Arkansas Deer News

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 ...
Deer Season Begins in the Natural State September 27, 2014 Arkansas, 5 News
... Bow-hunters headed out to the woods Saturday (Sept. 27) ... deer move around more in the winter in order to stay warm, making them easier targets when it’s cold outside... 

Smart phone app may be used to check deer September 21, 2014 Arkansas, Magnolia Reporter
... It costs the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission $2.35 per call when a deer is checked by a phone call. In comparison, it only costs the agency 50 cents per deer checked through a smartphone app or over the Internet...

Missouri battles over deer issue September 19, 2014 Arkansas, Log Cabin Democrat
 ...  Missouri and Arkansas are two states among the nation’s 50 that are often envied by other state wildlife people because they are semi-autonomous – partly independent of legislative and gubernatorial control... History tells us of the mess in Arkansas with hunting and fishing when the legislature had full control. This ended in 1945 after voters passed Amendment 35 ...

Arkansas ranks 13th in deer collisions September 19, 2014 Stuttgart Daily Leader 
... For the year ending June 30 there were about 20,500 vehicle-deer collisions in Arkansas. The number was slightly down from the 22,000 estimated collisions from a year ago according to claims data from State Farm. The decrease resulted in Arkansas dropping from the ninth highest risk state for such a collision in the nation, to thirteenth...

Deer-collision season begins in October September 16, 2014 Arkansas, Arkansas Online 
... While many blame the deer population for the high number of collisions, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Deer Program Coordinator Gray said is often has more to do with how many highways a state has and where they are located...

... the ratio of bucks versus does. Today, the indications are this ratio is much closer to the ideal 50-50.  Here are some state ranking capsules assembled by the national and well regarded Quality Deer Management Association:  First in the United States with lowest percentage of buck fawns harvested (4 percent).  First in the United States with fewest yearling bucks in harvest for four of the past five years (8 percent)...

Managing Arkansas Deer Herds Big Task for Wildlife Officers August 28, 2014 Arkansas, Ozarks First
... Today the strategy is termed Total Herd Management. Cory Gray, deer program coordinator for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, said, “We no longer try to estimate the number of deer we have in the state. Instead we focus on indices that give us information on the health of our deer. This includes body weights, lactation in females and age structure.” ...

Deer abundant in Arkansas, but not evenly distributed August 20, 2014 Magnolia Reporter 
... Before 1998, the goal was to have more deer in the state, and hunters went after male deer, the bucks. The buck-doe ratio became badly skewed... in some area hunters complained that they were seeing 12, 15, even 20 does for every buck they spotted.  In 1998 under the prodding of Witt Stephens, an AGFC commissioner at the time, the three-point rule was established. This meant only a buck with at least three points on one side of its antlers could be taken legally by hunters...

Deer Plentiful Again in Arkansas August 14, 2014 Arkansas, ArkansasMatters
...   Even in Zone 12 (south Arkansas) where we have the most deer, I get calls from people telling me they aren’t seeing deer ... Habitat for deer is limited in northeast Arkansas, where farming is extensive, and wooded areas are few. Poor soil fertility and less than desirable habitat are some limiting factors in the Ouachita Mountains part of the state ...

Heber Springs, Corps to issue permits for deer hunt at Greers Ferry Lake August 4, 2014 Arkansas, KTHV11 
...  The Army Corps of Engineers ... will issue up to five hunting permits to veterans who suffer from paralysis or an amputation of a limb as a result of their military service...

State agency says dumping of dead deer a real issue June 13, 2014 Arkansas, Baxter Bulletin 
... "We run into a lot of people who kill deer and take nothing," ... Fitts said state law forbids the discarding of carcasses within 50 yards of public recreation areas or the centerline of any public road. It also is illegal to dispose of them in streams ...

Bull Shoals, 'Deer dump' worries citizens along Bull Shoals Lake June 10, 2014 Arkansas, Baxter Bulletin
... "Over the past two years, I've seen at least 200 deer carcasses down there," ... The city of Bull Shoals has a long history of large deer populations. A number of years ago, the city instituted an urban deer hunt...

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... 

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...


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. Good environmental conditions for the herd in 2013 with a wet spring and summer, good browse through summer, and high mast production.
     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.  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 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.  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   
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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