Monday, May 29, 2017

Arkansas House: State Representative Jeff Wardlaw

From joining a guided hike to a bear cave on Petit Jean Mountain to relaxing on a sunset cruise on Lake DeGray, visitors to Arkansas State Parks have an abundance of options to enjoy the beauty of our state this summer.

On one summer weekend alone, park employees host and guide more than 100 events across the state.  Visitors can take a tour of our rivers and lakes on a kayak or even learn the tricks to diamond mining.

Arkansas’s first state park was Petit Jean.  It was established in 1923 with the passage of Act 276 which authorized the commissioner of state lands to accept land donations.  The state then developed an agency to oversee the development of state parks in 1927.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Commission approves hunting regulations changes, 2017-18 hunting seasons set

            LITTLE ROCK – Commissioners approved hunting regulations changes for the 2017-18 hunting seasons, including the season dates for all game, including the 2017-18 waterfowl season and 2018 turkey season at today’s meeting in the AGFC headquarters in Little Rock.

Opening days of the 2017-18 Arkansas deer season are:
Archery – Sept. 23, 2017
Muzzleloader – Oct. 21, 2017
Modern Gun – Nov. 11, 2017
Private Land Modern Gun Antlerless Deer Hunt – Oct. 14-18, 2017
Special Modern Gun Youth Deer Hunt – Nov. 4-5, 2017 and Jan. 6-7, 2018
Christmas Holiday Modern Gun Deer Hunt – Dec. 26-28, 2017
The 2017-18 waterfowl season dates are:

Monday, May 15, 2017

Bradley County Skeet Busters Jr. Team to Compete in State Finals

The Bradley County Skeet Busters Junior Team #1 finished 6th place at the AYSSP Southern Regional Tournament held May 12th.  They shot 107 out of 125.  The team consists of Blake Forrest, Dalton Bigham, Levi Baldwin, Weston Hembree, and Torey Simmons.  They will compete in State Finals June 2nd in Jacksonville.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Hot Springs resident lands $1,000 while fishing for dinner

HOT SPRINGS – Maurice Bradford of Hot Springs was fishing from the bank near the Andrew Hulsey Fish Hatchery on Lake Hamilton, looking to land enough fish for a Saturday evening dinner. At around 8 p.m., fishing with crickets, he snagged something better: A $1,000 prize fish in the 2017 $86,000 Hot Springs Fishing Challenge. It was a half-pound bluegill 8.5 inches long.

The half-pound bluegill was the fifth fish caught thus far in the 2017 Fishing Challenge and the second prize fish taken this year from Lake Hamilton.

Fifty-six prize fish worth a total of $82,500 remain in Lake Catherine and Lake Hamilton including the elusive $15,000 Big Al.

Big Al is the name given to a fish, this year a largemouth bass, bearing a lucky $15,000 2017 Fishing Challenge tag. Since the Challenge began in 2012, no one has ever caught Big Al. In 2016 Big Al was worth $10,000.

Big Al’s species was revealed on May 1 and additional clues will be given out during June about Big Al if he has not been caught by then.

2017-18 urban deer hunt application period open

LITTLE ROCK – The application period for Arkansas’s special urban bowhunts for the 2017-18 hunting season is now open and will run until 6:30 p.m., August 18. Hunters interested in participating in the Cherokee Village, Russellville, Fairfield Bay, Horseshoe Bend, Heber Springs and Hot Springs Village hunts should visit to register online or contact J.D. Crawford at

Hunters wishing to participate in the Bull Shoals or Lakeview hunts should contact the Bull Shoals Urban Bowhunters Association’s President Bill Craker at

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission works with these two bowhunting groups in order to help administer needed hunts in urban areas.

Unattended fawns likely not abandoned

LITTLE ROCK – Each spring, thousands of Arkansas deer give birth to fawns. And each year, biologists with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission get calls from worried conservation-minded individuals who happen across one of these young deer sitting still in the tall grasses where it is hiding. But that abandoned fawn likely isn’t abandoned at all. In fact, its mother may be just out of sight, waiting for you to leave so she may tend to her young.

“It’s part of their survival mechanism,” said Ralph Meeker, deer program coordinator for the AGFC. “That fawn is trying to stay as still as possible so that it remains hidden. That is why fawns have spots. It is their camouflage. The mother needs to go out and feed in order to produce milk for the fawn to nurse. The longer the doe is directly with that fawn, the more attention she brings to it. This increases the fawn’s likelihood of being eaten by a predator.”

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Jersey Rural Firewise Hosts Community Volunteer Event

Saturday, May 6,  Firewise Community Volunteers gathered at Moro Bay State Park to ready  the park against the dangers of wildfires on the National Wildfire Preparedness Day.

Firewise, the program, educates property owners and homeowners who live in areas known as the urban interface to be proactive by being prepared in their readiness against wildfires.
Urban Interface is the intersection of properties and homes with wildlands. Given that fact that many Arkansas homes fall into these intersections. The removal of natural fuels, leaves, pine straw, etc., away from homes and structures is one of the ways to mitigate and protect against wildfires.

For more information about Firewise principles go to