Thursday, October 31, 2019

Marion County deer hunter’s death disclosed

LITTLE ROCK – A Marion County deer hunter, that died last week after attempting to retrieve a deer he had shot, did not die solely from the injuries inflicted by the deer, according to the Arkansas State Medical Examiner’s office. The accidental death of Thomas Alexander, 66, of Yellville was due to pre-existing medical conditions complicated by the deer attack, according to a preliminary report from Baxter County Coroner Brad Hays.
Alexander was deer hunting Oct. 22 near Yellville when he shot a buck late in the afternoon. He texted his cousin at 6:15 p.m. and asked him to meet Alexander at his house to help process the deer. Alexander’s wife and his cousin became concerned when he hadn’t shown up when the cousin decided to go check on him.
The cousin found Alexander still alive, but badly injured near his UTV. He phoned Alexander’s wife, who then called 911. An ambulance took Alexander to Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home where he died.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Deer Spotted behind Molly's

For the past several years, deer have been spotted in the mornings behind Molly's.  This buck was spotted October 29.

Smartphones used as proof of hunting license

LITTLE ROCK — Just about every hunter carries a smartphone in the woods now. Not only does it provide a connection to the world in case of emergencies. It also can be used as your official license holder and deer tags.

Every year more apps bring tools to hunters in the field through their phones. Aerial images, maps, sunrise/sunset tables and many other handy resources are available at the touch of a finger everywhere you go. The phone’s flash can even serve as an emergency backup if your flashlight batteries go dead. You can even purchase and carry your license through your phone without ever needing to bring a single piece of paper to the woods.

Thanks to regulation changes in 2017, electronic copies of a valid hunting license may be used to show proof of your purchase to a wildlife officer. Many people save the email they receive during their license purchase to their phone for fast reference, while others will take a screenshot of the license when it is displayed in that email and keep it in their photo library.

“Either option is fine as long as the whole license is shown so the officer can confirm their license purchases and expiration dates,” said Maj. Jake Dunn in the AGFC’s Enforcement Division.

Downloading the AGFC’s mobile app offers yet another option to carry your license on your phone. The free app is available in the Google Play store as well as Apple’s app store and can link to your license purchase history and game check history. Once logged into the app, it will automatically update to show your license purchases within hours of your purchase.

Checking deer also has gone paperless for Arkansas hunters. Thanks to increased cellular coverage and phone usage, many hunters can skip the tagging process altogether. Once an animal is checked, hunters do not need to tag the deer as long as it remains within their immediate vicinity until it arrives at the hunter’s home. Checking a deer may be done by phone, through the AGFC’s app or through the “Buy Licenses/Check Game” button at the top of www.agfc.com.

“If a hunter leaves their checked deer in a cooler, at a processor’s or in another place where they are not present to immediately identify it, we need to have information tying that deer to the hunter,” Dunn said. “The hunter’s name and address as well as the date of harvest, check confirmation number and sex of the animal need to be on all portions of the animal if the hunter is not within the immediate presence of the storage point so officers can make sure who’s deer belongs to who.”

Dunn says if for some reason, a deer is unable to be checked via phone or website at the location of harvest, hunters must make a temporary tag listing their name, customer ID number, and the time, date and location of harvest and keep it on the deer until they are able to check it.

Visit www.agfc.com to buy your hunting license online. 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Alligator Harvest Report Released

LITTLE ROCK — Lasting heat of summer and stable conditions paid off for Arkansas hunters lucky enough to draw a tag in the 2019 alligator season. Of 147 tags available, 84 hunters managed to successfully take an alligator during the two-weekend season.

The harvest is on par with last year’s alligator hunt, in which 81 alligators were checked, but falls short of the record set in 2017 of 94 gators taken.

This is the first year to see alligators harvested in Alligator Management Zone 2, which encompasses south-central Arkansas. The zone opened to harvest last year with five permits available, but no permit holders successfully harvested an alligator. This year five permits were again available, and two hunters were able to close the deal.

This year, Alligator Management Zone 3 in southwest Arkansas took top honors in harvest with 50 gator tags filled. Two alligators in excess of 12 feet were taken during the two weekends of the 2019 season in Zone 3.

Although Alligator Management Zone 1 in Southeast Arkansas saw only 32 alligators harvested, it was responsible for the largest alligator of the year, a 12-foot, 8-inch male taken on public property. This alligator fell more than a foot short of the state record (a 13-foot, 10-inch gator taken in Zone 3 in 2015), but was still extremely large and weighed hundreds of pounds. Two more alligators measuring 12-feet, 4-inch and 12 feet 1 inch were taken in Zone 1 as well.

Mark Barbee, Assistant Wildlife Regional Supervisor for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in Monticello, said the hunt went very well this year and weather was excellent. There were some reports of ponds and lakes beginning to dry before the season, which caused a few large alligators found before the hunt to relocate during the season and evade hunters. Additionally, the high flows and flooding that has taken place during the last year may have displaced some alligators or temporarily blocked access to sections of habitat by hunters. Overall the hunt went well with many great harvests, no wildlife violations and no accidents.

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Friday, October 11, 2019

Support and Propagation of Pollinators

The importance of pollinators in generating of our food supply is underscored by the fact that 1/3 of fruits and vegetables require pollinator interaction to produce mature flowers/seed pods/fruit.  Pollinators include birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, wasps, small mammals, most importantly bees.  Honey Bees are only one of the many bee types which aid in pollination: paper wasps, yellow jacket carpenter bees, bumble bees, and sphecidae wasp are among those needing pollen and nectar to survive and in the process pollinate plants.  Pollinators also have a positive impact on beef, livestock, and dairy industries as they help pollinate forages and hay crops.

The recent decline in the honey bee population both in the wild and in managed hives, creates concern for naturalist, the agricultural industry and ordinary citizens.  Certain crops-such as blueberries, apples, and cherries-are 90% dependent upon honey bee pollination.

Mike and Nancy Weatherford will provide a one hour introduction to wildflowers which contribute to the natural habitat of pollinators. The workshop at the Drew County Library is scheduled for 10-11am on Saturday, October 19, 2019.  Participants will be provided wildflower seeds sufficient for a 10’x10’ plot (or equivalent 1’x100’; 2’x50’)…Pre-register at the Drew County Library by October 15, 2019 to assu

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Identify these six trees for success this hunting season

LITTLE ROCK — Deer hunters looking for new stakeouts are often keyed on rubs and scrapes. These telltale signs of whitetail activity are roadmaps for hunters during the rut. But the best advice for pursuing all species including deer, is to follow the food. Even during the rut, does still look for something to eat, and the bucks will follow.