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Arkansas Commission finalizes 2011-12 hunting seasons

From the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

-- One major change to the Game and Fish Commission's approval of 2011-12 hunting season increases the statewide deer bag limit from five deer to six deer with no more than two bucks.

Another change eliminates the use of preference points for 2013-14 deer hunting permits. A completely random drawing will be used to select applicants for deer permit hunts. Waiting two years will allow hunters, who currently have preference points, to utilize those points, AGFC wildlife chief David Goad said.

"In the interim, no hunters will accrue new preference points," Goad said. "Additionally, all members of party hunt applications that are successfully drawn for a hunt will lose their accrued points even if the permit is not purchased. This will eliminate the problem of super groups attempting to monopolize the deer permit system," he added.
     
To simplify deer hunting regulations, the Commission removed the prohibition on hunting deer over bait during February. Baiting is allowed in January with only one percent of the deer harvest occurring during that month. Less than one percent of the total deer harvest is recorded during February. Biologists don't believe that any substantial increase in the February deer harvest will result if baiting is allowed during that month.
     
During this hunting season, deer hunters will be required to display blaze orange or chartreuse on all sides of the exterior of a portable, pop-up type blind. This will only be required on the state's public lands.
     
To see a summary of the 2011-12 hunting regulations, go to: http://www.agfc.com/hunting/Documents/2011-12GeneralHuntingRegsSummary.pdf.

Season dates approved for 2011-12 deer hunting season:

Archery - All zones:  Oct. 1-Feb. 29; Modern Gun - Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 6, 6A, 7, 8, 8A, 10 and 11,  Nov. 12-Dec. 4; Zone 4:  Nov. 12-13; Zone 5:  Nov. 12-13 and Nov. 19-20; Zones 4A, 5A, 14 and 15;  Nov. 12-Dec. 11; Zones 4B and 5B:  Nov. 12-20;  Zones 9, 12 and 13:  Nov. 12-Dec. 18; Zone 16, 16A and 17:  Nov. 12-Dec. 25.

A new doe only modern gun deer hunt will be held: Zones 6A, 8A, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16A and 17, Oct. 31-Nov. 4. Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 4, 4A, 4B, 5, 5A, 5B, 6, 7, 8 and 11: Closed. Muzzleloader - Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 4A, 5A, 6, 6A, 7, 8, 8A, 10, 11, 14 and 15:  Oct. 22-30 and Dec. 17-19; Zones 9, 12, 13, 16, 16A and 17: Oct. 22-30 and Dec. 29-31; Zones 4, 4B, 5 and 5B:  Closed.
           
The statewide Christmas holiday modern gun deer hunt is Dec. 26 and 28 with two special youth modern gun deer hunts. The first will be Nov. 5 and 6 with the second Jan. 7 and 8.

The Commission also reviewed the deer harvest from the 2010-11 season.

Hunters harvested 186,165 total deer during the season. The total was less than a one percent decrease from the previous season's harvest of 187,046.

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