a final decision at their April meeting.

AGFC Chief of Wildlife David Goad presented the proposed changes to the Commission.

“We’ve heard what the public has been saying and we’re trying to follow their input,” Goad said.

Several changes are proposed for the 2012-13 hunting season.

Proposed season dates for the 2012-13 deer hunting season:

  • Archery – All zones: Sept. 15-Feb. 28.
  • Modern Gun – Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 6, 6A, 7, 8, 8A, 10 and 11: Nov. 10-Dec. 2. Zone 4: Nov. 10-11. Zone 5: Nov. 10-11 and Nov. 17-18. Zones 4A, 5A, 14 and 15: Nov. 10-Dec. 9. Zones 4B and 5B: Nov. 10-18. Zones 9, 12 and 13: Nov. 10-Dec. 16. Zone 16, 16A and 17: Nov. 10-Dec. 25.
  • Muzzleloader – Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 4A, 5A, 6, 6A, 7, 8, 8A, 10, 11, 14 and 15: Oct. 20-28 and Dec. 15-17. Zones 9, 12, 13, 16, 16A and 17: Oct. 20-28 and Dec. 29-31. Zones 4, 4B, 5 and 5B: Closed.
  • The statewide Christmas holiday modern gun deer hunt is proposed for Dec. 26-28.
  • Two special youth modern gun deer hunts are proposed. The first would be Nov. 3-4 and the second Jan. 5-6, 2013.
  • A proposed antlerless only modern gun deer hunt would be held in zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 6, 6A, 8, 8A, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16A and 17 Oct. 13-17.

A proposal also was made to modify Flood Prone Zone F. The opening and closing of the zone has been based on the level of the White River at St. Charles and the Arkansas River at Lock and Dam 1. The recommended change would be to eliminate the use of the St. Charles gauge and incorporate the Graham Burke Outlet gauge. The closing reading would be 150 feet msl and the opening reading would be 148 feet msl. The Lock and Dam 1 closing would remain at 145 feet msl and opening at 143 feet msl.

The Wildlife Management Division also recommended continuing the conservation turkey season structure and proposed a later opening date in the spring of 2013. A later conservative season will result in more hens being bred and heading to the next when the season opens.

To see a complete list of the proposals, go to: http://www.agfc.com/enforcement/Documents/2012-2013GeneralHuntingRegulationProposals.pdf .

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More than 1,900 kids participated at the ANASP state championship in Hot Springs.

More than 1,900 of Arkansas’s best young archers were on hand to compete in the Arkansas National Archery in the Schools Program state tournament March 23-24. ANASP is part of the National Archery in the Schools Program and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Education and Information Division. The tournament was held at Summit Arena in Hot Springs. The archery program involves students beginning in the fourth grade and continuing through their high school senior year. Students learn archery skills, as well as an outdoor hobby they may enjoy for the rest of their lives. More than 120 schools were involved in the competition. The event is free to the public, but support of Hunter’s Feed the Hungry is encouraged. This year, archers, their families and fans of archery donated 1,750 items of non-perishable food to the cause. For the fourth consecutive year, Hamburg High School took top honors in the high school division, followed closely by Batesville and Mena. Batesville won the middle school division, followed by Greene County Tech and Oden. Eagle Mountain Magnet won the elementary division, followed by Glen Rose and Central Magnet. Archers competed for trophies, medals and scholarships. The schools that took first place honors receive a trophy and each team member received a special bow. Second and third place teams received individual trophies for each participant. Fourth and fifth place teams received medals. $15,000 in scholarships is awarded to the top five male and female archers during the top shooter shoot-off. Money from the AGFC’s Conservation License Plate Program is used to provide grants to purchase archery equipment. Schools can apply for an initial grant of $1,375 to help alleviate the cost of starting the program. For a complete list of competitors, go to: http://www.agfc.com/education/Pages/EducationProgramsANASP.aspx#3.

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