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Application period for the 2016 Arkansas Public Land Elk Hunt is May 1-June 1. Click here to apply.

Application period for the 2016 Arkansas Public Land Elk Hunt is May 1-June 1. Click here to apply.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is accepting applications May 1-June 1 for Arkansas’s annual elk hunting season.

Brad Carner, AGFC chief of wildlife management, says he has received many calls about the future of elk and elk hunting since the discovery of chronic wasting disease in the state.

“We are still in the beginning stages of adjusting our management strategies for deer and elk,” Carner said. “We still need to make adjustments on exact dates and numbers of permits available, but we do plan to move forward with this year’s elk hunt.”

Carner expects to have the exact number of elk permits, private land elk quota and elk season dates set at the June 16 Commission meeting in El Dorado. The AGFC also plans to continue drawing the permits at the Buffalo River Elk Festival in Jasper, June 24-25, with a small number of additional permits available to people who sign up on site.

Applying for an Arkansas elk permit is free, although applicants do need a valid hunting license to apply.

“That measure was put in place last year to improve the chance people who drew permits were actually going to hunt,” Carner said. “Over the years, we’ve had people apply or have someone else apply for them with little interest in actually completing the hunt.”

Carner says continuing the elk hunt will allow the AGFC to keep monitoring the disease in the state’s herd without taking this rare opportunity away from Arkansas hunters who cannot afford big-game trips out West.

“Testing samples from last October’s elk hunt made us aware of CWD being in the state,” Carner said. “We plan to continue testing elk taken during this hunt for CWD as well as brain worms and other diseases that can impact the herd.”

Apply for a Public Land Elk Permit, May 1-June 1. 

 

 

 

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Click the image to take a look at the deer harvest in real time.

Click the image to take a look at the deer harvest in real time.

Bowhunters checked 2,595 deer during opening weekend, Sept. 26-27. The bow opener has been a near mirror image of itself the last three years, with 2,682 deer checked in 2014 and 2,576 deer checked during opening weekend in 2013.

Thanks to the conversion to online and telephone checking, the AGFC is able to offer hunters a look into the harvest across the state as it’s happening. Receiving information faster isn’t just for entertainment, it’s also critical to make decisions on the next year’s deer season before the regulations setting process begins in March each year.

“Checking your deer is easier than ever,” said Keith Stephens, chief of communications for the AGFC. “You can check it online through agfc.com, use our smartphone app, which is available through iTunes and Google Play, or you can call it in using the phone number provided on your license.”

As soon as a deer is checked, the hunting zone, sex and time are uploaded to the system to give viewers real-time results on the deer harvest. Complete results by day, zone, county and sex are available at https://www.ark.org/agfc/gamecheck/reports.php.

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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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