Hunters can help themselves by checking rules changes

LITTLE ROCK, AR (AGFC) - If you want to be better prepared for the upcoming hunting seasons, a few minutes in your favorite chair with a book can be a major boost.

The book is the 2009-2010 Arkansas Hunting Guidebook of the Arkansas Game and Fish commission. It is 140 pages, including the cover, and it's free at any AGFC office or license dealer.

A suggestion for season preparation is to read Page 5 of the Guidebook. It has the new rules that are going into effect. The appropriate page numbers are listed so readers can quickly refer to the details of the new rules.

Here are the "New This Season" elements in condensed form:

  • Check stations have been eliminated. Hunters must check deer or turkeys online or by telephone (Page 36).
  • Two of the four deer tags have been set aside for does only (Page 36).
  • The 3-point rule has changed to a 4-point/18-inch main beam rule in deer zones 16, 16A and 17 (Page 42).
  • Zone Doe Quota Permits have been replaced by doe days (pages 38-42).
  • Does may be harvested during the Christmas Holiday Modern Gun Deer Hunt in deer zones 1 and 10 (Page 41).
  • The bag limit for does has increased to four during the firearm season in deer zones 12 and 17 (Page 39).
  • A second statewide youth season has been added to the modern gun deer season (Page 42).
  • Youths 15 years and younger may harvest bucks during any season without regard to antler restrictions (Page 42).
  • Deer zones 1, 2, 3, 14 and 15 have new boundaries. Deer zone 6 has been divided into three zones and deer zone 8 has been divided into two zones (Page 38).
  • Turkey zone 1A is closed to fall archery turkey hunting (Page 46).
  • Bear archery season is closed on Trusten Holder WMA (Page 123).
  • The possession limit on squirrels has increased to 32 (Page 48).
  • Crow season and fall squirrel season have been opened on Camp Robinson SUA (Page 80).
  • Oklahoma, Montana and Minnesota have been removed from the cervid carcass importation ban. Michigan has been added to the list of prohibited carcass importation states (Page 24).
  • Bobcat, coyote and fox may now be taken with up to .30 caliber firearms on Camp Robinson WMA during January and February daylight hours (pages 80-81).
  • Bear archery, muzzleloader and modern gun seasons have opened on Petit Jean River WMA (Page 110).
  • Bear archery and modern gun seasons have opened on Ed Gordon Point Remove WMA (Page 90).
  • Dove hunting has been opened during the first week of the statewide dove season on the Wylie Cox Field Trial Area on the Ed Gordon Point Remove WMA.
  • Bear archery and youth seasons have opened on Galla Creek WMA (Page 92).
  • A permit youth deer hunt has been added to Steven N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms WMA (Page 120).
  • Doe harvest is allowed during the first five days of muzzleloader season on Buffalo National River, White Rock, Mount Magazine, Ozark National Forest and Piney Creek WMAs (pages 79, 106, 109, 111 and 126).
  • A one-doe bag limit during the muzzleloader deer season has been added to Petit Jean River WMA (Page 110).
  • The late modern gun deer season on Sylamore WMA (North Unit) begins on Nov. 27 (pages 121-122).
  • Firearms are restricted to muzzleloaders and shotguns on Beaver Lake WMA (Page 74).
  • Palmetto Flats Natural Area WMA in Little River County has been added (Page 110).
  • Hunting is prohibited within 100 feet of all maintained roads on Moro Big Pine Natural Area WMA (Page 70).
  • Kill set traps can now be checked every 72 hours instead of every 24 hours.