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Arkansas' Deer Management Plan Calls for More Education Work

From Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

-- Helping and encouraging Arkansans to learn more about deer and other wildlife is one of the segments of the new Strategic White-tailed Deer Management Plan of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

The idea is to use various avenues, including workshops across the state, to improve knowledge about the most popular game animal in Arkansas. This education goal is one of the six elements of the new plan. The other categories of the plan are Resource, Sociological, Habitat, Communication and Enforcement.

The new deer plan was created by AGFC personnel after input and assistance from several dozen private citizens who participated in idea and planning sessions, and their influence is reflected in many of the plan's objectives. It was approved by AGFC's commissioners at their February meeting in Dumas. The plan supplants a 1999 deer management plan for Arkansas.

A facet of deer hunting in Arkansas that has generated much enthusiasm in recent years is the special youth hunt. Adults go with youngsters as mentors and guides, but only the boys and girls under age 16 are allowed to shoot deer. This hunt is being expanded to include persons over 65 as hunters.

The deer management plan calls for "developing and operational template for youth deer hunting camps."

Other topics in education in the plan are:
-- Assist organizations and hunting clubs in increasing deer hunting opportunities for young people.

-- Work with seniors, persons 65 and older, to find hunting opportunities and ways to keep them hunting at their advancing ages.

-- Develop and improve educational opportunities all through the state. These include school programs that are focused on deer management and deer biology. They also include the presenting of deer workshops in many areas of Arkansas.

-- The new deer plan is now in operation, and its structure calls for continued cooperative input from advisory groups and from the Arkansas public. The plan also specifies that AGFC wildlife management areas to be worked to meet "public expectations, habitat composition and deer populations."

The complete deer management plan can be found online at: http://www.agfc.com/hunting/deer/deerplan_revision.aspx.

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