Arkansas Deer News

Quail restoration depends on habitat June 21, 2015 Arkansas, Arkansas Online
... Aaron Jeffries, the former quail biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation, explained how simple quail management techniques benefit deer, turkeys and other species in an MDC blog ...

State again tries manly catch/release deer program June 20, 2015 Arkansas, Arkansas Online
... the sport of catch and release began in 1997 in North Carolina's Pisgah National Forest northeast of Asheville by a group of hunters who were tired of sitting on their butts for hours and hours in tree stands... "It takes a real hunter to draw in the critters and take 'em from behind," he said. "It's the quintessence of pack teamwork and the way our primeval ancestors hunted." ...

Food plots give boost to deer, other wildlife June 20, 2015 Arkansas, The Cabin
...  biologists suggest white clover as a basic. It’s a natural in Arkansas and is a perennial. Legumes in several forms are extensively used for Arkansas food plots. So are several members of the brassica family like turnips and kale. Growing in popularity is chicory...

...  a small fawn tangled in a chain link fence. The residents had removed the deer from the fence, but it was unresponsive...

Protectors of our wildlife June 14, 2015 Arkansas, Arkansas Online
... Deer numbers declined dramatically, with only about 2,000 left by 1919...  After much cajoling, the 1917 legislature imposed a moratorium on hunting does until 1922 ... The great flood of 1927 killed many deer, and in 1930 a statewide count found only 500 animals, but numbers gradually grew. By 1946 the estimated deer population rose to 31,500 ... 

... rules that pertain to the use of crossbows, hunting stand requirements, season length and the minimum age of its participants will be left up to the city ... all cities conducting an urban hunt will still require the hunter to pass a shooting proficiency test ...

Fawns in the wild probably don't need your help June 2, 2015 Arkansas, Magnolia Reporter 
... . Early in life, fawns lay very still so as not to attract predators (like well-intentioned humans), and are frequently mistaken for being in distress or abandoned ... most wild animals don't spend very much time at their young's side in order to not attract predators to the area...

... “Purple hulls” as most Arkansans call them are a type of black-eyed pea which in turn is a type of a broad category of plants called cowpeas... Deer love the peas ... Wildlife biologists suggest seeding an assortment of plants in food plots ...

Deer Hunters top 200,000 Harvest Mark Again April 17, 2015 Arkansas, Ammo Land 
... Arkansas hunters tagged 208,075 deer during the 2014-15 season, just short of totals for the previous two years...

Deer season set for 2015-17 April 16, 2015 Arkansas, THV11
... The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission set the state's deer hunting seasons on Thursday, with modern gun deer season opening Nov. 14, archery season opening Sept. 26, and muzzleloader season opening Oct. 17...

In numbers, last deer season was near the top April 11, 2015 Arkansas, Log Cabin Democrat
... The notion of killing female deer, does, is wrong took far too long to diminish in Arkansas, and it has not entirely died out. There are hunters still who refuse to shoot at a doe.... Deer managers, however, are highly satisfied that the former out of balance buck-doe ratio in the state has been alleviated. The past three season ... the buck-doe checks have been virtually 50-50...

Arkansas deer hunters again take more than 200,000 deer April 8, 2015 Knoxville News Sentinel
... 208,075 deer were tagged during the 2014-15 deer season - just more than 5,000 short of the state's record deer harvest...

...  A significant shift in Arkansas deer hunting has been the achievement of a virtual 50-50 ratio between bucks and does checked by hunters. This has put the state among the top states in the nation in this regard...

Yearling buck kills alter state's deer herd March 20, 2015 Arkansas, Green Bay Press Gazette
... The 2013 national average for the yearling buck percentage was 36 percent ... Although a yearling-buck harvest percentage of 61 is high by today's standards, it was the norm 25 years ago ...

The interesting history of madstones February 15, 2015 Arkansas, Arkansas Onine
... Before Louis Pasteur developed a successful vaccination for rabies in 1885, a long, slow death from the disease was a forgone conclusion unless, many people believed, a madstone could be obtained, preferably one removed from the stomach of an albino deer...

2014-15 deer season not quite a record February 14, 2015 Arkansas, Log Cabin Democrat
... this year’s hunt will end with a total around 210,000 or so.  The record was set two years ago – 213,487 deer checked in the 2012-2013 season. Last year also reached that plateau – 213,215 deer were checked in the 2013-2014 season... 

Controlled burn scheduled for Cave Springs February 10, 2015 Arkansas, NWA Online 
... Forested areas treated by prescribed fire not only provide for added fire safety... more likely to host healthy trees, less susceptible to disease and insects. When the forest floor is opened by a prescribed burn, turkey, white-tailed deer, and quail habitats are often the first to benefit...

Technology may overrun fair chase January 30, 2015 Arkansas, Log Cabin Democrat
...  The issues in New Hampshire are:  Ban the taking of wildlife using an unmanned aerial vehicle (commonly referred to as “drones”);  “Ban the use of “smart rifles” for taking wildlife (these rifles contain a computer that locks in on the target, adjusts for wind, animal movement and automatically fires);  “Ban the use of live-action game cameras...

... Acorns have been plentiful and native vegetation has remained palatable with many deer staying back in woods to feed instead of venturing out for hunters to see. The acorns that were plentiful earlier may be running low in some areas...

2014-15 Arkansas Deer Hunt Totals Pass 200,000 January 8, 2015  ArkansasMatters
...  deer checked by hunters in Arkansas have pushed past 200,000. Seven more weeks of archery hunting remain. The high mark was set in the 2012-13 season with 213,487 deer logged. ...

Deer harvest on record pace December 20, 2014 Arkansas, Baxter Bulletin
... current statistics show 189,102 deer have been taken through the assorted modern rifle, muzzleloader and bow seasons by Arkansas hunters. That comes on the heels of a record 213,487 harvest in 2012-13 followed closely by 213,215 in 2013-14...

Reward Upped in Hot Springs Park Deer Poaching December 15, 2014 Arkansas, KARK
...  shooting a deer on West Mountain in Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for this information, adding to an existing $500 reward from the National Park Service... call the National Park Service’s 24 hour dispatch center at (501) 620-6739...

Clark County leads state in deer harvest November 24, 2014 Arkansas, Daily Siftings Herald 
... At press time Monday, there had been 2,813 deer harvested in Clark County, roughly 100 more than Union County’s 2,739 and 200 more than Cleveland County’s 2,622 ... its diversity in land, with croplands, hardwoods and pine forests all being abundant in the county...

Rare trophy: A doe with antlers? November 21, 2014 Arkansas, WPTV 
... Officials with Arkansas Game and Fish visited the family to document the rare kill and confirmed the deer was a doe, but tagged it a buck because it has antlers...

Motorists, be on lookout for deer November 20, 2014 Arkansas, Baxter Bulletin 
... Don't rely on hood whistles or other devices designed to scare off deer. These have not been proven to work... Dawn and dusk are the times you are most likely to find deer along roadsides...

Deer Hunter kills Arkansas Mountain Lion November 14, 2014  mainenewsonline.com 
... Only acceptable game animals can be hunted under hunting regulations, but ... the hunter said that he was defending himself ... A lion has been killed in Arkansas for the first time since 1975 when one was killed in Logan County...

Hunters can now check deer via smartphone November 6, 2014 Arkansas, THV11
...  use your smart phone to check your deer...
You can go to AGFC.com go to the deer page and you can see reports. Accurate, online up to the minute reports of deer harvest."  The reason for the push is that each phone call costs game and fish $2.50 ...

Hot Springs, Park rangers offering reward in deer poaching case November 3, 2014 Arkansas, The Courier Online 
...  $500 reward for information leading to the conviction of anyone responsible for a deer poaching incident on West Mountain last week... (501) 620-6739

... The average hunter came close to taking one deer...  used a rifle and had a primary objective of shooting a quality buck... used private land and did not hunt over bait... likes the three-point rule, the regulation adopted in 1998 that defines a legal buck as a deer having at least three points on one side of its antlers...

State’s antlerless deer hunt opens Saturday on private lands October 9, 2014 Arkansas, Mymonticello news
... Arkansas has more than a million whitetails in the state... This hunt is only for antlerless deer on private land and it lasts only five days.  Only antlerless deer can be harvested; any buck with antlers longer than 2 inches is not legal during this hunt...

Anterless-Only Benefits Deer Herd October 2, 2014 Arkansas, NWA Online
... This special hunt was launched several years ago as a means to bring the buck-doe harvest ratio of Arkansas nearer the desired 50-50 status. Last season was a success on this point as slightly more does than bucks were checked by hunters for the first time in the state's history...

G&F Deer Forecast October, 2014
... hunters killed 4 percent fewer bucks in 2013-14 than they did the previous year (110,448), but we also killed 4 percent more does than we did the previous year (103,039)... makes Cory Gray, the deer project leader for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, very happy... The habitat’s always changing ... It’s not a mast producing forest, but it is a browse producing forest ...

Arkansas data: An estimated 1 million or more deer in 2012 through 2014, a million in 2011, an upward trend in the deer harvest in recent years. Record harvest of 213,487 in 2013, slightly less in 2014 (harvest data).  Good environmental conditions for the herd in 2013 with a wet spring and summer, good browse through summer, and high mast production.  Very strong population in south Arkansas, but less robust in the Ozarks. Fewer deer in the northeast, where there is limited habitat, and in the Ouachita Mountains, where there is poor soil fertility and habitat quality. 
     The strategy is a balanced hunt in terms of age and sex distributions, but many hunters won't shoot does. In 2013, for the first time ever, more does that bucks were reported in the harvest  107,247 does to 105,952 bucks.  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.   Habitat is limited for deer, so populations are low in the northeast and the Ouachita Mountains. 
     Deer were abundant prior to the arrival of Europeans, but over hunting and habitat destruction reduced the deer herd to about 2,000 in 1919.  The 1917 Legislature passed an act to restrict hunting of does until 1922.  The 1927 flood killed many deer; the 1930 deer count was about 500.   Restocking and deer refuges were implemented for the next 20 years, a buck only harvest was instituted to boost the herd.  When mandatory checking of hunted deer started in 1938, just 203 deer were checked.  The herd reached a population of 500,000 by 1985 and management shifted to stabilization with a significant doe harvest.  In 1998 the three point rule made it illegal to shoot a buck with less than three antler points on one side, an effort to improve age demographics.  

Other useful links:
Deer Hunting Regulations and Information     - Deer Harvest Data
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 News

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