AGFC sets urban deer hunts for four cities

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

LITTLE ROCK -- Due to increasing nuisance deer complaints, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and four Arkansas cities have joined together to offer limited urban archery hunts to combat the overpopulated deer herd.

Hunts in Horseshoe Bend, Cherokee Village, Bull Shoals and Hot Springs Village are scheduled for this fall. Hunters must hold an Arkansas Sportsman's License and an Urban Bowhunting Permit.

These special seasons require more of hunters than most, although it's worth the effort. Two hundred fifty applications will be randomly selected for each of the hunts with the exception of the Hot Springs Village hunt. During that hunt, 200 permits will be issued.

Hunts in Horseshoe Bend and Cherokee Village will be held Sept. 8-Nov. 15 and Jan. 1-31, 2010.

The Bull Shoals hunts will be held Sept. 14-Nov. 15 and Jan. 1-31, 2010.

The hunt in Hot Springs Village will be Sept. 14-27. There is no bag limit, although the first deer taken by a hunter must be a doe. Deer taken after that may be either sex.

Hunters must donate their first deer to Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry. Deer taken in the urban hunts do not count in a hunter's seasonal bag limit, and the three-point rule does not apply.

Chosen applicants must pass the International Bowhunter Education Program course before they attend a hunter-orientation class and take shooting proficiency tests.

There are two options to meet the bowhunter education requirements. The first is to take the traditional eight-hour class. The second method is to take the classroom portion online, then attend an IBEP Field Day to complete the requirement.

The online class can be accessed at www.nbef.org and clicking the distance learning button. There is a $20 charge for the online test.

IBEP Field Days will be held after each hunter orientation meeting in each city so a hunter could meet all the requirements in one day using the online class option. Once a bowhunter has received his IBEP card it is good for life and recognized internationally.

The hunter-oriented shooting proficiency test for the Horseshoe Bend hunt will be Aug. 29 at Veteran's Park in Horseshoe Bend beginning at 1 p.m. For the Cherokee Village hunt, the hunter orientation and shooting test will be held Aug. 29 at the Baseheart Fire Station in Cherokee Village beginning at 8 a.m.

The hunter orientation and shooting test for the Bull Shoals hunt will be Sept. 12 at the Bull Shoals Archery Range starting at 8 a.m. The Hot Springs Village hunter orientation and shooting proficiency test will be held at the Woodlands Community Center in Hot Springs Village beginning at 8 a.m.

A $35 fee, which includes Arkansas Bowhunters Association membership, covers liability insurance. Only longbows, recurve bows or compound bows with at least 40-pound draw weight and arrowheads at least seven-eighths of an inch wide may be used.

Hunters on private property must have written permission from the landowner. Other regulations also apply.

Pick up an application and a list of all regulations at Arkansas Game and Fish Commission headquarters, 2 Natural Resources Drive in Little Rock, or at the AGFC regional offices.

Applications must be postmarked by July 1. For more information on the hunts or to be mailed an urban hunt application, call the AGFC at (501) 223-6359.

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