Arkansas Deer Population:  An estimated 1 million or more deer in 2012 through 2016, a million in 2011.  Record harvest of 213,487 in 2013.  Herd analysis at right.  Historical Arkansas harvest data and news archive.

Arkansas Deer News

Garland County, Neighbors Say Nearly A Dozen Deer Shot, Killed And Left In Garland County November 28, 2016 Arkansas, KARK-10 hours ago
... Those deer are a welcome sight in their neighborhood ...  the deer have been shot senselessly and just left to rot ... "Everyone is a female. It's like they're trying to wipe out the population ...

CWD does not deter deer hunters in the Ozarks November 28, 2016 Arkansas, Arkansas Online
... the commission's wildlife management division set up 10 stations in the 10 counties that comprise the CWD management zone... Hunters brought in only 535 whitetailed deer and two elk for sampling, despite record deer kills in all 10 counties... he latest sad news concerning CWD is the confirmation of the disease last week in Yell County...

High Turnout for Modern Gun Deer Hunting Season November 27, 2016 Arkansas, Fox16
...Since November 12th, there have been a little more than 100,000 deer harvested across Arkansas...

AGFC finds 28 new cases of CWD in north Arkansas November 25, 2016 Arkansas, Baxter Bulletin-Nov 25, 2016
... Twenty-eight new cases of CWD have been identified from voluntary sampling stations run by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission during opening weekend of modern gun season, Nov. 12-13...

Will Deer Disease Deter Hunters? November 8, 2016 Arkansas, ArkansasMatters
... Chronic wasting disease (CWD) struck a blow to Arkansas' wildlife when it was first detected earlier this year... With a 23 percent prevalence rate, it's been here for several decades ... We're not going to be able to eradicate this disease...

... "Most states have indicated they have initially seen a decline in hunter numbers after the detection of CWD," ... That could mean a loss in revenue not just from selling fewer hunting licenses, but a trickle down effect for processors, retailers, and everyone else in the business of deer hunting...

Deer harvest numbers concerning November 6, 2016 Arkansas, Russellville Courier
... through Oct. 31 there were 39,791 deer killed. Last year through the same date, that number was 49,627, or a 9,866 difference... 0,482 fewer does killed so far this year... an inverse relationship to harvest numbers and temperatures... reports of "unprecedented" acorns this year ...

... Voluntary biological sampling stations will be placed at 25 sites within the 10-counties comprising the CWD Management Zone ... “We are continuing to monitor for CWD outside of the CWD management zone by collecting samples from road-killed deer,” ... 

Entering Arkansas's first deer and elk seasons since the discovery of chronic wasting disease in the state, there are many questions about the disease. This episode answers some of those questions and prepares hunters for the coming deer and elk seasons. - October 27, 2016

What's Next for Doug the Deer? October 11, 2016 Arkansas, KNWA
... Doug the deer was like a family pet. You could regularly see him roaming around John Brown Universities' campus making friends...Game and fish said, Doug will be released onto public property in northern Arkansas in about four weeks...
  Doug the deer captured, will be relocated from Siloam Springs October 6, 2016 Arkansas, Arkansas Online
... will be relocated to an undisclosed location on remote public land ... He has more than 2,000 friends on Facebook as Doug Deer... "I think he was fine in his area," she [Sarah Losh, 
photo courtesy of Sarah] said. "He had a wooded area with a creek. He doesn’t normally get out where cars are, and he was not a danger to people at all." ...
     'Doug the Deer' Loved by Community, On the Run from Game and Fish October 5, 2016 Arkansas, KNWA
... His name is Doug and he's loved dearly by many at John Brown University and the Siloam Springs community. Residents say he's like a masco ... has his own Facebook page ... Game & Fish says they plan to catch Doug and release him on private land but at this point they haven't been able to catch him...
     Local Friendly Deer Causes Drama In Siloam Springs October 5, 2016 Arkansas, 5newsonline.com
... A friendly deer that has gained popularity among Siloam Springs residents is wanted for relocation by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission... AGFC is searching for the deer to relocate him to a wilderness area, but residents are hoping to keep him around...

Deer hunting good to go in area October 2, 2016 Arkansas, Northwest Arkansas News
...  Northern Arkansas will have deer hunts this fall despite the discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease in elk and deer herds in five counties... Wildlife officials said the best way to prevent the spread of the disease is to stop the transport of any parts of deer or elk from areas found positive... state’s estimated 1 million deer, 600 elk and 308,000 licensed hunters ...

... Evidence suggests that prions, the infectious agent responsible for CWD, can spread the disease through animal remains long after the host has died.  These prions accumulate in the brain, spinal cord, lymph nodes, bones and certain organs of deer and elk ...

Game and fish monitoring fatal disease ahead of deer season September 22, 2016 Arkansas, 8 ABC kait8.com
... They’ve [AGFC] taken a total of 1,749 samples. Of those, 104 tested positive.  There have not been any positive results in Northeast Arkansas... “They can come to us if they want to have the deer sampled,” ...

Urban bowhunts put dent in deer numbers September 6, 2016 Arkansas, Northwest Arkansas News
... Carrie Crawford is a Game and Fish employee and former secretary of the Arkansas Bowhunters Association. She has helped organize hunter orientations at urban bowhunts ... The appeal of this unconventional hunt is the access to areas where deer have never been pressured ...

... A sampling effort from Aug. 1-4, around the southernmost case of chronic wasting disease in the state has not turned up any new positive results of the fatal deer disease... Voluntary sample collection sites will be available opening weekend of this year’s modern gun deer season ...

Official warns about chronic wasting disease August 11, 2016 Arkansas, Hot Springs Sentinel
...  their front legs will be sprawled out, their head will be low, neck out and staring. They are looking at you like they are looking over the top of glasses. They, as I call it, have a 100-mile stare. Most of the time you will find them standing in water where they are urinating and drinking at the same time ...

... Baiting deer can now only be done on private land and only from September 1 through December 31...

Biologists to take additional CWD samples in Pope Co. July 27, 2016 Arkansas,  THV11.com
... “In the coming deer season, we hope to gather 300 samples from hunter-harvested deer in each of the counties in our CWD Management Zone,” Meeker said. “But the single positive case of CWD in Pope County came from an area that has very little land open to public hunting.” ...

CWD regulations now in effect July 21, 2016 Arkansas, Harrison Daily 
... new regulations focus on hunting seasons and bag limits, but a few, particularly those on feeding wildlife, moving deer and deer parts and rehabilitating deer became effective July 16 ...

... Commissioners voted for .. Creating a 10-county chronic wasting disease management zone ... Deer and elk killed in the zone would be required to remain in the zone ... Restricting deer feeding except during hunting season... Increasing the bag limits and removing antler restrictions ... Prohibiting the use of scents containing natural deer urine...

Arkansas Special Chronic Wasting Disease Meeting. Meeting starts 5 minutes and 30 seconds into the Youtube video. Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Special-Called Meeting - June 24, 2016

... Commissioners voted unanimously today during a special meeting to approve a Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone made up of Boone, Carroll, Johnson, Logan, Madison, Marion, Newton, Pope, Searcy and Yell counties.  CWD has been found in five of these counties since first being discovered in Arkansas in late February...

Group working to rehab baby deer petitioning AGFC plan June 22, 2016 Arkansas, THV11.com
... -A network of rehabbers in Arkansas are petitioning the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's proposed plan to fight Chronic Wasting Disease. AGFC's plan includes prohibiting the rehabilitation of deer statewide ... see the petition on Change.org

AGFC to vote on CWD proposals Friday June 22, 2016 Arkansas, Baxter Bulletin
... ...  proposal would create a non-commercial hunting enclosure permit for all high-fence deer facilities. Facility owners would be required to submit samples of all deer that die inside the facility for CWD testing ...

Chronic wasting disease moving in ... June 21, 2016 Arkansas, Times Record (blog)
... On Friday, the Game and Fish Commission will vote on a set of regulations meant to limit the spread ...  would require landowners who erect high fences to leave openings so deer can move freely in and out. The idea is to reduce the chances that a deer will be stuck in captivity in an enclosed area, where it would be more likely to come in contact with an infected deer ...

Registration open for urban archery deer hunts June 21, 2016 Arkansas, Northwest Arkansas News
... All urban hunts follow guidelines to ensure the safety of hunters and local landowners. ..  "But when you open up a season so close to people's homes, you want to make sure everyone participating is responsible and ethical." ...

Commissioners To Vote On Regulations To Combat Fatal Deer Disease , Chronic Wasting, June 20, 2016 Arkansas, KUAR
... potential regulations that would affect the five affected counties ... To decrease deer density, AGFC would establish a 10-county management zone where landowners would be issued extra deer tags. Landowners would be required to submit samples of the deer they kill for testing...

THV11.com
... Five counties in Arkansas are facing problems with chronic wasting, including Boone, Carroll, Madison, Pope and Newton counties... Their most recent proposal threatens to cancel one program that has some Arkansans upset.   The proposal would ban rehabilitating deer statewide to help stop the spread of the disease...

Game and Fish Commission approves plan to manage disease June 17, 2016 Arkansas, El Dorado News-Times
... Landowners within the 10-county management zone will be issued extra tags to help decrease deer density and landowners will be required to submit samples of harvested deer for CWD testing. Deer and elk killed within the zone must remain in the zone, with the exception of “deboned meat, cleaned skull plates, hides, teeth and taxidermy products.” ...
     AGFC modifies proposals for chronic wasting disease management June 16, 2016 Arkansas, THV11.com
... modified proposals will be voted on during a June 24 special meeting of the Commission:  ·  Establish a CWD management zone consisting of Boone, Carroll, Johnson, Logan, Madison, Marion, Newton, Pope, Searcy and Yell counties... ·  Prohibit feeding within the CWD management zone, except ...  Baiting will be allowed Oct. 1-Dec. 31 for hunting...

A killer in the herds, chronic wasting disease June 5, 2016 Arkansas, Arkansas Online
... As of Friday the Game and Fish Commission had confirmed 93 cases in five counties: Newton, Boone, Madison, Pope and Carroll. The most recent positive test results were from May 27.  "I don't think any of us would have imagined there would be this number," Wild said. The National Park Service veterinarian has studied chronic wasting disease since the 1980s and is one of several national experts advising Arkansas on how to respond to the outbreak...
     New rules aim to limit spread June 5, 2016 Arkansas, Arkansas Online
... Require all hunter-killed elk to be submitted for testing...  Greatly reduce the number of deer and elk in known contaminated areas... Prohibit the use of natural deer- or elk-urine scents and lures...  Prohibit the rehabilitation of injured deer statewide...

Commissioners to vote on proposed CWD regulations June 24 May 27, 2016 Arkansas, Baxter Bulletin
... Arkansas Game & Fish ... Some of the regulations include prohibiting feeding of wildlife statewide, requiring elk to be submitted for chronic wasting disease testing and increasing private land antlerless elk quota from 24 to 40 ...

Arkansas Sportsman Baiting hot topic at CWD forums May 26, 2016 Arkansas, Arkansas Online
... Many people have corn feeders in their backyards to attract deer, but they do not hunt in their yards. ... One regulation prohibits feeding wildlife statewide with some exceptions, like bird feeders. The purpose is to discourage people from unnaturally concentrating deer with feeders in places where hunting does not occur...


... A desire to attract deer has led a St. Francis man to try and build an orchard of a hybrid tree whose breeders hope can bring chestnuts, in some form, back to North American shores... American Chestnut trees by the millions were felled more than a century ago when an invasive blight swept through the country...

Feeding, baiting topics at CWD talks May 25, 2016 Arkansas, Arkansas Online
... testing revealed 23 percent of deer in a 125,000-acre portion of Searcy County near the Buffalo River were infected... One proposal would prohibit people from feeding wildlife year round, but a related proposal will allow deer hunters to use bait from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 ...

Chronic wasting disease strikes Arkansas deer, elk May 7, 2016 Memphis Commercial Appeal
... "What separates CWD from other (diseases) is that it is not a virus," Gray said. "It's not like hemorrhagic disease or blue tongue where it is a virus and it will run its course and it is over with. It is always fatal. There is no cure."  The disease withstands heat, chemicals, enzymes and time. Nothing seems to break it down. Also, it can stay dormant in the animal's body for up to 18 months...

Elk disease cause for study, not panic May 2, 2016 Arkansas, Times Record
... , Arkansas found Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) for the first time by way of a wild elk cow ... One reason it went unnoticed is because Arkansas wasn't looking for it very hard ... Arkansas and neighboring states must increase their testing of free-ranging deer and elk in order to get a better idea of where CWD is ...

3 men fined for roles in videotaped deer beating April 30, 2016 Arkansas, Arkansas Online
...  passengers in a a yellow Ford Escort when it struck the deer, and the men loaded the stunned and injured animal into the car ... The deer revived in the car, and the video shows one of the men repeatedly striking the animal on the head  ... The car pulled over eventually, and the men dragged the deer into a ditch along the highway and left it ...
... The video surfaced in January, showing 20-year-old Joshua Rewis of Villa Rica, Georgia, in the back of a vehicle hitting a deer with a textbook. Rewis was charged with a misdemeanor offense of cruelty to animals and wasting wildlife...
     Men Charged In Hitting Deer With Book Appear in Court April 29, 2016 Arkansas, KARK
... a $2250 fine ... ordered to have a psych evaluation within 90 days...

... A deer in Madison County and another deer in Pope County were positive for the fatal disease. Both deer were road kills that were reported by the public... Eighty-one deer and three elk have been found to be positive....

... the pontoon drove in front of the deer, causing the animal to swim farther into the lake.  The deer drowned shortly thereafter... The agreement required Timm to pay $500 in restitution...

Local AG&FC lands biologist speaks to Lions on CWD April 24, 2016 Arkansas, Harrison Daily 
...  two deer in Boone County and three elk and 37 deer in Newton County which have been tested positive for CWD. Mills said, “This is a serious disease ... He urged the members to call (800) 482-9262  if they see a deer which had been killed on the road so that deer could be tested...

State hunters play big role in controlling CWD April 24, 2016 Arkansas, Northwest Arkansas News
...  The fastest and most efficient way for CWD to colonize new areas is to be transported in by hunters... No matter where you kill it, process the deer or have it processed there. Don't transport it to other counties.  CWD will not annihilate our deer and elk ...

AGFC releases prevalence rate for CWD April 21, 2016 Arkansas, Baxter Bulletin
...  the first phase of sampling for Chronic Wasting Disease and has found a 23 percent prevalence rate in Newton and Boone counties. Of 266 randomly collected wild deer, 62 were found to have the fatal disease ... AGFC Director Mike Knoedl has proposed to ban the practice of baiting deer  ... the deer herd in Arkansas, which is estimated at one million ...

Wasting disease prevalent in early tests April 21, 2016 Arkansas, Arkansas Online
... To limit the spread of the disease beyond north Arkansas, Game and Fish Commission Director Mike Knoedl recommended that the commission consider banning the baiting of deer with corn and eliminating mineral blocks, a known transmission medium for the disease... Of the 77 bucks sampled, 25, or about 30 percent, tested positive...

CWD rate exceeds acceptable threshold in north Arkansas April 20, 2016 Arkansas Online
...  the prevalence rate of chronic wasting disease in wild whitetailed deer is 23 percent after completing the first phase of testing in north Arkansas... Such a high prevalence rate, coupled with a high infection rate among fawns, strongly suggests the disease has been present for a long time ...

Statewide CWD testing to begin April 13, 2016 Arkansas, The News
... he first positive case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Arkansas in an elk harvested last October in Newton County ... Deer hunting is a $370 million industry in the state... plants can uptake prions from contaminated soil and transport them to different parts of the plant. By doing this, the plants can act as a carrier of CWD....

... AGFC will take samples from any sick or dead deer reported throughout the state. A primary focus will be on road-killed animals.  “There’s no need to sacrifice possibly healthy animals for this phase, Samples taken from road kills have a greater chance of testing positive than random samples from healthy animals,” ...

... Researchers with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture said recently that 18 out of 48 white-tailed deer tested in Newton County in March were found to have Chronic Wasting Disease, also known as CWD... Symptoms include weight loss to the point of emaciation, excessive salivation, loss of coordination ...

23 more chronic wasting disease cases found in Arkansas April 8, 2016 Oklahoma News
... there have now been 79 positive tests for CWD since the first case was confirmed Feb. 23 ...

... there's been 56 confirmed cases, a shocking number he says for a state that's never tested positive for the disease... About new 50 samples will be tested, as the AGF now hunts to find if the disease has spread to other parts of the state ...

... What if I see a deer or elk that I think has CWD?  Arkansas Game and Fish encourages anyone who thinks they see an animal with the disease to contact them at (800) 482-9262.

Chronic wasting disease cases in state climb to 56 April 1, 2016 Arkansas, Arkansas Online
... Six more deer have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, bringing the total number of cases in Arkansas to 56 ... All infected deer came from a sampling area in Newton County...

Arkansas chronic wasting disease cases pouring in April 1, 2016 Jackson Clarion-Ledger
... Almost 30 tissue samples sent to a lab for testing were confirmed this week to have CWD and bring the total number of cases to 50...  we're trying to determine spatial distribution ...

CWD has found its way to the Natural State March 29, 2016 Arkansas,  Russellville Courier
... chronic wasting disease (CWD) ... CWD was first detected in captive deer in 1967 and in the mid-1980s in free-ranging elk and deer in Colorado and Wyoming. In 2001 it was found in Nebraska and Wyoming. In 2002 CWD was found in Wisconsin, Illinois, and New Mexico. In 2005 testing positive was New York and West Virginia, followed by Michigan in 2008...

...  it's not necessary to continue a mass harvest of elk and white-tailed deer around the Buffalo National River.  That's because recently-received test results show chronic wasting disease is prevalent in the animals, and has been in this area for 10 years or more...

Map shows location of deer, elk taken for sampling March 25, 2016 Arkansas, Harrison Daily 
... the map shows, most of the positive results came from Newton County ...

More AR Deer, Elk Test Positive for Chronic Wasting Disease March 24, 2016 Arkansas, ArkansasMattersArkansas
...  tissue samples from 49 deer and elk taken in and around the 125,000-acre focal area ...  Out of the 18 positive deer samples, four were found just outside of the AGFC’s focal area... Arkansas now has 22 CWD [chronic wasting disease] positive samples ...The public can report sick deer and elk by calling 800-482-9262 or by email at cwdinfo@agfc.ar.gov ...

3rd case of CWD identified March 23, 2016 Arkansas, NWA Online
... a second white-tailed deer in Newton County has tested positive for chronic wasting disease... Also, an elk killed near Pruitt in October was confirmed to have the disease on Feb. 23. All three locations are in northern Newton County ...
... “This positive sample falls squarely in the middle of our sampling area so we will not have to make any adjustments at this time," Carner said in a statement. "We will try to intensify our sampling in the immediate vicinity of this detection.” ...

... “This week we sampled (shot) 126 deer, which is a good ways toward our target of 300 deer,” said Cory Gray, deer program coordinator ...  hunt for animals that might be affected with deadly Chronic Wasting Disease...

AGFC says human, animal diseases not linked March 17, 2016 Arkansas, Northwest Arkansas News
...  The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at its monthly meeting Thursfay in Little Rock said there is no link between a case of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease reported Wednesday in Fayetteville and chronic wasting disease in Newton County.  Both diseases are forms of spongieform encephalathy ...


Arkansas data: An estimated 1 million or more deer in 2012 through 2016, a million in 2011. 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.  Deer in the northwest rely significantly on the acorn crop which vary dramatically from year to year.  Deer in south have a wider variety of food source which makes it less variable.  About 308,000 deer hunters.
     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. Chronic wasting disease was first discovered in 2016 in an elk found dead near Pruitt on the Buffalo National River in October of 2015.
     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.  By 1947 about 31,500 deer.  There were 44 refuges or deer farms in the restocking program in 1950.  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.  Estimated 1989 population:  700,000. 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.  About 25 percent of hunting is on public land.
     Elk  About 600 elk in 2016.

Report Sick Deer:  (800) 482-9262 or email cwdinfo@agfc.ar.gov  Information on Chronic Wasting Disease in Arkansas

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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