Although the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and measures to combat it have changed the way the Commission meets, conservation work carries on.
AGFC staff are moving forward with a public comment survey to gather public input on changes needed for the 2020-21 hunting season.
To take the survey click here.
Responses will be collected until April 15 so they may be presented to the Commission at its April 23 meeting.
With public input and increased efforts to simplify things for hunters, many regulations proposals aim to eliminate unnecessary differences in season dates and harvest limits throughout the state. Where biologically possible, many deer zones were combined or given very similar harvest limits and seasons to help new hunters stay in compliance with the regulations.
“We’ve always tried to offer as much opportunity for hunting as we could while remaining conscious of our conservation duty, but this year we really tried to take a deliberate effort to simplify and clarify regulations wherever we could,” said Brad Carner, chief of wildlife management.
The survey includes many proposals, and AGFC staff has tried to make it as user-friendly as possible by categorizing changes according to the subject matter. Proposals for nearly all game species are included in the survey. A few notable changes being proposed include:
• Combining some deer zones with identical season date structures.
• Moving the Private Land Antlerless Only Modern Gun Hunt from October to December.
• Replacing the current draw system for alligator hunting on private land with a quota system similar to private land elk hunting.
• Increasing the archery harvest quota to 500 bears in Bear Zone 1 (Ozarks).
• Reduce the number of turkey zones from 18 to two, but continuing to gather harvest information at the county level.
• Prohibit the take of bearded hen turkeys beginning in 2021.
• Add many species to wildlife breeder/dealer unrestricted, permitted and prohibited lists in the captive wildlife code.