AGFC hears bird season proposals

Friday, July 11, 2008

FORT SMITH -- The unofficial opening of Arkansas's fall hunting season was one of the main topics at a recent meeting of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Dove season is the opening of the fall hunting seasons for many Arkansans.

Biologists presented two early season migratory bird frameworks for consideration. Approval for the seasons will take place during the commission's meeting in July.

Two season proposals were presented to the commission:

Mourning Dove and Eurasian Collared Dove

Saturday opening:

Sept. 6-28

Oct. 4-19

Dec. 13-Jan. 2, 2009

Sept. 1 opening:

Sept. 1-23

Oct. 4-19

Dec. 13-Jan. 2, 2009

Season length and bag limit: 60 days, 15-bird daily bag

Special Early Teal Season

Option 1- (nine-day framework): Sept. 13-21

Option 2- (16-day framework): Sept. 13-28

Daily bag limit: 4 birds

The commission also reviewed a proposal to open the special early Canada goose statewide season. If approved, the season would be Sept. 1-15 with a five-bird daily bag.

In other business, the commission:

* Approved a regulation to address the issue with feral hogs on the state's wildlife management areas. AGFC Chief of Wildlife Management Doyle Shook said feral hogs are causing a number of problems on WMAs.

"They're causing widespread habitat damage and destruction," Shook said. "A recent survey of WMA managers highlighted the significant amount of effort that is being expended to attempt to control these animals."

The regulation change requires that hunters kill hogs only during the day on WMAs during an open hunting season.

* Approved a regulation that a zone doe-quota permit not be required to harvest a doe during the Christmas holiday hunt in deer zones 2, 3 and 6. The regulation, which begins this winter, is a result of concerns about increasing numbers of deer in the area.

* Approved renaming Glenwood City Lake to honor former commissioner John Benjamin. The new lake will be called John Benjamin Glenwood Community Fishing Lake.

* Approved a project to improve the road leading to Potlatch Conservation Education Center at Cook's Lake near Casscoe in Arkansas County. The county will work on the roadbed and place culverts under the road; the AGFC will contract for the base material and asphalt.

The 1.5-mile road will be 20 feet wide and will include paved parking lots at the facility. Projected cost is $125,000.

* Elected Freddie Black of Lake Village chairman of the commission to replace Sonny Varnell of St. Paul. Varnell's term on the commission ends June 30. Brett Morgan of Scott was elected vice chairman.

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