Arkansas Deer News
AGFC Announces 2014-2015 Deer Season Dates April 18, 2014 Arkansas, Ozarks First
... The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission set the state’s deer hunting seasons Thursdy, with modern gun deer season opening Nov. 8, archery season opening Sept. 27, and muzzleloader season opening Oct. 18...

... . The AGFC provided an online survey this year for public input. More than 6,000 people responded to the survey...  The Commission will vote on the hunting regulation proposals at its April 17 meeting...

Registration Begins April 1 for 8 Urban Archery Deer Hunts March 27, 2014 Arkansas, Sporting Life Arkansas
... The urban archery deer hunts will be held from Sept. 6 through Jan. 31 in eight communities – Fairfield Bay, Bull Shoals, Russellville, Fort Smith-Barling, Horseshoe Bend, Lakeview, Heber Springs and Cherokee Village. [suburban deer management issues]

Thousands Respond to Arkansas Survey on Hunting Regulations March 21, 2014 Arkansas, ArkansasMatters
... AFGC Commissioner Fred Brown said the amount and quality of the information was much superior to the previous format. “If we have a hot-button item, we will have a public meeting, but it’s obvious we are getting more and better information utilizing an online survey,” ...

... Add a doe to the firearms bag limit in Deer Zones 2, 3, 6, 6A, 8, 8A and 10 ...  Allow AGFC to immediately relocate wildlife being given improper care by rehabilitators, such as being kept in inhumane or in unhealthy conditions, and prohibit possession of native wildlife pets by rehabilitators except under certain conditions ...

... The Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory did an extensive analyses for the AGFC on a set of samples submitted during the 2013 sampling period... 

... It was the first time more does (female deer) than bucks were taken by hunters... This is huge in regards to where we have come from in the recent past when 70 percent of our harvest was comprised of bucks. We are making progress on the management of our female segment, which in turn will result in a healthier, more productive, balanced, deer herd. We call this a Total Herd Management Concept ...

... management techniques — which included varying doe harvest limits by zone, plus the elimination and addition of doe days when needed — has resulted in a new record for state hunters.  For the first time, Arkansas hunters checked more does (107,247) than bucks (105,952) following the close of the 2013-14 season on Feb. 28. The buck total includes both antlered deer (91,132) and button bucks (14,820)...

Near record number of deer taken in Arkansas March 5, 2014 Washington Times
... hunters checked 213,199 deer during the season, fewer than 300 short of the record of 213,487 deer harvested last year.  The commission also says that for the first time ever more does than bucks were taken. The commission reports 107,247 does to 105,952 bucks ...

Importing deer may lead to criminal charges March 1, 2014 Arkansas, Magnolia Reporter 
... The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission reminds state residents that importing deer violates both state and federal regulations ... three men and a corporation have been cited with a 13-count federal indictment...violations of the Lacey Act for importing live white-tailed deer into Mississippi...

Arrest made for deer meat used at Searcy tamale stand February 27, 2014 Arkansas, Baxter Bulletin 
...  Wildlife officers with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission arrested a White County couple Thursday on several wildlife violations. The pair allegedly used wild animals, such as deer, to make tamales in their roadside stand...

Game & Fish seeks comment on proposed hunting regulations February 5, 2014 Arkansas, Arkansas Online
... Online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2014-15HuntRegsComments
Written comments may be mailed by March 1 to the AGFC, Attn: Hunting Regulations Proposals, 2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205.

State deer harvest tops 200K mark - again January 17, 2014 Arkansas, Baxter Bulletin
... a little more than a month remaining in the 2013-14 deer season for bowhunters ... a continuing increase over the previous three deer seasons in Arkansas (170,516 in 2009-10; 186,247 in 2010-11; 192,511 in 2011-12)...  in south Arkansas, because that part of the state has always been known as a deer factory,” Gray said. “But for the Ozarks, we’re a little more delicate in the way we handle the harvest... 

New deer record? This season may fall a little short January 10, 2014 Arkansas, Log Cabin Democrat
... Last year, the 2012-13 deer hunting season, Arkansas had a record 213,487 deer checked by hunters, far outrunning the old mark of 194,687 set in 1999-2000 ... Arkansas’ deer ratio of bucks to does became far out of balance. All the focus was on killing half of the deer, the males. Wildlife biologists said time and again there needed to be more hunting of does to keep the total herd in balance....

...  A deer is recovering in a Jonesboro animal clinic after being stuck in a frozen pond for hours. Jonesboro Animal Control was on the scene for an hour before being able to save the doe from the frigid waters ... "This is why I became an animal control officer so I could do stuff like this," Gilbee said... [video below]


Wrapping up an enjoyable deer season January 3, 2014 Arkansas, Log Cabin Democrat
... There are three basic reasons for the high numbers of deer checked these past two seasons. One, Arkansas has abundant deer. Two, statewide and zone limits have been increased. Three, weather was generally favorable...

Russellville, Urban deer hunts arrow needs of hunters, residents December 29, 2013 Arkansas, Arkansas Online
... This is the second year for Russellville to host an Urban Archery Deer Hunt ... Last season, 51 deer were harvested ... This year, more than 100 hunters have registered with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for the hunt ... 

Statewide deer harvest second-highest ever December 26, 2013 Arkansas, Courier News
... Just over 192,000 deer have been killed so far this season, and predictions are that number will come in around 192,395 for the year — making this year the second-highest deer harvest ever. The only higher total was back in 1999 when 194,687 deer were killed statewide... The challenge for Arkansas is whether to move towards deer quality over deer quantity. The 3-point rule was a step in the right direction ...

State deer harvest will exceed 200,000, with almost 5,000 in Columbia County December 9, 2013 Arkansas, magnoliareporter.com 
... Last year, Arkansas hunters checked 213,487, well above the previous high mark... Wildlife biologists estimate Arkansas has a million or more deer today... weather has been favorable for deer hunting  ... Limits and seasons are more liberal than in past years... License sales indicate the number of number of hunters in Arkansas has not increased significantly ...

December 16, 2013



Deer numbers keep going up December 7, 2013 Arkansas, Log Cabin Democrat
... We have over a million deer in the state, according to Arkansas Game and Fish Commission estimates... about a fifth of Arkansas deer are taken by hunters in addition to quite a few thousand that are killed on highways, roads and even streets. And, yes, some hunters cheat by killing deer and not checking them. ... One factor that is encouraging to wildlife managers is that the buck-doe ratio of deer in Arkansas is moving closer to the ideal of 50-50...

More than 175,000 deer harvested in Ark. thus far December 4, 2013 Arkansas, TBO.com
... a total number of more than 200,000 is expected to be taken before season's end.   
A record 213,487 deer were checked by Arkansas hunters last year ...

sportinglifearkansas.com 
... a Wildlife Officer was involved in a shooting early Saturday morning. Initial information is that a suspect tried to run over a wildlife officer after the suspect shot at a deer decoy. The officer fired into the suspect vehicle ... 

Deer totals running close to last year's numbers November 16, 2013 Arkansas, Log Cabin Democrat 
... opening-day deer check numbers were higher in 2011 and even higher in 2010. Opening day deer checked for 2013 – 18,903.  Opening day deer checked for 2012 – 18,110.  Opening day deer checked for 2011 – 19,262.  Opening day deer checked for 2010 – 19,624... Wildlife biologists and many experienced hunters tell us that the acorn crop is good this year ... link to Harvest Data

Deer harvest on record course November 14, 2013 Arkansas, Baxter Bulletin ·
... on track to end late next month with a harvest that will approach the record of 213,487 deer in 2012-2013...Gray said three factors contribute to the number of deer and general health of the deer population — habitat, average age and genetics...

Deer talk includes points and spreads November 9, 2013 Arkansas, Log Cabin Democrat
... Points are tips of antlers. And the systems are different with deer and elk. For deer, points are the total on antlers. For elk, points mean on each side. An 8-point deer likely has four points on each side of the antlers. A 4X4 elk means four points on each side of the antlers... Boone & Crockett and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission say that a point must be an inch long to count...

Deer hunting basics in Arkansas November 7, 2013 Baxter Bulletin
... A legal buck must have both antlers shorter than 2 inches (button buck) or have three or more points on one side of his rack. Youths 6 to 15 years of age may harvest any buck without regard to antler size or points... Dogs are prohibited for deer hunting in Zones 2 and 3 …

White-tailed Deer in Arkansas October 28, 2013 Arkansas, KARK
... the Arkansas deer population is around 1 million. It was a very different story back in the 1930s, when the state had only about 500 deer left due to habitat destruction and unregulated hunting... They can clear an 8 foot fence and can gallop nearly 40 mph... They grow a waterproof, winter coat and then shed it to deal with the heat of summer ...

A strange deer season already October 15, 2013 Arkansas, Russellville Courier
... the deer harvest to date is 33 percent behind last year’s harvest, and there have been 42 percent fewer bucks killed.  For the same period this year compared to last, there were 11,471 deer killed in just over a month in our state. This year only 7,671 were killed at the time of this writing.... There were an estimated 400,000-500,000 deer in our state back in the early 1980’s. Today our deer herd is estimated at around 1 million...

Private land antlerless hunt authorized by G&FC October 11, 2013 Arkkansas, Magnoliareporter
... According to AGFC Deer Program Coordinator Gory Gray, “... Removing the right number of female deer is an integral part of quality deer management, and if we can remove those animals prior to the rut (when bucks will expend a large amount of energy to chase doe), that will help us better balance our buck to doe harvest ratios and improve the productivity of the remaining deer herd.” ...

A good year for deer hunters September 24, 2013 Arkansas, Russellville Courier
... the wet spring and summer are conducive to healthy deer herds. The mast production from fruit- and nut-bearing trees are showing great signs, and the browse throughout the hottest of summer months has been unprecedented...  the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is serious about reducing the number of does throughout our state... Many hunters won’t shoot does during the rifle season .... That leaves us with an overabundance of does ...

Magnolia, Urban deer hunt comes before City Council today September 23, 2013 Arkansas, Magnoliareporter
Possible legalization of deer hunting in the Magnolia city limits will come before the City Council at its meeting at 5 p.m. today.

Food plots only one part of deer management plan September 14, 2013 Arkansas, Magnolia Reporter
... The most common plants used are wheat, oats and clovers... Cool season food plots generally should be planted during the month of September for best results. A good all-round cool season planting is 100-120 pounds per acre of either wheat, oats, or cereal rye. Many other plants are available. A great food plot reference online can be found at the following link: https://utextension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/PB1769.pdf.


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Arkansas data: An estimated 1 million or more deer in 2013 and 2012, a million in 2011, an upward trend in the deer harvest in recent years. Healthy deer herd, good herd management.  Very strong population in south Arkansas, but less robust in the Ozarks. 
     The strategy is a balanced hunt in terms of age and sex distributions.  Deer were abundant prior to the arrival of Europeans, but over hunting and habitat destruction reduced the deer herd to about 500 by the 1920’s.  Restocking and deer refuges were implemented for the next 20 years, a buck only harvest was instituted to boost the herd.  The herd reached a population of 500,000 by 1985 and management shifted to stabilization with a significant doe harvest.  An antler restriction rule was implemented in the late 1990’s to improved age demographics.  

Other useful links:
Deer Hunting Regulations and Information   
Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality
Arkansas Conservation Center 
Report sick deer to Game and Fish at 1-800-482-9262
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
Statewide Goals and Objectives General Objective Example for Deer Management Manage and maintain a healthy, stable deer herd appropriate for the habitat. 
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Deer Season Summary 
"... The objective of collecting this data has been to monitor trends in deer numbers, buck-to-doe ratios, fawn-to-doe ratios, buck antler development. AGFC personnel collect several hundred deer samples each year in late winter and early spring to gauge herd health. Samples are collected from all six Deer Management Units. This data gives biologists important information about herd health, timing of the rut and fawn production." 
- Arkansas Game and Fish Commission News

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