JASPER, Ar (AGFC) - For 25 lucky people, the highlight of the 12th annual Buffalo River Elk Festival is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission drawing for elk hunting permits. Over 7,000 people applied for this season's hunt. The two-segment season will be held Sept. 21 to 25 and Dec. 7 to 11.
As in past seasons, this year's elk hunting will be on public lands of the Buffalo National River and the AGFC's Gene Rush Wildlife Management Area, as well as adjacent private lands within Elk Zones 1 through 4. Since 1998, 254 elk have been taken in Arkansas's modern hunt.
Just four of the hunters will be in the field in September. The other permits are for the December hunt, when weather will be cooler. Two of the 25 permits for hunting in Elk Zones 1 through 4, mostly public land, were earmarked as youth elk permits for hunters under 16 years old.
The youth hunter permits are unique in another way, too. It specifies either-sex elk, meaning the youth hunter can harvest either a bull elk or a cow elk. Since Arkansas elk hunting began in 1998, permits other than youth elk permits for elk hunting zones 1 through 4 have specified which kind of elk could be taken. The youth permits will be for the December segment of the elk hunt.
To be eligible to win the elk permits, youths must have successfully completed a hunter education course.
The September hunt will be by four winners of bull permits, two drawn Saturday and two others who were high bidders at fund-raising events sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, which donates most of the proceeds to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for elk program work.
Elk permit winners:
September, Bull, Matthew Eden, Springdale
December, Bull, Alton Tounsand, Jonesboro
December, Antlerless, Richard Maley, Mountain Home
December, Antlerless, Patrick Parrott, Searcy
December, Antlerless, Jacob Chandler, Augusta
September, Bull, Daniel Dickerson, Bryant December, Bull, Allen Mallett, Bull Shoals
December, Antlerless, Claude Woodward, Lamar
December, Antlerless, Ralph Tinnin, Berryville
December, Antlerless, Michael Bredernitz, Van Buren
December, Youth-either sex, Alden Deloach, Magnolia
December, Youth-either sex, Darwin Baker, Nashville
December, Antlerless, Donnie Ellington, Bentonville
December, Antlerless, Corbet Clark, Walnut Ridge
December, Antlerless, Douglas Brents, Cleveland
December, Antlerless, Lyle Mast, Mountain View
December, Antlerless, Nathan Swaffar, Vilonia
December, Antlerless , Allen Bourland, Bixby, OK
December, Bull, Justin Mitchell, Okolona December, Bull, Carl Appling, Marion
December, Antlerless, Roy Herndon, Hot Springs National Park
December, Antlerless, Blanca Santillano, Witter
December, Antlerless, Jared Ross, Havana
December, Antlerless, Thomas Rowland, El Dorado
December, Antlerless, Roy Sharp, Jacksonville
Permits purchased through auctions by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Horace Smith, Daytona Beach, Fla., Zone 3 (September Hunt)
Mike Balenko, Cabot, Zone 4 (September Hunt)