Thursday, December 13, 2018

Rabbit Hunting

LITTLE ROCK – With the majority of deer season having taken place in most of the state and freezing temperatures becoming regular events, many houndsmen are anxiously waiting for a chance to drop the tailgate and begin chasing their favorite quarry in earnest. For hunters who have never had the chance to participate in a rabbit race, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has put together a video on the easiest way to field dress and process rabbits and has posted it at www.agfc.com/en/hunting/small-game/rabbit.

Although rabbit season officially opens Sept. 1 each year, many rabbit hunters wait until winter before putting on their field boots and loading up the shotgun. Especially on public land, many rabbit hunters wait to give deer hunters plenty of time before their dogs begin working the woods for rabbits. Rabbit hunters also wait for the first few hard freezes and some of the vegetation to die back to make locating rabbits a little more predictable.

“The habitat favors the rabbit when everything is still green,” said Clifton Jackson, small game coordinator for the AGFC. “There’s a lot of different scents out there to throw off the beagles and a lot more cover spread across the landscape for rabbits to slip around in. But when the cold begins to fold all the grass and plants over, those rabbits will move to the brush piles and clumps where you can hone in a little more on them.”

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Arksas Hunters Set Record Elk Hunt

JASPER - The 2018 Arkansas elk hunting season set a record with 67 taken on public and private land. The previous record was 55.

An elk or two may still be taken by hunters outside of the Core Elk Management Zone (Boone, Carroll, Madison, Newton and Searcy counties), during the remainder of deer seasons with archery tackle, muzzleloading weapons, and modern firearms of at least .24 caliber legal for those seasons. However, only one elk has been taken outside the zone this year, a lone bull in Stone County.

All hunter-harvested elk have been tested for chronic wasting disease; none was positive. Two elk showing signs of the disease were targeted and removed from the herd by biologists; those two did test positive for CWD.

The first week of the season was Oct. 1-5, with a youth hunt Sept. 29-30. Forty-one elk were harvested – 18 bulls and 23 antlerless. Thirty-six of those came from private land; five were taken on public land.

The second week of the season was Oct. 29-Nov. 2, with a youth hunt Oct. 27-28. Twenty-five elk were taken during this period – five bulls and 20 antlerless, with 14 from private land and 11 from public land.

“Private-land elk hunters were very successful during both seasons,” said Wes Wright, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission elk program coordinator. “The new private-land elk hunt permit system offered increased opportunity for hunters – this was reflected in the harvest.”

The core elk management zone hunt quota was 12 either-sex elk and 40 antlerless elk. Hunters are required to check each day during the season to see if the quota has been reached.

PotlatchHosts Mobility-impaired Hunters

Dec. 12, 2018
Randy Zellers Assistant Chief of Communications

CASSCOE - Four mobility-impaired Arkansas hunters were able to fill their deer tags last weekend, thanks to a special hunt provided by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation and the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge.

The hunt took place at the Potlatch Conservation Education Center at Cook’s Lake in Casscoe. It included two-and-a-half days of deer hunting, lodging and meals. This is one of only two hunting opportunities on this 1,850-acre portion of the refuge each year, with the first being a draw youth hunt.

“The hunt offers an ability to manage the deer herd on this area and lets us offer something special to hunters who draw,” said Wil Hafner, AGFC education program specialist at the center. “It really is a special place, and these opportunities let us share it with hunters as much as we share it with anglers and school groups throughout the rest of the year.”

ANRC Soliciting Information

The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) is soliciting information of Water Quality Activities (WQAs) that have maintained or enhanced water quality, or reduced, controlled, or abated non-point source pollution.  These WQAs may come from State and Federal Agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), conservation districts (CDs), or other groups around the state.

The information being requested is for the period of October 01, 2017 through September 30, 2018. ANRC NPS Program has elected to utilize the MS WORD document format (2007 or newer).  We are asking for specific information (see page 2), but are also giving the writer / submitter the opportunity to provide additional information to better describe the WQAs, as they deem appropriate.  Each individual completed Snap Shot Reporting document must be submitted separately by e-mail.  Each Snap Shot Reporting document should be an attachment to an e-mail and submitted by January 10, 2019, or before.  Snap Shot Reporting documents submitted after January 10, 2019 will not be included in the 2018 NPS Annual Report.

The NPS Program appreciates your cooperation in this request and sincerely extends a THANK YOU for your dedication and ongoing commitment to improve water quality.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Climate Change Could Affect Fish in Buffalo River in Competing Ways

According to the University of Arkansas, climate change could slightly boost or substantially reduce the population of smallmouth bass in the Buffalo River, depending on how temperature and precipitation patterns are altered.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Make your own European-style mount from this year’s trophy buck

JONESBORO — The Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center will host a special workshop on how to prepare your own European skull mount of your deer from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15.

Although there’s no substituting a professionally prepared mounted head of a trophy deer from a taxidermist, many hunters like the look of a cleaned skull mount, commonly called a European mount because of its popularity with big-game hunters overseas. Skull mounts also cost a fraction of a traditional shoulder-mounted deer from a taxidermist. In fact, hunters willing to put in a little sweat equity can create their own works of art at home with minimal equipment.

“We will have a seminar and a demonstration to show people first-hand how to make their own mount,” said Cody Walker, education program specialist for the AGFC. “We’ll take folks from a harvested deer all the way through the process of skinning, cleaning, boiling, bleaching and sealing their trophy.”

Arkansas hunters stepping up to provide samples for deer disease

LITTLE ROCK - Deer hunters in Arkansas have voluntarily provided more than 5,300 biological samples from harvested deer to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission so far this hunting season, helping AGFC to continue monitoring the distribution of  chronic wasting disease in the state. With almost a month of the firearms deer season and two additional months of archery season left, new samples are still coming in on a daily basis.