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Turkey hunting      LITTLE ROCK – Turkey season may open at the beginning of April, but now is the time to begin your planning for a successful season. One of the best ways to be successful on public land is to apply for one of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s wildlife management area turkey hunt permits beginning Jan. 15. Applications are available through the AGFC’s online licensing system at https://ar-web.s3licensing.com.

Many good public turkey hunting opportunities exist, particularly on the large cooperative WMAs owned by the U.S. Forest Service. However, turkeys and turkey hunters need room to spread out, which can lead to conflicts between hunters on some smaller WMAs. To increase the quality of the hunt on some of the most popular public areas, the AGFC restricts the number of hunters allowed during turkey season through random drawings.

Only permit holders may hunt on the WMA during the permit hunt. However, a permit holder can have a friend alongside them to call for them to help them harvest a bird. Friends and family may camp with permit holders at designated campsites on the WMA.

“Spring is a great time to be out in the woods with family and friends, and we want to help keep that tradition going, even if only one person is hunting,” said Jason Honey, Turkey Program coordinator for the AGFC.

Applications are taken electronically through http://www.agfc.com, from Jan. 15 through Feb. 15, and winning applicants will be notified via email.

Applications require a $5 nonrefundable processing fee, but winning applicants are not required to pay any additional fees other than the purchase of their hunting license.

“The new system was put in place last year, and really streamlined the application and draw process,” said Brad Carner, chief of wildlife management for the AGFC. “Each year, many permits were left unclaimed because people applied who did not go through with purchasing the permit. With the up-front fee, only people who are serious about claiming and using a permit are likely to apply.”

Carner says the new system saw a decrease in the number of applicants to the AGFC’s permit draws for all species which was expected, but harvest numbers and participation in the hunts remained high.

“We received some reports from our staff of noticeable increases in participation for some hunts,” Carner said. “And with the streamlining of the process, unclaimed permits were minimal when it came time to sell them, which resulted in much less confusion.”

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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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New Boating Regulations are in effect at many wildlife management areas in response to unsafe boating practices.

New Boating Regulations are in effect at many wildlife management areas in response to unsafe boating practices.

Commissioners with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission last month approved a regulation requiring all users to sign a permit and have it in their immediate possession while participating in any hunting-, fishing- or boating-related activity on Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area.

The permit is free and can be found in the AGFC’s 2015-16 Waterfowl Hunting Guidebook. It also is available for download using the following link :

Download General Use Permit

This regulation is one of many in response to concerns involving reckless operation of boats on the WMA.

With the exception of meeting oncoming boats, all boating traffic on the WMA must proceed in single-file with no passing allowed, except when boats have exited the current direction of travel or are no longer under power. All boating traffic on the WMA must maintain a minimum 50 feet (about three-boat lengths) between boats proceeding in the same direction of travel.

Hazardous and negligent boating activity is strictly prohibited and conviction can include points assessed toward revocation of a license and a one-year ban from the WMA where the violation occurred.

In addition to the new boating regulations, new regulations on spinning-wing decoys have been added to Bayou Meto WMA and Dave Donaldson Black River WMA. The regulation states:

It is illegal to attempt to take waterfowl with any electronic, mechanically operated, wind-powered or manually powered apparatus or device that simulates wing movement, including any device that spins one or more fixed- or stationary-winged decoys around a central axis.

Spinning-wing decoys have been banned on Bayou Meto WMA and Dave Donaldson Black River WMA for the 2015-16 waterfowl season.

Spinning-wing decoys have been banned on Bayou Meto WMA and Dave Donaldson Black River WMA for the 2015-16 waterfowl season.

 

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Leftover WMA permits for sale online beginning at 8 a.m., Sept. 8.

Leftover WMA permits for sale online beginning at 8 a.m., Sept. 8.

Unclaimed WMA deer permits will be sold online beginning 8 a.m., Sept. 8.

Each year, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission holds a drawing for the opportunity to hunt certain wildlife management areas to prevent overcrowding and manage the harvest on popular public hunting areas. Applications for the 2015-16 season were were accepted in June and winners are drawn and notified in mid-July. Once drawn, successful applicants had 4 weeks to pay a $10 processing fee for their permit. Then, all unsuccessful applicants were put back into a pool to redraw for unclaimed permits. Hunters who were successful during the second draw were given two weeks to pay $10 for their second-chance permits.

Even with two drawings, there are still a few unclaimed permits available for hunters who were not successful in either drawing and those who failed to apply in time. The AGFC will offer these unclaimed permits on a first-come, first-served basis though an online sale. Each permit costs $10 (the same cost as the original processing fee). There is no limit to the number of extra permits a person may purchase, but permits may only be purchased one-at-a-time. Purchases may only be completed using a credit card. Permits for the 2015-16 deer season will be available online beginning at 8 a.m., Sept. 8, 2015.

Click here for a list of available permits

Click here to purchase a permit beginning 8 a.m., Sept. 8

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Check your WMA deer hunt permit status and pay for your permit by July 20.

Check your WMA deer hunt permit status and pay for your permit by August 6.

 

ALERT: First WMA Deer Hunt Draw Complete

The first drawing for the AGFC’s WMA deer hunts has been completed. Email notifications were sent out to all successful applicants on July 7. Successful applicants have until 11:59 p.m. August 6 to pay for their permits. All unclaimed permits will be forfeited and will be used for a second drawing for all applicants who were unsuccessful during the first draw. The second drawing will take place August 13. To check your permit status and pay for permits, visit the link below:

Check Status and Pay for WMA Deer Hunt Permit

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Click to apply for Arkansas WMA Turkey Hunting Permit.

The first drawing of WMA turkey hunting permits is complete. Click here to check your status and pay by Feb. 9.

The first WMA turkey hunt permit draw is complete. Applicants can visit https://www.ark.org/agfc/permitting/status.php to check their draw status and pay for permits.

Anglers who drew have until February 9 to pay the $10 processing fee to obtain their permit. After that, all unclaimed permits will be placed back in the pool, and a second drawing will be held for those applicants who did not draw during the first round. Unclaimed permits from that round of drawings will be placed in a first-come, first-served online sale March 23.

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Leftover WMA permits for sale online beginning at 8 a.m., Sept. 8.

Leftover WMA permits for sale online beginning at 8 a.m., Sept. 8.

Each year, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission holds a drawing for the opportunity to hunt certain wildlife management areas to prevent overcrowding and manage the harvest on our public land.  Applications are accepted in June and winners are drawn and notified in mid-July. Successful applicants are given three weeks to pay a $10 processing fee for their permit. This fee helps offset the cost of the drawing that is conducted by a third-party vendor and helps gain a commitment from permit winners.

Many permits remain unclaimed after the payment period, some of which are available at some of the AGFC’s most popular hunts. The AGFC offers these leftover permits on a first-come, first-served basis though an online sale. Each permit costs $10 (the same cost as the original processing fee). There is no limit to the number of extra permits a person may purchase, but permits may only be purchased one-at-a-time. Purchases may only be completed using a credit card. Permits for the 2014-15 deer season will be available online beginning at 8 a.m., Sept. 8, 2014.

Click here for a list of available permits

Click here to purchase a permit beginning Sept. 8

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